At ilapothecary, we are all about harnessing the best ingredients that Mother Nature shares with us, so that we can feel happier, healthier, and more empowered in our bodies and our minds. We select the most powerful natural ingredients and use them to formulate effective and fragrant skincare products that nurture your body and mind.

Today, our hero ingredient spotlight is on Maca.

Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is a plant found in the Andes, a mountainous range in Peru. Traditionally, the Andean people consumed ‘maca’ as a cruciferous vegetable, however due to its array of benefits, it was also used as a natural medicine to treat various health conditions.

Today the root of the Maca plant is still being consumed by means of adding it into our foods, such as smoothies or other meals. But besides giving foods an earthy, rich flavour, it boasts some truly impressive health benefits. Keep reading to discover the five most important and surprising ones.

1. Hormonal

Women who have reached or are about to reach menopause can benefit from incorporating Maca in their weekly routine. This is because Maca is meant to help to increase the production of hormones such as progesterone, oestradiol, and luteinising hormone, whilst at the same time decreasing the level of stress-boosting hormones like cortisol.

But the hormonal effects of Maca also extend to women who experience long, painful, and irregular menstrual cycles. Maca is known to help balance out the sudden drops and rises of oestrogen and progesterone, which are often to blame for the most common PMS symptoms such as cramps, mood swings, headaches, and breast tenderness.

As Mother’s Day is coming up, why not gift that special woman in your life – or yourself — a wonderful, natural way to achieve that all-important hormonal balance that she needs and deserves?

Whether she loves taking a relaxing, nourishing bath, is looking for easy and natural ways to recharge throughout the day, or needs to feel more at peace with her surroundings, at ilapothecary we have a range of products that can help her regain optimal hormonal equilibrium.

2. Nutritional

As we mentioned earlier, Maca is a cruciferous vegetable of the same family as kale, cabbage, and broccoli, which makes it incredibly nutritious.

Packed with vitamins C, A, B2, and B6, as well as niacin and minerals like iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, Maca can help support healthy heart function, balanced blood sugar levels, and reduced inflammation throughout the body.

3. Physical

One of the most popular, and widely appreciated, benefits of Maca is its potential ability to boost libido. Several scientific studies were able to support this claim, including studies on erectile dysfunction in men and sexual dysfunction in menopausal women.

Another physical benefit of Maca is its capacity to increase energy levels. For this reason, Maca is used by many athletes and bodybuilders as a natural way to supplement their athletic performance.

Lastly, Maca is also thought to help people who often feel anxious or on edge, thanks to its “herbal adaptogen” capability. This is a feature that only a handful of plants around the world have, and it is associated with the ability to rebalance the hormones that help you better cope with stress and illnesses.

4. Cognitive

Although the evidence around this claim is not as strong as in the previous instances, some research has shown that Maca can help to improve certain cognitive functions — namely, learning and memory function.

This has led some experts to suggest that Maca might be helpful in the treatment of certain memory-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Studies around this topic have been conducted on mice and other animals, but there is still very little proof that the same, positive results can be expected in humans, too.

5. Skin health

Because of the high amount of vitamins and minerals that it contains, Maca is also believed to enable a faster, more consistent production of natural antioxidant in the body and the skin.

As you might know, antioxidants are incredibly powerful at fighting free radicals, which, in turn, can contribute to healing and protecting damaged and ageing skin cells.

Reap the benefits of Maca for your body and mind

Maca is a wonderfully powerful, all-natural ingredient that boasts many benefits, both for the body and mind.

Start incorporating this hero ingredient in your routine, and enjoy its amazing effects.

For more tips, help, and inspiration on how to live a healthier, happier, and more balanced life, read this insightful blog post.