MACA - The Polyglandular Panacea!
by Megan Jones
Megan Jones, MS, CNC
Feeling out of sorts, but can’t quite put your finger on it?!
You’ve heard of MACAdamias, the MACArena, MACAroons and MACAroni. All of these are great, but don’t hold a candle to
We are fortunate today to be experiencing a resurgence in an understanding and acceptance of the use of natural substances in healing.This makes sense, since the human organism is comprised of natural elements.
MACA (Latin name Lepidium Meyenii Walp) is a truly extraordinary example of one of these gentle, but powerful remedies. Its ability to regulate hormonal balance translates into the solution to many of the “mysterious” health problems people are experiencing in the 21st century. The most common underlying metabolic causes of disease usually involves the endocrine system. Glands like the Adrenals, Thymus, Thyroid, Hypothalamus, and Pituitary secrete hormones and send messages to maintain function and balance in our body’s chemistry. These factors are often missed because the symptoms your body expresses are not specific to the location of these organs. You might be experiencing fatigue, immune problems, weight gain, sleeplessness, heartburn or incontinence, accordingly.Very often, doctors miss the boat here, because their focus is on relieving your symptoms, rather than finding and correcting the cause.
Even more perplexing, if you get to the point of ordering blood tests, hormonal blood levels commonly register as normal even when they are not. This is because blood, which is an excellent indicator for many factors, is only of general relevance when it comes to hormones. The reason is that all of your active hormones are stored in fat cells.(At this point, most of my clients say’ “Well, I’ve certainly got a lot of those!..”). Since blood is a water-based medium, and the hormones in blood are bound to other substances, readings for levels of Thyroid, Estrogen, Testosterone, Progesterone, etc., are never quite right. These tests do not pick up slightly subnormal or high situations which can impact your health in dramatic ways.
For many years, nutritionists have recognized the critical part the endocrine system plays, however, were at a loss as to how to remedy these problems because of a few big stumbling blocks.
First, the synthetic (USP) products sold in health food stores and drug stores can effect changes, but cannot nourish the body since they are fractionated (containing only some of the isolates of the whole nutrient as found in food.)
Secondly, glandular extracts are often undesirable because they are animal derived, making them a hard sell to vegetarians and those afraid of “Mad Cow” disease, despite the fact that careful research shows this to be generated by Organophosphate pesticides rather than the eating of flesh!
In addition, desiccated glandular tissue is more of a replacement rather than a corrective food substance, and should only be used on an “off and on” basis. Exceptions in the glandular realm would be protomorphogens and homeopathics.
Specific herbs can help to nourish glands, such as Royal Jelly for the Adrenals or Milk Thistle for the liver, yet combining herbs safely and intelligently is truly an art as well as a science and requires years of training. The most critical factor, perhaps, is that when one gland is out-of-balance, all out of balance, so to support the Thyroid without nourishing the Pituitary and Adrenals, is not going to complete the job.
The arrival of Maca provides a simple solution to these dilemmas. Maca is a root herb very similar to the yam or other potato family members. Found only in the highest of the Andes mountains in Peru where the earth is some of the most barren in the world, this food has been documented to maintain the natives in extraordinary health for thousands of years. An abundance of phytochemicals such as terpines, saponoids, sterols, tannins, etc. reach throughout the body delivering nourishment to all of the major organs (glands). Studies show that the Hypothalamus and Pituitary receive great benefit from the replenishing of this nutrition. These are considered the body’s “Master Glands”, since they begin the cascade of hormones which act as chemical messengers directing the function of all cellular communication. A glance at the chart shows how these two tiny organs interact with some of the more familiar ones - such as the male and female sexual and reproductive glands. You can easily see that by replenishing this circuit of glands, how many health issues may begin to correct themselves.
Because we live in a would based on commercial profit and not consumer protection, our foods no longer contain the elements necessary to maintain a healthy body, so constant adjustment is needed for symptoms springing forth from weak blood and organs which atrophy much earlier in life than the creator intended. This translates into lowered sexual energy, the vast problem of infertility among even young men and women, chronic fatigue, the ability of viruses to take hold and all of the degenerative diseases science has names for. Using Maca can greatly improve the outlook for prevention and correction of these problems. It is an herb which is entirely safe and does not carry with it a danger of “pushing” glands or systems more out of balance because it is not replacing hormones. It just feeds the glands so that they can do the work that they normally would. Maca, like most herbs comes in several forms. Some companies sell the ground up root in capsules, some standardize it (extracting some of the active ingredients for greater potency).
Good For You America markets Maca in its original whole food form and adds other powerful foods such as beet root, barley grass, wheat grass, purple dulse, orange peel and algaes. This provides a convenient way to get a multitude of benefit when mixed with fruit, in a rice or soy milk shake. Take a moment and think about just one area of you health you’d like to improve. Then think of a new four-letter word -MACA !
MACA Adrenals - Energy, Stress Tolerance, Sugar Balance, Hormone Production Hypothalamus - Sleep Cycle, Metabolic Rate, Heat Center, Balances Nervous and Endocrine System Pituitary - Water Balance (incontinence, edema), Digestive Complaints (heartburn), Nervousness Thyroid - Electrical back-up to the Heart, Weight Distribution, Cholesterol Metabolism, Mental Functions, Growth and Repair Issues, Governs Male and Female Sex Organs Ovaries and Testes - Sexual Energy, Fertility