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Maca for Depression Treatment - Does It Help?

Is there any scientific evidence for using maca for depression?

There is quite a bit of interest in this vegetable crop that grows in the high altitudes of Peru. Its popularity comes from its reported effect as a sexual enhancement herb.

Health benefits and uses of maca include: boosting libido, treating erectile dysfunctionenhancing fertility, increasing sperm count, alleviating menopause symptoms and increasing energy and well-being.

Experts believe that maca might affect the monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters responsible for maintaining mood. Blocking this enzyme increases the amount of neurotransmitter available to the nerve cells and this elevate mood and creates a sense of well-being.

But what is the evidence of the effective of maca for depression treatment? Read on to find out...

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Maca for Treating Depression - The Scientific Evidence

Here is one study that was carried out in post menopause women to see what this herb does:

Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content.
Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L.

Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62.

This study involved 14 women and was setup as a randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial (the "gold standard" for designing research studies). The women took 3.5 grams of maca root powder daily for 6 weeks.

The results were that women reported reduced psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety as well as increased libido.

Bottom Line

Maca seems to work to treat depression. It is worth trying at least for 6 weeks to see if it will help you out.

Also, herbs such as St. John's wort and SAMe work well to treat mild depression and should be considered as well.

As well, a combination product like MindSoothe combines St. John's wort with passion flower using the Full Spectrum Approach to ensure maximum effectiveness for elevating mood. It comes highly recommended by those who are currently taking this.

Get more detailed information on the Health Benefits of Maca?

See the unbiased article Maca to get a complete list of all the health benefits of taking this Peruvian herb. As well, side effects and suggested dose to use are included.

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Related Articles and Resources

MindSoothe - All Natural Remedy for Depression

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References for Maca for Depression
Created: December 12, 2010

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