I've known for a long time that Maca powder is a powerful 100% natural and non-pharmaceutical treatment for depression, but I hadn't seen any research on it until recently. I wanted to share some promising findings in this article about how Peruvian Maca can help stabilize emotions.
Depression Stats, Treatments and Causes
In 2008 the World Health Organization estimated that about 121 million people suffer from depression worldwide. In industrialized countries maca depression like the US, depression effects around 7% of the adult population. And depression among children is increasing.
The traditional treatments for depression include counseling, therapy and pharmaceutical drugs. Alternative treatments such as exercise and nutritional improvements are gaining popularity.
One of the most recent theories regarding the worldwide prevalence of depression is that it is in part caused by a lack of nutrition. This is where Maca for depression comes in. Maca powder is an incredible nutritional powerhouse with nearly all amino acids, 10 vitamins, 12 minerals, 23 fatty acids as well as several unique glucosinolates.
The Scientific Evidence on Maca For Depression
I've been hearing about the mood elevating properties of Maca powder from customers and friends for the past 8 years, so I'm sure that there's something to the practice of using Maca to reduce depression. But digging a little further I found that a couple of scientific studies have confirmed these personal experiences.
In 2008 5 researches from a hospital in Australia studied a group of women for 12 weeks. One group was given 3.5 grams of Maca powder per day, while the other group was give a placebo. At the end of the trail the researchers reported, "... significant reduction in scores in the areas of psychological symptoms, including the subscales for anxiety and depression and sexual dysfunction after Maca consumption." The researchers conclude that Maca is indeed effective for treating psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression.
Another study published in 2006 treated mice with depression over a 21 day period using Red, Black and Cream colored Maca roots. They discovered that while Black Maca helped improve cognitive function the most, all colors of Maca were helpful for depression.
Who Should Use Maca For Depression
Based on all my research and experience Maca powder is a great natural alternative for alleviating depression for anyone suffering from a light level of the disorder. Chronic and severe depression may require a more comprehensive treatment and intervention. Here's a list of depression symptoms that Maca might help:
- postpartum depression (often nutrient related - Maca is safe while breastfeeding)
- dysthymia - low level depression
- low energy
- lack of motivation
How Much Maca To Take For Depression
Taking Maca for depression falls into a therapeutic usage of Maca and that means dosage levels should be consistent over a long period of time (At least one month). My recommendation for an adult of 150lb (65 kg) is to take 3-4 teaspoons (8-12 grams) of organic Maca powder daily.
Also keep in mind that it may take several weeks up to a couple of months for Maca to provide the benefits you are looking for. Maca is a powerful food, but takes time to work. The good news in this, though, is that Maca has no side effects, has many other benefits and can lead to permanent reversal of depression.