Are you familiar with the term ADAPTOGENS? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the diverse health benefits of adaptogens and how they can positively impact various aspects of your physical, mental, and emotional health. From reducing stress and boosting energy to enhancing cognitive function and supporting immune health, adaptogens offer a holistic approach to achieving optimal wellness. Adaptogens have been gaining popularity quickly over the past few years. The top & most powerful adaptogens acknowledged worldwide are Ginseng & Maca root. These are two such adaptogens that are gaining popularity in the supplement markets.
I’ll discuss the main benefits of both Maca root and Ginseng in this article to assist you in deciding which one would be the better option for your upcoming supplement formulation.
WHAT IS MACA?
MACA is An edible herbaceous plant in the Brassicaceae family of plants is the maca (Lepidium Meyenii). It is indigenous to South America and is most frequently observed at extremely high elevations (11,000–14,500 feet) in Peru’s Andes Mountains ranges.
There are primarily four types of maca roots:
Yellow or cream-colored maca roots have an enhanced sweetness and size, while black maca roots have a slightly bitter taste.
What is Maca Root Extract Used For?
Maca is a type of dietary supplement known as an adaptogen. It has been shown that adaptogens can boost energy levels and assist people in good health cope with stress.
It has been demonstrated that supplements made from maca roots enhance energy levels and fertility and act as an aphrodisiac. The most prevalent Macamide present in maca root extracts, benzyl-linoleamide, has been investigated for its possible health advantages.
The Macamide and Macaene content of the various types of maca roots is more significant than their color when choosing the right root for supplement formulation. The best outcomes for maca activity in supplements are often seen with maca root extracts that are standardized for 0.6% Macamides and Macaenes.
Nutritional Value of Maca
Maca roots are a nutrient-dense food that is high in glucosinolates, polyphenols, important minerals including iron and copper, vitamin C, lipids, and other plant-based components.
Approximately 325 calories and 59% carbs, 10.2% protein, 8.5% fiber, and 2.2% fats are found in a 100-gram serving of dried maca roots.
The active marker substances in maca are benzylated alkamides, macamides, and macaenes. The amount of Macamides and Macaenes present in each root variety varies significantly, in addition to the various anthocyanin concentrations that contribute to the color variance.
What are the Health Benefits of Maca?
Although maca roots have been utilized for fertility enhancement in the past, they also have a number of other advantages.
Maca Root Powder Benefits for Men:
The use of maca roots may increase male sexual drive. Taking 1.5-3 grams(g) of maca root extract for 12 weeks may help enhance a group of men’s sexual desire, according to a 12-week clinical trial on a group of men aged 21–56.
Men who consumed a proprietary kind of Peruvian Maca were found to have improved handgrip strength, sexual function, and sporadic fatigue, according to research recently published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition.
Maca Root Powder Benefits for Women:
Menopausal women may benefit from taking supplements containing extracts from the maca root.
Women who self-administered 2 g of maca root supplements daily with meals in a small group research reported fewer menopausal discomfort symptoms, particularly hot flashes and night sweats.
Maca Root Benefits for Athletes:
It has been demonstrated that maca roots can aid sportsmen and body-builders in getting more vigor and stamina. A pilot study that examined the effects of a 14-day maca extract supplementation on participants’ 40 km cycling performance motivated long-term clinical studies to assess the effectiveness of maca roots further.
WHAT IS GINSENG?
Ginseng has been used by humans for over 2000 years now & is very popular & accepted the world over as a very powerful & potent Adaptogen. The Panax genus includes the perennial plant known as Ginseng. The Ginseng plant’s fleshy roots have long been employed in traditional Chinese medicine. A number of clinical trials have also demonstrated the potential benefits of Ginseng as a dietary supplement that could increase energy, ease occasional tension, and encourage relaxation.
There are 11 different types of Ginseng, with Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) and American Ginseng being the most popular. North America, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, India, Bhutan, and Siberia are all home to large populations of wild Ginseng.
In 2020, the global market for Ginseng supplements was valued at USD 3.3 billion, and from 2021 to 2027, it is anticipated to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%, reaching USD 5.5 billion.
Nutritional Value of Ginseng
The best & positive thing about Ginseng is that it may not increase calorie or fat intake when taken in small doses (400 mg – 2.0 g). Besides, it does contain significant amount of bioactive phytochemicals, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
The most significant active Ginseng constituents are triterpene glycosides, often known as Ginsenosides. Protopanaxadiol (PPD) and protopanaxatriol are the two forms of ginsenosides that are commonly found in Ginseng. The higher the percentage of Ginsenocides, the better its effect & efficacy
Other substances have been found in Ginseng, including polyacetylene and phenolic compounds like maltol. As the main phenolic antioxidants in Ginseng, researchers have also discovered the existence of salicylic acid, vanillic acid, gentisicacids, and p-coumaric acid.
THE HEALTH ADVANTAGES OF GINSENG:
What are the Health Benefits of Ginseng Supplements?
Each Ginseng variety is found to have different advantages due to the variety in their active compound concentration. However, among all these Ginsengs, Korean Red Ginseng is believed to be of the most superior quality.
Getting an original & pure brand of Red Korean Ginseng has always been a challenge due to a more free availability of cheaper & more readily available options like Chinese Ginseng etc as their crops are very frequent. However sourcing Red Korean Ginseng can be a little difficult as it is harvested just once in 5-6 years.
Ok, now let’s take a look at some more advantages that Korean Red Ginseng has to offer:
Fatigue and Tiredness:
Numerous research suggests that Ginseng may aid in boosting energy and battling fatigue. In order to help healthy individuals deal with weariness, the polysaccharides and oligopeptides in Ginseng have been related to decreased oxidative stress and increased energy production in cells.
A four-week study that looked at the effects of administering around 400 mg to 1 grams of Korean Red Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) found that volunteers who received it reported less physical and mental weariness and less oxidative stress than those who received a placebo.
Ginseng supplements may be able to lessen weariness and improve physical activity, according to a review that included over 155 studies on the herb’s effects on physical performance and exhaustion.
Mental Health and Cognitive Functioning:
In healthy people, active Ginseng components such as ginsenosides, gintonin, and compound K have been demonstrated to assist in boosting cognitive performance possibly.
After six months of Korean Red Ginseng supplementation, volunteers significantly improved on the visual learning test and the visual memory test as compared to the placebo group, according to a clinical trial on the effects of Korean Red Ginseng in healthy volunteers (n=90) with modest cognitive impairments. Similarly to this, a 2018 study found that Ginseng may lessen oxidative stress, which would improve cognitive performance in healthy persons.
A study found that using Korean Red Ginseng for four weeks improved aspects of mental health and social functioning very significantly.
ARE MACA AND GINSENG ONE AND THE SAME THING?
Maca and Ginseng are two different plants that are often used for their medicinal properties. Both plants have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to improve health and well-being.
Maca, is also known as Peruvian Ginseng & is a root vegetable that is native to the high Andean mountains of Peru. It is commonly used to boost energy, improve stamina, and enhance mood. Maca is also believed to improve fertility and sexual function and reduce symptoms of menopause.
Ginseng, on the other hand, is a perennial plant that is native to Asia and North America. It is commonly used to improve cognitive function, reduce stress, and boost the immune system. Ginseng is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
While both Maca and Ginseng have similar medicinal properties, they are not the same thing. Maca is a root vegetable, while Ginseng is a perennial plant. The two plants also have different chemical compositions, which means that they have different effects on the body.
It is important to note that both Maca and Ginseng are considered dietary supplements and not a substitute for medications. Like any dietary supplement, they should be consumed after consulting a healthcare professional especially if you are on any medication for any health condition.
DOES MACA WORK LIKE VIAGRA?
Maca has been used traditionally to enhance fertility and libido. Some studies have suggested that maca may have potential benefits for reproductive function in men, but more research is needed to confirm these effects. Maca is not the same as Viagra, which is a medication that is used to treat erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the male reproductive organ. Viagra works by blocking the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), which is responsible for breaking down a substance called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which is important for maintaining an erection. Maca does not work in the same way as Viagra, and it is not a substitute for Viagra or other medications used to treat erectile dysfunction.
What are the benefits of Maca?
Some of the potential benefits of maca include:
- Increasing energy and endurance
- Improving sexual function and fertility
- Reducing symptoms of menopause
- Improving memory and learning
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Improving skin health
It is important to note that more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits and to determine the appropriate dosage and method of consumption for different individuals.
How to take maca root for fertility?
Maca root is commonly consumed as a supplement in powder form. The recommended dosage for increasing fertility can vary depending on the source, but generally, it is suggested to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it over time. A general starting point for maca root powder for fertility purposes is between 1-3 teaspoons per day, taken with food. It’s best to take maca powder with meals containing fats as it increases maca’s bioavailability.
It is important to note that maca root should not be used as a sole treatment for infertility and should be used in conjunction with other treatments recommended by a healthcare provider. Additionally, individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using maca root.
It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any new supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.
What is the dosage of Maca root powder?
The proper dosage of maca root powder can vary depending on the individual and the reason for taking it. Generally, it is recommended to start with a small dosage and gradually increase it to the desired amount. Some sources suggest taking 1-3 teaspoons of maca powder per day, while others recommend 1-2 tablespoons. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplement or making any changes to your diet.
CONCLUSION: WHICH IS BETTER MACA OR RED KOREAN GINSENG?
In conclusion, both MACA and Ginseng have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and have been shown to have various health benefits. However, Ginseng stands out as the more versatile and well-researched herb. It has been extensively studied and has been found to have a wide range of benefits, including improved cognitive function, mood and physical performance, immune system enhancement, and potential anti-cancer properties.
Additionally, Ginseng has been traditionally used in many different cultures, and thus has been proven safe for consumption over a long period of time. While MACA may also offer some benefits, Ginseng’s extensive history of use and scientific evidence make it a more reliable choice. As always, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbs or supplements, to ensure safety and effectiveness.
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