Maca cream is a topical ointment derived from the maca plant. Proponents use it primarily as a natural alternative to progesterone, although some claim that it has other health benefits as well. Various retailers of natural and organic products offer the cream for sale online and in stores.
Indigenous to Peru and other areas of South America, maca is a root vegetable that grows mainly in the mountainous regions. Known formally as lepidium meyenii, the maca plant has green, fernlike leaves that grow close to the ground. Underneath, the root portion, sometimes referred to as the hypocotyls, resembles an oversized radish and can come in a variety of colors, including tan, red, purple, and even black. Grown and used for centuries as both a nutritious vegetable and medicinal supplement, the root can be consumed raw or cooked and has a sweet, earthy aroma and tart flavor. The vegetable grows well in higher altitudes and cooler temperatures, and it is extremely frost resistant.
Often referred to as Peruvian ginseng, maca root is used to treat a variety of ailments. For instance, people have used it to alleviate infertility, abdominal cramps, and anemia. Many individuals claim that it also relieves menopausal symptoms such as low libido, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings. Due to these latter claims, experts began researching the use of maca as an alternative to progesterone and hormone replacement therapy commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms. As a result of their findings, maca cream was developed.
Applied topically, the ointment absorbs quickly into the skin and bloodstream, thus providing immediate benefits without the need for swallowing a pill or capsule. Many women have found that, when used regularly, maca cream has reduced troublesome menopausal and premenstrual symptoms considerably. Further, many individuals have reported that the lotion also increased their energy levels and improved their mood.
Generally, maca cream is sold in twist-top containers of various sizes. The cream itself is usually pale yellow in color. Most manufacturers recommend that it be used one to two times a day.
The use of maca cream has not been limited to women, and certain retailers sell maca products for men. For instance, some types of men’s shaving gels contain maca. The product is said to leave the skin soft and well nourished while preventing razor irritation.
In addition, some people maintain that maca has antiaging benefits when applied regularly to the facial area. Particularly, the lotion is said to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while leaving the skin supple and radiant. Some individuals have even used maca cream to treat stretch marks and other skin blemishes.
While no serious side effects have been noted with maca, certain people might have a sensitivity to the product. An individual should always test a small area of skin with the lotion, making note of any adverse reaction before applying it more liberally to other parts of the body. Additionally, if a woman is pregnant or nursing, she should always check with a heath care professional before using maca cream.