For many women, the menstrual cycle is an annoyance and a frustration. Symptoms can range from discomforting to debilitating, and there seems to be little option but to rely on painkillers and tough it out. What many women may not know is that there are in fact several herbs that can help to alleviate some of these symptoms. Maca is one such herb, and recent studies show that it has great promise for women who suffer from difficult or irregular menstrual cycles.
For many women, the typical menstrual cycle encompasses 28 days, from ovulation to menstruation and rest. For most women, menstruation (also commonly called a period) is accompanied by mild to moderate symptoms including bloating, cramps, irritability and fatigue. These symptoms may also be included in the days preceding a period as a result of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Usually, these symptoms persist only a few days, and taper off as the period comes to an end. For some women, however, these symptoms can be debilitating, and can interfere with everyday life. Some women also experience irregular cycles, with 35 days or longer between periods. While there are numerous potential causes for these symptoms, very often, these are the result of a hormonal imbalance.
Maca root has shown an extraordinary ability to help stabilize hormone levels. By providing the reproductive glands with essential nutrients required for hormone production, maca helps the body to produce or counter its levels of estrogen as needed. Bringing balance to the hormones can help to regulate cycles, stem a heavy blood flow, and relax muscles to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. The protein and other essential nutrients found in maca also help to overcome the fatigue that may result from menstruation. Reducing the fluctuation of hormones can also help to ease the mood swings commonly associated with PMS.