Athletes like Brendan Brazier already knew that maca, grown in the high Andes, can improve endurance, stamina, performance, while increasing energy. When I first learned about raw maca, it was mostly from information like this, all the people who will not do with out it. (Please note: Brendan Brazier and many other experts recommend gelatanized maca instead of raw maca. My next order will be for gelatanized maca.)
But soon I began to read comments from women who said that maca alleviated their anxiety symptoms, even when severe, and some report it has helped lift their depression. There is some research to show that maca can help balance hormones, lift fatigue, possibly energize women who feel fatigued, and definitely improve the low sex drive/libido feeling that many women suffer.
There has not been enough research done, but it does seem promising. Meanwhile I just ordered more Navitas raw maca from Amazon, along with Navitas raw cacao power powder. Since maca has a malty taste that can be a bit strong, the raw cacao (raw chocolate) smoothie, including banana and mango or blueberries helps mask the maca taste while getting the benefits. (My husband doesn't like maca and won't have it in his smoothies, so I just have it daily in mine. I noticed that some of my favorite raw vegan authors also use maca in their smoothies as well.)
(CAUTION: ALWAYS START OUT WITH A HALF TEASPOON OR LESS. A LITTLE MACA GOES A LONG WAY.)
It is always best to check with your doctor, although not much research has been done yet with maca. The results thus far have been promising, although not everyone will report great effects with maca.
Here are a few links:
Side effects of maca are reported in this article. Please note that people with impaired thyroid function and breast cancer are among those who might not want to take maca, Women who are pregnant or nursing are advised not to take maca.
More on side effects of taking maca:
Addendum: I had read various bits of info on raw and gelatinized maca. I just changed my Amazon order to try the gelatinized maca instead.
Note: Maca is well known among athletes. This link includes an interview with Brendan Brazier and at least two of his recovery beverages, one including maca, a superfood that gets two pages in "Thrive."