Maca and ashwagandha are two commonly consumed herbs with similar properties. Many people take these herbs for similar reasons; some even take maca root and ashwagandha together. This article will compare the benefits of these two herbal supplements.
What Is Maca?
Maca is a plant native to Peru. The plant's roots are used as medicine and food and have a long history of use by indigenous Peruvian people. Maca root has many benefits but is most commonly used to boost energy, improve athletic performance, increase libido, and support hormonal health.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a plant native to India. Like maca, the roots of the ashwagandha plant are used medicinally. However, unlike maca, ashwagandha is primarily used as herbal medicine and not a food, whereas maca has traditionally been consumed as both. Ashwagandha has many benefits but is most commonly consumed for its adaptogenic properties, increasing energy, boosting libido, enhancing immune health, and supporting hormonal health.
Maca Root and Ashwagandha Benefits
Maca and ashwagandha are both robust plants with an impressive diversity of uses and health benefits. Below, we will compare some of the top benefits and uses of each plant:
As we can see, the plants offer many similar benefits. Some are specific to each plant.
While both herbs improve energy and mood and athletic support performance, cognitive health, hormonal health, and immune health, maca root appears to have more affinity for reproductive health. In contrast, ashwagandha appears to have more affinity for the brain and mental health.
Maca root increases libido and is considered an aphrodisiac, while ashwagandha does not have the same effects. Maca also may treat erectile dysfunction and reduce symptoms of menopause.
Ashwagandha has many benefits for the brain and may improve memory, protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline, and may help treat mood disorders like anxiety and depression. In addition, it supports heart health and sleep and may help manage or treat arthritis.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Neither maca root nor ashwagandha is better than the other overall. Both are unusual plants. However, one may be better for you to take, depending on what you are looking for. If you want to boost energy, immunity, and athletic performance, either one will support this. Maca root may be the better option if you want to support sexual health and increase libido. If you want to support your mood and cognitive health, ashwagandha may be the better option.
Maca root and ashwagandha side effects are also rare, as these are considered very safe plants that have been used for centuries. However, some people may experience mild symptoms such as gas, bloating, or upset stomach, but this depends mainly on dosage and the quality and formulation of the supplement.
Concentrated maca root and ashwagandha can be beneficial, too, when taken in a high-quality extract form, but make sure that the source is of high quality, as sourcing truly makes a world of difference in the herbal supplement industry.
Also, when getting maca root in its powdered form, it is recommended to get the gelatinized maca as it is easier for the body to digest than raw maca.
Can You Take Maca and Ashwagandha Together?
You can certainly take both plants together, and people looking to maximize their benefits may find that pairing them together is great for energy, mood, and athletic performance. However, remember that if you struggle with low energy or fatigue, these herbs may offer benefits but will not resolve the underlying cause of your symptoms.
It is essential to look into why you feel tired or are seeking extra energy and to focus on all areas of your health, particularly diet, sleep, stress, and exercise. Supplements are meant to supplement a healthy lifestyle, not replace the need for taking proper care of your health.
Maca and ashwagandha can be excellent supplements for supporting your energy, vitality, and overall health and wellness when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.