Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is a traditional medicine used in parts of South America where it grows at high altitude. The plant is a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage and broccoli. Evidence suggests that the plant may have a number of beneficial effects of reproduction including the ability to protect the male reproductive system from various aberrations. Studies have investigated the effects of maca on prostate health in animals. For example, in one study researchers administered red maca to rats and the effects on their prostate glands was observed. The results of the study show that the maca was significantly able to reduce the size of the prostate glands of the rats compared to control treatments. These effects were evident after 42 days of treating the rats. The extracts administered to the rats were analysed and shown to contain alkaloids, steroids, tannins, saponins, and cardiotonic glycosides, and the authors considered that any of these compounds may have been responsible for the effects seen.
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