Maca is native to Peru. It is sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng. Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety. Maca also contains polysaccharides, polyphenols (flavonolignans), macaenes, macamides, glucosinolates, and alkaloids of maca (root and aerial parts).
The vast array of Maca's active constituents might be why some herbalists categorize Maca as an adaptogen and why it earns the nickname of Peruvian Ginseng. An adaptogen is (in herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing or balancing effect upon bodily processes.
The root of the Eleutheroccocus centicocus plant, also called Siberian Ginseng or Eleuthero, has been used in China and Russia for centuries with a variety of uses and healthy benefits. Ginseng is an adaptogen and promotes qi or vital health. It has been used to boost energy. Ginseng has a high content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants all of which promote health and well-being. Ginseng may also support the central nervous system providing inner balance.
In the 1950's, scientists discovered that the roots of Wild Yam contain diosgenin. Diosgenin can be made into various steroids, such as a plant based estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Dehydroepiandrosterone is a phytosteroid. Phytosteroids are plant-based steroids that are similar to the steroids produced in the human body. This is thought to be the reason that Wild Yam may provide balance and hormonal support for women. Wild yam is believed to influence hormone imbalances in a way that can benefit certain issues that only women experience.