7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

Maca powder

Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.” Maca’s benefits have been long valued, and has recently been popularized as a supplement and food ingredient. 

There are no serious known side effects of maca, but like any other supplement it should not be taken in large amounts. When you first start using maca, it’s best to begin by taking smaller amounts and building up; even 1/2 teaspoon is a good place to start. And at the other end, 1 tablespoons (of the powder) is an average daily dose. Rotating a few days on and a few days off is often recommended. Taking too much can lead to adverse effects and throw your hormones out of whack. If you experience this, you should take less or wean yourself off completely.

Vegan no-bake coconut Maca-roonsMaca is good in smoothies, salads, drinks, cooked foods, and juices. A couple of easy and tasty ways to use it: Our easy No-Bake Vegan Cocoa Maca-roons; and two delicious smoothies — Mocha Maca Banana Smoothie and Strawberry-Vanilla Maca Smoothie.

Don’t add it to anything that’s very hot because it will lose all its benefits. The taste can be a bit odd at first but it gets more tolerable and it depends on what you mix it with. Its flavor has been described as “malted” or like toasted oats. Smoothies, puddings, raw sweets, and juices seem to be the best ways to use maca powder.

Superfood kitchen by Julie MorrisPlease be aware that other than the nutritional benefits provided by the vitamins and minerals, the other benefits are anecdotal, as maca has not been formally studied.

A great resource that includes a lot of information on maca, as well as how to incorporate it into recipes, is Superfood Kitchen* by Julie Morris. This beautiful book also includes lots of others superfoods in addition to maca, including berries, seeds, grasses, green leafy veggies, and more.

And if you’d like to compare various brands of maca, you can do so by exploring this page on Amazon.com.

1. Vitamins
Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.

2. Sexual function
Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility.

3. Women’s health and mood
Maca relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca.

Maca powder and root4. Energy
Within days of using maca your energy level may increase. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired most of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost!

5. General health
Maca helps your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids anemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy and allows you to heal from wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.

But be very cautious if you have a cancer related to hormones like testicular and ovarian, among others. If you have liver issues or high blood pressure you should ask your doctor before taking maca.

6. Skin
Many people take maca for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit for your skin is that is decreases sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help your skin withstand extreme temperatures.

7. Mood balance
If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stress, depression or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though of the evidence is anecdotal. Some have reported an increase in mental energy and focus.


Plant power by Nava Atlas - coverBalance your use of superfoods like maca with a healthy plant-based diet filled with veggies, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, seeds and other whole Foods. Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes* delivers a beautiful must-have guide with more than 150 delicious and versatile plant-based recipes for every day of the year. Eating vegan doesn’t have to be about sacrifice and substitutions. With Plant Power, Nava Atlas celebrates the bounty of natural foods and teaches everyone—from committed vegans to those who just want more plants in their diet—how to implement a plant-based approach to their lives—easily, practically, and joyfully, every day. Available on Sept. 2, 2014, wherever books are sold.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!


345 comments on “7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

  1. Yasmin

    it is a good tip and helpful tip. Can i know where i can get maca in my continent, Africa? I am from Ethiopia, it think it is not easy to get maca.

  2. Nava

    Yasmin, you might scroll back through these comments, someone might have left some into on getting maca in Africa.

  3. yoanka

    La Maca tiene muchas propiedades ayudan también a tu sistema inmunológico para que sea mas fuerte y sano. Lo pueden encontrar en AMAZON.COM Compre la orgánica es la mejor. Suerte

  4. Kristine

    I believe you can purchase maca root order on Amazon.com and have it shipped anywhere. It’s worth a try anyway.

  5. Caryl

    Dear Leoni, incase you haven’t found Maca, it is readily available in many good health shops and the Wellness Warehouse.
    Best Caryl

  6. LesleyAnn Goslett

    I have just started Maca – noticed an immediate change in energy & mood. Can’t wait to see how I feel in a month’s time. I am hoping Maca is going to get my immune system up and running more efficiently…

  7. Dianna

    I get my maca on amazon, through viva labs. Organic maca, im going through menopause and find that it has been amazing in resolveing many of my multiple issues. Husband over fifty says works. Hope this helps

  8. SkinnySylvia

    Does anyone know if Maca Root powder affects your sleep? I sometimes have difficulty sleeping and I’m afraid if I try Maca it will mess with what little sleep I do get. Thanks!!

  9. Carmen

    Can you please tell me why this is not safe for pregnant or lactating women? I’m busting and have been having maca for 6 weeks now. :(

  10. Nava

    Carmen, as a web site, we really need to err on the side of caution. We’d advise you to consult with a Registered Dietician about whether you can continue maca, as, to be honest, I doubt that most MDs have even heard of it.

  11. Nadya

    Very nice overview, Nava. I just picked up more Maca (after using it several months ago) yesterday, and enjoy using it. A friend who’s trying to balance her hormones, boost her energy etc got some as well – we’re hoping it helps!
    As you mentioned to Carmen, it’s important to get as much info as you can about using different foods/supplements during pregnancy, & working with someone local who is knowledgable is ideal.
    Susun Weed offers great information on herbs that support pregnancy and is a lovely resource.

  12. Karen

    I totally agree with this article. I started using Maca .. and have had all of the benfits stated. I didn’t know if it was true, but it is.



  13. Nava

    We have no specific info on that — best to consult with a knowledgeable Registered Dietician (MDs in general are less likely to be familiar with maca).

  14. Nava

    Pat, we’re unable to give specific advice like that. As mentioned to another recent commenter, it’s best to consult with a knowledgeable Registered Dietician (MDs in general are less likely to be familiar with maca).

  15. Kathy

    Great info on benefits. WebMD says there may be negative side effects and because my friend has breast cancer it caught my eye.

    From WebMD: “..Maca is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in amounts found in foods. Maca is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken in larger amounts as medicine (up to 3 grams daily) for up to four months. Maca seems to be well tolerated by most people.

    Special Precautions & Warnings:
    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of maca during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Extracts from maca might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use these extracts.”


  16. Adam W

    I am italian and live in Lima Peru’.I have “peruvianized” taking maca regularly,and also distribute it anywhere.
    My overall health and stamina have definitely improved.Great product.
    [email protected]

  17. Jeanie

    Hi There, for South Africans, u can get Maca from anywhere that sells “Nature’s Choice” Bio-friendly products e.g. Dischem

  18. Ross Logan

    I Love Maca. I believe it helped me quit smoking . I smoked for years and tried to give up unsuccessfully many times. When I first used Maca I stopped smoking immediately and haven’t smoked since. Making this my most successful ‘quit’ ever. It’s been 6 months smoke free

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *