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!


275 comments on “7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

  1. Simple Bells

    The article clearly states how to consume maca, and it states how NOT to– both equally important… Tea is hot, therefore, a no-no, for example…

  2. Sally

    I’ve been taking Maca for a few months (taking 3 days off every couple of weeks) It’s great for relieving the pain in my joints, trigger finger. (I’ve been tested for rheumatoid arthritis and don’t have it)
    However taking a while teaspoon a day. .increases morning anxiety and general depression. Therefore I take just an 1/8 of a teaspoon daily and really notice the difference when i haven’t. Be guided by your body as too much also increased random hot flashes.

  3. Ricardo Rojas Jara

    yo he consumido la maca tanto en polvo como en cápsula para el tratamiento de la artritis reumatoidea y para la dermatitis y es efectiva.

  4. Donna

    It was discovered that I have uterine fibroids. I would like to know if taking maca will make them increase as I am also taking drops to decrease them. I am going through peri-menopause I don’t want all the headache of the menopause. I would like to still keep my sexual “fire” while going through this. Can someone please tell me if the maca powder will counter act the vitex drops I am currently taking?

  5. lizzie

    My goodness try, rice or hemp milk heated with maca powder and a little bit of coco and coconut oil mixed in. Heaven! Hot choc! LoVe

  6. Vicky

    I have noticed for the 3rd time now that, every-time I take Maca instead of being energised, I feel tired and drowsy,and after taking it, I usually fall into deep sleep, which I am not complaining, as I suffer from insomnia, but some of its health benefits is that, it gives you energy, does anyone else feel this way after taking Maca?

  7. Tom

    Excellent! Highly recommend Maca for improved energy and endurance. Potent aphrodisiac too, very nice!

  8. Gail

    Vicky, if the maca causes you to sleep better, it stands to reason that it is helping you as an insomniac. In time, when you are rested adequately, you will feel an increase in energy unless you have other health issues.

  9. KR

    Maca has been a HUGE help for me. Personally, I have seen improved athletic performance, energy levels, concentration ability at work, decreased migraines and my acne has significantly improved. I LOVE MACA! :)

  10. Mariann

    I have been taking Maca in my Protien drink before working out and it gives me way more energy. I also was having dizzy spells while working out and they are gone. I thought the dizzyness was from my elevated TSH but I think the maca has helped that too. I love the stuff! It’s a heal all for me!

  11. Jennifer

    I’m pretty sure I’m in my premenopausal state right now. I’ve been getting hot flashes at night and tingling sensation or numbness feeling in my arms and hands while sleeping. When I wake up I feel light headed. Does maca help these symptoms?

  12. Dee

    Jennifer–try wearing wrist splints while sleeping for your arm and hands tingling/numbness. They worked wonders for me!

  13. Stephanie from Qc

    My Heaven Morning Delicious Potion:
    Blend all ingredient in a blender, the result looks like a beautiful creamy latte! And it taste even better! I put in a mason jar so I can carry it and shake it easily…

    – 1 tbs maca powder
    – 1 hint of cayenne pepper
    – 1 tsp of coconut oil
    – 1 cup of green tea, or yearba mate tea
    – 1 splash of coconut or almond milk
    – some sweetener (I use organic brown sugar or agave syrup, 1 tsp)
    – 1 hint of cinnamon if you like it.

    You and your body will love it :)

  14. Ian

    My daily Health drink:
    Fill a pint glass with blueberries & raspberries half & half.Then fill with almond milk, pour into a blender.
    one teaspoon of wheatgrass powder
    one teaspoon of matcha powder
    one teaspoon of raw cacao powder
    two teaspoon of maca powder.
    Blend and drink. My health,fitness and sex life are awesome..

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