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.

Looking for maca? Amazon.com carries many brands; see how other consumers rate the various brands by browsing this page on maca powder.

Read more about maca’s illustrious history and more of its benefits in Maca — Ancient Peruvian Superfood.

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!


244 comments on “7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

  1. tina

    i love this website and all the info you’ve provided on maca powder. also i plan 2 purchase the plant power cookbook as well. i became a vegetarian a few years back for both spiritual and health reasons and i love it. however i’m having a problem with my weight. i’m already by nature, a thin framed women and i’m now 15 pounds underweight. however i came across a website that gives recipes for vegans to gain weight and in doing so, i found a great recipe for a “FAT SHAKE” smoothisof which maca powder is an ingredient…….. thus leading me to the divine route of your webpage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    thank you

  2. manapo

    I have fallen in love with herbs,but maca is my superherb, I used this herb for a year now…my skin is glowing…divine..!I would advise everyone to give it a try. First I used for insomnia, results were amazingly excelled,now it plays wonders in my skin.

  3. Bill Starr

    My partner and I have blended a combo of Maca and Moringa, we call MacaRinga. Our Moringa is grown in California, and has over 90 minerals and nutrients as opposed to the 4 from Moringa grown in India. The difference is very noticeable when people give us their feedback. The WATER THAT FEEDS OUR PLANTS IS FROM HOT SPRINGS DEEP UNDERGROUND WITH MANY minerals that the plants obsorb. Moringa will be the next big Organic health Herb to be in demand. We add other herbs in some of our blends like Hawaiian Blue Spiralina, flavors, etc.

  4. Katey

    Emlyn Aviles ~ I just recently discovered “Femmenessence ~ macapause. I have just started this and quit taking my bio-identical estrogen as it did nothing to help me. After much research on Maca, I am hopeful. I purchased this at Sprouts Market and can return it if it does not help, a very nice perk. The dosage is listed and is very easy to understand. I wish you health and wellness on this new journey of menopause :)

  5. Elise

    For years, every month I had horrific cramps and sudden “floods.” Giving birth to my children was less painful. Birth control pills were like a “miracle” cure….. until I started acting mean because of mood swings I had never had before. My children and husband did not deserve this “other” person I had become.
    Then I found the pre/peri menopausal formula of the Femmenessence maca. It took away my “labor” pains, my flooding (like my water had broken), and I was back to being myself. The only problem was that eating a well balanced diet and exercising did nothing to stop the weight gain. I went from having 15 extra pounds, to becoming 10lbs away from being diagnosed as OBESE, not just overweight. The extra weight caused a whole lot of other health problems. I had to stop the pre/peri menopausal formula of the Femmenessence maca and go back to suffering, even after going to half the dose. I have since found other natural remedies that help with the monthly symptoms, but nothing works as well as the Maca. I am still working on losing the weight I gained. Does anyone know if another brand of Maca might work better? Is there a vitamin or mineral that would help the Maca to work for me? It gets expensive and embarrassing when you are always having to buy bigger clothes. If anyone could offer a helpful response, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  6. Nava

    Remi, if you have access to Amazon.com, that would be your best bet. Otherwise, we really don’t know the market in Nigeria. Good luck!

  7. Meros

    For perimenopausal hot flashes…I started using purple maca for hot flashes last week. It works! They immediately lessened, became shorter and less intense, and now they are gone. (Black cohosh was not working after a few weeks of taking it for hot flashes, then I read it shouldn’t be used unless you are fully menopausal, which I’m not sure I am yet, as it will cease your flow altogether). 1 tsp in some kefir, or milk, with maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. These 3 things balanced out the taste very nicely. I’m going to lessen the dosage tomorrow to 1/4 tsp, and hope it continues to work.

  8. ashleigh

    I see the solution about maca and I googled about it.That helps a lot of things. I am here at Cape Town where can I buy it and how much it costs?

  9. vuyisa

    if you are in south africa u can purchase different sizes of maca from ‘Faithful to Nature’..This company is based in Cape town, u can purchase directly or at their online shop..please visit their website at ‘www.faithfultonature.co.za’

  10. sandy

    I was told to be sure and buy gelatinized maca. The raw has caused terrible digestive issues in some. What do you suggest? I really want to try this!

  11. maxwell

    i have learnt a lot about maca benefits as a herb practioner i want to include maca in my trading. where can i get guality maca products . can i be your agent here in Ghana ? thanks

  12. Aletha

    My cousin just bought me a supplement she got in Hawaii called Excell made of four different colored Macas and some other herbs– I think it is helping my insomnia but will let you know more. It isn’t cheap as 21 packets, a 21 day supply costs around 40.00 US dol. in Hawaii. Will have to check around for a cheaper one if it works but will be so relieved, it may be worth it as I have already spent alot on others that haven’t worked enough. We’ll see. Hope this helps.

  13. chittoor krishnan

    I am taking maca for the last v1ek 3 yrs ago I was rongly diagnosed as bipolar given horrtible chemicals which affected my bladder
    now I have nuked all drugs given by shrinks taking maca stabilised my moods and relieved my depression insominia etc.srongly recommend its use for all with mentalissues

  14. Mary

    I bought my maca from NutriCargo.com and I’m loving it. I added it to a smoothie in the morning and gave me tons of energy all day. Not that expensive either.

  15. Nombeko Hobana

    Hi South Africans, I get my supply of MACA, moringa, goji berries – all organic – from Rawlicious Superfoods, they are based in Cape Town and provide a super efficient service. I buy online through their website Rawlicious Webshop . Hope that helps…

  16. Leona

    Can I take maca if I had a stroke?
    Will it affect my medication?
    Do you know of anyone who does
    and has a favorable result?

  17. Rose

    You’ll never beleive where I got mine! I found it at TJ Maxx in their food aisle. The brand I got was Divine Organics and it’s pure raw Maca. I just started today, 1 tsp in my morning protein/fruit milkshake. Didn’t notice much difference in the flavor, it tasted good. Now that I think about it, I have felt “good” all day. Can’t wait to try it again tomorrow. Good luck to all who are trying to find it.

  18. Patricia Cudsko

    I would like to ask Tina for the website she found the FAT SHAKE.
    Thank you for website,Nava, lots of good information.

  19. FRS

    What is the normal quantity that can be consumed daily for a 35 years old male for energy and libido boost?

  20. Clair Booth

    I use to suffer from low energy. A friend recommended Maca. After 3 days of trying Maca I felt so much better like my spirits were lifted.

  21. Ruth

    I am a single mum and I work full time and since I started using Macca, I notice I have more energy and enjoy spending quality time with my kids. Rather than falling asleep on the sofa after a busy day.

  22. Nava

    That’s a really good question! I don’t think so, as long as it’s a good brand from a known company. If you link through to the amazon.com link above, you can read what other consumers think of the various brands.

  23. Cara

    I am on day four of using maca and I had to write about it I work 50 hours a week and I feel tired as soon as I get home, but today I woke up early and did housework and went to a 9 hour shift and came home not feeling rundown at all. I have a healthy diet and I drink plenty of water but nothing has ever worked to give me the natural energy like maca. It’s more like an awake happy feeling not anything like caffeine kind of like the feeling you get after a run…. So happy today

  24. Kim

    Menopause put 15 pounds on me and zapped my energy. My hormone doctor has me on progesterone and estrogen cream. Csn I take Maca with bio-identical hormones? Will Maca help with the weight gain?

  25. Magi

    Can I use raw organic maca powder for my 5 year old daughter for weight gain and for other benefits of maca.If yess, which type of maca and how much of maca should I use for her???

  26. Cathy

    Maca powder is available at Healthy U stores (Yaya Centre, Capital Centre, Village Market) in in Nairobi, Kenya as well as at the Elixir store at the Village market, in Nairobi.

  27. Jorge L Silva

    I am an exclusive supplier from Peru. We have the original maca powder on both presentations powder and capsules. We have black and yellow maca for your health needs. Please contact me I would give you an special price if you are interested. Our maca have all the quality standard certifications such as the USDA organic.

  28. debbie luich

    just received my maca from vitiacos certified organic raw maca powder and puritan pride also sells it.the cost was 16.89 for 16 oz. Start with 1\4 teaspoon increase to 1 tablespoon per day. Wean back to a teaspoon and up again to the tablespoon again hope it helps a lot.

  29. Robin brown

    I just started using maca .at my jogging I feel like, I feel I could fly. In just 3 days. I will continue, and tell you my result

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