7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

Maca powder

Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is grown in the mountains of Peru. Sometimes called “Peruvian ginseng,” maca’s benefits have been long valued, and now have been rediscovered as a supplement and ingredient. Maca comes in pill, liquid and powder form.

There are no 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.

Maca is good in smoothies, salads, drinks, cooked foods, and juices. 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. Smoothies, puddings, and juices seem to be the best ways to use maca powder. Capsules are best to get past the taste.

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.

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

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.

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 rootEnergy
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!

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.

Many take macs 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.

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.

  • For more tips on plant-based nutrition, make sure to browse VegKitchen’s Nutrition page.

71 comments on “7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

  1. Will

    Hi, just started taking Maca, wanted to know how does it effect your blood pressure? and when is the best time to take it. Also if you do not have any libido issues is it okay to take. Does Maca have other health benefits for both men or women.

  2. talina

    Ive been laid up in bed with heavy pains in my uterus pending a hysterectomy ive had no relief and refuse to take prescribed medication, I did take advil. My husband have been juicing everyday about a year ago, recently we bought a nutribullet, reading the nutribullet pamphlet I found out about Maca, I didnt read the whole thing just remembered the name. During a trip to our local Whole Foods Store I saw this bag of Maca powder, I remembered it from the book. I figured id try it. Brought it home made a smoothy and added a half a cup of Maca powder, i drank the whole thing and next day I did the same. About 2 hours after drinking that 2nd one I felt amazing, more alert, happier, energized just amazing, finally.

  3. Nava

    Talina, I do think that using a cup or even half a cup of maca in a single day is too much. Most sources recommend not more than 2 tablespoons a day, and even that is considered a pretty high dose. So do be careful!

  4. Nava

    Kerry, it is recommended to start with 1 teaspoon a day, and build up slowly to 1 to 2 tablespoons a day, according to most sources.

  5. Tomika

    I recently read that it can cause baldness or facial hair for women because it affects the hormones. I haven’t started taking maca yet because I’m just trying to learn about all of the highs and lows. Has anyone had any negative side effects?

  6. Roxalyn

    Talina, I hope you continue to get strong. On facebook I joined this group called “eatting clean with nutrabullet” they offer an alot of different things to use which has been helpful. Its good to change up so im learning. Continued strength and Happy Cleaning Eatting & Living. Roxie.

  7. nateisha

    i am a 32 year old mother of one, since the birth of my son i have been experiencing irregular period cycle. i have gone a whole year with no cycle along with severe joint pain,i was told that i have an imbalance harmone issue from my doctor. i have just purchase a 2Lb bag of maca root powder. i am worried about not being able to conceive since i am not ovulating….will this be powder be the answer to my prayers??

  8. Lynette Henk

    I recently started eating a new healthy chocolate called XoLove made by Xocai healthy chocolate. This cold pressed chocolate also has maca and L-arginine in it. I have been feeling wonderful since eating these chocolates twice a day and was looking for more information on maca. The chocolates are heart shaped and taste like a dark, decadent truffle. Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful information about maca. Definitely changing my life.

  9. Nava

    Aisha, not sure where you can buy the whole root, or if it’s even available like that (any readers have any info on that?). You can buy the powder in natural foods stores or online — just look up maca powder, it’s available from Amazon.com and many other sources.

  10. Victoria

    I am a Breast Cancer survivor for six years now. Is it safe for me to use Maca in my morning Smoothies?

  11. Nava

    Hi Victoria — since this is related to a medical issue, you might want to consult a registered dietitian on this. Good luck and stay well!

  12. Margie

    I had blood clots in my leg. Can I take this? I’ve been told I need to be on a low k diet. This doesn’t seem to be high in vitamin k.

  13. Nadine

    I recently purchased maca powder to help with stamina, energy and mental alertness. On the back of the package it states that there is a chemical in the powder that has been linked to birth defects or infertility. Never having a child but wanting one in the future it has caused a bit of alarm. Should I take it or not?

  14. mary

    I just buy maca powder..because, a friend of mine told me that it could increase my chances to get pregnant…
    I m 43 years old, and I m dying to have a baby..
    tell me please, if maca could help me.and how should I do to increase my chances ,with maca powder, please..
    thank you


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