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.

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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!

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202 comments on “7 Top Health Benefits of Maca

  1. Maya

    If you have anemia, then Maca is good for you. It has a lot of iron, which you have not got if you are anemic. Maca is not good for those who have sleeping problems like insomnia, just don’t take it at night or at least 4 hours before sleeping because it boosts your body with energy.

  2. mikael

    almost all maca powder is sold raw in usa. yet one source claims it is never eaten raw in peru–where it is grown. any comments would be appreciated.

  3. Joanna

    Started 1 week ago and my energy, emotional and fibromyalgia is 80 percent better. Got a good night sleep every night since I started. Waking up rested for a change. Love it only taking 1 teaspoon a day at this time. Oh and my skin is looking better!!

  4. Michelle

    I just have to say I O V E… this stuff
    FINALLY found something that actually helps me gain/grow as I work out. So excited !!!

  5. Kelly

    Hi, I have been taken take Macca powder on and off for the last year. I am really happy to report that I have increased ENERGY, my DEPRESSION is now more under control to the point where the Doctor is happy for me to ditch the last half of my meds (have been slowly reducing it in last six months), My LIBIDO has been up so my hubby is double happy. I just feel more alive and less stressed when I take it, I have enough energy when I take it everyday or every other day to go on short jogs!! Not since I was a teenager have I been able or had the want to go jogging. I have a fluctuating thyroid and at the moment when taking the macca powder it seems to have levelled off so less heart palpitations and anxiety and less depression. IT’S WORTH TRYING IT LADIES!
    I have a teaspoon everyday in a meal replacement way, I blend a banana, milk, macca powder and a teaspoon of mixed spice mix, that I make, with 100% isolate protein powder and drink for my breakfast. its yummy and way good for you!

  6. Sandra Bradford

    Why does it say not to take if there are Liver issues? I don’t have any per say… But I take Methotrexate for RA, and that alone is damaging. I don’t even take headache meds because it does my liver in

  7. Nava

    Jessie, we are not qualified to give medical advice — best to consult with a Registered Dietician, as traditional MDs will not be able to answer this, either!

  8. Nava

    Sandra we are not qualified to give medical advice — best to consult with a Registered Dietician, as traditional MDs will not be able to answer this, either!

  9. Nava

    Tamara, we are not qualified to give medical advice — best to consult with a Registered Dietician, as traditional MDs will not be able to answer this, either!

  10. Nava

    Jenny, we are not qualified to give medical advice — best to consult with a Registered Dietician, as traditional MDs will not be able to answer this, either!

  11. Christopher

    I took a chance on this stuff cuz my brother had a vegan energy/protein powder that had it and said it was for energy and vitamins/minerals. Then I saw Organic Maca Root Powder in bulk barn and thought “what the hell, I’ll try it” Had NO knowledge of the hormonal balance it was capable of creating.. I just thought increased vitamins and energy would be good. I’ve suffered from social phobia(anxiety), depression, and low self-confidence for YEARS and it was progressively getting worse. I tried a few prescription drugs like Zoloft and Prozac and shit, with little improvement and severe side effects(which prompted the ‘all natural’ mindset I have today). Cutting out everything artificial I could helped over time. But from my VERY FIRST teaspoon of this stuff, I felt IMMEDIATE benefits and with continued use its only gotten better. I feel amazing- better than I have in years! ANYONE suffering from depression or anxiety or any physical or psychological problem that could be cause by hormonal imbalance NEEDS to give this a try, it has changed my life! Around the same time I started taking maca I also take 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg on a daily basis. I feel like they work together to strengthen my mind- my memory is at least 5x better than it was before! Just my experience, hope its worth reading xD

  12. Sarah Greene

    I’ve been taking maca root powder(gelatinized) to boost my energies for almost 2 years now, and the results are great.
    Lately, I see more and more articles claiming that maca root can also make your buttocks bigger(along with fitness exercises). Do you know anything about it or it’s only another unresearched myth?

  13. Victoria Cramer

    I have been on Maca for 8 months and love it. Stopped my hot flashes and night sweats. For some reason I had a problem taking the powder. I found a site that sells a high potency pill form. Hysteral.com website is informative about menopause issues. Hopes this helps.

  14. peaches richards

    this powder sounds like something i want to try i am anemic and my energy level is sometimes low

  15. Dr Nandlal Sharda

    Ah! Wonderful natural gift where can I get Please guide me I am from Ahmadabad Gujarat India . I can help lot of my patients!!!!

  16. Nava

    Nellie, we’re not qualified to give medical advice. It might be good to consult with a Registered Dietician, as a MD may not be familiar with maca.

  17. Nava

    Dr. Nandlal, we aren’t familiar with your markets, but if you have Amazon.com in India, that might be a good resource.

  18. Pamella

    Hi I have just been taking maca for three weeks now.
    I’m 55 and was having hot flushes at night in bed.
    At the moment I have not had any flushes for over
    Two weeks… And my energy is up also..
    Thanks P

  19. Jeanne Jessy Welch

    What is bulk barn?
    I love this stuff and I would like to buy it cheaper!

  20. franka23

    I have hypothiroidism and am wondering if it’s safe to take Maca, having this condition. I take 75mg of Letrox (german brand0 every day. Would it interact with my hormone pills or is it safe?

  21. franka23

    I have hypothiroidism and am wondering if it s safe to take Maca, having this condition. I take 75mg of Letrox (German meds) per day and wonder if Maca would interact with my hormones or it would be fine. Please let me know as it sounds like a great supplement!
    Thank you
    Vf

  22. Lisa

    I started taking Maca for an pre menopausal symptoms after getting my menstrual cycle twice a month after taking Maca my cycle normalize out. I stopped for three months and my irregular periods came back. Back to taking Maca at 1 tblspn per day and feel great.

  23. Nava

    Franka, we’re not qualified to give advice about medical conditions. Sounds like it would be good for you to consult with a Registered Dietician (most MDs wouldn’t know about maca!).

  24. Tek Fillion

    I got raw maca powder from nuts.com l just mixed it with chi a seeds in almond milk, it gave me lots of energy that i didn’t feel tired at all after working out for 11/2 hrs

  25. Elle

    Has anyone taken this while on birth control to regulate hormone levels, or would it only work when off of birth control???

    I had read that this supplement increases fertility. I’m not sexually active at the moment, but I’m in my prime. I would love to go off the bc if this could regulate my mood, cramps, anxiety…ect!

    No medical, but experience advice anyone?

  26. Susan

    Elle,
    I’m wondering the same exact thing. I am on bc to regulate my cycle due to it exacerbating my fibromyagia symptoms and back spasms. But the pill is giving me negative side effects of anxiety and depression. I just started taking maca powder today. We’ll see I guess….

  27. deltadawn758

    Elle, I started taking raw maca powder about a week ago and I’m on birth control. I believe I may pre menopausal because I wake up at night sweating or just hot and suffer from unexplained flushes (red face) and sweating to the point my hair is sweat with sweat dripping off me. For the last 4 nights…no waking up at night sweating or too hot! I am using 1 tsp in 8oz 2% milk every morning and every evening since it doesn’t affect my sleeping.

  28. Shan

    I’m 38 ttc, i ve hypothyroidism,pcos..is maca root helps me in getting pregnant. and is it safe for me?

  29. Laura

    MACA DOES NOT cause side effects or hormone problems if overdosed or not started slowly. It nourishes the endocrine system to function optimally without actually changing any hormones. It is only beneficial. There is no such thing as excessive maca use.

  30. Donna lauricella

    I have been taking maca in the powder form for the last year, it works. No more hot flashes, and sleeping through the night is a blessing. I thought the powder was the only way it was available, then I found a website Hysteral.com they put in in a high potency capsules 1600 mg. I take one with each meal. Hope this helps your readers, it works wonders for me….Donna

  31. Greg Broz

    Regarding fibromyalgia, 3 days off wheat and my wife’s struggle with fibromyalgia was over. As a side note, I needed an inhaler every day for asthma and after giving up wheat I no longer need the inhaler. AMAZING!!!

  32. Jasmine Smith

    I have been taking Maca Root for about a week i cant tell the difference really I have MS thought it would help with the fatigue and help me put on some weight can anyone tell me is i should be taking more than 525mg?

  33. Nava

    Jasmine, we aren’t qualified to give advice that relates to medical issues. Since you have MS, you might want to consult a qualified Registered Dietician.

  34. Arthur Payton

    Question for the mens who has had there prostate removed. Have any of you guys gotten result of regaining your full erection back by the use of this product.

  35. Jacob Sukhodolsky

    I had my prostate removed 10 years ago. Luckily, i did not loose potency. But several months ago I noticed I started loosing interest to sex. I began taking Horny Goat in capsuled, just a recommended dosage. I started feeling like a man again. Now I decided to try Maca to see if it will improve my erection. I just started to take it, so I cannot answer your question. Try yourself. Don’t be a maximalist though. In our situation, even average sex is great.

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