7 Top Health Benefits of Maca Root

maca root

Here are the 7 top maca root health benefits. An ancient Peruvian root crop, maca is gaining popularity as a supplement and superfood. Maca root belongs to the radish family, and is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.”

There are no serious known side effects of maca root powder, but like any other superfood or supplement, it shouldn’t be taken in large amounts. When you first start using maca root, it’s best to begin by taking smaller amounts and building up; as little as 1/2 teaspoon is a good place to start. Just 1 tablespoon is an average daily dose. Rotating a few days on and a few days off is often recommended. For more on this, see 5 Easy and Tasty Ways to Use Maca Powder in Food.

maca root

A concise and useful book, Maca Root for Health and Vitality, is available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback.

Please be aware that other than the nutritional benefits provided by the vitamins and minerals, the other benefits are largely anecdotal, as maca has not been subjected to very many formal studies.

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

1  Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients
Maca is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids (20 different kinds — that’s just about all of them!), and antioxidants. Glucosinates are just one of those antioxidants — the same substances that make broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables so good for you.

2  Sexual function, libido, and fertility
Maca has long been used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It’s thought to boost libido and increase endurance. It has also been used to balance the hormones and increase fertility. Note the these benefits are anecdotal, though one of the more studied aspects of maca is its role in male fertility.

According to an article in Web MD, The Truth About Maca, professionals differ on the effectiveness of maca, especially for libido. Some are skeptical, believing that it’s little more than a placebo. Others strongly believe in its effectiveness. You can read the entire article here.

3  Menstrual issues and menopause
Maca has been used to relieve menstrual issues and the side effects of going through menopause. Some women have used it to alleviate cramps and hot flashes, much as it has been used by indigenous South American cultures for millennia. Outcomes in this area are largely anecdotal, and shouldn’t be used in place of consulting with a practitioner.

4  Physical and mental energy
Many regular users of maca experience an increase in energy level within days of beginning its use. It’s also known for increasing stamina and endurance, which is why some athletes take maca for peak performance. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime, supplementing with maca may help to preserve muscle mass. Maca is also used by those seeking to sharpen and expand mental activity and memory.

Maca has been used as a remedy for ongoing fatigue. If you find yourself tired much of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost! An increase in mental energy and focus has been reported as well.

5 General health and disease prevention
As an adaptogen and tonic, maca may boost your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids in avoiding anemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca is also believed to promote prostate health. The nutrients in maca have long been valued for keeping bones and teeth healthy and help heal wounds more quickly. Bear in mind that most of these claims, while certainly not unfounded, have not been sufficiently studied.

Be very cautious if you have a cancer related to hormones, like testicular and ovarian, among others. If you have these cancers, liver issues, or high blood pressure, you should consult with a professional before taking maca.

6  Skin health
Maca has been used for skin issues. For some users, it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit that some users have experienced is that it decreases skin sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help skin withstand extreme temperatures.

7  Mood and hormone balance
For those struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though the evidence for this is anecdotal and its use shouldn’t replace professional treatment.

Hormone balance is key to regulating sexual function, mood regulation, disease prevention, and much more. Maca’s ability to balance hormones is often credited to its stimulation of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. It may be the phytonutrients contained in maca that work to balance the endocrine system.

More on about maca on VegKitchen:

No-bake maca-roons recipe

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.

Superfood kitchen by Julie Morris

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

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499 comments on “7 Top Health Benefits of Maca Root

  1. Burt Silver

    I didn’t realize that maca had so many vitamins in it. I am always looking for any food that offers me extra nutrients. I have never tried it, but I will have to start eating more Peruvian food if this is so good for you.

  2. Rachel David

    I used to have experiencing pain during my ovulating period ( bloating, pains in my upper abdomen) since I started taking maca powder no more pain, more stamina, clear skin etc.

  3. Em

    Does anyone’s have more information about Maca consumption and the effects on people who have uterine fibroids? Thanks

  4. Nava

    Shaikh, we can’t give that kind of specific medical advice, but it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to count on maca for that purpose.

  5. Cheryl

    Ive heard matcha is the new superfood, how would you compare to macca? The benefits are advertised the same?

  6. Herman

    You can order pure and natural maca po wder sourced directly from Peru and get more info about it at Andess Australia they are on the Blue Mountains posting anywhere

  7. Jossborn

    Kindly make order for bottles ot maca capsules by nowfoods and maca powder both raw and gelatinised by The Maca Team. We have black, red, yellow and premium in stock. We sell in Nigeria and also deliver to neighbouring West Africa countries. Call for +2348066357344 for orders and enquiries.

  8. Nava

    Patrick, you can bookmark the page or print it out with the pdf button below the post. Glad you found this useful~

  9. Nava

    Maca’s benefits are well regarded though largely anecdotal, so it’s best to say that it can’t hurt at any age!

  10. BJenkins

    Thanks J morrissey, I have tried Aldi’s raw maca. I have changed to another brand that I bought at andeanharvest.eu They sell a gelatinized organic maca which tastes much better 😛

  11. Marci

    I ordered maca from Amazon and received it today. I have not used it yet. I just read that if one has hormone related cancer, he/she should not use maca. I have a neuroendocrine cancer (carcinoid). Is maca contraindicated for me?

  12. Nava

    Hi Marci — we’re not qualified to give medical advice; please consult your physician. And all of us at VegKitchen send healing wishes your way!

  13. marie caffrey

    I am so interested in your product Meca Powder for my family’s health. I will need additional info on this product. Thank you,

  14. Nava

    Wed don’t particularly recommend one brand over another, best to explore the Amazon page for maca and see how customers rate the various brands. The most highly rated ones rise to the top!

  15. Nava

    Hi Linda — we don’t recommend any specific brand names; best to go on Amazon and read customer reviews (search maca root powder) and see what consumers have to say, even if you end up buying from your local natural foods store!

  16. Ryan

    This stuff sounds amazing with all those benefits! Where can I find some? It almost seems like it’s the Peruvian version of He Shou Wu.

  17. Leena Robert

    I was looking for recipes with maca powder and found your site. Thanks!! For those of you looking for good quality maca powder try the wildfoods company. They sell organic maca powder. I am a regular customer of theirs. No, I am not part of the Wild Foods affiliate program :). They source organic, fair trade products and I love that!

  18. Nava

    Hi Michael — we’re really not in a position to give medical advice, so please consult with your practitioner or a Registered Dietician. Good luck!

  19. Nava

    Yes, it’s kind of distinctive but not overwhelming, a bit hard to describe. It’s been described as malted or nutty; in any case, it blends best in sweet things like unbaked energy sweets or smoothies.

  20. Jacob

    It’s pretty packed with nutrients. I had some stomach problems first time I tried, and the taste is usually not the best, but there can be no doubt about the benefits (once you actually get used to maca).

  21. steve

    i used a teaspoon full in my morning smoothie the last two days along with wheat grass and i had so much energy and clear thoughts at work people even commented how fast i was walking Like i was wired.It lasted all day

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