Maca Articles

Benefits of Maca

Maca is a long-cherished Peruvian root that thrives in the mineral-dense Andes Mountains at altitudes that are often subjected to the harshest elements of the world. Growing at elevations of 11,000 feet, maca is the highest growing food on Earth. The high elevation and severe elements are thought to give maca its health-boosting, adaptogen qualities.

This superfood has been cultivated for thousands of years by Peruvian natives and Inca imperial warriors, who partook of the root before going to battle in order to take advantage of its rich antioxidants and nutrients. Today, maca is available in many forms to deliver powerful nutrients that support an array of bodily functions.

Traditionally, Inca farmers would eat dried maca to boost energy, endurance, and promote overall vitality after witnessing the positive effects maca root had on their livestock’s health and fertility.

Packed with B vitamins, alkaloids, and essential amino acids, and free of stimulants or pharmaceutical enhancers, maca extract is an effective, pure energy source. Maca is commonly referred to as the Peruvian ginseng because of its energy-boosting, adaptogen qualities similar to Chinese ginseng. Maca powder naturally enhances energy levels without putting stress on the adrenal glands.

Sexual Health
This herb has coined the name “Nature’s Viagra” for good reason: Maca root has been long used for its powerful aphrodisiac qualities. Men and women alike have historically reaped the benefits from maca power. In one study examining the effectiveness of maca to treat sexual dysfunction in men, researchers discovered participants’ libidos improved significantly with reduced sexual dysfunction symptoms after the consuming maca. [1]

Another study observed women experiencing sexual dysfunction as a side affect of prescribed antidepressants. Researchers observed improved sexual satisfaction and libido after taking 3 grams of maca daily. [2]

Maca’s diverse nutritional profile rich in minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins may be what gives maca its libido-boosting properties. Maca’s nutrient-dense makeup supports an uplifted mood, balanced sex hormones, and overall vitality, which all contribute to healthy sexual functions and libido.

Endurance & Strength
Inca imperial warriors traditionally used maca to prepare for battle for several reasons, but increased endurance and strength was a major motivation. Maca provides the body with natural ingredients that support stamina, strength and recovery. Maca is becoming increasingly popular amongst health and fitness experts for its ability to naturally support muscle health and endurance.

The Peruvian ginseng supports an anabolic state, which is when tissues and muscles gather energy for growth and repair. An anabolic state is a crucial part of gaining and maintaining muscles, and maca pills or powder provide muscles with energy necessary. Maca powder can easily be added to any post workout shake of beverage for ultimate recovery.

Maca naturally promotes a positive mood by supporting energy levels and balancing hormones. Also an adaptogen, maca supports the adrenal glands and balances biological responses during times of intense stress, resulting in overall better mental health and energy.

In a study examining postmenopausal women, researchers found maca to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, while minimising sexual dysfunction. [3] Maca’s adaptogen qualities, along with phytonutrient content, help the body maintain mental health and a positive mood during times of stress.

Maca naturally balances hormones in both men and women, and because of this, many individuals have found that maca helps minimise acne and other skin disorders related to hormone imbalances. Raw maca is packed with amino acids, fatty acids, sterols, glucosinolates, vitamins, and minerals that provide skin with all the nutrients needed for healthy, balanced skin.

Traditionally used to stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss, maca promotes healthy hair by supporting hormones and reducing DHT, which is a hormone that causes hair loss.

Also filled with essential nutrients, maca ensures the body is getting the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair growth.

Concentration & Learning
Historically, Peruvian natives gave maca to children in order to improve their performance in school. Maca’s nutritious blend of antioxidants, nutrients, and the ability to be an ache inhibitor, improve memory and learning capabilities in adults and children. [4]

Maca’s potent amount of high quality carbohydrates, amino acids, and B vitamins support a mental state that allows for strong concentration and learning.

Weight Management
Maca extract may aid in weight management by supporting an array of bodily functions with its complex nutritional makeup. The B vitamins in the Peruvian root support a proper functioning metabolism, while maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. One study found ‘significantly improved glucose tolerance, and lowered levels of glucose in blood’ after participants were being given a maca supplement and a high sucrose diet. [5]

Also a great source of protein and supportive of an anabolic state, maca supports weight management by providing muscles with the nutrients necessary for healthy growth and maintenance.

Menopausal Health
Containing glucosinolates, an ingredient that can stimulate the body’s natural production and balancing of hormones, maca pills may help relieve menopausal symptoms by promoting estrogen production and balance.

Studies have shown that maca supplements may reduce severity and frequency of hot flashes, while lessening psychological symptoms like depression and anxiety. [6]

Immune System
Raw maca is one of the few foods on Earth with adaptogen qualities. Adaptogens increase the body’s natural ability to resist diseases, while strengthening the immune system and helping the body deal with stress. Also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and antioxidants, the benefits of maca supplements fully support the immune system and promote vitality and longevity.

1. CM Dording, L. F. (2008). A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L.meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual disfunction. US National Library of Medicine , 182-91.

2. Dording CM1, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x.

3. NA Brooks, G. W. (2008). Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content . US National Library of Medicine , 1157-62.

4. Gonzales, G. F. (2012). Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2012, 193496. doi:10.1155/2012/193496

5. R Vecera, J. O. (2007). The influence of maca (Lepidium meyenii) on antioxidant status, lipid and glucose metabolism in rat. US National Library of Medicine , 59-63

6. Hudson, D. T. (2015, January 1). Discover the Health Benefits of Maca. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from Women in Balance Institute: