10 Amazing benefits of maca root for your health and wellbeing
There are many health benefits of maca, it is known to increase energy, vitality and prevent adrenal fatigue, it balances hormones, improves thyroid function and metabolism and is a natural antidepressant that can assist with anxiety and mental health. It can improve fertility in men and women. Maca can increase libido and sexual function in men and women, increase bone density and strength, improve prostate function in men, and improve mental focus, memory, cognition, and boost athletic performance. It is an all-round body balancer and builds resilience to stress.
A sacred medicinal root vegetable that grows only in the remote mountain region of Junin in Peru above an altitude of 3500m. The Incan descendants call Maca the “Food for the Brain” and boil the dried roots into teas, porridges, soups or stews for the management of stress and to promote vitality and well-being. There are health benefits of Maca powder for people of all ages; children are told that Maca benefits their brain and that it helps them to develop their focus and memory. As a teenager it is used to manage and balance hormones, helping women manage PMS and men for acne and growing pains. It is used for fertility treatment, libido and then stress management in the middle years, before menopausal treatment in women and virility in men. Finally, the elderly consume it to stay active, strong, mentally focused, alert and energized. Studies have shown that the locals are some of the happiest and healthy people on the planet, with many living active lives well into their 90s and beyond. Given their amazing health at all ages there must be some substance behind their claims surrounding the long-term use of Maca. Below we outline the top 10 Maca benefits based on tradition and the scientific studies that substantiate the claims of the Inca.
1. Maca increases energy, vitality and prevents adrenal fatigue
If you ask the people of Junin (Peru) the secret to their health success they claim that Maca provides strength and resilience to stress and ‘her’ spirit protects them from illness. They regularly consume the different colours of Maca root (yellow vs red vs black Maca) depending on their symptoms to return balance back to their body. Science has know shown that the secret to Maca’s activity lies within the unique biochemicals it produces as it dries called Macamides, that act to balance and benefit our brain and the way it responds to stressors through via our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The result of consuming Maca regularly is an improvement in reaction to stressors in our brain and better control over our nervous system so we don’t experience such wild swings in hormones, mood, energy, immunity and cognition. Maca protects our adrenals and prevents adrenal fatigue. In essence Maca provides strength from within and can return your body back to a strong and resilient balance, particuarly during times of chronic stress.
Maca is considered the food of the brain and provides numerous benefits like strength and resilience to stress.
2. Maca balances hormones
Maca root has been used to balance and regulate hormones for centuries in Peru. Traditionally the women of Junin (Peru) used Maca during teenage years and adulthood to harmonise their hormones and alleviate the issues associated with PMS or other hormonal imbalances. Furthermore, Maca is the main treatment for menopause and given to women transitioning through this stage of their life to return inner harmony and balance to their hormones. Yellow and red Maca is used daily to provide a baseline for long-term balance, while macerated extracts of red maca can be used to benefit the body during acute times of hormonal fluctuations. Clinical studies have shown that consuming Maca regularly can alleviate and improve the symptoms associated with PMS and menopause independent of hormonal production or stage of life. In the case of menopause Maca can provide a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) offering many benefits to pharmaceutical treatments. It should be noted that Maca DOES NOT stimulate hormone production but it merely harmonises the way we produce hormones and can balance us during times of hormonal changes. Bring some harmony to your hormones today with Maca.
Maca can balance hormones and regulate hormonal cycles. It’s benefits are 100% natural.
3. Maca improves thyroid function and metabolism
Thyroid dysfunction and autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease can lead to an array of health problems like fatigue, intolerance of cold temperatures, low heart rate, weight gain, reduced appetite, poor memory, depression, stiffness of the muscles and reduced fertility. Recent studies have shown that Maca benefits thyroid function and as a result normalise our metabolism. This can assist people struggling with under-active thyroid function and improve their energy levels, memory and fat burning ability. As Maca is an adaptogen it may also offer benefit for those with hyper-thyroid conditions (e.g. Grave’s disease). If your thyroid is not balanced or you are exhibiting related symptoms then fine tune it with Maca.
Best colour of Maca to use for thyroid function: Activated Yellow Maca
Studies show that Maca can regulate our thyroid hormones and improve metabolism, offering benefits over pharmaceutical alternatives.
4. Maca is a natural antidepressant that can assist with anxiety and mental health
In Junin (Peru) Maca is referred to as the “food of the brain” and is taken to improve mental health and function all throughout life. Yellow Maca can build long-term mental balance, while Red Maca is used to reduce symptoms of anxiety and Black Maca promotes brain function for depression and brain fog. Clinical research has shown that Maca can reduce psychological symptoms associated with mental health imbalances, including anxiety and depression independent of hormonal production. This means it can offer a natural way for our brain to combat and prevent mental health disorders in both men and women. A further study showed all 3 colours demonstrated similar antidepressant activity, meaning any combination can be effective depending on your symptoms. For those struggling with mental health Maca may assist with ongoing management and offer many benefits to your mental health. Maca is also 100% natural and safe to consume.
Maca can balance our mental health and reduce anxiety.
5. Maca can improve fertility in men and women
Traditionally Maca is used to harmonise both male and female hormonal cycles and improve natural fertility. For women combinations of yellow and red Maca are taken daily and higher doses of additional red Maca on days post ovulation to reduce PMS symptoms. For men combinations of yellow and black Maca are taken daily and higher doses of additional black Maca on days leading up to female ovulation to increase fertility. The rationale is to optimise his fertility pre-conception and then to optimise her uterine weight and carrying ability post-conception. A review of clinical research has shown that Maca can increase the number of offspring in animals and can promote survival of fertilised embryos. The same review determined red Maca to be the most effective for this in women and offer the most benefits. For men black Maca was shown to increase both sperm count and function. For those looking to conceive, Maca should be an essential part of your daily routine and is a natural fertility enhancer.
Maca can act as a natural fertility treatment and benefits both men and women.
6. Maca can increase libido and sexual function in men and women
Maca is well known as an aphrodisiac that has the ability to increase sexual drive and function. For males clinical studies have shown that Maca can improve sexual parameters relating to copulation (sexual function and performance). Additional research has demonstrated regular consumption of Maca can significantly improve male libido and sexual desire. For women, Maca has been shown to also improve sexual function and libido, proving that as an aphrodisiac maca powder benefits both sexes. Looking to add some spice to your love life? Then add some Maca into you and your partners diet.
Often called Peruvian Viagra, Maca helps improve libido.
7. Maca increases bone density and strength
The elderly of Junin (Peru) consume Maca to keep their bodies strong and healthy as they age. Most older people from this region are physically active right up until the end of their lives with strong bones and muscles. New clinical research has shown that Maca plays a key role in this late-life vitality as it can increase bone density and structure. This can help those struggling with osteoporosis and prevent bone degradation over time, keeping you active as you age. Red Maca root gave the best results and benefits, so keep your bones strong by adding some to your morning tea or breakfast every day.
Red and black maca can increase bone density.
8. Maca can improve prostate function in men
For men prostate function is essential for producing semen, hormone production, erectile function, urine flow and sexual pleasure. It is normal for a man’s prostate gland to enlarge from age 40 years; this is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This enlargement can cause a range of symptoms related to urination, or more serious bladder and kidney problems in the long-term (read more here). Signs of prostate enlargement include:
- Frequent urination
- Urinary urgency
- Nocturia (having to get up frequently in the night to urinate)
- Difficulty with getting the urine stream started (hesitancy)
- Poor flow of urine
- Dribbling of urine
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
In a clinical study red Maca was shown to reduce prostate size and swelling, resulting in improved prostate function in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly red Maca was the most effective, while black and yellow Maca showed little benefit. A further study has shown that red maca could even outperform the commonly used drug finasteride for prostatic hyperplasia in a head to head comparison. Maca offered the additional benefits of not impacting on seminal vessel weight and interfering with testosterone production and DHT, meaning, it is operating solely acting on prostate size and function, independent of hormone. This suggests that red maca may exert its effects at a level after 5-alpha reductase conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone DHT. In the study men found their prostate function improve as well as their libido unlike with finasteride that lowers libido. Traditionally red Maca is used by elderly men and women to nourish the body as it ages once above 40 years of age. For men over 40 years, adding regular doses of red Maca to your diet may help you maintain a healthy prostate as you age. The optimum type of maca to use according to clinical studies is red ethanolic extracted maca (10:1 concentrated red maca) 3g per day.
Red Maca can improve prostate function in men, offering many benefits for older men.
9. Maca can improve mental focus, memory and cognition
Known by locals as the “food of the brain” in Junin (Peru) Maca is used to improve mental focus, clarity and memory function. One recent study showed that Maca can improve cognitive function, motor coordination, endurance capacity and slow down age-related cognitive decline. Analysis of the different colours showed black Maca to be the most effective in improving brain function. Black Maca was shown to have the most benefits for memory, brain fog and as an antidepressant. So when it comes to cognitive function, motor neuron function, memory, mental clarity and co-ordination it seems black Maca is superior to yellow and red Maca. As they say in Peru “black (maca) is for brain”.
Best colour of Maca to use mental clarity and function: Concentrated Black Maca
Black Maca can improve cognitive function, co-ordination, memory and mental clarity.
10. Maca can boost athletic performance
Legend says that Incan warriors would consume up to 200g per day of Maca before going into battle to fuel them and help overpower their opponents. When living at 4000m with 40% less oxygen than at sea-level any competitive advantage can be the difference between winning or loosing. The Inca say Maca works to increase oxygen in the body and improve muscle, stamina, endurance and brain function. A recent clinical trial showed that Maca benefits athletic performance and trial times in high-performance athletes. Traditionally black Maca is promoted more for it’s ability to build external strength and endurance, however it is often used in combination with yellow Maca. For athletes wanting improved performance, stamina, endurance and better focus during training or events put some black Maca in your pre-workout smoothie.
Maca can improve athletic stamina and endurance.
To best decide what Maca combination to use for different conditions refer to section on treating with maca or for general information on starting on maca refer to our section – taking maca. Aligning the maca benefits with the right condition is very important as results can be quicker and more sustained.
Note: There is no upper limit with maca and everybody is different, so it is important to find your ideal dose that is right for your body, for some this may be less than the recommended for others it may be more. If you experience positive health benefits then we suggest you continue treatment at that ideal dosage. The material provided on this website is for information purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice or be a treatment for any medical condition. Users should consult a health professional if you have any concerns about your health, are starting any health or nutritional related treatment, or for any questions you may have regarding your own or any other party’s medical condition. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Learn About Maca
What is maca?
Maca is a Peruvian medicinal root vegetable unique to the central Andes that grows above 4000 m. It is the highest cultivated crop on the planet.Learn more >
How does maca work?
Maca works in the endocannabinoid system of the brain and body. The main medicinal properties can be attributed to bio-active chemicals called macamides and macaenes.Learn more >
How does maca grow?
Maca is a self-pollinating plant that has two distinct annual growth cycles, one to produce and select medicinal maca roots for consumption and the second to select optimum maca seeds for planting.Learn more >
Why maca must be dried before before you consume it
Despite being a close relative to our common garden radish the Incan people never really consumed maca fresh after harvest. They would sun dry it for 3 months before boiling the dry roots.Learn more >
What are the different colours of maca?
Maca comes in three main colours, with each colour having unique medicinal properties. All three colours are cultivated from the same seed crop, but are used differently in treatment.Learn more >
What is the best maca powder to buy – a checklist
Making therapeutic grade Maca is a blend of tradition, art and science. So how do you know that the maca you are looking at buying is up to scratch?Learn more >
10 Amazing benefits of maca root for your health and wellbeing
Maca increases energy, vitality and prevents adrenal fatigue, it balances hormones, improves thyroid function and metabolism and is a natural antidepressant that can assist with anxiety and mental health.Learn more >
The benefits of maca for men
The benefits of Maca for men include improvements in libido, sexual function, fertility, energy, stamina, endurance athletic performance and mental health. Not all Maca is equal so finding the right mMca powder for each is essential.Learn more >
What are the different types of maca to eat?
There are six main different forms of maca, each having different properties and characteristics.Learn more >