Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes Mountains. It has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in this area for at least 3000 years. Maca is a relative of the radish and has an odor similar to butterscotch. Its root is used to make medicine.

People take maca by mouth for "tired blood" (anemia), improving fertility, sexual dysfunction, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, maca is eaten baked or roasted, prepared as a soup, and used for making a fermented drink called maca chicha.

In agriculture, it is used to increase fertility in livestock.


Is a Form Of:

Plant native to Central Peru

Primary Functions:

Anemia, improving fertility

Also Known As:

Ayak Chichira, Ayuk Willku, Ginseng Andin, Ginseng Péruvien

How Does It Work?

Maca root contains many chemicals, including fatty acids and amino acids. However, there isn't enough information to know how maca might work.


  • Sexual problems caused by antidepressants (antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction). Early research suggests that taking maca twice daily for 12 weeks slightly improves sexual dysfunction in women taking antidepressants.
  • Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Early research shows that taking a specific black maca product daily for 4 months increases semen and sperm count in healthy men. But it's not clear if this results in improved fertility.
  • Health problems after menopause. Early research shows that taking maca powder daily for 6 weeks slightly improves depression and anxiety in postmenopausal women. It might also improve sexual problems. But these benefits are very small.
  • Increasing sexual desire in healthy people. Early research shows that taking a specific maca product daily for 12 weeks can increase sexual desire in healthy men.
  • "Tired blood" (anemia).
  • Leukemia.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Improving energy and athletic performance.
  • Improving memory.
  • Depression.
  • Female hormone imbalance.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Symptoms of menopause.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Stomach cancer.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Boosting the immune system.
  • Other conditions.

Recommended Dosing

The appropriate dose of maca depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for maca (in children/in adults). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Maca Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of maca supplement?

Maca root powder is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes. It has been claimed to help you gain muscle, increase strength, boost energy and improve exercise performance. Also, some animal studies indicate that it enhances endurance performance

Can Maca make you gain weight?

Maca powder itself doesn't necessarily cause you to gain more weight. It's what happens to your appetite and exercise after consuming maca powder that causes the weight gain to occur. If you eat more of the right foods and then start to exercise following a maca supplementation, then chances are you may gain weight.

Does Maca really work?

Claims that maca is a highly effective aphrodisiac may be exaggerated, Berman says. "Some claims are over the top -- compared to a placebo, maca only slightly enhanced sexual desire. The strongest evidence is that it may increase sperm count and improve fertility in certain men," she says.

Is Maca safe to take daily?

Maca is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in amounts found in foods. Maca is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in larger amounts as medicine (up to 3 grams daily) for up to 4 months. Maca seems to be well tolerated by most people.

Does Maca have side effects?

Maca is not currently associated with any health risks in most people and is unlikely to cause any side effects in moderate doses. However, due to its effect on hormones, people with thyroid problems should avoid taking maca.

How long does it take for maca to kick in?

It may boost your libido (and help with fertility)

After 12 weeks, the group of women taking maca as a supplement reported improvements in their levels of desire, with postmenopausal women reporting the most success.

Does Maca help lose belly fat?

If you eat more of the right foods and then start to exercise following a maca supplementation, then chances are you may gain weight. The supplement can help reduce belly fat from higher cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Less belly fat can reduce your weight, but that depends on other lifestyle factors.

Does Maca root make you curvy?

Currently, no research supports the use of maca root for getting curves. Nevertheless, it offers some benefits that could help you in this regard when paired with other diet and lifestyle modifications. Here are a few of the ways that maca may help you become curvier.

What does Maca do for a woman?

It's actually a plant native to Peru, and is commonly available in powder form or as a supplement. Maca root has traditionally been used to enhance fertility and sex drive. It's also claimed to improve energy and stamina.

How much Maca should I take daily?

Dosage: Take 1 teaspoon, or 3.1 grams, of maca powder daily for 6 to 12 weeks to see the benefits take effect. Dosages used in studies ranged from 3 to 3.5 grams daily. Possible side effects Maca is considered safe for most people to consume.

Is Maca good for men?

Maca root is a significant part of the Peruvian culture. Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, Maca is rich in fibre, calcium, iron and amino acids. It is known to boost fertility in men, reduces stress and increases stamina.

Does Maca powder increase breast size?

According to Wilderners the maca root works to even out your female hormones and produces estrogen in the process. That extra estrogen helps to store fat in the body, particularly around the midsection, breasts and derrière.

Who shouldnt take Maca?

Maca extract may also act like estrogen in the body (although the study on this was only done in vitro) (Valentová, 2006). That means it's better to avoid this supplement if you have a hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine cancer, or uterine fibroids.

Is Maca good for hair loss?

In fact, early studies indicate that maca root may strengthen and anchor new strands to the scalp, lowering the risk of breakage and fallout—and helping to encourage new growth, a plus for anyone experiencing hair thinning.

Does Maca root increase estrogen?

Black Cohosh increases estrogen levels and is utilized in treatment of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, and depression. Maca has quickly become a popular herb for hormone balancing, which makes sense because it actually belongs to the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables.

Can you take Maca at night?

Maca root has the potential to worsen hormonal symptoms and keep you up at night if you take too much or take too much too soon. It is recommended you start slowly– try a 1/4 tsp each morning and slowly make your way up to 1-3 tsp (no more than 2 for women). It is not suggested you take it in the evening.

Does Maca root make you tired?

Maca is likely safe for most people

It's generally well-tolerated, and the earthy, nutty flavor of maca powder blends well with steamed milk (like in a latte) or smoothies. Although there's only anecdotal evidence, maca may cause a “jittery” feeling in some people that interferes with their sleep.

Can Maca cause hair growth?

When used topically in scalp and hair products, maca root has been shown to stimulate blood micro-circulation in scalp skin, thereby boosting the amount of nourishment that reaches hair follicles. It follows that tending to the hair follicles will also positively impact new hair growth.

Why does Maca root cause weight gain?

The first way in which maca powder causes weight gain involves balancing the body's natural hormones. As a cruciferous vegetable, maca works with the thyroid gland to produce certain hormones in the body. When your hormones are in balance and you use more energy, you may find your appetite increases.

Is Maca a stimulant?

Maca is taken as a natural treatment for hormone imbalances. But the fact that it may affect hormones could be a concern for some women. And though maca isn't labeled as a stimulant, many of my clients suspect that it triggered side effects like insomnia, racing heart rate, and stomach aches.

What does Maca do to hormones?

Hormone Balance

It is one of the leading nutritional benefits that Maca provides! Naturally, an adaptogen helps our body adapt to stress. Maca works within our body to lower cortisol levels that have been shown to cause imbalances in our sex hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and even our DHEA.

What is Maca used to treat?

Maca is a relative of the radish and has an odor similar to butterscotch. Its root is used to make medicine. People take maca by mouth for "tired blood" (anemia), improving fertility, sexual dysfunction, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Is Maca anti aging?

Maca skin benefits revealed. The vitality secret of the Inca, maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a treasure from the Peruvian Andes that promotes energy and endurance. New research shows that maca also has efficiency on the skin. Maca helps to reduce the effects of ageing, and gives new strength to the skin.

Is Maca bad for PCOS?

For women with PCOS maca root can be a powerful addition to help reduce estrogen, decrease the appearance of facial hair, regulate periods and increase fertility. maca promotes optimal functioning of the hypothalamus, the pituitary and thereby the overall function of the endocrine glands.

Does Maca act like estrogen?

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Extracts from maca might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use these extracts.

Does Maca decrease estrogen?

Maca: Maca is a cruciferous plant that originates in Peru. Proponents say it has a host of benefits, including enhancing fertility and blocking estrogen in men. Although maca does contain many vitamins and nutrients, there's little scientific evidence that it plays a role in regulating hormones.

Why is Maca bad for you?

That's because it contains goitrogens, substances that may interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland. These compounds are more likely to affect you if you already have impaired thyroid function. Lastly, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their doctors before taking maca.

Does Maca root help with facial hair?

For women with PCOS maca root can be a powerful addition to help reduce estrogen, decrease the appearance of facial hair, regulate periods and increase fertility.

Is Maca good for your heart?

Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals, which can damage cells in the body. Some people believe antioxidants can help prevent some health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

Clinical Studies