What is there to know about Maca?

by | Apr 2, 2013 | Health

Maca is a root which is used for both medicine and as a food. It hails from Peru and, although it is not from the ginseng family, it is commonly called “Peruvian Ginseng” because of the qualities it exhibits; increase in stamina, higher energy and a better libido. Maca supplement is taken as liquid or powder extract or in the form of a tablet.

In Peru, Maca has long been used to enhance and improve sexual performance and fertility. It is also taken as a way to get an energy boost or increases stamina.

Why are people using Maca supplement?

Proponents of Maca use it as a way to address certain concerns:

low energy


menopausal symptoms

Female sexual dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction

The benefits of Maca:

Sexual functioning:

There is evidence that Maca is effective in improving the sexual performance of both sexes. Clinical trials have shown that Maca has a positive effect on sexual dysfunction in women and increasing the sexual desire of women who are menopausal. The trials and research indicated that Maca helps in alleviating sexual dysfunction in people who are using medications designed to alleviate depression. These medicines include serotonin inhibitors which have a dampening effect on the libido.


In a four month clinical trial, a group of men took Maca tablets. At the end of the trial, the sperm count was up, sperm mobility was increased and there was an increase in semen volume. Of the three different types; yellow Maca, black Maca and red Maca, it appeared that black Maca had the greatest positive effect on increasing the sperm count. In second place was yellow which showed some effects but quite moderate.


It looks as if Maca supplement helps to ease the anxiety suffered by postmenopausal women. A test was conducted where a group of postmenopausal women took 3.5 grams of Maca every day for six weeks and then switched to a placebo for a further six weeks. The results of the study showed that during the period of Maca ingestion, anxiety and depression were lessened and there was an increase in sexual functions.

There are numerous reports that Maca increases a person’s energy and endurance, these reports have yet to be substantiated with clinical trials so there can be no confirmation of the reports.

There is very little known on the side effects or the safety of Maca supplement, either short term or long term. Additionally, it is not known if Maca, when mixed with other medicines may have a harmful effect.

Maca in its powdered form is usually mixed with juice, shakes or smoothies.

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