Maca

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) or Peruvian ginseng as its commonly known is an edible herbaceous biennial plant of the family Brassicaceae that is native to South America and the high Andes mountains of Peru.

Traditionally Maca has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac and to improve sexual function and enhance fertility.

Maca root is a good source of essential amino acids, fatty acids, dietary fiber and micro-nutrients such as vitamin C, copper, iron, and calcium.

Maca is considered to be an adaptogen, which are plant-based substances which increase the bodies resistance to stress and have a non-specific normalizing action on the body.

Adaptogen herbs exert much of their stress protective and hormonal balancing benefits through modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and supporting the adrenal glands.

There are many different types of Maca that have been studied with different colours including white maca, yellow maca, red maca and black maca.

Black Maca has shown better effects on sperm production than yellow maca which has only moderate effects.

Randomized clinical trials have found that maca has favorable effects on energy and mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual desire.

Maca Medicinal Herb Encyclopedia

Scientific Name

Lepidium meyenii

Common Names

Peruvian Ginseng

Family

Brassicaceae

Active Constituents

Glucosinolates, macamides, macaenes, and alkaloids are the main bioactive components of Maca.

Traditional Usages

Adaptogen, Anemia, Aphrodisiac, Infertility, Sexual Dysfunction, Hormonal Imbalances

Evidence-Based Health Benefits

Improving Sexual Function

Maca has a long traditional history of being used to improve sexual function.

A systematic review published in 2010 assessed clinical evidence for the use of maca as a treatment for sexual dysfunction.

The systematic review concluded:

The results of our systematic review provide limited evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving sexual function. [1]

A further RCT assessed the effects of maca in patients with mild erectile dysfunction using the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction-5 and showed significant effects on subjective perception of general and sexual well-being. [1.5]

Improving Semen Quality

Maca has been used for centuries for enhancing fertility and modern clinical research has confirmed that maca root has a number of benefits for improving semen quality.

A systematic review published 2016 assessed the evidence for the effectiveness of maca (Lepidium meyenii) in improving semen quality.

The systematic review concluded:

The results of our systematic review provide suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving semen quality. [2]

Maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, sperm motility, and semen volume. [2.5]

Treatment Of Menopausal Symptoms

Maca root is one of the most popular supplements for naturally balancing hormones through its adaptogenic effect.

A systematic review published 2011 assessed the evidence for and against the effectiveness of the maca plant as a treatment for menopausal symptoms.

The systematic review concluded:

The results of our systematic review provide limited evidence for the effectiveness of maca as a treatment for menopausal symptoms. [3]

Recommended Products

  1. Peruvian Organic RAW Maca Powder 300g
  2. Red Maca Root 2000mg Capsules Gelatinized
  3. Black Maca Root – 2600mg Capsules Gelatinized
  4. Maca Root Superior 6000mg Super HIGH Strength – 0.6% Macamides – 120 Capsules



The information in our herbal encyclopedia is intended for eductional purposes only and should not be used to treat or diagnose any disease, implied or otherwise.
Always consult a qualified healthcare professional before many any significant dietary or lifestyle changes.

Return to Herbal Encyclopedia A to Z Index