Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Select An Article
Font Size

The Truth About Maca and Your Libido

Can this Peruvian herb improve your sex life?

A Staple in Peruvian Diet

Maca is an Andean root, referred to as an herb. It's a starchy tuber that resembles a radish or a turnip but tastes more like a potato. Like other starches, maca contains carbohydrates, protein, fats, and dietary fiber. It is also rich in plant sterols and a good source of iron, magnesium, selenium, and calcium.

In Peru, out of necessity, maca has been a staple in the diet of men, women, children, infants, pregnant and lactating women, elderly, and the infirm. Only two crops grow in the higher elevations in Peru: potatoes and maca.

Maca can be cooked and mashed; mixed with milk; and dried, ground, and powdered into something that resembles flour that is used in breads, cakes, and cookies.

In the Andes, people typically eat about half a pound of maca daily, Kilham says.

Is Maca Safe?

A growing demand for maca has resulted in a wide variety of products both online and in health food stores promoted with claims of sexual health and stamina-enhancement. Maca claims, however, like claims for other dietary supplements, are not reviewed or approved by the FDA.

Kilham says the safety of maca is evidenced by the millions of people who subsist on a diet of it without side effects.

Berman agrees that it is probably safe since there have been no reports of adverse effects from eating maca.

Maca may be a natural product, but talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. There are always potential side effects, including those from processing.

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
Life Cycle of a Penis
HIV Myth Facts
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Couple in bed
6 Tips For Teens
Close-up of young man
screening tests for men
HPV Vaccine Future