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MACA

Other Names:

Ayak Chichira, Ayuk Willku, Ginseng Andin, Ginseng Péruvien, Lepidium meyenii, Lepidium peruvianum, Maca Maca, Maca Péruvien, Maino, Maka, Peruvian Ginseng, Peruvian Maca.

MACA Overview
MACA Uses
MACA Side Effects
MACA Interactions
MACA Dosing
MACA Overview Information

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 Peru 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.

Maca is used for “tired blood” (anemia); chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); and enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory, and fertility. Women use maca for female hormone imbalance, menstrual problems, and symptoms of menopause. Maca is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), depression, stomach cancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction (ED), to arouse sexual desire, and to boost the immune system.

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.

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.

MACA Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • Enhancing sexual desire in men.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Enhancing sexual desire in men.
  • “Tired blood” (anemia).
  • Leukemia.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Improving energy and athletic performance.
  • Improving memory.
  • Depression.
  • Female hormone imbalance.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Infertility.
  • Symptoms of menopause.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Stomachcancer.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Sexual problems.
  • Boosting the immune system.
  • AIDS.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of maca for these uses.


MACA Side Effects & Safety

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

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of maca during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

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.

MACA Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for MACA Interactions

MACA Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For increasing sexual desire in men: 1500 to 3000 mg of maca daily in 3 divided doses. The 1500 mg dose appears to be as effective as the 3000 mg dose.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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