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.
Possibly Effective for:
- Enhancing sexual desire in men.
- “Tired blood” (anemia).
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Improving energy and athletic performance.
- Improving memory.
- Female hormone imbalance.
- Menstrual problems.
- Symptoms of menopause.
- Stomach cancer.
- Sexual problems.
- Boosting the immune system.
- Other conditions.
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 three 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.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- 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.