Maca Root

Maca root (Lepidium meyenii) is a native plant growing in the high altitude (>3500m above sea level) regions of Peru [4]. At such high altitudes fertility may be compromised. Maca is known traditionally and pharmacologically for its aphrodisiac and fertility enhancing properties [1, 2]. It is also well known as a traditional remedy for menopausal symptoms. In the US, there are several dietary supplements, containing maca, to assist with sexual dysfunction [1].

I believe that this property has caused the plant's other benefits to be overlooked.

The plant is abundant in amino acids (including seven essential amino acids) and minerals and it contains proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and fibre [2]. It also contains:

  • Macaene and macamide, which may be reponsible for its aphrodisiac effects and its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms
  • Glucosinolates (also found in cabbage, kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts [6]) that, in low doses, have:
    • Anti-cancer effects
    • Proven chemoprotective properties against chemical carcinogens, blocking the initiation of tumours in tissues such as the liver, colon and breast [5]
  • Phytochemicals [2, 3, 4] with anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties

How to use it

I'm familiar only with maca powder:

  • Add the recommended amount to smoothies (my favourite way of taking most powdered supplements)
  • Add it to porridge or cereals
  • Add it to salad dressings
  • Mix in water and drink


This is purely an information website. Use of the products described here should be done with the approval of you doctor or health care provider.


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