Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root-like cruciferous vegetable
from the Andes of Peru. It grows in some of the harshest
farmlands in the world; experiencing freezing temperatures,
fierce winds and intense sunlight. Often the soil is rich in
volcanic minerals. Maca is the only food crop in the world that
can grow and thrive at such a high altitude and in such harsh
weather. For more than two millennia, native Peruvians have
used Maca root as food and medicine to promote fertility,
endurance, energy, vitality, and sexual virility.
Stories of Maca’s fertility supporting effects have been passed
down through history in a story that took place in the 1500’s.
Soon after the Spanish Conquest in South America occurred
the Spanish began to experience poor health and infertility, so
did their livestock. This was due to the high altitude of the
Andes. The native Peruvians recommended that they feed their
livestock and themselves Maca. The results were so dramatic
that many of the first written records ever kept for the Andean
region were passages about Maca. There are also historical
notes recording that the Conquistadors began demanding to
be paid in Maca instead of gold.
How Maca Works
Containing 31 different minerals and 60 different
phytonutrients, Maca is a nourishing food for the endocrine
system, aiding the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands (all
involved in hormonal balance.) Maca has the ability to affect
key hormones in both women and men without containing
Maca has been scientifically researched for the use of
increasing fertility since 1961 and has been shown to contain
specific compounds called glucosinolates which can affect
fertility for both men and women. These alkaloids are
responsible for Maca’s ability to support hormonal balance.
Benefits of maca:
Supports hormonal balance
Increases energy, stamina, and mental clarity
Supports the thyroid
Supports normal sexual function
Maca also has adaptogenic properties which, means it helps
to strengthen the body so it is able to better resist disease and
stress, support the adrenal glands and balance the body’s
functions. In order for an herb to be considered an adaptogen
it must be non-toxic or harmless to any organ of the body and
must be able to be ingested for long periods of time safely.
Maca is classified as an adaptogen.
Endocrine System Tonic
One of Maca’s main actions is to stimulate and nourish the
hypothalamus which regulates the pituitary gland, acting as a
tonic for the hormone system. When the pituitary gland
functions optimally, the entire endocrine system becomes
balanced, because the pituitary gland controls the hormone
output of the adrenals, thyroid and sex organs (testes and
prostate in men, ovaries and uterus in women).
Promotes Hormonal Balance
In women, maca helps the body to promote balanced estrogen
and progesterone levels. Estrogen or progesterone levels that
are high or low at the wrong time can keep a woman from
becoming pregnant or keep her from carrying to term. Excess
estrogen levels can cause progesterone levels to become too
low, this is known as estrogen dominance. Taking Maca may
help to balance the estrogen to progesterone ratio which is
essential to achieving and carrying a healthy pregnancy.
Too much estrogen in men may cause erectile dysfunction,
lack of libido, low sperm count, and lowered production of
seminal fluid. Studies have shown that men who use Maca
may experience an increased libido and an increase in sperm
In one study, maca was given to female and male rats and it
was found that the females had multiple egg follicle
maturation (important for ovulation), and the males had
significantly higher sperm production and motility rates.
Supports Normal Sexual Function
A human study of 9 men who were given gelatinized Maca for
4 months at 1,500 – 3,000 mg a day, showed the men
experienced an increase in libido, sperm count, motility of
sperm, increased DHEA levels, decreased anxiety and stress,
lowered blood pressure, balanced iron levels and an increase
in adrenal androgens.
Click here to shop Fertilica™ Maca Root.
How to Use Maca
When purchasing Maca you want to make sure the product
you are using has only Maca root in it, not leaves or stem.
Maca is available in powder, capsules or tincture. It is also
available in varying strengths.
Maca powder: Maca powder comes in two forms. Plain Maca
powder that is just raw powdered Maca root, or gelatinized
Maca. Gelatinization is a completely vegetarian process that
removes the starch from Maca to improve assimilation and
make it more concentrated.
We find that gelatinized maca is easier to digest than the plain
powder and is also more cost effective since it is more
concentrated. The studies mentioned above used gelatinized
Maca. Gelatinization does not refer to “gelatin”, and no animal
derived ingredients are incorporated into this process.
Maca powder can be added to juice, smoothies, yogurt or
baked goods. It has a nice malty flavor which goes well with
foods. I like to add it to all of my smoothies.
Maca capsules: Maca capsules are a convenient way to get
Maca daily. Many people will find using the Maca capsules to
be easier since they can be taken at any time with some water.
Maca tincture: A tincture of Maca root is a liquid extract of
the medicinal properties of Maca. Maca tincture can be taken
with water, in juice or added to smoothies.
General suggested usage is 500-3000 mg a day. To obtain
desired results, Maca needs to be taken regularly. It can be
taken in one dose or throughout the day.
Note: Maca is slightly energy stimulating and because of this
we find that it is best taken prior to 3pm, so that nighttime
sleep is not disturbed in any way