We’re told it’s an aphrodisiac, a stress reliever, and packed with nutrients. But what exactly is maca powder? We eat it, we drink it, but what for? Keep reading to find out…

What is maca?

Maca is a Peruvian root plant, with the Latin name Lepidium meyenii. Imagine a yellowish-white beet. In Peru, the maca tuber, the part that grows underground, has been eaten since prehistoric times. Maca powder is therefore the dried-out and powdered version of this root.

Its particularities? First, it grows in the Andean highlands under extreme climatic conditions, in which few others survive. Second, it has been used in herbal medicine for millennia for its many medicinal properties. Third, it has a nutritional value that will make its cousins in the superfood family red with envy.

What is maca powder like?

Maca powder is also known as Peruvian Ginseng or Peruvian Viagra. It is widely used as a stimulant to boost libido and improve sexual performance. It is said to increase sperm quality to fight against male infertility. It should be noted that the aphrodisiac properties of the plant have not yet been scientifically demonstrated, but no side effects are known, so nothing is lost by trying.

Maca powder is also used for its high nutritional value, which simultaneously combats malnutrition or anemia, counteracts the effects of stress, alleviates fatigue, and relieves pain. It is able to do all that because it is in fact a treasure trove of calcium, potassium, selenium, magnesium, and a good dose of essential trace elements: iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and iodine. Best of all, it also contains fatty acids and 19 amino acids. Nothing short of magical.

Benefits of maca powder

1.    Promotes physical performance

Maca directly influences the production of testosterone, a hormone essential for muscle development. Athletes also appreciate it for its energizing properties, especially since the plant is an excellent natural adaptogen. As such, it helps increase energy and energy levels in the body. Finally, maca contains a significant amount of amino acids, some of which are essential. This makes it a food of choice for building muscle mass and for maintaining a balanced diet. 

Although it is often called “Peruvian ginseng”, maca has several differences from ginseng. These two plants act differently on the body. Differences in origins, mechanism of action … What ginseng brings to the mind, maca brings to the body. These are two complementary plants that can be combined; some of their benefits are complimentary.

2.    Helps stimulate intellectual activity

In addition to providing energy to the body, maca stimulates intellectual activity. Its adaptogenic properties make it a plant to be favored in case of fatigue, stress, or overwork. And this, in the same way as Rhodiola Rosea or Korean ginseng. 

In addition, maca has antioxidant properties (especially black maca) which significantly reduce oxidative stress and its incidence. This is how the plant helps stimulate brain activity and helps improve learning abilities. 

Maca also contains glycine, an amino acid commonly used to fight depression. In addition, its compounds act as neuroprotectors against neurodegenerative diseases. It can therefore be used to prevent Parkinson’s disease and many others. 

3.    Helps maintain mental and emotional balance

In addition to stimulating brain and intellectual activity, maca acts as a regulator. It is rich in essential amino acids and participates in the regulation of hormones, intervening in the brain and adrenal glands. In this way, its active ingredients are able to regulate the secretions of endorphins and serotonin: two hormones that are associated with happiness and well-being. 

Maca, therefore, participates in hormonal balance and relies for this on the presence of plant sterols in its composition. It has the ability to stimulate the endocrine system, which promotes better hormonal balance. And it acts on different glands: adrenals, testes, ovaries, pancreas, thyroid. In addition, it also stimulates sleep cycles and memory, in addition to brain function. 

In children prone to concentration and attention problems, maca can also be very useful. Maca can helps them calm down and better regulate their hormonal functioning. On the other hand, exam students, who are under intense stress, can use maca to relieve and deal with the stress. 

4.    Improves libido and sexual desire

Maca is world-famous for its aphrodisiac function and its ability to restore a rich and fulfilling sex life. Indeed, the plant is one of the best natural aphrodisiacs in the world, along with cocoa and ginseng. Both men and women who are having difficulty can turn to this highly effective natural food supplement. The same is true for those who wish to increase their sexual desire

Maca is commonly used to combat erectile dysfunction or frigidity issues. It is effective against most sexual disorders. In addition, maca can also fight some causes of low libido such as stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Its components give it an activity similar to that of testosterone

As a reminder, there are different types of maca. While they are all of interest here, the one that is primarily used to improve libido is the yellow maca. 

5.    Stimulates sexual activity and promotes fertility

The properties of maca on fertility lead many couples to carry out recurring cures. Indeed, in its regions of origin, maca is consumed by couples who have difficulty conceiving a child. It is also called “the fertility plant” and this is not by chance. It is customary to use it to start pregnancy in the best conditions. 

Today, it is one of the most widely used natural solutions in the world to boost fertility. The tuber stimulates the secretion of testosterone in men. This helps increase sperm reserves for conception. It also makes them more fertile, while it stimulates the female hormonal productions essential for the progress of pregnancy

6.    Improves recovery

Maca is also appreciated in the sports world, it is above all for its ability to improve post-workout recovery. Thanks to the consumption of maca, sleep and rest are more qualitative and therefore allow better recovery. The production of testosterone stimulated by the consumption of maca helps support muscle development that takes place during this essential phase of rest.

If maca is very popular with athletes, it also promotes recovery after childbirth or intense physical effort, whatever it is. Maca helps pregnant women to better prepare for childbirth and cope with the difficulties of pregnancy. It also promotes the recovery of sick, injured, or traumatized people. 

Athletes have made it one of their best allies to develop their athletic performance naturally and over the long term. 

On the other hand, the antioxidants it contains make it possible to limit the incidence of oxidative stress. This makes the post-exercise recovery phase even more efficient. 

7.    Strengthens the immune system

The immune system is one of the bodily functions that benefit the most from maca.  The plant acts as a natural tonic which makes us more resistant to viruses, bacteria, and other infectious agents. Therefore, our body then benefits from a better immune response

Maca provides us with essential nutrients for recovery, especially when the body is under stress, or fatigue (physical and/or mental). It also provides nutrients that are essential for stimulating the production of white blood cells by the adrenal glands. This is how we ensure the good health of the organism in all circumstances. 

The natural components of maca have sedative, expectorant, and analgesic qualities. These qualities are very useful to the human body. It uses them to ward off pathogens and diseases and protect itself from certain disorders. 

Finally, maca contains vitamins C and E which are natural antioxidants (in addition to other antioxidant compounds). These vitamins and nutrients help boost immunity.

8.    Combats the symptoms of menopause

Women who suffer from the symptoms of menopause can turn to maca for relief. Indeed, maca is one of the most effective plants to reduce the symptoms that mark this delicate period. By acting on the hormonal balance, maca positively influences the sexual activity of women. It also acts on the regulation of their hormones in general. 

Its effects on menstrual disorders (depression, pain, anxiety, etc.) are also significant. Clinical studies in this area show that consuming Peruvian maca can significantly improve the quality of life of postmenopausal women. 

9.    Stimulates lactation and promotes breastfeeding

Maca is one of the best food supplements for breastfeeding, along with spirulina. It has galactogenic properties that stimulate lactation. Thus, it promotes the establishment of effective breastfeeding from the first days. The active ingredients of the plant act on the hormonal system of the mother. This is essential for lactation and breastfeeding. An increase in hormonal production promotes faster and more efficient milk flow after childbirth. 

Maca is also a very valuable source of essential nutrients for mother and child. Indeed, the mother will benefit from all of the benefits listed above when she begins a maca cure. As for the child, they will benefit from breast milk enriched with vitamins (C, D, E, B1, B2, B12), minerals, antioxidants, and other plant nutrients. 

Finally, as we’ve seen, maca strengthens the immune system of the mother and therefore that of the child. The consumption of healthy and rich foods is particularly important for the transmission of essential nutrients to the child. Maca contains stimulating agents that provide tonic action to the body. 

Maca can also help mothers get back into shape quickly after childbirth. 

How to use maca powder?

Since it’s dried and powdered, maca can be slipped into most recipes to boost their nutritional value without affecting the taste. In all cases, it is used as a cure: traditional Peruvian herbal medicine recommends three months of treatment twice a year to optimize the effects.

The first option is to pour a teaspoon of it into a glass of water, into a smoothie or yogurt depending on your taste: the powder has a nutty flavor for some, caramel for others.

The second option, sprinkle it directly on a fruit salad, a salty salad, a bowl of porridge or cereals, etc.

The third possibility, hide it directly in the recipe! Put it in your dough for pancakes, waffles, cake, soup, rice, pasta, quiche, etc.

The last option, maca powder exists in the form of food supplements to swallow. In this case, check out your local drug store.

Last words

Maca is an amazing plant that comes straight from the South American continent. With the scientific name Lepidium Meyenii, this plant is full of nutrients and major active ingredients that make it one of the most powerful in the world. The indigenous peoples of Latin and Central America have enjoyed the benefits of maca for thousands of years by consuming it regularly, even daily.

Erica Delaney

An experienced nurse, Erica focuses on subjects related to pregnancy and infant health. She enjoys dancing and playing the piano in her free time.