From increasing libido to fixing erectile dysfunction, maca root definitely has an effect, especially in the bedroom department. Here’s all you need to know about this natural aphrodisiac.
Although Maca has only recently garnered interest from other parts of the world, Peruvians have been using Maca for medicinal and culinary purposes for thousands of years.
Maca Root: What is Maca?
Maca (pronounced mah-Kah), or maca root, grows only in the mountains of Peru and at very high altitudes. (We are going to get our Maca out of a farm at 18,000 feet!) Due to the severe conditions, it is one of the only things that grow at that height.
The name “maca root” is misleading because it is actually a cruciferous vegetable, which means it is related to kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.
Maca root, also known as The Peruvian ginseng, grows underground and looks like a turnip or a parsnip. It has a variation of colors, like white, red, (or gold) and black.
Inside, Maca is packed with essential vitamins and minerals (compete with baobab when it comes to vitamin C!) and 20 amino acids—8 of which are needed.
As with other cruciferous vegetables, Maca contains glucosinolates. When chewed, mixed, or chopped, a chemical reaction converts glucosinolates to isothiocyanates (ITCs) known for their anti-cancer effects.
Here are just some of how maca root has been shown to improve health.
It Increases Libido
Are you looking for some kind of sexual healing? Forget about Marvin Gaye; it is all about Maca! One of Maca’s most well-known (and massively marketed) advantages is that it is an aphrodisiac. And science backs up the claim!
According to the 2010 systematic review, two randomized clinical tests suggested that Maca may have a positive effect on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in menopausal women and adult men after six weeks of ingestion.
Maca seems to be especially powerful for males. In a 2002 study, men who used 1,5-3 grams of Maca experienced an increase in sexual desire compared to those who took a placebo.
It Reduces Erectile Dysfunction
Maca is like a superfood viagra — it reduces erectile dysfunction. In a small 2009 study, researchers administered 2.4 grams of maca extract or placebo to 50 men with mild erectile dysfunction.
After 12 weeks, the individuals who received the maca extract saw a “significant effect” on their sexual activity.
It Increases Male Fertility
In 2015, researchers provided Maca with 20 male volunteers aged 24-40 years. After taking 1.4 grams of Peruvian penile superfood or placebo every day for 12 weeks, “sperm concentration and motility showed increasing trends.”
Another systematic review of small randomized clinical trials showed similar results that the root maca actually improved semen quality.
It Enhances Your Mood
Looking for a simple way to enhance your mood (in addition to our Chocolate Lover mix)? Maca can help you!
One study showed that maca root reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially in postmenopausal women. (The same survey also showed that maca root can lower sexual dysfunction.)
This could be because Maca contains flavonoids.
It Balances Hormones
Maca is a natural adaptogen that can help the body adapt naturally to external stressors.
One of Maca’s many adaptogenic functions is its ability to balance hormones when your body is under or over-producing them.
A 2006 study published in the International Biomedical Science Journal found that organic Maca is particularly beneficial to early postmenopausal women. The study concluded that Maca had balanced hormone levels and relieved symptoms of menopausal discomfort, including hot flashes and night sweating.
It Provides a Boost of Energy
Maca is a popular supplement to athletes and bodybuilders because it is believed to increase athletic endurance and performance.
Few clinical studies have been conducted, but legend has it that Incan soldiers are carrying Maca to battle for strength and endurance. Even our maca farmer admits that he eats Maca because of the energizing effects of playing soccer!