The Ultimate Maca Guide

Nature’s Most Potent Energizer and Libido Booster For Men and Women

What is Maca?

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is the root of a plant that grows in the fertile soils of high altitudes of the Andes in South America and it is packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, alkaloids and other phytochemicals. For centuries, Inca people have used maca due to the numerous benefits it provides. Maca is also known as Ayak Chichira, Ayuk Willku, Ginseng Andin, Ginseng Péruvien, Lepidium meyenii, Lepidium peruvianum, Maca Maca, Maca Péruvien, Maino, Maka, Peruvian Ginseng, Peruvian Maca

Machu-PicchuFor over 1,300 to 2,000 years ago, maca was farmed and is a common food among the Andean people due to its good nutritional value, healing properties and strong capability to boost sexual performance and to improve fertility. The Andean people used maca in treating various health conditions such as fatigue, anemia, sterility, and tuberculosis.

The Incas built one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, in the 15th century. This flagship of the Incan empire is a fortress made of stone that stands almost 2.5km above sea level. It is remarkable how the Incas carried tons of stone at that altitude, and some people believe it was thanks to their maca enriched diet. During the peak of the Incan civilization, legend has it that Incan warriors consumed maca as their ritual before going to battle. This would make them ferociously powerful.

Today, maca is gaining popularity as people start to experience the wonders of the secret Incan superfood.

Maca Benefits

Ignite Your Desire

Maca has proved to increase libido and improve sexual performance in clinical studies. Men with mild erectile dysfunction reported increased sexual well-being after taking Maca.

Scientific study

Zenico T, Cicero AF, Valmorri L, Mercuriali M, Bercovich E. Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well-being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Andrologia. 2009.

Regulate, support and balance hormonal system

Maca interacts with the sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. In addition to helping men improve their sexual function, it also helps with sperm quality, increasing fertility. In women, other than libido it is also used to combat post-menopausal symptons.

Scientific study

Meissner HO, Kapczynski W, Mscisz A, Lutomski J. Use of gelatinized maca (lepidium peruvianum) in early postmenopausal women. Int J Biomed Sci. 2005 Jun;1(1):33-45.

Increase energy and stamina

Randomized clinical trials have shown that maca has favourable effects on energy and mood. Furthermore, maca supplementation has shown to be effective in increasing sports performance.

Scientific studies

Gonzales GF, Gonzales C, Gonzales-Castañeda C. Lepidium meyenii (Maca): a plant from the highlands of Peru–from tradition to science. Forsch Komplementmed. 2009 Dec;16(6):373-80.
Stone M, Ibarra A, Roller M, Zangara A, Stevenson E. A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Dec 10;126(3):574-6.

How Des Maca Work?

Despite the number of studies proving its effects, there is limited understanding of how maca actually works. Part of the difficulty to identify the substances responsible for the effect is that maca is composed by a number of substances that are known to have beneficial effects. Some scientist believe that is the combination of all those beneficial substances that produce the known benefits of maca. Other scientist believe that macamides – a substance found in maca root – might be the one contributing in more proportion to its effect.  Chris Kilham, author of Hot Plants, acknowledges the challenge:

“Maca enjoys a very long history of successful medicinal use for menopausal discomfort, infertility, and sexual healing. The question is not whether it works — because we know it works with certainty — but how it works”.

Maca Efficacy

Maca is a well studied supplement that has proven its efficacy in study after study. Originally conceived as a product to help women with menopausal symptoms to regulate and balance their hormones, maca has now become the panacea of good health and sexual problems. Here are a couple of studies to give you a taste, for more studies visit our clinical research section.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med

2011 , October
Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands.

Lepidium meyenii (maca) is a Peruvian plant of the Brassicaceae family cultivated for more than 2000 years, which grows exclusively in the central Andes between 4000 and 4500 m altitude. Maca is used as a food supplement and also for its medicinal properties described traditionally. Since the 90s of the XX century, an increasing interest in products from maca has been observed in many parts of the world. In the last decade, exportation of maca from Peru has increased from 1,415,000 USD in 2001 to USD 6,170,000 USD in 2010. Experimental scientific evidence showed that maca has nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties, and it acts on sexual dysfunctions, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, memory and learning, and protects skin against ultraviolet radiation. Clinical trials showed efficacy of maca on sexual dysfunctions as well as increasing sperm count and motility. Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases.

Forsch Komplementmed

2009 , December
Lepidium meyenii (Maca): a plant from the highlands of Peru–from tradition to science.

This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on Lepidium meyenii (maca), {…} Evidence from experimental studies indicates effects of maca on nutrition, fertility, memory, and mood. Black maca has better effects on sperm production than yellow maca which has only moderate effects. Red maca, however, has no effect on sperm production. However, red maca has been shown to reduce prostate size in rats in which prostate hyperplasia had been induced with testosterone enanthate; yellow maca has shown moderate effects here, whereas black maca has not shown any effects. Randomized clinical trials have shown that maca has favorable effects on energy and mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual desire. Maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, sperm motility, and semen volume. Serum levels of testosterone, estradiol, LH, FSH, and prolactin were not affected. The exact mechanisms of action are still unclear, but so far research clearly indicates that various bioactive constituents contribute to the clinical effects reported.

How To Take Maca?

The recommended dosage for 1:6 concentrated Maca is 2,000 mg (2 capsule in the morning and 2 in the afternoon if you are using Herbolab’s Maca). If you are using a non-concentrated Maca, the effective dosage could vary a lot, tipically over 4,000mg. You might want to experiment with different dosages until you fine the one that works best for you. However, I do not recommend to excess double the recommended dosage set by the manufacturer.

There is some controversy about cycling Maca, some people think it should be cycled and some others don’t. When combining with other products, some people take them alternatively (example: 4 days of Tongkat Ali, then 4 days of Maca). At Herbolab we believe that Maca should not be cycled because it is an adaptogen food: it contains many beneficial nutrients for the body and endocrine system. Hence, the best result is obtained with continuos use.

Maca FAQ

Is your Maca suitable for vegetarian/halal?

Yes, our maca capsules are vegetal and does not contain any animal substances.

Is Maca only for women?

This is a huge NO; men, just like women, can benefit from maca. In fact, modern scientific analysis has showed that maca has an authentic store of ingredients that are great for men’s health. Moreover, maca has unique phytochemicals that gave its aphrodisiac reputation and have the ability to raise men’s sexual performance and potency.

Another benefit of maca to men is during andropause. Hormonal imbalance among men doesn’t get much attention as compared to women. Nonetheless, in some men, andropause or male menopause can be emotionally and physically important. It happens if the levels of testosterone are depleted, bring about mood changes, decreased sex drive, loss of energy and lowered physical agility. And maca, an adaptogen, can normalize one or more of the body’s systems. In the case of maca, it acts on the hormonal system. Therefore, it can help men who are going through andropause.

In recent times, scientific studies have been performed to check if the reports about maca can stand up to the unprejudiced inquiry. Without a surprise, a big part of this research was focused on the sexual health of men. Many studies done on rats and mice have showed positive results in this concern:

  • J Ethnopharmacol. 2001; 75(2-3):225-9. Maca has shown to “considerably enhance sexual performance parameters among male rats”.
  • 2002; 34:177-179. Maca has raised the total number of rats in copulation and lowered the periods between copulations.
  • Asian Journal of Andrology. 2001; 3:231-233. Maca has shown to increase the testicular weights and spermatogenesis among rats.
  • Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2005; 3(1):5. Maca has shown to decrease the size of the prostate. Prostate enlargement is a common condition among men of increasing age.
  • 2000; 55:598-602. Supplementing maca in mice has increased their sexual activity three times. And, rats experiencing erectile dysfunction were revealed to have their latent period of erection halved.

Human trials to prove the effectiveness of maca is few, but those trials that were conducted showed the same trend:

  • Asian Journal of Andrology. 2001; 3:301-303. This is the number of times that Dr. Gustavo Gonzales conducted his studies. During the trial, normal men with the age group of 24-44 used maca for four The trial showed an increase in seminal volume, sperm motility and sperm count per ejaculation.
  • 2002; 34:367-372. This trial was conducted by Gonzales, which is a 12-week double blind placebo-controlled, have showed the capability of maca to improve sexual desire among men within the age of 21-56 years old.
  • The results of the Phase I study conducted by Gonzales has shown that aside from the improvements in sexual health of men, maca supplementation has also improved the state of mind of the subjects, lowering the levels of anxiety and stress.

Does Maca increase Fertility in men and women?

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Maca is a vegetable that’s common in the Andes Mountains. The history of how effective maca and its fertility potency began when Incan farmers observed that after giving maca roots to their cattle, they became healthier and stronger. And they also noticed that with continuous maca feeding, their livestock had produced an increased number and healthier offsprings.

It didn’t take long for the people to start eating maca to raise their chances of conceiving. The Incans have been using maca for a long time due to its natural properties that produce an aphrodisiac response among men who are experiencing fertility issues, impotence, and those with low sex-drive. Because of its fertility boosting properties, Europeans and North Americans started to do research and use maca in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Maca is among of the few herbs that are thought to have “adaptogens”. These types of herbs adjust to a lot of conditions inside a given body and aid in restoring it to a healthy state. Maca particularly focuses on the endocrine system to help balance out the hormones in men and women.

According to scientific studies, the use of black maca enhances sperm count and even raises the sperm activity. A same study demonstrated that females using maca responds by increasing regularity in menstruation cycles and easier ovulation. Taking maca can also help in raising libido for both men and women.

Aside from balancing hormones, consuming maca can also provide good nutritional support, which is vital for men and women who want to escalate their chances of conceiving a healthy baby.

If you are planning to take advantage of maca’s benefits especially its fertility capabilities, here are a couple of things that you should consider in order to take full advantage of its potency:

  • Make sure to use fresh, quality and licensed organic maca powder.
  • Use the exact quantity of maca powder. Using maca powder for its fertility effects should be of therapeutic usage and should be taken in therapeutic dosage, regularly.
  • Both partners should consume maca.
  • For women who want to improve their fertility, red maca is advisable. Red maca is the most nutritionally dense among the three common types of maca and also the best for female fertility
  • For men, black maca is recommended as it is great for increasing sperm count and motility.
  • It’s also vital to undergo cleansing and detox.

Where is your Maca manufactured?

Our maca is grown at the high altitude of the mountains of Peru, where maca is originally from. Our maca is grown organically by the locals, who then selects the best quality dark roots for their concentration and encapsulation. The capsules are then sent to Singapore, where they are retested and bottled.

Does Maca increase Sex Drive?

People are using maca for sexual needs, and after their secret success and telling others about its potency, Maca is becoming exponentially popular. Its reputation for having various health advantages is also making it more popular.

During 1998, people working at Pure World Botanicals studied the root of the maca and learned that it contains 10% protein, 60% carbohydrate and different types of fatty acids – nothing shocking. The researchers had discovered another two groups of new compounds, the macaenes and macamides, which were believed to be the reason behind maca’s potent use for “love”.

In 2000, the April challenge of Urology published results of a study completed on animals. The animals were given maca extracts and have demonstrated increased stamina and energy, and improved sexual activity, as compared to the animals that were not given maca extract. The results seem to agree to what have been reported by men and women who consume maca. People with low libido levels reported increased sexual desire after using maca. While males experiencing erectile dysfunction normally noticed a certain improvement.

Dr. Gary Gordon, a physician in the state of Arizona and the previous president of the American College for the Development of Drugs, is a huge fan of maca. He views maca as a tool to control hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. He believes that the more maca you take, the more benefits you’ll get. Toxicity research done in the United States has confirmed that maca has no toxicity and no antagonistic pharmacological properties. Maca is a safe, effective, non-harmful solution in increasing your sexual drive without the bad effects of prescription drugs; this gives more positive reasons for men and women to use maca in their love life.

Does Maca increase Estrogen levels?

Maca root is commercially available in powder, gelatinized, liquid form, and in capsules. Many women use it as an oral supplement to enhance sex drive and to relieve premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms brought by fluctuating estrogen and progesterone hormones.

For all the women wanting to try out maca, you might be wondering if it does really increase estrogen level. Yes, maca root can increase not only estrogen but progesterone and testosterone as well.

It does not contain phytoestrogens or estrogen-like substances in plants, so it’s not directly replacing low estrogen. It contains potent substances called alkaloids that can stimulate the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which in turn will improve the hormone-releasing functions of the adrenals, ovaries, pancreas, and thyroid

Since maca works directly on the pituitary and hypothalamus, not only does it increase low estrogen but can combat estrogen dominance by making sure there is enough progesterone needed to neutralize the effect of high estrogen.

In one research, maca significantly increased estradiol, which is a form of estrogen thereby reducing the severity and occurrence of hot flashes and night sweats. In a different and more recent study, maca improved psychological symptoms of menopause such as anxiety and depression.

Maca has no toxicity, and it does not directly refill declining estrogen. It works by enhancing normal body functions such as releasing hormones. Thus, it is generally safe to use and might be an effective alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

Could Maca increase women's butt and breast size?

The shape of your body is predominately determined by genetics, and you can’t change your genes. But, hormones play a vital role in the distribution of body fats, and this can change through the use of particular medications and supplements.

Normally, women who have high levels of estrogen in their system store more body fats in hips, breasts, and, of course, the buttocks. Can you still remember puberty? During puberty, girls undergo an increase in estrogen levels, which causes the development of curves.

Alternatively, some women who don’t produce that much estrogen or have high levels of androgen (male hormones) tend to store small amounts of body fats in the areas mentioned and instead more in the upper body part resulting in less developed curves. For these women, taking supplements such as maca can help in the development of a more feminine body if the body produces less estrogen. Maca can help in regulating the body and raise levels of estrogen, which will then result in more fat deposits on the hips, breasts, and buttocks. However, no studies have proven this claim yet.

Another question is, could maca increase the size of a woman’s breasts and butt? There is minimal to no medical research that can prove the effectiveness of using maca in enlarging the breasts and butt. But, there are a lot of claims that it helps. Alternatively, some also claim that maca didn’t have any effects.

If you want to test maca and see if it can truly increase your breasts and butt’s size, take note of these important points.

  • Do not consume raw maca. Raw maca has harmful enzymes that can result in fever, bad stomach cramps, and reduced nutrient absorption.
  • Normally, maca has always been prepared through boiling or roasting and has never been consumed raw.
  • Heating or roasting maca lessens the amount of unsuitable enzymes and makes it safe to consume. The heating process improves the secondary metabolites in maca, from where the health benefits of maca come from.

Does Maca help regulate menstruation?

The menstrual cycle is a monthly body process among women by which a woman’s body prepares for the opportunity of getting pregnant. Menstruation is part of the monthly menstrual cycle of women where blood and tissue are discharged through the vagina. It’s also known as a period or menstrual period.

But, some women experience problems related to their menstrual period – known as menstrual irregularities. Such problems may include not getting their periods, having frequent monthly periods, experiencing menstrual bleeding or having painful monthly periods. If not pregnant, menstrual problems are typically signs of a particular health problem. There are a lot of problems that can lead to menstrual irregularities, and one such problem is amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is a condition characterized by a woman not getting her monthly period by the age of 16 or if she discontinues getting her monthly period for a minimum of 3 months.

In Amenorrhea (this is the absence of menstrual period not related to pregnancy); the use of maca has lowered the levels of FSH. High levels of FSH have been related to low serum estrogen levels, the hormone that is liable in developing the uterine lining for the first half of the menstrual cycle. This lining is the one being shed off during menstruation. Ovulation is needed for the production of progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle. In this case, maca can be utilized to help balance the levels of hormones during the menstrual cycle.

Does Maca help alleviate menopausal symptoms?

Women who are going through menopause can greatly benefit from maca. During menopause, the hormonal system of females goes through a great change. These changes sometimes result in certain symptoms including irritability, night sweats, insomnia, and hot flashes. As maca is great for balancing hormones, it is great in helping a healthy and relaxed menopausal transition.

It is vital to know that maca doesn’t have hormone content. Instead, it has a nutrient known as glucosinolates that help to stimulate the body in producing balanced hormone levels. In the occasion of utilizing maca for hot flashes, using the powder can make the body create more estrogen.

Lastly, maca powder is a genuine nutritional powerhouse with excellent levels of 23 essential fatty acids, ten minerals and almost all types of amino acids. The high nutrient levels of the maca powder help ideal body functioning.

Among the three popular types of maca, the red maca contains the highest levels of nutrients, and it is also the sweetest. Red maca is good for hot flashes.

How to use maca for hot flashes?

For hot flashes, you can use maca as “therapeutic” means instead of “casual” usage. To get most out of using maca for therapeutic purposes, below are three essential things to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that the proper dosage is observed in taking it. A 150-pound person must take about six to twelve grams or two to four teaspoons of maca powder every day.
  • Ensure that maca powder is taken regularly. Being consistent once you start using maca is the key to gaining its full health benefits.
  • You must be patient. Most individuals will experience results after two to three weeks from using maca. While for others, it takes about six weeks.

Maca Buying Guide

Not all Maca supplements are the same. There are 3 Maca varieties: yellow, red and black. Each variety has unique properties and benefits, hence it is important to know what is each variety indicated for before purchasing your supplement.

Maca types

  1. Cream/Yellow Maca 

yellow maca

About 60% of all maca roots grown each year are cream/yellow colored. So, the cream/yellow colored maca is the most common and cheapest type of maca. Despite the fact that this type of maca doesn’t hold all the distinct properties of the red and black Maca, it still provides some health benefits such as enhancing energy levels, assisting weight loss, improving concentration and balancing hormone levels.

  1. Red Maca 

red maca

This type of maca consists approximately 25% of the yearly harvest. According to researchers, red maca has the highest phytonutrients levels as compared to the other varieties. The red maca is most effective when it comes to intensifying female fertility, balancing hormones, strengthening prostate and bone health. Among all maca types, this is the sweetest.

  1. Black Maca 

black maca

This type of maca is the rarest of them all. It only consists around 15% of the yearly harvest. Researchers reported that the black maca is the most effective maca when it comes to increasing mental focus, building muscles, boosting endurance and male libido.

Raw vs Gelatinized Maca

Most Maca supplements come in one of two forms: Raw or Gelatinized. Gelatinization is the process of removing the starch, hence concentrating the product, making it more easy to digest and absorb (higher bioavailability). Traditionally this process was done by pressure-cooking the Maca, hence destroying some of the nutrients in the process due to the high heat. Because of this, raw Maca was generally considered a better option and gelatinized Maca was reserved for those with a sensitive stomach.

With today’s technology, however, it is possible to gelatinize Maca without using heat, hence preserving all nutrients intact. This modern gelatinization method is patented and only a handful of companies such as Herbolab can offer it. Low-temperature gelatinized Maca offers more concentration, better bioavailability and easier digestion than raw Maca, making it the best choice.

Get The Best: Herbolab Maca

Pure 1:6 Gelatinized Black Maca Concentrate

  • Pure Peruvian Maca, no fillers

  • Composed mainly of dark maca roots

  • Gelatinized at low temperature to preserve nutrients

Why Our Customers Love Herbolab’s Maca

Maca is a popular product, and you have certainly seen cheap maca that sells under $10 per bottle. However, Herbolab’s maca is one of the highest quality maca you will find, here is why:

Certified maca from Peru, not from China

While the demand for maca worldwide keeps increasing, maca is being cultivated in other parts of the world, like the mountains in the Yunan province of China. However, these plants do not have the rich nutrient profile that Peruvian maca has. Furthermore, Chinese maca is not cultivated following high standards of traditional farmers, and Chinese maca contaminated with heavy metals has been reported in the past.

Organic

Our maca is certified organic. This is important because organically grown vegetables contain as much as twice the amount of nutrition as compared to those grown in commercial farms. In addition, to ensure the highest quality you would want to avoid the chemical fertilizers and insecticides commonly used in such farms.

Unique patented gelatinization at low temperature

Gelatinized maca is a form of maca powder that involves removing the starch of the maca resulting in a more concentrated maca form that is also more easy to digest and process in the body. Unlike other commercial preparations, our maca is gelatinized using a proprietary low temperature process. By avoiding high temperatures, we are able to preserve the nutrients better. No other brand of maca can offer the same rich nutritional profile that our maca has.

Made from dark maca roots

Our maca is composed of 80% black and 15% red/purple roots. Dark roots have shown to be more nutritious and efficient in combating stress and increasing energy levels. Most other maca products are made of yellow roots, which are cheaper but do not posses the same health benefits.

Concentrated 1:6

Our Maca is 6 times stronger than regular Maca powder, giving you extra strength at lower dosage.

Herbolab Maca Reviews

Recommended
Thanks for the follow up. I am very happy with the products. I feel that tongkat ali has a good effect on my sex performance and maca has a notable effect on my mood and energy. I am recommending them to friends and family.
– Marco, United States

Improved focus and performance
Thank you for the super fast delivery! It is my 5th month taking maca, it keeps me focused and at high level of performance in the gym and at work.
– Ken, Singapore

Consistent effects
I have been consuming maca from NOW foods with inconsistent effect. I feel that your maca is stronger and the effects are more consistent and noticeable.
– Steven, Australia

Regained passion
Me and my wife started taking maca 3 months ago and we believe it has good effect in our health and sexual life. We have stressful jobs and hectic life but since we discovered maca sex has regained the passion it once had.
– Michael, South Africa

  • Pure Peruvian Maca, no fillers

  • Composed mainly of dark maca roots

  • Gelatinized at low temperature to preserve nutrients