What is Maca?
Maca (Lepidium meyeni) is a tuberous plant grown high in the Andes Moutains of Peru. It is grown for its fleshy root which has been used as a food and herbal medine by the native Peruvians for thousands of years in order to promote endurance, improve energy, vitality, sexual virility and fertility. Macca is commonly called Peruvian ginseng
What is Maca used for?
o Improving fertility in both men and woman
o Menstrual problems
o Regulation and supporting hormone balance
o Menopausal symptoms
o Sexual dysfunction and libido for both men and women
o Increasing energy and stamina
o Improving general well being
o Depression & Cancer
Who can use Maca?
Maca has become a popular fertility herb with both men and woman alike. Studies carried out with men have have shown success in improving sperm health, increasing sperm count and strengthening sperm motitility as well as increasing libido and sex drive. Macca has the ability to effect key hormones and reproductive functions without actually containing any hormones itself.
As a root vegetable Macca long-term use as a commonly eaten food suggests low potential for toxicity. There have been no reported side effects or evidence of adverse reactions from taking Macca. However it is recommended that it be avoided during pregnancy or lactation due to a lack of safety and efficacy data. Likewise patients with tyroid conditions are advised to avoid maca because glucosinolates taken in excess and combined with a low-iodine diet can cause goiter.
Adults take 1 capsule three times daily, preferably with food.
Std Maca root 4-6:1 extract (0.6% glucosinolates) 350mg
Whole Maca root 100mg
Available in the following size:
Numerous studies on the fertility-enhancing and aphrodisiac properties of maca are documented in scientific literature. As yet the the exact mechanism of action is not yet clear.
Maca has been used traditionally to enhance fertility and sexual performance in both men and women and to relieve menopausal symptoms (1). Animal studies show increased sexual function (2). One human study showed increased libido (3), while another showed improved sperm production and sperm motility (4). Both studies showed that physiologic effects were not due to serum hormone levels.
The most confounding question about maca's effect is its ability to influence sexual performance without affecting serum hormone levels such as luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, testosterone and estradiol (6). It is therefore assumed that maca acts on the receptors for these hormones (4). Both methanolic and acqueous extracts of Maca exhibit estrogenic activity in vitro (7). Alkaloids purified from the maca root are thought to affect the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, explaining why maca can induce effects in both sexes (5).
1. Muhammad I, Zhao J, Dunbar DC, Khan IA. Constituents of Lepidium meyenii 'maca'. Phytochemistry 2002;59:105-10.
2. Zheng BL, He K, Kim CH, Rogers L, Shao Y, Huang ZY et al. Effect of a lipidic extract from lepidium meyenii on sexual behavior in mice and rats. Urology 2000;55:598-602.
3. Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Gonez Cet al. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Andrologia 2002;34:367-72.
4. Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Gonzales C, Chung A, Vega K, Villena A. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men. Asian J Androl 2001;3:301-3.
5. Balick MJ,.Lee R. Maca: from traditional food crop to energy and libido stimulant. Altern.Ther.Health Med 2002;8:96-8.
6. Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Vega K, et al. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men. J Endocrinol 2003;176(1):163-8.
7. Valentova K, Buckiova D, Kren V, et al. The in vitro biological activity of Lepidium meyenii extracts.Cell Biol Toxicol 2006;22(2):91-9