Maca Root Health Benefits and Side Effects - Dream Health

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Wednesday 20 April 2022

Maca Root Health Benefits and Side Effects

Maca Root Health Benefits and Side Effects

Maca is a type of plant known as Ginseng Andin, Peruvian Ginseng, Lepidium meyenii, or Lepidium peruvianum. It is a relative species of radish and smells like butterscotch.

Previously, Andean people have cultivated it for over 2,000 years. This plant is edible because people residing above 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) in the Peruvian Andes can survive the harsh weather conditions. They consumed the plant in a fermented drink or porridge and used it as food. Besides, they used it as a natural medicine to diagnose different health conditions like respiratory conditions and rheumatic disease.

What is Maca?

Maca is scientifically called Lepidium meyenii and sometimes Peruvian ginseng. It is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.

Its demand has increased in recent times as people think it can promote libido and fertility. As demand rises worldwide, people have started to mass-produce this plant everywhere, including the mountainous Yunnan province in China.

What Is Maca Root?

Maca root is part of a commonly used plant, and it contains fiber, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Besides, the root part includes other bioactive compounds like macamides, macaridine, alkaloids, and glucosinolates, helpful for maca's medicinal benefits. Although people think that it is beneficial in many ways for our health, research is still limited. As a result, people need to research more on its effectiveness.

How to use Maca Root Powder:

It is available in capsules and powders, and many other forms.

Add the form of powder to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, energy bars, and more. As it offers a taste like butterscotch, you can pair it with multiple sweeter flavors. It is available in a few supermarkets, health food stores, and different online retailers, and Amazon also offers many choices. Whether you are willing to select top-quality item or get a personalized dosage recommendation, take advice from a qualified healthcare professional like a registered dietitian or physician.

Benefits Maca Root Powder:

1. Increase Libido:

According to a few proofs, if you take concentrated supplements, it will help you to boost your libido. Therefore, people with low libido or low sexual desire can use it. A test done on 45 women experiencing antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction says that they improved sexual function and libido by taking 3,000 mg of Maca root per day for 12 weeks. 

As per a review ( 4 high-quality studies) in 2010, people have improved sexual desire after at least six weeks. But according to the researchers, the studies were small, and the proof was also limited to drawing firm conclusions. Although the research is promising, we are not sure if it has any actual benefit to treat low libido or sexual dysfunction. 

2. Improve Certain Aspects of Fertility in Males:

Male who have problems with fertility with sperm can take supplements for improvement. Studies have shown that it helps to improve sperm concentration or the number of sperm per milliliter of semen, and the concentration of sperm has a close connection with male fertility.

Sperm motility indicates the ability of sperm to swim correctly. A study of 2020 that assessed its effects in 69 men let us know that it helped to treat people with mildly low sperm count or reduced sperm motility. They have improved semen concentration than a placebo treatment by significantly taking 2 grams of it per day for 12 weeks. However, you will not find any major difference between the placebo groups and the treatment.

The results are promising, but it needs more research at this time. Besides, it needs well-designed studies to investigate the supplements' effects on semen quality and other fertility factors.

3. Help To Relieve Symptoms Of Menopause:

People who menstruate experience natural menopause. During this time, menstrual periods stop permanently. During this time, estrogen experiences a natural decline, causing different symptoms. These are hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep problems, and irritability.

According to a few studies, it is helpful for people going through menopause and facing symptoms like hot flashes and interrupted sleep. It greatly affects menopause symptoms ( from a 2011 review with four high-quality studies).

However, as per the researchers, insufficient evidence is there to determine the safety or effectiveness of treating menopause symptoms.

4. Improve Mood And Energy:

It can help to improve energy levels and increase mood in some populations. In a 2016 study, 175 people experiencing either low or high altitudes said they have enhanced energy levels by taking 3 grams of red or black per day for 12 weeks.

From a 2015 study on 29 postmenopausal Chinese women, we learned that taking 3.3 grams of it per day for six weeks helped them decrease symptoms of depression more than a placebo treatment.

According to a few older research findings, it helps to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women. It has a major effect on mood and energy levels, but the insufficient proof is there.

Other Potential Health Benefits:

The other potential health benefits are as follows:

  • It helps to preserve cognitive function. According to Rodent studies, it improves cognitive function and motor coordination. Besides, it is beneficial in slow age-related cognitive decline. 
  • People with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) get advantages from it. The root can decrease inflammatory proteins and inhibit BPH or enlargement of the prostate. 
  • It is helpful for skin health also, and the root part can heal the wound quickly. Besides, from an earlier study, we learned that it saved against UV damage when applied to the skin of animals.

Maca Side Effects:

When Taken By Mouth:

Generally, it is safe while taken as food for most people. Besides, it is safe while taking in larger amounts as medicine short-term. You should take doses up to 3 grams daily for up to 4 months.


There are no health risks associated with it in most people, but it can cause side effects in moderate doses. As it affects hormones, thyroid patients must avoid taking it. Besides, if you are undergoing treatments modifying hormonal levels, like treatments for breast cancer, you should avoid it.

Special Precautions and Warnings:

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:

Still, there are insufficient details that let you know it is safe when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and it is better to stay safe and stick to food amounts.


Adults mostly use it in 1.5-3.5 grams by mouth daily for 6-16 weeks. You should take advice from a healthcare provider to know the correct dose for a specific condition.

The Bottom Line:

Although the potential health effects of it are limited, still taking supplements can help to improve certain aspects of sexual health & fertility, decrease menopause symptoms and improve mood in some people.

It is better if scientists study it more extensively before advising on treating any health condition or symptom. Go to a healthcare professional if you want to take Maca root. The experts let you know if it is the correct choice for your health needs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q. What does it do to the body?

It comes with high levels of iron and iodine, which help to balance your metabolism and promote healthy cells. The big doses of potassium are helpful for digestion and muscles. It is rich in calcium, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Q. What does it affect due to hormones?

According to the studies, it can decrease discomfort related to hormone levels in women with postmenopausal. A study said that it had effects on hormone levels because women were getting improvements in their symptoms.

  • Q. Do these make you gain weight?

It can cause weight gain, but the research is limited. Maca can help to increase muscle mass, resulting in an enhanced workout regime.

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