What is Maca? Maca's Top 7 Benefits

Since the time of the Incas, a type of cress has grown in the high mountains that forms a round root bulb. And it is precisely this that is said to work wonders. May we introduce: Maca! Over the past years maca has slowly made its way to Europe - thanks to the manifold benefits maca powder is supposed to have on the body. But what is maca, how can it support your health and - most importantly - how can you use it?

Rebecca Höfer Jun 15, 2022
What is Maca? Maca's Top 7 Benefits

What is maca? Get to know the maca root

Maca (pronounced mah-kah), or maca root, grows exclusively in the mountains of Peru and at very high altitudes. (We source our maca from a farm at 18,000 feet!) Due to the harsh conditions, it’s one of the only things that grows at that height.

The name “maca root” is misleading because it’s actually a cruciferous vegetable, which means it's related to kale, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

Maca root, also known as Peruvian ginseng, grows underground and looks similar to a turnip or parsnip. It comes in a variety of colors including red, white (or gold) and black. On the inside, maca is loaded with important vitamins and minerals (it rivals baobab when it comes to vitamin C!), as well as 20 amino acids — 8 of them essential.

Like other cruciferous vegetables, maca contains glucosinolates. When chewed, blended or chopped, a chemical reaction converts glucosinolates to isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are known for their anti-cancer effects.

Maca roots' top 7 benefits

1. Maca root increases libido

Looking for some sexual healing? Forget Marvin Gaye; it’s all about maca! One of maca’s most well-known (and heavily marketed) benefits is that it’s an aphrodisiac. And science backs that claim up!

According to a 2010 systematic review, two randomized clinical trials suggested that maca can have a positive effect on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in both menopausal women and adult men after 6 weeks of ingestion.

Maca seems to be especially potent for males. A 2002 study found that compared to those who took a placebo, men who consumed 1.5-3 grams of maca experienced an increase in sexual desire.

 2. Maca root reduces erectile dysfunction

Maca is like the viagra of superfoods — it reduces erectile dysfunction. A small 2009 study, researchers gave 50 men with mild erectile dysfunction 2.4 grams of maca extract or a placebo.

After 12 weeks, the men who received the maca extract saw a “significant effect” on their sexual performance.

 3. Maca root increases male fertility

In addition to improving male arousal and sexual performance, it also increases male fertility.

In a 2015 study, researchers provided 20 male volunteers aged 24-40 with maca. After taking 1.4 grams of the Peruvian penile superfood or a placebo every day for 12 weeks, “sperm concentration and motility showed rising trends.”

Another systematic review of small randomized clinical trials showered similar results that maca root did in fact improve semen quality.

4. Maca root improves your mood

Looking for a natural way to improve your mood? Maca can help!

One study showed that maca root reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially in post-menopausal women. (The same study also showed maca root can also lowers sexual dysfunction.)

This may be due to the fact that maca contains flavonoids.

 5. Maca root balances hormones

Maca is an adaptogen, which means it can help the body naturally adapt to external stressors.

One of maca's many adaptogenic functions is its ability to balance hormones either when your body is under or over producing them.

A 2006 study published in “International Biomedical Science Journal,” found that organic maca is particularly beneficial for early post-menopausal women. The study concluded maca balanced hormone levels and relieved symptoms of menopausal discomfort, including hot flashes and night sweating.

 6. Maca root provides a boost of energy

Maca is a popular supplement with athletes and bodybuilders because its believed to increase athletic endurance and performance.

Few clinical studies have been conducted, but legend has it that Incan soldiers would carry maca into battle for strength and endurance. Even our maca farmer admits he eats maca for its energizing effects to play soccer!

 7. Maca root may improve memory

Add maca root to the list of brain superfoods! (It’s also why we include it in the Power Matcha mix!)

In Peru, natives give maca to children to improve their performance in school. And various animal studies also support maca’s memory-enhancing capabilities.

maca roots

Where to get maca powder

As the Andean cress is not well known as a vegetable in Europe, the USA and China, you can hardly buy it as a fresh plant anywhere. You might find fresh tubers at organic farmers, organic shops or health food shops, but that's not very likely (yet). Instead, Maca powder and capsules are offered as a remedy for depression, hormone disorders or chronic fatigue. You can find Maca products in pharmacies, drugstores, health food stores or online shops. When buying, always look for organic quality and, in the case of capsules, also for the proportion of powder.


We source our maca, which we love so much that we’ve used it in a couple of our superfood mixes, from a small organic farm in Peru. Compared to large farms, a small farm allows for better control, especially when it comes to pests. Large farms will use insecticides or pesticides, our organic farm doesn’t. 

We believe we have some of the best tasting maca powder available. The secret? Jorge, our maca farmer, says it’s because he makes an offering to the land and his ancestors before he plants the seeds. To make it more scientific: our maca grows at a very high altitude - and it is said the higher the altitude the better and more powerful the active plant compounds!


Adding maca into your diet is super easy. Just add any of our supermixes that include maca to your smoothies, oatmeal, water or plant-based milk and start soaking up that maca magic!

Easy recipes: maca smoothies

Maca is one of the key ingredients in three powerful superfood blends, Power Matcha for hightened focus, Energy Bomb for long-lasting energy and Forever Beautiful to nourish the skin from within. Find below some easy and yummy maca smoothie recipes:

1. Beetroot Smoothie


  • 3 tsp Forever Beautiful mix
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 oranges (peeled)
  • 1 small (cooked or raw) beetroot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • ½ lime, juice


  1. Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

2. Green Piña Colada Smoothie



  1. Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

3. Strawberry Banana Smoothie



  1. Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy!