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Herbal Information Sheet: Maca Root

April 13, 2020


(Lepidium meyenii)


Excerpted from:

The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs

By Leslie Taylor

“In Peruvian herbal medicine today, Maca is reported to be used as an immunostimulant; for anemia, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, menopause symptoms, stomach cancer, sterility (and other reproductive and sexual disorders); and to enhance memory. The nutritional value of dried Maca Root is high, resembling those of cereal grains such as maize, rice, and wheat.  It contains 60-75% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% fiber, and 2.2% lipids.  It also has about 250mg of calcium, 2g of potassium, and 15mg of iron in 100g of dried root, along with important amounts of fatty acids.  Chemical research shows Maca Root contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which has reputed aphrodisiac properties.

 “It may well be that Maca’s beneficial effects for sexual function and fertility can be explained simply by its high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients.  Dried Maca Root contains about 10% protein – mostly derived from amino acids.  Amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) are required in the diet to drive many cellular functions in the body – including sexual and fertility functions.  Amino acids are required to manufacture neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenaline.  These substances transmit signals in the nervous system and play a major role in the process of sexual arousal and physical performance during sex.  The amino acid arginine, of which Maca is a significant source, is thought to assist in the generation of nitric oxide – which is thought to counteract male impotence (although this is not clinically validated).  Arginine has also clinically proven to play a role in male fertility through its action of increasing sperm production and motility. Anecdotal reports touting Maca for hormonal balancing, endocrine and thyroid function enhancement, and even immune system enhancement, are likely related to Maca’s amino acid and nutrient content, as well.  The endocrine system drives many functions in the body, including the production of many types of hormones.  Although hormones are chemically diverse, they are constructed simply from amino acids and cholesterol.”

Maca’s actions include providing nutrition, increasing energy, balancing body systems, and improving fertility.



Maca Root powder

Maca Root liquid extract


Linda Hall

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