Maca and Maca root extract refer to the plant Lepidium meyenii, which belongs to the same family as broccoli.
A powdered extract from the root of the plant is associated with aphrodisiac effects when supplemented, and is known to work for both men and women.
In addition to the libido boosting effects, men can have a concomitant increase in sperm production.
As a supplement, especially in western/developed cultures, it is often marketed as a testosterone booster, but its effects aren’t mediated via hormones.
It has multiple benefits and promises more. Maca rivals a synthetic prescription drug (Finasteride) for reduction of prostate swelling in terms of potency.
Benefits to cognitive function and bone health have also been noted, further widening the spectrum of potential applications.
Maca Root Extract for Boosting Libido and Aphrodisiac Effects
There are a few studies involving humans that examine maca and its effect on sexual desire, libido and aphrodisiac effects, and they all tell us the same thing.
Maca increases libido, but not via androgenic signalling or any other hormonal pathway, as one study monitoring testosterone levels shows.
It seems to work better as it accumulates in the body over the first month of supplementation.
Maca Root Extract for Improved Cognitive Function and Reduced Anxiety
A study on women with postmenopausal symptoms tells us that maca supplementation might help reduce anxiety.
Also, animal studies demonstrate a memory and cognition boosting effect, which needs to be investigated further for a more conclusive connection with human cognitive function. Nonetheless, it shows promise here.
Maca Root Extract for Prostate Health
There are different colours of Maca extract; black, red, yellow and pink. The red variety appears to be a potent treatment to reduce prostate size in men with prostate hypertrophy.
In at least one study, red Maca extract was able to reduce the size with greater efficacy than Finasteride, a synthetic drug prescribed for that very purpose.Did You Know: Maca Root Extract is a potent libido booster, and prostate health supplement. It is also showing a lot of potential as a cognitive function booster.Click To Tweet
How To Use Maca
Maca supplements should be taken with food.
Specific attention should be paid to the colour type as only red seems to be useful for reducing prostate hypertrophy, while black maca shows the most promise for neuroprotection.
Traditionally, maca is eaten, especially in Peru from where it is an important export. However, you would need a reliable source of the right kind and would need to prepare and eat it correctly.
It’s probably easier to find a decent capsule supplement.
The research discussed about has yielded a ballpark dosage of 1500mg per day of water-based or ethyl-acetate-based extract.
Many supplement companies will under-dose maca root extract horribly, especially in those products purporting to be testosterone boosters.
It can be taken in doses up to 3000mg (3 grams) per day, so you can see that something containing a token 100mg may not do much.
This supplement may be best taken as a standalone product containing only maca root extract.
Maca Side Effects
The doses described above certainly appear safe and free of side effects, from the data collected in research studies.
Higher doses are probably safe but there doesn’t seem to be a point in going higher than recommended quantities as there is no real benefit in doing so.
Maca is a good all rounder, and warrants further investigation into some of the more intriguing benefits like memory and cognitive function, which is often only observed in people suffering from cognitive decline with other supplements.
It looks as though Maca root extract can improve the minds of young and healthy people as well.
Testosterone booting is a bit of a myth as it doesn’t work through the endocrine system. However, sperm health, libido and even fertility might be improved on taking it. It’s like Longjack in that sense.
Specific health effects like red maca’s reduction of prostatic hypertrophy makes it worthy of a second look for a massive demographic of men.
The only downside is that it needs quite high doses to be potent enough, relative to most ingredients that go into capsules.
If you can afford a single ingredient maca product and you like the look of it, then go for it.