OrganicCrops logo

From the Mountains of Peru:
The Incredible Health Benefits of Maca

All you need to know about maca, where it is from, how it is produced, health benefits, and more.

by OrganicCrops. Posted on 14 May 2023, 10:41 hrs

Passionate about incorporating natural and healthy foods into your diet? Then you're likely familiar with maca—a Peruvian superfood that has been gaining widespread recognition for its potential health benefits. Over the years, it has become a household staple for individuals worldwide, seeking to embrace wellness through the power of nature.

At OrganicCrops, we take immense pride in producing and exporting the finest Peruvian maca products to customers across the globe. Our commitment to preserving the environment and supporting local communities in Peru sets us apart. With a focus on sustainable and ethical practices, we cultivate our maca with great care, ensuring the highest quality every step of the way.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the numerous benefits of Peruvian maca, shedding light on OrganicCrops' cultivation methods. Join us on an enlightening journey as we explore the history of maca, its potential health advantages, and the diverse range of maca products available. Get ready to unlock the secrets of this remarkable superfood!

What is Peruvian Maca?

In the enchanting landscapes of Peru's Andes Mountains, a remarkable root vegetable known as maca takes root. Flourishing amidst high altitudes and challenging conditions, maca exemplifies resilience and strength as a crop. Scientifically referred to as Lepidium meyenii, this extraordinary plant has nourished the indigenous communities of Peru for countless generations. Belonging to the illustrious cruciferous family, which boasts other nutritional powerhouses like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, maca is a true testament to the bounties of nature.

A Peruvian women in the Huanuco region farming her maca land

What is the History of Maca?

While the exact origins remain shrouded in mystery, it is believed that maca has graced the lands of Peru for over two millennia, cultivated by the indigenous communities who cherished its remarkable properties.

In ancient times, maca held a place of reverence as a staple food for warriors, empowering them with enhanced strength and endurance. Its energizing and revitalizing qualities made it a cherished ally before battles and arduous undertakings. Even Incan royalty recognized its value, employing maca as a natural remedy for various ailments. This invaluable root became a symbol of vitality and prowess, treasured as a precious commodity.

Yet, with the arrival of the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, maca's prominence waned, its memory fading beyond the boundaries of the Andean region. It remained a forgotten gem until recent years, when maca experienced a triumphant resurgence as a celebrated superfood. Today, it enjoys global recognition, captivating the palates and wellness seekers worldwide, as its rich history is once again embraced with open arms.

How is Maca produced?

Peruvian workers sorting sun dried maca root

Maca is grown in the Andean region of Peru, particularly in the central highlands of Junin and Huanuco. Here, the production of maca is entrusted to the skilled hands of small farming families, who have diligently passed down traditional farming methods from one generation to the next.

The journey of maca production commences with the planting of maca seeds, tenderly sowed in nutrient-rich soil. With patience as its companion, the maca plant gracefully matures over the course of approximately eight months. Once the time is ripe, the maca roots are gently unearthed, their journey from earth to harvest complete. A meticulous process follows as the harvested roots undergo thorough cleaning and bask under the gentle caress of the sun or in drying rooms, gradually transforming into their prized form.

Peruvian women in Junin, sorting maca rootTransformed into a fine powder through the gentle embrace of a milling machine, the roots reveal their raw maca powder essence. However, there exists another realm of maca—a realm where the raw powder undergoes a transformation known as gelatinization. Through the alchemy of water and heat under pressure, the starch molecules within the maca powder surrender to change, forming a gel-like substance. This essence of transformation is then dehydrated and finely ground, birthing gelatinized maca powder—a concentrated form with heightened digestibility and enhanced nutrient absorption.

At OrganicCrops, we weave an intricate tapestry of partnership with local farmers, nurturing the growth of maca through sustainable and ethical practices. Our collaboration extends beyond the fields as we provide educational programs, empowering farmers with knowledge of organic farming methods, the significance of sustainability, and the preservation of age-old farming traditions. Fair trade principles guide us, ensuring that the dedication and hard work of these farmers are justly rewarded. Through this harmonious alliance, OrganicCrops upholds the sacred legacy of maca production, preserving Peru's cultural heritage, and presenting discerning consumers with ethically crafted maca products of unparalleled quality.

White, red and black maca

Peruvian maca root comes in a range of colors, including yellow/white, red, and black, with each color having a unique nutritional and flavor profile. These colors come from the outer layer of the maca root, and while they all contain beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they also have distinct properties and health benefits.
The flesh of the maca root is typically cream-colored or off-white, regardless of the color of the outer layer. The pigmentation of the skin depends on the concentration and types of phytochemicals present, which can vary depending on the type of maca and growing conditions.

Different colours of maca explained

Yellow Maca/White Maca

Yellow maca, also known as white maca, stands as the most widely available and extensively researched variety. Renowned for its capacity to invigorate energy levels, alleviate stress, and enhance overall well-being, yellow maca has earned its acclaim. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food unveiled its ability to improve cognitive function while reducing anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women. Additionally, research published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science highlighted yellow maca's potential to enhance sperm count and motility in men grappling with erectile dysfunction. Embracing yellow maca or white maca is a splendid choice for those seeking an energy boost and an elevated sense of well-being.

Red Maca

With its allure and rarity, red maca emerges as a less common variety, captivating attention for its potential to enhance female fertility and reduce prostate size in men. Research published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology illuminated red maca's impact on female reproductive health, showcasing increased embryo implantation rates. Similarly, the Asian Journal of Andrology featured a study highlighting red maca's ability to reduce prostate size in male rats. While further exploration is essential to fully grasp red maca's effects on human fertility and prostate health, these initial findings offer a glimpse into its promising potential for those seeking to nurture these aspects of well-being.

Black Maca

Black maca roots drying in the sun.In the realm of maca, black maca stands as the rarest gem, harboring potent effects on sexual health and stamina. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food revealed black maca's significant role in increasing sexual desire among men. Moreover, the journal Andrologia showcased research illustrating black maca's capacity to enhance sperm count and motility in male rats. While additional investigation is necessary to comprehensively comprehend the impact of black maca on human sexual health, these preliminary studies paint a promising picture for those seeking to awaken their libido and elevate their sexual performance.

The world of maca unfolds in a kaleidoscope of colors, inviting individuals to explore and embrace the unique benefits that each hue brings. Whether opting for the invigorating yellow maca, the captivating red maca, or the enigmatic black maca, the realm of maca offers a path towards holistic well-being and the potential to unlock vitality from within.

Peruvian Maca Health Benefits

Peruvian Maca is known for its potential health benefits. Here, we explore the remarkable advantages associated with consuming maca products:

  • Promotes Hair Growth: Peruvian Maca possesses a unique ability to stimulate hair growth and enhance hair density. Enriched with a plethora of vitamins and minerals, it nourishes hair follicles, fostering a healthy environment for robust hair growth.
  • Boosts Brain Function: The wonders of Peruvian Maca extend to improving cognitive function and memory. Abundant in antioxidants and vital nutrients, maca shields brain cells from oxidative stress and diminishes inflammation, paving the way for enhanced brain function and mental clarity.
  • Increases Testosterone: Men seeking to elevate their vitality and sexual health may find solace in Peruvian Maca. It has been shown to elevate testosterone levels, potentially enhancing libido, energy levels, and overall sexual well-being. However, the effects may be less pronounced in men with normal testosterone levels.
  • Balances Hormones: The harmonizing essence of Peruvian Maca extends to both men and women, gently rebalancing hormonal imbalances. It aids in increasing estrogen levels in women and stabilizing testosterone levels in men, fostering improved fertility and sexual health.
  • Boosts Energy Levels: A wellspring of invigoration lies within Peruvian Maca. Its nutrient-rich composition ignites energy levels, alleviating fatigue, and fostering endurance. The result is heightened physical performance and a renewed sense of vitality.
  • Supports Overall Health: Peruvian Maca serves as a veritable fountain of wellness, offering a cornucopia of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that bolster overall health. By fortifying immunity, curbing inflammation, and promoting optimal digestion, maca becomes a steadfast ally on the path to well-being.

Peruvian Maca emerges as a superfood, showcasing an array of health benefits that encompass vibrant hair growth, heightened brain function, increased testosterone levels, harmonized hormones, amplified energy levels, and comprehensive support for overall health and wellness. Unlock the potential of maca and embark on a transformative journey towards a vibrant and thriving existence.

Different Types of Maca Products

Organic raw and gelatinized Peruvian maca powder by OrganiCropsPeruvian maca is available in various forms, each with its own unique benefits. Maca powder is available in two forms: natural (raw) and gelatinized. Natural powder is made by grinding the maca root into a fine powder, while gelatinized powder is made by steam-boiling the maca root to remove the starch. Gelatinized powder is more easily digestible and has a smoother texture.

Here are some of the most common types of maca products:

  • Yellow/white maca powder: This is the most common type of maca powder and is made from the yellow or white maca root. It has a mild flavor and is a good choice for those new to maca. Available as natural/raw powder or as gelatinized powder.
  • Red maca powder: This type of maca powder is made from the red maca root and has a sweeter, slightly earthy taste. It has higher levels of antioxidants than yellow maca. Available as natural/raw powder or as gelatinized powder.
  • Black maca powder: This type of maca powder is made from the black maca root and has a slightly bitter taste. It is believed to have the highest levels of antioxidants and is often used for its potential health benefits for males. Available as natural/raw powder or as gelatinized powder.
  • Mixed maca powder: This type of maca powder is made from a blend of different colored maca roots and has a balanced flavor. It is a good choice for those who want to benefit from the unique properties of each type of maca. The ratio is usually 60% white maca, 30% red maca and 10% black maca. Mixed maca pwoder is available as natural/raw powder or as gelatinized powder.
  • Concentrated maca products (maca extract): Maca extract is a concentrated form of maca that is made by extracting the active compounds from the maca root. It is available in various concentration ratios, ranging from 4:1 to 40:1.
  • Dehydrated Maca slices/chips/flakes: These products are made by slicing or chopping the maca root and dehydrating it. They are a convenient way to consume maca and can be added to smoothies or used as a snack.

How to Use Peruvian Maca

Now that you know the benefits of Peruvian maca and the different product forms, you might be wondering how to incorporate it into your daily routine. Here are some tips on how to use maca:

  • Choose your type of maca: OrganicCrops offers yellow/white maca powder, red maca powder, black maca powder, and mixed maca powder. While all types of maca offer similar benefits, some people prefer certain varieties for their unique taste or specific benefits. For example, black maca is often touted for its ability to boost energy levels, while red maca is known for its potential to support prostate health.
  • Dosage: We recommend starting with a small amount of maca, such as 1 teaspoon per day, and gradually increasing to up to 3 teaspoons per day. It's important to listen to your body and adjust your dosage accordingly. We also suggest consulting with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or medical conditions.
  • Timing: Some people prefer to take maca in the morning to help boost their energy levels for the day, while others prefer to take it at night to promote relaxation and sleep. You can experiment with different times of day to see what works best for you.
  • Mixing with drinks: Maca powder can be added to smoothies, juices, or other drinks. Some people even mix it with coffee for an added boost of energy. Just be aware that maca has a strong taste that may not be for everyone. Peruvians like to pair maca with cacao flavored drinks such as hot chocolate.

Safety and Side Effects

Peruvian maca, when consumed in moderation, is widely regarded as safe for most individuals. However, it is crucial to be mindful of potential side effects and considerations to ensure a responsible approach to incorporating maca into your diet. Here's what you need to know:

  • Mild Side Effects: While uncommon, some individuals may experience mild side effects when consuming maca. These can include stomach upset, bloating, and occasional episodes of diarrhea. Should these effects occur, it is recommended to reduce the maca intake or discontinue use until symptoms subside.
  • Medication and Supplement Interactions: Maca has the potential to interact with certain medications and supplements. To ensure your well-being, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating maca into your diet, especially if you are currently taking medications or supplements. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance and address any potential interactions or concerns.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: As a precautionary measure, pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to avoid consuming maca. Due to limited research on its safety during pregnancy and lactation, it is best to err on the side of caution and prioritize the well-being of both the mother and the developing child.
  • Individual Sensitivities: While rare, individual sensitivities to maca can occur. If you have a known allergy or sensitivity to cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli or cauliflower, exercise caution when introducing maca into your diet. Monitoring your body's response and seeking medical advice if needed ensures a safe and informed approach.
  • Responsible Consumption: As with any dietary supplement, it is essential to practice responsible consumption of Peruvian maca. Adhere to recommended serving sizes and guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Remember that moderation is key to achieving optimal results while minimizing potential risks.

By exercising caution, seeking professional guidance, and being mindful of individual sensitivities, you can embrace the benefits of maca while prioritizing your safety and well-being.

Sun dried Peruvian maca root, cleaned and packed in bags waitingfor further processing.

Maca, Peru’s super root

Peruvian maca, a captivating superfood cherished for centuries, unveils a world of remarkable health benefits. With OrganicCrops' unwavering commitment to producing exceptional, organic maca, you can rest assured that you are receiving the finest product available. Whether your aspirations encompass heightened energy levels, balanced hormones, or overall well-being, maca holds the potential to be your steadfast companion. By heeding the tips and guidelines provided throughout this article, you can seamlessly integrate maca into your daily routine, embarking on a transformative journey towards a life enriched by the incredible powers of Peru's treasured super root.

Research and studies used for this article:

  1. "Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of Lepidium meyenii (maca) root, leaves, and hypocotyls." -
  2. "Effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on spermatogenesis in male rats acutely exposed to high altitude (4340 m)." -
  3. "Ethnobiology and ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a plant from the Peruvian highlands." -
  4. Brooks, N. A., et al. "Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content." Menopause 15.6 (2008): 1157-1162. Link:
  5. Gonzales, Gustavo F., et al. "Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men." Andrologia 34.6 (2002): 367-372. Link:
  6. Zenico, T., et al. "Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well-being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial." Andrologia 41.2 (2009): 95-99. Link:
  7. Stone, Mark, et al. "A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen." Journal of ethnopharmacology 126.3 (2009): 574-576. Link:
  8. Shin, Byung-Cheul, et al. "Lepidium meyenii (Maca) enhances sports performance and activity in animals: a systematic review." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 26.6 (2012): 1780-1789. Link:
  9. Stojanovska, Lily, et al. "Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on symptoms of menopause." Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine 21.4 (2016): 283-286. Link:
  10. Lee MS, et al. (2011). Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review.
  11. Rubio J, et al. (2006). Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice.
  12. Stojanovska L, et al. (2015). Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women.
  13. Gonzales GF, et al. (2002). Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men.
  14. Stone M, et al. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen.
  15. Zenico T, et al. (2009). Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well-being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial.


Back to News

About OrganicCrops

OrganicCrops is an agricultural trading company from Tarapoto, Peru that specializes in cultivation, marketing and exporting organic products such as Quinoa, Maca and Cacao.