What is maca?
Maca is the common name for Lepidium meyenii (wild growing maca) and Lepidium peruvianum (cultivated maca), which are plants belonging to the Brassicaceae family (the family that also includes broccoli, turnips, and radishes). Although similar, the two plants have distinct differences between them in terms of visual appearance and phytochemical profiles. The roots of the plants can be red, black, pink, or yellow. As a supplement, maca root is usually sold in the form of dried powder and is often mixed into smoothies and other beverages.
What are maca’s main benefits?
A small amount of research suggests maca can increase libido to a notable degree and improve sexual function to a small degree. Maca may also improve the symptoms of menopause, especially those related to mood (such as anxiety and depression), though more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn regarding its effectiveness.