A potent adaptogen for sexual health & performance enhancement

The following article will discuss Maca Xpresso, Black Maca, Red Maca & Yellow Maca. View Maca superfoods: Maca Xpresso (Potent Plant Concentrate), Black Maca Powder, Yellow Maca Powder




As an adaptogen, it works on fine-tuning the body’s chemical processes. There are maca variants Black Maca, Yellow Maca & Red Maca, and each one has unique and overlapping health properties. Black Maca is known to be more beneficial for and preferred by men whereas Yellow and Red Maca are more beneficial for and preferred by women. Although all three variants can be used functionally for either men and woman.

Maca is native to South America and grows naturally in the Andes mountain range, where it was used traditionally by the Incas for its medicinal properties. It is the highest altitude food-herb grown in the world and legend has it that Incan warriors used to eat maca before going into battle – they believed it gave them invincible strength and stamina.

Some of Maca’s health benefits include:
  • Natural effective performance enhancement
  • Stimulates the libido for enhanced virility and stamina
  • Used as sports enhancer for stamina and endurance
  • Nature’s aphrodisiac
  • Hormone balancing
  • Adaptogen
  • Combats stress and fatigue
  • Amino acids: Alanine,
  • Arginine, Asparagine,Aspartic acid, Glycine, Hydroxyproline, Isoleucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Praline, Serine, Threonine, Tyrosine, Valine
  • Minerals: Calcium, Copper, Iron, Potassium & Magnesium
  • Trace Minerals: Zinc, Iodine, Copper, Selenium, bismuth, Manganese & Silica
  • Vitamins: C, B1, B2, B3, B6 & E

Maca also possesses a unique active compound called ‘macamides’, which act on the brain to increase and maintain our endocannabinoid levels, also known as our bliss molecules. Usually, our naturally occurring FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) enzymes inhibit or break down these molecules, but since ‘macamides’ inhibit this breakdown the brain can maintain & enjoy these higher levels of bliss molecules for longer.

Always check with your healthcare practitioner before using medicinal foods/superfoods such as mucuna during pregnancy or on prescribed medication


Yellow Maca, Red Maca & Balck Maca: what’s the difference & which Maca is the best?

Although there are three variants of maca root, they essentially stem from the same crop, much like rainbow carrots, so their nutritional profiles should be the same, but with slight variations from the phytonutrients in the skin.

The crop will typically predominantly yield majority yellow maca (60 – 70%) with smaller yields of red (20 – 25%) and black maca (10 – 15%). Traditional medicinal systems of South America believe that these yields are a guideline for us, telling us in which quantities to consume maca. Since the yellow maca is more abundant this could be considered best for daily use, whereas the black maca (which is the most scarce) should thus be used more for medicinal purposes. These ancient traditional systems also believed that the colour variants carry sacred masculine & feminine energies. Yellow and red maca is considered feminine used to nourish & nurture the internal system or for feminine sexual health, whereas black maca is considered more masculine and is used to uplift and energise the body or for masculine sexual health (associated with more an external energy).

How maca works on the body & its health benefits

As an adaptogen it has very unique abilities in its own right and works on fine-tuning the body’s chemical processes in the following ways:

  • It allows healthy hormonal secretion as it is a great source of hormonal precursors – it stimulates the body’s hormone levels by working on the master gland of the brain, the hypothalamus, considered as the sex hormone centre of the brain. The pituitary gland then secretes LTH and FSH and the adrenals and gonads are stimulated to secrete testosterone, progesterone and DHEA.
  • Supports the body to cope with stress and helps the body’s metabolism adapt to stressors, making it more resilient and functioning optimally under stress.
  • Depending on the state of your body it may increase energy levels when needed or calm the system down when overwhelmed and over-stimulated.
Endocrine, Hormone & Thyroid Health

Our endocrine system is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the vast majority of our body’s systems. More specifically the hormones are responsible for regulating our metabolisms, digestion, sexual function, reproduction, growth and development, stress response and sleep. Maca supports our endocrine and hormone health due to its unique properties and composition. It contains glucosinolates and plant alkaloids that help our endocrine system to function optimally, especially under conditions that are not optimal due to high stress or toxicity. These alkaloids and glucosinolates are responsible for Maca’s ability to support hormonal balance. Maca also supports the pituitary gland so that it can function properly and bring balance back to our entire endocrine system. By having altered the endocrine system, this, in turn, can also improve thyroid functioning, which can then lead to eliminates thyroid problems.
It is also considered a hormone tonic for both woman and men:

  • For Men – according to Dr Northrup, Maca can help men who struggle with erectile dysfunction, as it stimulates the body to secrete more testosterone.
  • For Women – it can help to regulate and normalise the menstrual cycle, reduce PMS, and balances oestrogen levels in the body to reduce symptoms of PCOS and menopause. Other than that, Maca can help women produce more breast milk postpartum, and it has also been used in alternative medicine as a therapeutic treatment for menopausal women, easing the hormonal transition and providing women relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.
Sexual Health

The sexual health element from Maca mostly stems from having a well balanced endocrine system and its reputed aphrodisiac properties come from its aromatic isothiocyanate which increases the sex drive. In traditional Peruvian cultures, men use maca root as a potent male libido enhancer and fertility booster, and some studies seem to back this up, finding that Maca provides promising results in increasing sperm quality, motility and volume. The studies also found that the glucosinolates in Maca have a positive effect on fertility for both men and women. Since Maca also increases oxygen levels in the blood, it increases blood flow to the sexual reproductive organs and acts as a powerful performance enhancer.

Enhanced Energy & Athletic Stamina

Maca’s dense nutritional profile, adaptogenic qualities, hormonal support and ability to increase blood oxygenation make it an excellent food choice for enhanced energy, stamina and mood. As a nutritional powerhouse, it boasts protein, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which boosts energy levels in a sustained and balanced way. It is especially rich in B Vitamins, which is a major source of energy reserves for the human body.

Longevity & Vitality

As we age, the hormone content of our body decreases. Those with a high production of testosterone and/or progesterone are known to stay younger for longer. Since Maca helps regulate and keep the body’s hormone systems balanced it boosts the body’s overall vitality by 10 –15% according to studies.

Anxiety & Stress

We cannot stress enough how powerful a resource Maca is to combat the negative effects of anxiety and stress on the body. As an adaptogen, it will only go where it is needed, so if your body overproduces a hormone, it will regulate it back to normal levels and if your body under-produces a hormone, it will raise the hormone levels until it is balanced. For this reason, it is a powerful resource to combat stress and anxiety.

Yellow Maca

More often than not, when people refer to Maca they’ll generally be referring to Yellow Maca. Yellow Maca is considered to be good for both male and female health and is used most frequently, as it is considered to be the best type of Maca for daily use and health maintainenace. The yellow variety of maca benefits include:

  • Energy-boosting
  • Hormone balancing
  • Promotes fertility
  • Increases mental focus

Red Maca

Has all the healing benefits of Yellow Maca, however, it contains higher levels of phytonutrients including alkaloids, tannins, saponins, steroids and cardiotonic glycosides, due to its red skin. It also has more enhanced effects on hormonal issues and is considered to be especially effective for menopausal women. A study conducted in 2008, by the journal “Menopause”, found that Red Maca significantly reduced psychological symptoms associated with menopause in women when taken on a daily basis. The study was conducted over a period of 6 weeks and reduced symptoms included anxiety, depression and sexual dysfunction.

Black Maca

Black Maca, is traditionally more akin to masculine energy and male sexual health as it was used in traditional medicinal systems as a male aphrodisiac, for enhanced fertility and for stamina. Black Maca has higher antioxidant compounds due to a pigment of its skin, known as anthocyanins. Having higher antioxidant compounds make it more potent to combat cell-damaging free radicals that cause oxidative stress. A 2011 study found that Black Maca reduced oxidative stress, improved memory impairment and inhibited the neurotransmitter ACE (acetylcholinesterase).

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Maca Dosage: Consult your healthcare provider for your correct dose.
Maca Precautions: Do not use if pregnant or nursing.

Traditionally Maca root was used by indigenous people as a vegetable, since it is much like a radish or turnip. And was used in soups, stews or bread. Although Maca can be added to most things since it is a root vegetable, it can sometimes cause bloating or other digestive discomforts so it’s best to have it slightly heated. Gelatinised maca has already undergone a heating process and therefore makes it easier for sensitive digestive systems. However, this does not mean that non gelatinised Maca is inferior, all you have to do is heat it, so simply cooking it helps you digest it better.

Maca has a nutty and earthy flavour that blends well with creamy & sweet recipes. Try it in creamy soups, porridge, pancakes, oats, granola, rusks, treats, coffee, smoothies or hot chocolate! Or try some of our recipes below or in our superfood recipe section.

Maca Expresso – Concentrated Black Maca (Pure Maca Extract)
  • Maintenance: 1 – 2 teaspoons daily
  • Therapeutic use: up to 1 tablespoon
  • Performance enhancement: regular therapeutic use over the long term in conjunction with advice from a medical professional

    Tip: Beautiful synergies exist when combining raw cacao and maca, as maca works on increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, stimulates libido and enhances stamina, whilst cacao stimulates our pleasure and reward centres as well us gives us more energy.
Yellow Maca Powder – For Her
  • Maintenance: 1 – 8 teaspoons a day, gradually moving up to higher doses
  • Therapeutic use: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for optimal dosage for your needs

    Tip: Yellow maca is a supernatural hormone balancing adaptogen that can be used during cycle syncing to help with PMS.
Black Maca Powder – For Him
  • Maintenance: 1 – 8 teaspoons a day, gradually moving up to higher doses
  • Therapeutic use: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for optimal dosage for your needs

    Tip: Black maca is known in traditional cultures to enhance sexual performance, by combining it with cacao it can be a powerful aphrodisiac.


Pink Maca Smoothie

Go to Recipe


  • It is the highest altitude food-herb grown in the world.
  • Legend has it that Incan warriors used to eat maca before going into battle – they believed it gave them invincible strength and stamina.
  • Like all great superfoods, maca was traded by the ancients and used as money.
  • For centuries (about 2 600 years), the root herb maca has been grown high in the Peruvian Andes mountains, typically at altitudes of over 3 000 metres and up to as high as 4 300 metres. The soils of these high plateaus are extremely rich in minerals, which accounts for maca’s amazing array of proteins, trace minerals and correlating health benefits.
  • Maca is a cruciferous vegetable and is exposed to intense levels of sunlight and extremely cold weather conditions. Its ability to survive and thrive against all odds enhances its potency, and in turn, gives you a better ability to adapt to life’s myriad of stressors. It is extremely beneficial for people living in cold climates, at high altitudes and with extreme lifestyles..