Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Are you looking for a supplement that has a healing, energising, pain-relieving and memory-enhancing effect on our body at the same time? Then the Maca plant will convince you. Because the miraculous Maca can be used in many areas. In our Maca capsules test 2021 we go into the most important effects of the plant. We also show you what the different types of Maca root have to offer and which one is best for you. We then inform you about what you should pay particular attention to when taking the dosage.




First of all, the most important things

  • Maca is a miracle plant from the Peruvian Andes whose tuber has been used for centuries as a food and natural remedy. The root has numerous important active ingredients that have both an energising and healing effect on the human body.
  • Maca is mainly popular for its effect on increasing potency and desire. The plant also improves memory and helps with menopausal symptoms.
  • Taking Maca capsules also provides a health-promoting supply of all important vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids. The advantage of the capsules is that they are easy to dose and convenient to take.

Best Maca capsules: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for Maca capsules

In the following, we would like to show you which criteria you can use to evaluate and compare Maca capsules. This will make it easier for you to choose the right product.

In the following paragraphs you can find out what these purchase criteria are.

Quality

An important criterion you should consider before buying Maca capsules is the quality of the product. The information about the manufacturer and the cultivation method are decisive when choosing between different Maca capsules.

The quality Maca capsules are mainly characterised by the careful cultivation method, the correct place of cultivation and the trustworthy manufacturer.

If possible, the capsules should come from the Maca plant that was grown in its place of origin in the high plateaus of the Andes. In addition, the altitude of the Andes should not fall below 3700 metres, with the best quality coming from an altitude of 4000 metres. Only under this condition can the valuable micronutrients in the root tuber of maca develop. Another quality criterion that you should consider is the controlled organic cultivation of the Maca plant. You can usually recognise this by an organic seal.

Origin

It is essential that the Maca plant grows in its native country, as this is the only way it can develop its full effect. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the information about the place of origin. The origin of the Maca tuber from which the capsules are produced is one of the most important characteristics of quality. Due to the increasing popularity of Maca as a supplement, cultivation has grown outside the areas of origin. This can mean that the maca tuber cannot absorb all the vitamins and develop the full effect. An important characteristic for high-quality Maca is therefore the region of cultivation. The natural soil where the Maca plant grows is around the Junìn Pasco. You should always follow the indications of the region so that you can feel the full effect of the medicinal plant.

Dosage

Dosage is the amount of a substance that is administered to your organism. Capsules often differ in the concentration of the ingredient in a capsule. In contrast to powder, capsules are easier and faster to take. In the case of Maca capsules, you will find low-dose 1:1, medium-dose 4:1 and high-dose 10:1 capsules. In the case of the high-dose Maca capsules, 1 gram of extract corresponds to 10 grams of fresh Maca.

You should be aware that the dosage may differ depending on the purpose and treatment. It is important not to exceed the recommended dose.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about Maca capsules answered in detail

Maca was already considered a royal food by the Incas in Peru, but it has other properties in itself: Maca is a miraculous remedy and natural aphrodisiac. This plant is now also becoming more popular in Europe. In order to inform you better about this extraordinary plant species and to explain the current scientific findings in more detail, we have summarised all the important information for you in the following sections.

What is Maca?

Maca (also Lepidium meyenii) is a plant that grows at an altitude of 4000 metres in the Andes of Peru. Its root has been highly valued by the Incas for over 3000 years because of its numerous nutrients and vital substances. The maca plant is exposed to strong UV radiation and extreme temperature fluctuations and is therefore very resistant.

Maca Kapseln

The root itself is difficult to obtain, so it is taken either in the form of capsules or powder. (Image source: Nicole Y-C / Unsplash)

Maca grows up to 20 centimetres high, but the decisive factor is the root of the plant. Depending on the species, the tuber can be white, yellowish, red or black. The root is not only considered an important food when cooked or baked. Maca is also used as a medicinal plant in the field of alternative medicine because of its fertility-giving and energising effect. The maca plant is also considered to have superfood properties because it acts as an adaptogen in the human body. (1) In alternative medicine, adaptogens are biologically active plant substances that are supposed to help our body deal with stressful situations. In doing so, they can increase resistance to stress and strain.

What do Maca capsules do?

Maca roots contain important micronutrients and are rich in antioxidants, amino acids and healthy fatty acids. Although Maca effects on the body have been studied since 2000, no safe judgements can yet be made. In the following, we will show you the positive effects of Maca capsules according to empirical medicine.

  1. Menopausal symptoms: Maca was investigated in several studies with women during the menopause. The plant reduced the frequency of symptoms and stimulated mood and physical performance. The women experienced fewer hot flushes, sweats and unpleasant mood swings.(2, 3)
  2. Increase in potency and desire: Taking Maca capsules has a positive effect on sexual potency in men. The results of an English study point to an improvement in the quality and quantity of semen as well as sexual behaviour. In addition, a study on alternative medicine confirmed positive effects of Maca on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in healthy menopausal women.(4, 5, 6)
  3. Sports performance and vitality: Maca capsules are also very common among athletes. Maca improves endurance performance and increases vitality. Thus it has a positive effect on motivation and strength. In a study, 40 male mice and the effect of Maca polypeptide on sports fatigue were examined. The results show that Maca can improve fatigue resistance, which is due to the antioxidant content of Maca.(7)
  4. Memory and learning ability: The positive effect on memory has also been proven. In Peru, for example, maca root is used to improve learning performance. In a US study with mice, an increase in cognitive function and memory performance was observed. In particular, the black maca variety was shown to be beneficial.(8)
  5. Stress, depression, anxiety: In addition, maca tuber is known for its antidepressant effect. A study with mice published in the Journal of medicinal food confirmed that the antioxidant status in brain tissue improved. These results showed that maca could be used as a medicinal food for patients with depression.(9)

Maca capsules are an excellent source of nutrients, supplying our body with various vitamins and minerals. Maca root is rich in protein, fibre, including copper, zinc and iron. It contains over 20 amino acids and many phytonutrients valuable for health. At the same time, maca has the important omega-3 fatty acids. In general, taking Maca capsules can contribute to a better feeling of well-being and lead to increased performance. Maca can generally prove helpful for many diseases.(10)

When do Maca capsules take effect?

The effect of Maca usually starts at the beginning of the intake. This is especially true for the effects on potency, libido and sperm quality. So where drive and stimulation are concerned, a rapid effect can be observed, whereby the dosage also plays a role here. A few days later, its antidepressant and balancing effect unfolds. Normally, four to eight weeks can be assumed. Nevertheless, noticeable changes appear in the first few days.
Effect Onset of effect Description
Libido increase first 7 days In healthy men, an administration of 10 to 20 g of Maca produces an effect similar to Viagra on the same day. In women, on the contrary, who have lost their libido, the effect develops over a week. Here, too, it depends very much on the dose. (11)
Energy and vitality first 7 days The energising effect of Maca is often felt in the first few days, normalising over time and reaching a steady state. (12)
Sperm quality first 7 days The black variety of Maca increases sperm count after the first day, with total sperm reproduction beginning to increase after the seventh day. (13)
Elimination of menopausal symptoms from 8 weeks Studies on the treatment of menopausal symptoms with Maca have confirmed a significant improvement in symptoms after only 8 weeks. (14)
Antidepressant from 8 weeks The antidepressant effect builds up over time and reaches full effect after 8 weeks. (14)

What are the side effects of Maca capsules?

So far, no side effects have been observed from taking Maca capsules because it is a purely herbal product. Herbal medicines often have very few to no side effects. However, due to the lack of research on Maca, no definitive statements can be made.(15) So far, Maca has been shown to be very well tolerated if the prescribed dosage is adhered to. If you are allergic to the ingredients of Maca, you should refrain from taking it. In general, however, this purely herbal remedy cannot be harmful, unlike medicines containing synthetic substances.

What types of Maca capsules are there?

The Maca plant can be found in nature in 4 different varieties. Each variety differs in colour as well as in its range of action and use. To a certain extent, the effects overlap, but each has a focus.(16)
Type Description
Maca Yellow Yellow Maca is the most common variety, characterised by oestrogenising and hormonal balancing effects during post-menopause. This results in a recovery of libido and zest for life in women. By taking yellow maca, the mood of women during the postmenopause can brighten up considerably. This variety is wonderful for increasing energy, balancing hormones and boosting concentration.
Maca Red Red Maca is very helpful for prostate hyperplasia because it lowers DHT levels and thus brings about improvement. Furthermore, red maca can be used for hair loss and to balance the disturbed female cycle. In cases of stress, depression and burn-out, red maca can provide relief by reducing cortisol levels and thus helping to achieve a feeling of calm.
Maca Black Black maca is the rarest variety and is basically considered "men's maca", although women can also benefit from the variety. Black maca is mainly used to increase male potency and fertility. This includes improving sperm quality and increasing sperm count. Black variety has the strongest aphrodisiac effect, so it strengthens both male and female libido. Furthermore, black maca can help build muscle and increase mental performance.
Maca Purple The rare purple variety works excellently in the treatment of pre- and perimenopause complaints, which are predominantly characterised by progesterone deficiency, mood swings and menstrual cramps. Taking purple maca can provide relief from the symptoms. This variety has the highest potassium content and can therefore act as a blood pressure reducer. Purple maca also increases stress resistance and emotional stability.

How should Maca capsules be dosed?

To achieve a significant effect, Maca is best taken long-term and daily. The intensity of the effect of Maca depends above all on the amount of the dosage, whereby the dosage should be larger for men than for women due to their higher body weight.(17) The correct dosage also depends on the intended use. While a recommended daily dose is usually from three to five grams, bodybuilders, on the other hand, can sometimes take as much as ten grams. The same dosage can be very helpful for sexual dysfunction and menopausal symptoms.

A daily dose of three to five grams is recommended. (Image source: Puhhha / 123rf)

It is advisable to increase the dose gently over the course of the intake so that your body can adjust to the effect of maca. The effect often comes on quickly in the first few days and then evens out in the following period. About one to three grams a day are sufficient to start with, so that you can feel the mood-lifting effect after a while. The basic principle of dosage is: the older you are and the more pronounced your complaints are, the higher the daily dose should be. The same applies to the length of the intake: the worse the symptoms, the longer the intake should be.

Image source: Chander R / unsplash

References (17)

1. Gonzales GF. Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:193496. doi: 10.1155/2012/193496. Epub 2011 Oct 2. PMID: 21977053; PMCID: PMC3184420.
Source

2. Meissner HO, Mscisz A, Reich-Bilinska H, et al. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (III) Clinical responses of early-postmenopausal women to Maca in double blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(4):375-394.
Source

3. Meissner HO, Mscisz A, Reich-Bilinska H, et al. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (II) Physiological and Symptomatic Responses of Early-Postmenopausal Women to Standardized doses of Maca in Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Clinical Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(4):360-374.
Source

4. Shin BC, Lee MS, Yang EJ, Lim HS, Ernst E. Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Aug 6;10:44. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-44. PMID: 20691074; PMCID: PMC2928177.
Source

5. Tafuri S, Cocchia N, Vassetti A, Carotenuto D, Esposito L, Maruccio L, Avallone L, Ciani F. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) in male reproduction. Nat Prod Res. 2019 Dec 5:1-10. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2019.1698572. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31805775.
Source

6. Gonzales GF, Córdova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Góñez C, Castillo S. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Andrologia. 2002 Dec;34(6):367-72. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0272.2002.00519.x. PMID: 12472620.
Source

7. Miao H. The Research on the Impact of Maca Polypeptide on Sport Fatigue. Open Biomed Eng J. 2015 Oct 19;9:322-5. doi: 10.2174/1874120701509010322. Retraction in: Open Biomed Eng J. 2016 Dec 30;10 :112. PMID: 26998182; PMCID: PMC4774384.
Source

8. Guo SS, Gao XF, Gu YR, et al. Preservation of Cognitive Function by Lepidium meyenii (Maca) Is Associated with Improvement of Mitochondrial Activity and Upregulation of Autophagy-Related Proteins in Middle-Aged Mouse Cortex. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:4394261. doi:10.1155/2016/4394261
Source

9. Ai Z, Cheng AF, Yu YT, Yu LJ, Jin W. Antidepressant-like behavioral, anatomical, and biochemical effects of petroleum ether extract from maca (Lepidium meyenii) in mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress. J Med Food. 2014;17(5):535-542. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.2950
Source

10. Gonzales GF, Villaorduña L, Gasco M, Rubio J, Gonzales C. Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), una revisión sobre sus propiedades biológicas [Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), a review of its biological properties]. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2014;31(1):100-10. Spanish. PMID: 24718534.
Source

11. Dording CM, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x. PMID: 18801111; PMCID: PMC6494062.
Source

12. Meissner HO, Kedzia B, Mrozikiewicz PM, Mscisz A. Short and long-term physiological responses of male and female rats to two dietary levels of pre-gelatinized maca (lepidium peruvianum chacon). Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(1):13-28.
Source

13. Authors: GF Gonzales, M Gasco, A Cordova, A Chung, J Rubio, and L Villegas- Page(s): 87–95 Volume/Issue: Volume 180: Issue 1
Source

14. Meissner HO, Reich-Bilinska H, Mscisz A, Kedzia B. Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women - Clinical Pilot Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(2):143-159.
Source

15. Gonzales-Arimborgo C, Yupanqui I, Montero E, et al. Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2016;9(3):49. Published 2016 Aug 18. doi:10.3390/ph9030049
Source

16. Gonzales GF, Villaorduña L, Gasco M, Rubio J, Gonzales C. Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), una revisión sobre sus propiedades biológicas [Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), a review of its biological properties]. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2014;31(1):100-10. Spanish. PMID: 24718534.
Source

17. Chung F, Rubio J, Gonzales C, Gasco M, Gonzales GF. Dose-response effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) aqueous extract on testicular function and weight of different organs in adult rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2005 Apr;98(1-2):143-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.01.028.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands
Gonzales GF. Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:193496. doi: 10.1155/2012/193496. Epub 2011 Oct 2. PMID: 21977053; PMCID: PMC3184420.
Go to source
Hormone-Balancing Effect
Meissner HO, Mscisz A, Reich-Bilinska H, et al. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (III) Clinical responses of early-postmenopausal women to Maca in double blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(4):375-394.
Go to source
Hormone-Balancing Effect (II)
Meissner HO, Mscisz A, Reich-Bilinska H, et al. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (II) Physiological and Symptomatic Responses of Early-Postmenopausal Women to Standardized doses of Maca in Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Clinical Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(4):360-374.
Go to source
Maca for improving sexual function
Shin BC, Lee MS, Yang EJ, Lim HS, Ernst E. Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Aug 6;10:44. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-44. PMID: 20691074; PMCID: PMC2928177.
Go to source
Maca in male reproduction
Tafuri S, Cocchia N, Vassetti A, Carotenuto D, Esposito L, Maruccio L, Avallone L, Ciani F. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) in male reproduction. Nat Prod Res. 2019 Dec 5:1-10. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2019.1698572. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31805775.
Go to source
Sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men
Gonzales GF, Córdova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Góñez C, Castillo S. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Andrologia. 2002 Dec;34(6):367-72. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0272.2002.00519.x. PMID: 12472620.
Go to source
The Research on the Impact of Maca Polypeptide on Sport Fatigue
Miao H. The Research on the Impact of Maca Polypeptide on Sport Fatigue. Open Biomed Eng J. 2015 Oct 19;9:322-5. doi: 10.2174/1874120701509010322. Retraction in: Open Biomed Eng J. 2016 Dec 30;10 :112. PMID: 26998182; PMCID: PMC4774384.
Go to source
Cognitive Function
Guo SS, Gao XF, Gu YR, et al. Preservation of Cognitive Function by Lepidium meyenii (Maca) Is Associated with Improvement of Mitochondrial Activity and Upregulation of Autophagy-Related Proteins in Middle-Aged Mouse Cortex. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:4394261. doi:10.1155/2016/4394261
Go to source
Maca as a Antidepressant
Ai Z, Cheng AF, Yu YT, Yu LJ, Jin W. Antidepressant-like behavioral, anatomical, and biochemical effects of petroleum ether extract from maca (Lepidium meyenii) in mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress. J Med Food. 2014;17(5):535-542. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.2950
Go to source
Maca and its biological properties
Gonzales GF, Villaorduña L, Gasco M, Rubio J, Gonzales C. Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), una revisión sobre sus propiedades biológicas [Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), a review of its biological properties]. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2014;31(1):100-10. Spanish. PMID: 24718534.
Go to source
Sexual dysfunction
Dording CM, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x. PMID: 18801111; PMCID: PMC6494062.
Go to source
Physiological Responses of Male and Female Rats to Two Dietary Levels of Pre-Gelatinized Maca
Meissner HO, Kedzia B, Mrozikiewicz PM, Mscisz A. Short and long-term physiological responses of male and female rats to two dietary levels of pre-gelatinized maca (lepidium peruvianum chacon). Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(1):13-28.
Go to source
Spermatogenesis in male rats
Authors: GF Gonzales, M Gasco, A Cordova, A Chung, J Rubio, and L Villegas- Page(s): 87–95 Volume/Issue: Volume 180: Issue 1
Go to source
Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca
Meissner HO, Reich-Bilinska H, Mscisz A, Kedzia B. Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women - Clinical Pilot Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006;2(2):143-159.
Go to source
Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca
Gonzales-Arimborgo C, Yupanqui I, Montero E, et al. Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2016;9(3):49. Published 2016 Aug 18. doi:10.3390/ph9030049
Go to source
Maca - a review of its biological properties
Gonzales GF, Villaorduña L, Gasco M, Rubio J, Gonzales C. Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), una revisión sobre sus propiedades biológicas [Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), a review of its biological properties]. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2014;31(1):100-10. Spanish. PMID: 24718534.
Go to source
Dose-response effects of Lepidium meyenii
Chung F, Rubio J, Gonzales C, Gasco M, Gonzales GF. Dose-response effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) aqueous extract on testicular function and weight of different organs in adult rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2005 Apr;98(1-2):143-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.01.028.
Go to source
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