Maca root has been used for thousands of years as a natural fertility remedy. This tuberous plant grows in the Andes Mountains, and it thrives under the extreme conditions found there.
It has a long track record of use as a medicine. But it’s a food as well. It’s a staple in some parts of Peru, as it’s one of the few plants that grow at high altitudes.
Maca root is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it contains the amino acids necessary for reproduction. Some couples who are trying to conceive take various amino acids known to increase fertility. But you’ll also find these “building blocks of life” in maca, in just the right proportions.
The maca plant also contains some of the trace minerals probably lacking in our diets. This is almost a certainty if you’re eating the Standard American Diet. It took my husband and I many years to conceive our first child. In retrospect, I’m now convinced this is partly because we paid no attention to nutrition.
Can Maca Root Help You Conceive?
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything, I receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.)
Although Andean folk healers have long used maca root for fertility, modern researchers are beginning to discover these traditional practitioners knew what they were doing. A number of studies now show this botanic remedy has powerful health benefits for both men and women.
Maca Root for Infertility
There’s a growing body of evidence that maca can help balance female hormones. In fact, the authority site The Maca Team, in my humble opinion is one of the best online sources for information on this root vegetable, recommends both partners take maca.
There are different strains of maca. The Maca Team suggests red maca for women, because it says it is the most “nutritionally dense” and most effective maca remedy for female fertility.
According to The Maca Team, which produces the product shown below, various studies show maca helps regulate a woman’s cycle.
Maca is often recommended by herbalists for a wide range of female complaints, whether or not a woman is trying to conceive.
Black Maca Benefits Men
The Maca Team recommendation for men is black maca. That’s because it’s known to help male reproduction. The color difference does not mean maca is made any differently. It simply means that it comes from a different colored plant.
Both types of maca shown here are gelatinized. This means it’s been sun dried and then cooked. Peruvians do not eat raw maca, even though unprocessed maca is shipped all over the world. But, traditionally, it’s never been eaten that way. There are concerns that raw maca is difficult to absorb, and may lead to gastric distress.
On her site about natural fertility information, herbalist Hethir Rodriguez, CH, CMT recommends gelatinized maca. Also, a group of researchers observed that gelantized maca was able to balance the hormones in a group of female rats that had their ovaries removed.
All of the real Peruvian maca shown on this page is gelatinized, including the organic, fair trade black maca powder shown below. If you buy maca, make sure it’s from Peru, and not from China.
Because maca has become so popular in the last 10 years, there’s a growing worldwide demand for this healthy super food. It’s important to buy from a trusted source of Peruvian maca.
Although a large number of Chinese companies are exporting this product, since it’s now harvested from one of the mountain regions in China, there are concerns it’s nutritionally inferior and may even be contaminated. That’s because it’s also been reported in the Wall Street Journal that some Chinese factories produce synthetic maca.
Maca Benefits Hormones
There’s growing evidence that maca can help balance female hormones. Some natural health experts believe this herbal remedy can help curb excess estrogen, or estrogen dominance. This condition can lead to a number of health problems, including infertility.
The ability of maca root to regulate the hormones is something herbalists have long observed. More recently, this has been confirmed in the lab, at least among animal models. A study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science demonstrated this effect in ovariectomized rats. The authors noted that this supplement is also likely to help women going through menopause, as well as younger women whose hormones need some fine tuning.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Although maca is a food, eating for thousands of years in Peru, women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies, unless under the direction of a health care professional.