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Maca, Wonder Herb For Fertility…

Maca, Wonder Herb For Fertility…

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root-like cruciferous vegetable from the Andes of Peru. It grows in some of the harshest farmlands in the world; experiencing freezing temperatures, fierce winds and intense sunlight. Often the soil is rich in volcanic minerals. Maca is the only food crop in the world that can grow and thrive at such a high altitude and in such harsh weather. For more than two millennia, native Peruvians have used Maca root as food and medicine to promote fertility, endurance, energy, vitality, and sexual virility.

Stories of Maca’s fertility-supporting effects have been passed down through history in a story that took place in the 1500s. Soon after the Spanish Conquest in South America occurred the Spanish began to experience poor health and infertility, and so did their livestock. This was due to the high altitude of the Andes. The native Peruvians recommended that they feed their livestock and themselves Maca. The results were so dramatic that many of the first written records ever kept for the Andean region were passages about Maca. There are also historical notes recording that the Conquistadors began demanding to be paid in Maca instead of gold.

How Maca Works

Maca root is an adaptogenic herb that has been shown in studies to improve fertility in both men and women.

Containing 31 different minerals and 60 different phytonutrients, Maca is a nourishing food for the endocrine system, aiding the pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands (all involved in hormonal balance.) Maca has the ability to affect key hormones in both women and men without containing hormones itself.

Maca has been scientifically researched for increasing fertility since 1961 and has been shown to contain specific compounds called glucosinolates which can affect fertility for both men and women. These alkaloids are responsible for Maca’s ability to support hormonal balance.

Benefits of maca:

  • Supports hormonal balance
  • Increases energy, stamina, and mental clarity
  • Supports the thyroid
  • Supports normal sexual function

Maca also has adaptogenic properties, which means it helps to strengthen the body so it is able to better resist disease and stress, supports the adrenal glands, and balances the body’s functions. In order for an herb to be considered an adaptogen, it must be non-toxic or harmless to any organ of the body and must be able to be ingested for long periods of time safely. Maca is classified as an adaptogen.

In a 2014 clinical study of mice in the Journal of Clinical Food, Maca extract (doses: 250 and 500 mg/kg) was found to reduce corticosterone (and adrenal corticosteroids) levels, increase noradrenaline and dopamine levels, and inhibit reactive oxygen species (ROS) activity (oxidative stress) proving it’s antidepressant-like effects.

Endocrine System Tonic
One of Maca’s main actions is to stimulate and nourish the hypothalamus which regulates the pituitary gland, acting as a tonic for the hormone system. When the pituitary gland functions optimally, the entire endocrine system becomes balanced, because the pituitary gland controls the hormone output of the adrenals, thyroid and sex organs (testes in men and ovaries in women).

Promotes Hormonal Balance
In women, maca helps the body to promote balanced estrogen and progesterone levels. Estrogen or progesterone levels that are high or low at the wrong time can keep a woman from becoming pregnant or keep her from carrying to term. Excess estrogen levels can cause progesterone levels to become too low; this is known as estrogen dominance. Taking maca may help to balance the estrogen to progesterone ratio, which is essential to achieving and carrying a healthy pregnancy.

Too much estrogen in men may cause erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, low sperm count, and lowered production of seminal fluid. Studies shared of in Healthnotes by the University of Michigan have shown that men who use maca may experience an increased libido and an increase in sperm health.

In one study, maca was given to female and male rats and it was found that the females had multiple egg follicle maturation (important for ovulation); the males had significantly higher sperm production and motility rates.

Supports Normal Sexual Function
A small, clinical, human study in 2001 in the Asian J Andro, nine men who were given gelatinized maca for 4 months at 1,500 – 3,000 mg a day and experienced an increase in libido, sperm count, motility of sperm, DHEA levels, as well as decreased anxiety and stress, lowered blood pressure, balanced iron levels, and an increase in adrenal androgens.

Click here to shop Fertilica™TM Maca Root.

How to Use Maca

When purchasing maca, you want to make sure the product you are using has only maca root in it, not leaves or stems. Maca is available in powder, capsules or tincture. It is also available in varying strengths.

Maca powder: Maca powder comes in two forms. Plain maca powder that is just raw powdered maca root, or gelatinized maca. Gelatinization is a completely vegetarian process that removes the starch from maca to improve assimilation and make it more concentrated.

We find that gelatinized maca is easier to digest than the plain powder and is also more cost-effective since it is more concentrated. The studies mentioned above used gelatinized maca. Gelatinization does not refer to “gelatin”, and no animal-derived ingredients are incorporated into this process.

Maca powder can be added to juice, smoothies, yogurt or baked goods. It has a nice malty flavor which goes well with foods. I like to add it to all of my smoothies.

Maca capsules: Maca capsules are a convenient way to get Maca daily. Many people will find using the Maca capsules to be easier since they can be taken at any time with some water.

Maca tincture: A tincture of maca root is a liquid extract of the medicinal properties of maca. Maca tincture can be taken with water, in juice or added to smoothies.

General suggested usage is 500-3000 mg a day. To obtain desired results, maca needs to be taken regularly. It can be taken in one dose or throughout the day.

Note: Maca is slightly energy stimulating and because of this we find that it is best taken prior to 3pm, so that nighttime sleep is not disturbed in any way.

Safety & Side Effects

Maca is a beneficial herb that has been used for thousands of years and consumed everyday as a food and medicine by the Peruvians. Based on its long history of use as a food, it appears to be very safe. Toxicity studies (conducted at Product Safety Labs of East Brunswick, N.J.) showed absolutely no toxicity and no adverse pharmacological effects.

A small number of women experienced stomach upset when consuming plain maca root (not gelatinized). Additionally, some women experience spotting or a change in their menstrual cycle when they first begin using maca. This is normal and a sign that the body is beginning to balance the hormonal system.

Maca Use During Pregnancy

As a safety precaution most manufacturers state that their supplements should not be used during pregnancy. There have been no studies on the use of maca during pregnancy. Acute toxicity studies and cytotoxicity evaluations have demonstrated an absence of any evidence of potential toxicity of maca. The Peruvians have been consuming maca as a food for thousands of years. Since there have been no studies on the use of maca during pregnancy we can not state that it is proven safe to use during pregnancy. Please do your own research and make a personal decision on the use of maca during your pregnancy.


As you can see from all the actions maca can have on the body, it is a wonderful fertility superfood and tonic. Maca can complement any fertility program and should be used on a daily basis for the best results. It can also be used in conjunction with other fertility herbs and supplements.

Click here to shop for FertilicaTM Maca Root

Learn more about using Maca for fertility through our useful Q&A…



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  1. Avatar

    I got my tubes untried about year and a half ago. We have been trying to add to our family with no luck we have tried conception pills with no luck i have a ovulation kit to tell me when is the best time. what else can we do to help us add to the family its been a year of trying

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    I have a very low AMH at age 44. My periods are every 25-30 days, but my period was only 1 day of light to medium flow with 10-12 days of spotting surrounding that day. My FSH was normal and estrogen 136, but all these were checked on cycle day 3 of SPOTTING. My antral follicle count was good and endometrial lining was 8.3 (on cycle day 3 of SPOTTING). My periods have done this for 20 years.

    I am taking 75mg DHEA and Vitex daily, 400mg Ubiguinol, and 600 mg N-acetylacesteine twice daily. On cycle day 1-10 I am also taking Black Cohosh 1200mg twice daily. Would adding MACA be helpful?

    • Dear Tricia,

      I’m not sure I can give you a definitive answer. I of course want to, but I think the only way to truly know if Maca will be helpful is to try it or consult the practitioner you’re working with to hear their thoughts as well.

      If you choose to try Maca, choose a high-quality Maca (Lepidium meyenii) such as Fertilica Maca.

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    Hello, we are going to start our first IVF cycle in February 2020, as I wanted the time for us to get as healthy as possible prior to beginning treatment. Your information has been a God send with the wealth of information and advice on natural supplements to take. I just wanted to ask is maca safe to take with levothyroxine (a drug I use to treat low thyroid levels – hypothyrodism) thank you

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    I am getting ready for my 2nd IVF transfer on August 18th. I am wondering if there is any issue with me taking this in conjunction with progesterone, estrace and Lupron. I was diagnosed with endometriosis back in 2014 and have been trying ever since to conceive. I want to help increase any chances of success. With my first FET it resulted in a chemical pregnancy.

    • Hello Anna-Marie!

      My best to you!

      I can not suggest taking Maca. Because you are currently already on fertility medications or undergoing a procedure you should not combine herbs with your medications. Herbs that act on the hormonal system could affect how your medications are working. It is best to only use herbs in preparation beforehand and not mix the two.

      When you have the transfer, the tips in our guide Six Things You Should Be Doing During the Two Week Wait may be helpful.

      My very best!

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    Hi i’ve recently read 2 articles online that have said if you suffer from fibroids you should avoid Maca as it promotes estrogen. I suffer from fibroids and low progesterone. I started taking Maca but am now concerned its not right for me. Can you help? Thank you.

    • Fibroids may be in part estrogen-sensitive, meaning that they can responds to estrogen — growing in response to circulating estrogen. Excess estrogen in one of the main culprits in causing not only their growth, but also hormonal imbalance which then causes disordered ovulation and other symptoms.

      Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is wonderful to help support proper function of the endocrine system and for helping the body reduce excess estrogen. It is not contraindicated for women with fibroids. In fact, “Research has shown that maca contains no plant hormones, unlike soy/genistein and black cohosh. Instead, its action relies on plant sterols, which act as chemical triggers to help the body itself produce a higher level of hormones appropriate to the age and gender of the person taking it.”

      Learn more about the role estrogen metabolism plays in the growth of uterine fibroids and what can be done naturally to reduce estrogen dominance from our guide 3 Things Women with Uterine Fibroids Should Be Doing Daily.

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    Can I take Maca, Vitex, and Raspberry leaf tea at the same time? I have irregular cycles and hormonal imbalances and I want to conceive soon. When is the best time to start the treatment with these herbs since I don’t know when my cycle starts and ends.

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    i am in nigeria, how can i get maca root or powder?

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    Hi, I stopped taking the pill middle of january and have still not had a period, can i take maca to help me encourage one?we want to start ttc but im concerned as i haven’t had a period as of yet.

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    Hello. I am TTC for 4 years. I have uterine fibroid. Can i use Maca?

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    I don’t have any infertility that I know of, But I would love to have twins, I currently use Maca Power in my tea but can only do about 1 tablespoon, for the taste is overpowering. I was wondering how much I would need to consume on a daily basis to have better chances to achieve my goal, and possibly any other ways to consume the regular maca powder that will not overpower the food or drink it’s mixed with.

    • Hi Mac!

      While I’ve love to be more positive, there isn’t valid evidence that any herb (including Maca) or natural therapy can increase one chances of having twins. General suggested use of Maca for fertility support is 500-3,000mg daily.

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    I am 47 years old. Can I use Maca to achieve pregnancy and child birth with donor sperm ?

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    I just wondering if I could still use maca for unexplained infertility?
    Thank you in advanced.

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    When using Maca powder, how much powder (1tsp, 1Tablsp ? ) equates to 500-3000mg?

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    Hi, I am taking prenatal vitamins and Vitex. I would like to know if it’s ok to use maca combined with what I’m already taking. Thanks

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    Hi, Hethir, my acupuncturist says not to take maca because previously, I had a short luteal phase (just 9-10 days). It is more normal now. I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist for over a year and taking herbs provided by her, and my cycle is now normal (ovulate around day 14, menstruate around day 29). My acupuncturist says that maca will shorten the luteal phase. Can I get your thoughts on that? I am 45 years old, and my husband and I are near the end of our fertility journey. We had a miscarriage in March at 9 weeks that was very disappointing and have not been pregnant since. Thanks.

    • Dear Leslie,

      There are indeed many schools of thought. We haven’t seen evidence in our work or research that Maca (Lepidium meyenii) directly impacts luteal phase length. I am so glad you have seen wonderful results through your program. It seems best to stick with it as suggested, rather than modify it without support. There may be no need for Maca. Keep up the great work!

  17. Avatar

    I am 30 year old and have been trying to conceive since 6 months now. My usual cycles are 32 days which sometimes reach till 35 days. I don’t have PCOS or thyroid problems. My AMH is 4.44 ng/ml. I wanted to know if I can use Maca roots to help me conceive since I don’t have any known hormonal problems as such. And if yes, is 500 mg per day is enough to begin with and shall I take it throughout the cycle or only till ovulation? My husband has healthy sperms too, so can he also take it or no need as of now?

    Thanks so much.

    • Dear Rachel,

      Given what I know, Maca would be fine. It is best to start at the lowest suggested dose and work your way up from there as you feel the need. General suggested use is 500-3,000mg daily. Men can take Maca too.

      It will also be important to learn your fertile window (the three days before, day of and day after ovulation) each cycle so that you can be actively trying to conceive during this time.

  18. Avatar

    I am suffering with endometrial thickness problem can you please help me who i can improve it naturals .

  19. Avatar

    Hello and thank you for this program. I am requiring about the Maca Powder System. Would the Black Maca Powder will be best for getting pregnant and or the Yellow Maca Or Red Maca. The three of the Maca Powder has its variety reasonings, but to conceive a healthy baby is my concerns and being healthy with the products. Please email me back and do let me know for sure. I am so excited and ready to start.

    • Dear Mita,

      We suggest the use of the golden or yellow Maca, Lepidium meyenii. Red and black Maca can interfere with healthy thyroid function, something we don’t want to happen.

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    Can you start to take maca when your not on your period or do you have to initially start when you start your period?

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    I have been taking maca for 2-3 years – for fertility purposes and now I like it for all the other benefits I have tried to “ween” off over the past few months (my fertility doc wants me off for IVF) and been having horrible hormonal migraines – I have started to slowly start taking it again – any specific tips for cycling on and off maca? If you are going to cycle off is it best to do in the early phase of menstrual cycle when hormones are low? It is hard to find good info on “cycling on and off” and “weening” Thank you for your thoughts!

    • Hi Bella!

      I am not sure “cycling on and off Maca” information or guidance exists to be honest. If your IVF doctor wants you to wean off and be off before beginning medications, this is necessary. How did you weaning when you tried? The information we share for weaning is this: “A good way to wean off of an herb or herbal blend is to take less and less each day, over a week. If you are taking herbs in a capsule form, you could open the capsule, dump a little out and then close it back up and then take it. Do this each day until you are no longer taking it. If you are taking a tincture (liquid extract), take fewer drops each day. Tablets will potentially need to be cut in half. Infusions or decoctions will need to be cut down in cups. So if you are drinking 3 cups a day, cut down to two cups for a few days, then to one and so on.”

      Our herbalists on staff do prefer to guide women to wean off of Maca early in the menstrual cycle. Perhaps this is worth a try. Work to stay hydrated while weaning, consider learning about magnesium for migraines should they happen again and you need support.

      I hope you are feeling hopeful!

  22. Avatar

    I have been taking 1000mg of Maca in tablet form for 1 month for fertility reasons. I read that one should take a break from the Maca. Some resources say take a break every 2 weeks. Others say take it for 3 months and then take a 1 month break. Is this necessary? Or should I just take it until I become pregnant successfully?

  23. Avatar

    Need Maca capsules

  24. Avatar

    This is very powerful to hear how one can get pregnant naturally with that! I would also check out NaPro technology too.:)

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    Hello Elizabeth! I wanted to ask: I have started taking Maca as well as Vitex, because I have noticed low progesterone levels in my luteal phase. Will these two supplements compliment each other or compete? I started seeing a fertility doctor and discovered that I have an underactive thyroid (I am currently prescribed hormones). Hormone balancing is a priority for me! 🙂 Thank you!

    • Dear Heather,

      Maca and Vitex do indeed complement one another. It is going to be best to ensure your doctor knows you are taking Vitex and Maca and approves. He/she is the only one who can adjust your medication dose should that be necessary as the body begins to rebalance.

  26. Avatar

    I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while after having a miscarriage last year and started taking a large teaspoonful of maca daily 3 months ago. I have noticed that my periods have been lighter but longer, but I have also had spotting in between and ovulation has been later (around day 16-18). I have recently gone through fertility testing and my results came back fine but when I asked the consultant about these changes she advised to stop taking the maca. My GP also advised the same thing but neither knew anything about maca. I have pretty much stopped taking it on this advice but have since read that this can be common. I’m just unsure what to do. Is it ok to take less frequently?

    • Dear Anna,

      How have things changed since stopping Maca? General suggested use is 500-3000mg daily, so certainly cut back and try that if you feel you still want to take it.

  27. Avatar

    If I use maca in my smoothies should I still take the pill form?

  28. Avatar

    Hi, since there is still no clinical study on safety of Maca on pregnancy, so it is best to take it up until pregnancy is confirmed? thanks in advance

    • Dear Wendy,

      Maca can be taken until first determination of pregnancy and then slowly weaned off of. It is important to know that so many herbs don’t yet have clinical studies, so if wishing to continue herbs in pregnancy, it is best to do so under the direction, supervision and care of an naturopath, herbalist or midwife.

  29. Avatar

    Should you take maca every day of your cycle or just up to ovulation?

  30. Avatar

    What colour maca is recommended? I have read that red is ideal for women however when I purchased it, the label reads “Red” is ideal for males.
    I have both red and black and a combination of all 3. I figured i will buy one for my husband just not sure which is one is best.

    • Dear Cindy,

      We suggested Lepidium meyenii which is golden Maca. It is often best to choose gelatinzed Maca as well. Gelatinization is a process that removes the starch to prevent digestive upset. There are other varieties of Maca as you have found that have a variety of other colors; red, purple and black. The darker varieties red, purple and black do contain higher amounts of iodine, which may not be good for some thyroid problems; this has not been linked to the golden variety that we use in our FertilicaTM Maca.

    • Avatar

      Could the pills be taken by Males too? Doctor said husband Sperm count is low.

    • Hello Alejandra!

      Yes, males can use Maca.

  31. Avatar

    Should I take Maca even I have period?

  32. Avatar

    I have been taking Maca for almost two months. I have seen an increase in CM and libido, but on my second cycle I ovulated CD 10 and got my period on CD 18. I had been ovulating CD 13 and CD 27 period. Should I stop taking Maca? Thanks!

    • Dear Iris,

      I am glad you have seen changes. Given what I know so far, it may be best to continue Maca to let the body have a bit more time to balance. So many thing scan contribute to cycle shifts and often if the herb/fertility superfood is the cause, the cycle will balance out within 3 cycles of use.