Maca root is an adaptogen, a name given to certain herbs, plants, and natural substances that help the body naturally adapt to life’s daily stressors. While it is a member of the cruciferous family (think broccoli and cabbage) but it has some unique properties that makes it different. It grows high in the mountains of Peru and can be found in many health food stores (and even at Trader Joes!). Historically maca has been considered a potent aphrodisiac and a traditional fertility tool of indigenous groups from the Andes.
It's benefits are numerous and may include increased fertility in both men and women, hormone balance, improved immunity, thyroid function, and increased energy, stamina, sexual function, memory, and focus.
Many claim that consuming maca regularly make them feel more energetic and vital, and provide them with a sense of well-being, thought to be due to its ability to rebalance hormones and elevate “feel good” endorphins. Maca also has a relatively high amount of plant-based nutrients, including protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium.
Maca powder comes in two forms. Plain maca powder (raw powdered maca root) and gelatinized maca. Gelatinization is a completely vegetarian process that removes the starch to improve assimilation and make it more concentrated. Gelatinized maca is known to be easier on digestion than the plain version and is also more cost effective given its concentration.
Although maca does not generally produce harmful side effects, it makes sense to work with a practitioner if you are unsure whether maca is right for you. The jury is still out on whether or not maca is safe for use in pregnant or nursing women. So, until we hear otherwise, it is best for these women to avoid it.
Author: Stephanie Selinger
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 8 ounces freshly brewed coffee
- 3 oz milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon gelatinized maca root powder
- 1 scoop collagen peptides
- 2 teaspoons coconut butter (MCT or coconut oil would work too)
- 1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
1. Place maca root powder, collagen peptides, honey and coconut butter into a small glass or ceramic mixing bowl.
2. Add milk and coffee. Mix with an immersion blender or whisk well.
3. Pour into 12 oz mug and drink up!