Maca! It may help relieve some of the symptoms of menopause

Hello dear friends,

 Maca, have you heard of it?

 What is Maca?

What is maca, where does it originate from, and what are the claims and benefits of this strange named plant that is believed to support us ladies to feel a little better throughout our menopause?

It mainly grows in the Andes of central Peru, in harsh conditions and at very high altitudes — above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). Maca is a cruciferous vegetable, related to root vegetables such as  broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage with the main edible part of the plant being the root, which grows underground. Scientifically known as Lepidium Meyenil, Maca root was traditionally used to enhance sex drive and claims to improve energy.

I’d say some of us would see that as a good starting point and a reason to try it! Well ladies, could this be the reason? It’s often referred to as Peruvian ginseng. 

Could this be the winner of all supplements?

It’s typically dried, but may also be freshly cooked as a root vegetable. When dried, it can be further processed into flour for baking but has become very popular as a dietary supplement taken in powder, pill or extract form. It typically comes in three types: yellow, red and black.

I find the taste of maca supplement powder hard to describe, which most people tend to dislike, yet I find it ok if sharp, bitter, creamy or zingy flavours are added.  I’ll explain why a little later in the article. It has been described as bitter, earthy and nutty. It’s mainly added to smoothies, cereal, soups and biscuits to make the experience of taking it enjoyable.

To the benefits 

Maca root powder is extremely nutritious, and is a great source of several important vitamins and minerals which is beneficial for supporting the immune system throughout menopause. 

Here is a list of some of the benefits of some said benefits of  yellow and red maca believed to be beneficial in supporting us ladies to alleviate some of our menopause symptoms  .

Yellow root maca beneficial for its ability to:

  • Support overall vitality and wellness   
  • Improve overall skin health
  • Balance hormones
  • Decrease stress levels
  • Enhance mood
  • Increase mental clarity and focus

Red root maca beneficial for its ability to

  • Balance hormones
  • Relieve symptoms of depression
  • Support antioxidant activity
  • Increase stamina
  • Increasing libido
  • Build muscle and bone strength
  • Relieve menopause symptoms


To the nutrients!

A 20g serving of organic maca powder is on average 50 to 70 calories per serving, depending on your chosen purchase type.  There's one thing for sure:  with such a small amount of calories in each serving of maca, this  certainly won’t leave you in fear of excessive calorie intake resulting in your head spinning out of control like the child from the exorcist.  It is recommended on maca power to generally take a dosage of 15 to 20g. However it is a high dosage and you may wish to start your maca journey with a low dosage of 5g which at around 1.5 teaspoons. 

Each type has a great source of protein and fibre and is full of essential B vitamins, iron and calcium, with some types having the addition of copper, vitamin c, potassium and manganese. 

It contains plant compounds called flavonoids, of which there are many types. You can find them in all sorts of your favourite foods. In Maca, it suggests flavonoids  may improve your mental well-being and mood by reducing depression and anxiety. Types of flavonoids with food and drink that contain them . Which leads me on to my maca journey and why I take it.

My maca, my mood

Well dear friends, where to start?  Acceptance at the beginning of my menopause journey was very hard for me.  Sleep associated problems, lethargy, aching joints, mood swings, anxiety and hot flashes, nausea, dizziness and brain fog all came too fast. 

For me everything starts with trying to fix my mood.  If I can keep my thoughts positive I believe I can conquer this world of my menopause symptoms. What about you?  

Once I had reached post menopause, I finally accepted what I was experiencing was a natural decline in estrogen. I knew I had to get to work to support a new stage in my life where I needed to work with my body and mind to keep them functioning as they did pre menopause. 

The reason why Maca now plays a significant role in that process as one of my go to supplements is it’s an adaptation herb which means it supports the body to adapt to different everyday stresses which could result in lowering cortisol levels and help us to regain some hormone balance. Here’s a great article on the no BS guide to adaptogens  and their benefits, by healthline.


Maca is so  easy to incorporate into your diet.  You can find maca in some supermarkets, at health food stores and from various online retailers. There is also a very good selection available online.  I enjoy those which have a great boost of B vitamins, zinc and iron like this one Natura Organic Peruvian Maca Powder and though stronger in flavour but wonderful with soups and combines well with nutty flavours Sevenhills Wholefood Gelatinized Organic Maca.

Have fun using your maca by mixing sharp, earthy, nutty flavours. I would suggest adding ziggy fruits and dark chocolate or cocoa flavours to fruit blends to cut through the earthy tones to make delicious exciting recipes.  Check out my Maca recipes here.

Safety and Side Effects

Maca is considered safe for most people.

Additionally, if you have thyroid problems, you may want to research more into which type of maca is suitable for you to use, including discussing this with a Dietician or qualified medical professional. 

That’s because it contains goitrogens, substances that may interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland. These compounds are more likely to affect you if you already have impaired thyroid function.  

To sum up

 Just like the maca plant with it’s resilience to grow in such harsh conditions we can chip away at menopause symptoms little by little creating our own resilience to them by trying things that have been used and recognised by many people to have healing benefits. Could Maca be one of the supplements to help you on your journey to resilience. 

Regaining more energy from daily use has made my Maca journey very enjoyable so far and I hope if you choose your own maca journey you enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine.

Disclaimer:  This article is about my personal use and experience of using supplements and Vitamins . This information does not constitute medical advice. If you are considering making changes to your routine with uncertainty of your product choices, first consult with a qualified medical practitioner of holistic and alternative health practices.  Thank you. 



Published by Petra at Meet Me In The Menopause