What is maca?

A root native to Peru, maca grows in a variety of colours and each is said to offer different health benefits. It is available dried in individual types or mixed together, and is increasingly used in supplements and other health food products, including smoothies and teas. Like all non-mainstream ingredients, opinions vary on the effectiveness of maca, but it's credited with boosting metabolism and helping a variety of symptoms, from simple stomach upsets to depression and low libido.

Learn about the health benefits of maca.

How to use maca

Carefully follow instructions for use, especially recommended daily amounts.

Try adding to this green smoothie recipe.

How to store maca

Follow instructions on the packaging.

Where to buy maca

Processed maca in a variety of forms is available year round from health stores and online.

Choose the best maca

Processing involves removing the tough fibre content to make a more palatable powder or tablet.

Yellow maca is associated with the treatment of hormonal imbalance, mood and fertility in both men and women, and has a tangy taste.

Malty-tasting red maca is said to be the most useful, having the same effects as the yellow variety plus being credited with increasing stamina and strength thanks to its high amino acid (protein) content.

Dark or black maca tastes like roasted soy beans, and is credited with beneficial effects on libido, fertility, memory and sleep.