Maca powder is made from the native Peruvian maca root plant. While you’ve probably seen it available at your local health store or blended into smoothies at your favorite juice shop, you can easily make use of maca at home.

Add a maca latte to your morning routine to reap a host of mental and physical benefits — from increased sperm count to help with menopause symptoms and hormone regulation.

Maca benefits

  • increases sexual desire
  • improves semen production
  • soothes symptoms of menopause
  • improves mental health

Maca has been used for centuries to enhance fertility and sex drive, and there’s research to back it up. In a 2002 study, maca was proven to increase sexual desire in men, while a 2008 study showed it decreased sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women.

In a smaller 2001 study, daily consumption of maca over a four-month period improved semen production in nine men, while a 2006 study showed increased sperm count in rats.

It’s not all about sex, though. Maca has also been shown to reduce blood pressure levels and symptoms of depression in postmenopausal women.

As if that wasn’t enough, research has shown that maca has mood-boosting, anxiety-easing, and energizing properties. How many more reasons do you need to add this to your daily routine?

Recipe for Maca Latte

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice (whole, coconut, almond, etc.)
  • 1 tsp. maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • honey or liquid stevia, optional, to taste
  • pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a low simmer, whisking to dissolve the maca and spices.
  2. Once warmed, pour into a mug, sweeten to taste, and top with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Dosage: Take 1 teaspoon, or 3.1 grams, of maca powder daily for 6 to 12 weeks to see the benefits take effect. Dosages used in studies ranged from 3 to 3.5 grams daily.

Possible side effects Maca is considered safe for most people to consume. However, if you have existing thyroid issues, take caution. Maca contains goitrogens, compounds known to interfere with normal thyroid functioning. Due to a lack of existing information, it’s also best to avoid maca if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.