Maca with a latin name Lepidium meyenii as recognized by the USDA is a native of Peru. It is an annual root crop plant that produces a tuber similar to a radish. Upon planting of the seed, it matures approximately 7 months. Generally, maca is dried prior to storage to avoid spoilage and can last up to 7 years.
Maca is already mentioned in the list of male enhancement herbs along with its benefits for both men and women including its adaptogenic property. However, it was not mentioned that maca comes in 3 main varieties based on colors such as red also known as pink or purple maca, yellow also known as a white maca, and black, or gray maca. Among the 3 varieties of maca, black is the rarest and this is the focus of this article as it has the potency to increase sperm count and improve cognition or memory function.
Improve Learning and Memory Function
One of the studies published at BioMed Central found the effectiveness of Black Maca concluded;
Black Maca was the variety that showed the best response in the water finding task, particularly in the trained mice….Black Maca appeared to have more beneficial effects on latent learning in ovariectomized mice; meanwhile, all varieties of Maca showed antidepressant activity. Source1
Another study2 also found similar benefit. In another study3, researchers found that black maca has the property to reverse the effect of alcohol in experiments done in mice. Researchers believed this positive effect is due to black maca’s polyphenolic compounds. However, this does not mean you’re licensed to drink all you can and take black maca after. It’s not really a good and appropriate idea to do that. Another study4 found similar effect on memory improvement as a benefit of black maca.
Improve Sperm Count and Motility
Men looking for ways to boost fertility naturally may find the answer with black maca. However, prior to doing things towards boosting male fertility, make sure all possible things that hurts the sperms are avoided, and unfortunately, that includes cell phones.
In one experiment5, researchers found that among the varieties of maca root, black maca has better effects on spermatogenesis, or the production of sperms in the testis. In this case, the study used mice as their subjects. At the end of the study, researchers concluded that black maca has a positive effect as early as the first day during the 7-day treatment clinical study. Note that, there are many studies that also shown the positive effect of yellow maca on sperm count, but in this particular study, they found black maca has a better effect.
Another study6 that black maca along with yellow maca increased epididymal sperm count during the 84 days of treatment without affective the daily sperm count. The researchers even believed that maca seemed to modulates or regulates sperm count at the reproductive tract level. Even more, another study7 found similar effect on its positive effect on sperm production.
There is also another study8 published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2015 that yellow and black maca have fertility enhancing property of men.
Black Maca Effects On Glucose
There’s more to boosting memory function and male fertility as black maca and yacon extract mixture has been found to decreased glucose level in diabetic mice, plus increase daily sperm count according to this study9. The researchers noted;
The combination of two extracts(black maca + yacon) improved glycemic levels and male reproductive function in diabetic mice.
This is good news for diabetic individuals. As we know, one of the side effects of diabetes is erectile dysfunction. There are also many studies shown that maca helps improve bone density and balance the hormones.
Finding and Choosing The Right Maca
Although we’ve learned in this article about the health benefits of black maca, certainly the other varieties like yellow and red maca are also beneficial. Choosing on can be a daunting task, but if you want to boost male fertility, black maca is the winner. On the other hand, if you want maca for other purposes, there’s a website, The Maca Team where it offers an easy to use maca finder. Their maca products are organic and you can even purchase them at Amazon.com including black maca extracts, powder, or capsules.
According to WebMD, maca is like to safe to consume for most people. There have been known reported interactions. If you’re unsure about the amount, always read the recommendations, which usually can be found in the packaging of maca root powder or capsules. You can also consult your doctor for recommendations about the amount or dosage that is vital especially if you’re taking any sort of medications.