Maca is a cruciferous root that has traditionally been used in Peru to support women’s (and men’s) hormones. Since it is classified as an adaptogen, maca’s main benefit is that it supports our stress response system (aka the HPA axis). In addition, research suggests that maca can also play an important role in improving menopause-related symptoms.
So, to help you get started with this herb, this guide is going to walk you through:
- the best maca supplements for menopause.
- what studies have to say about maca and menopause.
- how much maca to use for menopause.
Note: this post contains affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.
BEST MACA ROOT PRODUCT FOR MENOPAUSE
Even though there are several types of maca, red maca is often suggested for women. This is because the chemical composition of red type is said to be more supportive of women’s hormonal needs.
That said, it’s worth noting that women can also use yellow maca, which is intended for general, every day hormone support.
In addition, although there are different maca colors – such as red, yellow and black – the root itself always has a tan-like color. Only the color of the skin, and the chemical composition, changes.
Now, here are my picks for the best maca supplement for menopause:
- Red Maca Powder from The Maca Team – TOP PICK.
- Femmenessence MacaLife.
- Moon Balance.
- Go With The Flow.
- Nutrafol Women’s Balance.
1. Red (or Yellow) Maca Powder From The Maca Team – TOP PICK
Although The Maca Team sells a variety of maca colors, the red or yellow varieties are the ones worth looking into for menopause.
Both colors provide hormone support and the main difference between them is that:
- the red variety has higher amounts of certain nutrients.
- the yellow variety is less stimulating. This is a better option if you are sensitive to stimulants (maca is naturally energizing, even though it doesn’t have caffeine).
Whichever color you go with, you will notice that the powders are available in two forms:
- Gelatinized: this is cooked maca (no actual gelatin in it) and can be a better fit if you have a sensitive digestive system. Because this maca is cooked, it’s easier to absorb and digest. It’s also worth noting that in countries like Peru where maca has historically been used, they usually consume it in cooked form.
- Raw: if you have a healthy digestive system, then you can reach for the raw form of maca.
As for the company itself, The Maca Team is family-run and they make maca products only.
Everything is organic and sourced from Peru, where the company works directly with local farmers to ensure the best quality products.
2. Femmenessence MacaLife
In the world of supplements, this brand stands out because they have done double-blind, randomized trials on their products. Overall, the studies show that 8 out of 10 perimenopausal women experience improvements with this product.
These capsules contain different gelatinized maca types (i.e. different colors) that have been formulated in ratios that support female hormones.
Furthermore, their website shows that they’ve been endorsed by reputable leaders in the alternative health industry (such as the author and Naturopathic Doctor, Tori Hudson).
3. Moon Balance
If you’d rather skip the maca-only supplements and try a blend of herbs instead, then Moon Balance is worth looking into.
This blend features maca and four other powerhouse herbs:
- Hibiscus: this herb is often used to support the menstrual cycle and can be helpful during perimenopause. In Ayurvedic medicine it is said to help with heavy bleeding and it also a cooling herb (which may help with overheating).
- Amla: a rich source of vitamin C that may help with hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings and vaginal dryness (source).
- Beetroot: supports liver function and detoxification, regulates blood sugar, lowers inflammation. Also a rich source of vitamin C, which helps to boost progesterone levels (1, 2).
- Shatavari: in Ayurvedic medicine, this herb is considered the best tonic for women during all phases of life. Traditionally used to support the menstrual cycle and hormones.
4. Go With the Flow
Go With The Flow combines gelatinized maca with 3 herbs that are well known for supporting women’s hormones, such as:
- Vitex (chasteberry): this herb increases luteinizing hormone (LH) while slightly decreasing FSH. As a result, it supports the production of progesterone and supports overall reproductive health.
- Dong quai: frequently used in Traditinal Chinese Medicine, this herb is said to relieve hot flashes and support healthy blood pressure levels (source).
- Black Cohosh Root: used as a natural remedy for hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, irritability and sleep disruptions (source).
5. Nutrafol Women’s Balance
The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can sometimes lead to significant hair loss or thinning. This supplement was created specifically for this situation.
Formulated with gelatinized maca, this supplement also includes nutrients that support hair growth, such as:
- Biotin (vitamin B7).
In addition, there are herbs like horsetail and saw palmetto. The former is rich in minerals (and is traditionally used for hair growth), while the latter blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. DHT can contribute to hair loss).
Furthermore, since hair growth is affected by multiple factors – including stress, your metabolism and inflammation – this formula includes ashwagandha (for stress support), amino acids and antioxidants (to help soothe inflammation).
IS MACA GOOD AND SAFE FOR MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS?
Maca works by supporting proper functioning of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These two glands are basically in charge of everything that happens with hormone production. Most importantly:
- the hypothalamus has one foot in the endocrine (hormone producing) system and another foot in the nervous system. So, it keeps check on what’s happening in both systems and then based on what it detects, it signals the pituitary.
- the pituitary signals other glands like the thyroid, adrenals and ovaries.
So, as you can see, most of our hormone-producing glands take their “instructions” from the hypothalamus and pituitary. Therefore, by supporting those two glands with an herb like maca, there’s a higher chance that our hormones will be in harmony.
Now, when it comes to the actual research that has been done on maca and menopause, there haven’t been a ton of studies. But some of the results looks promising. For example:
- a study done with postmenopausal women showed that maca improved libido, anxiety and depression (source).
- Another study done with women in perimenopause indicated that regular use of maca increases progesterone levels and alleviated symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disruption, nervousness and more (source).
As with most natural remedies, there aren’t a lot of high quality, human studies on maca.
But it’s long, historical use for hormone support and general health explain why it’s so popular.
FAQs ABOUT MACA FOR MENOPAUSE
How much maca should I take for menopause?
Some experts suggest taking 3 – 4 maca capsules per day for menopause, while others suggest 2 capsules per day. The difference in recommendations comes down to the fact that some people can be sensitive to maca.
This means that if you take too much of it, maca’s stimulating effect could also worsen symptoms like hot flashes (source).
Maca has been cultivated for at least 2000 years in the Andean region of Peru, where it has also been used to support hormone health.
Anecdotal and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that it may play an important role in supporting female hormones during menopause.