Nora is a writer and consultant working with sustainable brands to make an impact. In 2022, she founded Mossy Copy, LLC, a full-service copy studio based in Austin, TX. Her master’s in English is from NYU, and her bachelor’s in the same is from Sewanee. Areas of expertise include wellness, nutrition, style, and beauty.

When our hormones become imbalanced, we can look to herbs and roots as a gentle but powerful way to support the return to homeostasis. Maca, a cruciferous root native to Peru, is one plant that can help our bodies adapt to stress on a cellular level.

Part of the traditional Andean diet for over 2,000 years, Maca has been traditionally used to support fertility, energy, stamina, and mood. Now there’s modern research to back up Maca benefits as a hormone balancing food, and we can see the effects of this plant in clinical studies. So here’s what we know about Maca hormone balance and what you should expect when taking this supplement.


Does Maca Help Balance Hormones? 

While scientists are still working to understand how Maca works, here’s what we know about taking Maca root for hormone balance.

One of the main theories about the mechanisms at play between Maca and your hormones is that its plant sterols help tone the HPA axis as well as the ovarian, pineal, and thyroid glands, stimulating changes in their actions.

The HPA axis, or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, largely controls the endocrine system. Its job is to receive signals from your environment and help your body to react. The “master” hypothalamus is in conversation with the pituitary gland, and the pituitary gland transmits signals to other glands, affecting their individual production of hormones.

Maca root specifically helps with hormone balance by supporting the functions of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

It releases substances that instruct the pituitary gland to produce the right amount of hormones for the body’s needs.

It’s also thought to help nourish your adrenal gland.

When your HPA axis signals a threat, this kickstarts the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. By way of the HPA axis, a Maca supplement has the potential to modulate the activity of the hypothalamus so that less cortisol is secreted during the stress response helping to maintain a hormonal balance in the body.

What Does Maca Do to Female Hormones? 

A 2006 study shows that Maca root may help modulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, which regulates women’s reproductive hormone levels. Studies have shown that Maca root may benefit women, particularly post-menopausal women, by directly influencing estradiol (or estrogen) levels in the body. Research suggests that Maca can help relieve symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and interrupted sleep.

With balanced hormones, women can experience relief from PMS, reproductive support, increased libido and energy, and other benefits.


Benefits of Maca for Hormone Balance 

Hormones control a vast number of our bodily processes, and the HPA axis has far-reaching effects on how hormones are released by different glands.

When we experience chronic stress, elevated levels of cortisol can cause a hormonal imbalance in our bodies. This can lead to a stressed gut, sexual and fertility problems, compromised skin and hair, sleep disruption, and a number of other issues that can be traced to the endocrine system. But scientific studies done on rats have shown Maca’s ability to keep cortisol levels from rising, helping to prevent hormonal imbalances and reduce menopausal symptoms.


A stressed body deprioritizes pleasure, focusing instead on surviving the perceived “threat.” Cortisol dampens the libido, endorphins (which the body releases during stress events) can block the release of horny hormones like testosterone (our in-house Viagra), and stress can reroute blood flow to more essential organs instead of your erogenous zones.

Used for centuries to support fertility and sex drive, Maca has been proven to increase sexual desire in men, while a 2008 study showed that it lessened symptoms of sexual dysfunction in post-menopausal women.

For extra fire, Sex Dust® is a natural libido supplement containing a combination of Maca with potent adaptogens and traditional aphrodisiacs for hormonal balance and juiciness.


Maca may also prove beneficial for supporting fertility. In a small study from 2001, daily Maca consumption over four months improved semen production in 9 men. One study from 2020 also found that men who took 2 grams of Maca daily for 12 weeks showed significantly improved semen concentration compared to the placebo.


Needless to say, elevated stress is a mood killer. Excess cortisol in the brain and adrenal-fueled inflammation are some of the causal ingredients for low mood, disconnection, and loss of creative flow.

By way of hypothalamic and pituitary support, a Maca supplement can help your body adapt to triggers to smooth out your spirit and enhance mood.

In addition to its effects on your glands, Maca contains flavonoids, compounds that are thought to improve mood. Several clinical studies support Maca’s mood-boosting benefits. One, a 2016 study of 175 people living at low or high altitudes, found that taking 3 grams of Maca per day for 12 weeks improved mood and energy scores compared to the placebo.


Maca is a great natural way to boost energy naturally. In fact, it’s often included in pre-workout supplements. Traditionally given to Incan warriors, the root has been long used to increase natural energy and stamina.

Studies from 2021 and 2022 found that Maca helped regulate exercise-induced fatigue in mice subjects, while another 2022 study showed that Maca extract may help reduce fatigue in young adult women.


How to Take Maca for Your Hormones

Maca supplements to balance hormones can come in several forms. First, there’s a dried Maca powder, and this can come in either raw form or cooked “gelatinized” form (though there’s no actual gelatin in it). Traditionally, Peruvians eat Maca cooked, not raw.

Because Maca root can come in three colors: red, yellow, and black, you can find supplements in these hues or a tricolor supplement containing a blend.

Aside from Maca root powder, supplements can also come in capsule or tincture form.

If you’re turning to Maca root for hormonal balance, taking a potent adaptogenic blend can be an effective way to supplement. Sex Dust® is a stimulating blend of adaptogens and herbs that target stress to support healthy hormonal balance, libido, and creative energy.* It combines Maca with Shatavari root extract, Shilajit, Epimedium, Schisandra, and Cacao to keep your hormones balanced. Blend 1 teaspoon of this natural hormonal support and libido supplement with your daily coffee, hot chocolate, or smoothies.


How Long Does It Take For Maca to Balance Hormones? 

Because Maca can address multiple hormonal health areas, how long it takes to work will depend. Everyone’s body is different, and the endocrine system is beautifully complex. Balancing hormones is about building a foundation for inner health, so when it comes to herbal support, it’s a good idea to be consistent with your use.

Studies show that Maca produces certain results in as little as a few weeks or up to several months.

  • A study on post-menopausal women showed that Maca improved libido after 6 weeks of use.
  • One study from 2006 showed significant improvements in hormone balance and symptoms in early postmenopausal women. The study noted that for Maca to exhibit its significant hormone-balancing and therapeutic effect, it was essential that it be used continuously for two consecutive months.
  • Another study showed an increase in men’s sexual desire after only 2 weeks of use.

In addition to supplements, it’s important to consider other healthy lifestyle measures. There are many reasons why hormones can be out of balance, from environmental toxins that contain endocrine disruptors, to diets high in refined carbs and processed foods, to infrequent activity levels.



Able to survive under harsh conditions, the Maca root can likewise help our bodies adapt to environmental stressors by helping balance hormones naturally. The herb has been used for centuries to spark energy and sexual fire. Now our modern understanding of the root’s effect on our HPA axis and endocrine functions support the practice of consuming Maca for hormonal balance.

Hormones are a touchy subject—they affect us in so many different ways, and can be affected by so many different things, from the everyday plastics around us to our lifestyle choices and underlying conditions. But with the help of this humble root, we have daily support for balancing hormones in a gentle and powerful way.