Maca is a herb that’s been used for thousands of years to boost energy, libido, and to improve quality of life. There are many suppliers of maca but not all of them are well-reputed. This article lists only the suppliers that are safe, reliable, and trustworthy.
We use several factors to evaluate the vendors we find. Among these criteria, 3 are featured beside each vendor we list, to help you get an understanding of how we’ve rated them. These include:
- Quality – Assesses a wide variety of factors, including how well tested their maca is, how pure it is, and how potent it is.
- Value – Used in conjunction with shipping, this criteria evaluates how much bang for your buck the vendor offers.
- Selection – How much variety there is among the types of maca they offer, their form factors, and if there are any unique offers not seen in other stores
What you should know before buying Maca
There are 2 important things to consider when buying maca:
- What benefits you’re looking for
- How well you can digest raw powder
For the first factor, you need to know the differences between the 3 main types of maca. For the second, you need to know the differences between raw maca and its gelatinized counterpart.
Types of Maca
There exists 3 distinct types of maca. When buying maca you should know what type of maca it is you want to buy. The general effects of the different types of maca is mostly the same, but each type has its own unique effect.
- Red Maca – Has the most effects on mood and can be helpful for depression and anxiety.
- Yellow Maca – The most common type of maca. It’s a good all-rounder with a balance of effects, but lacks any unique effects of its own.
- Black Maca – Best used for males. This maca is particularly effective at improving memory and learning. It may also improve male fertility, as observed in several animal studies.
Note that these effects have been mainly seen in animal studies, but you can find many anecdotes on the Internet that back them up. Regardless, you should also know that different people respond differently to maca. The only way to know which maca is best for you is to try each type yourself.
Raw Maca vs Gelatinized Maca
Raw maca is as its name sounds, raw and unprocessed, the entire herb milled into powder or capsules. It includes all of the nutrients, compounds, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals, and the active components found in maca. However, raw maca can be particularly hard for some people to digest. It can upset their stomach and cause various gastrointestinal problems from diarrhea to constipation. This is because raw maca is, well, raw. It’s not unlike eating raw flour.
As an alternative to this, you can buy gelatinized maca. Don’t be fooled by its name, no gelatin is added to the powder. Instead, it refers to the process of starch gelatinization, which is the breakdown of starch. In short, it means the maca comes pre-digested. However, this is not without its cost. Unfortunately, gelatinization not only breaks down the starch but also vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids, and other nutrients found in maca. The upside is that some of the active ingredients are more concentrated than in raw maca.
- Has all the nutrients found in the herb
- Typically costs less than gelatinized maca
- Can be hard for some people to digest
- Requires high doses to get the same active ingredients as gelatinized maca
- Easier for some people to digest
- Has more concentrated active ingredients thus lower doses can be used
- Some of the compounds, fatty acids, enzymes, and other nutrients are lost in the gelatinization process
- Typically more expensive than raw Maca
Best Maca Vendors
1) The Maca Team
The Maca Team is probably the best supplier of maca on the Internet today. They are likely the only supplier to specialize in just selling maca. Their selection is unparallelled with exclusive maca formulations not seen in other stores, like their liquid maca extract, or their maca coffee. They carry 2 main preparations of maca, their normal sundried and their premium version. The premium is claimed to have higher anti-cancer nutrients. For both of these types, they come in both raw and gelatinized form. They also have accessories and even samples. In addition, their website is filled with information on maca, from its benefits to how to use it to recipes.
Amazon is by far one of the best suppliers of maca on the Internet today. Their selection is quite large, with a wide range of brands, forms, and types of maca to choose from. But the problem with Amazon is that only the US site features such a large selection. Other countries don’t really have this privilege. So if you’re from the US, Amazon is an excellent choice to buy maca from. Also, The Maca Team sells some of their products on Amazon so if you’re looking to buy that particular brand and want to utilize Amazon’s service, whether it’s prime or their excellent customer service, then this is an option to consider. One thing to look out for is fake reviews. Make sure you do a bit of research on the specific maca product you’re interested in buying.
iHerb is an online health and supplements store that specializes in selling herbs. Because of this, their selection is among the best. They have their own page devoted to just maca products. And while this selection is impressive, it’s unfortunately not as diverse as The Maca Team’s. iHerb mainly stocks capsuled maca and powdered maca. They also offer liquid maca but only a handful of brands are available for this. One good thing about iHerb is they ship internationally and to a lot of countries. Plus they have special offers from time to time. In addition, they also offer a discount for first time buyers. Just use the coupon code listed here.
HerbsPro is an online shop that carries a wide range of herbs and supplements. While not specializing in maca, they nonetheless have one of the largest selections of maca to choose from. The brands they carry come in the form of capsules, powders, and even liquids. One unique feature about this store is that they offer bulk discounts on some of their products, including maca. So if you’re looking to buy bulk maca, HerbsPro is a good option for that. Plus, orders above $49 are offered free shipping.
eBay is another great online store to consider when buying maca. Their selection is quite large and the value is for the most part good. However, caution should be taken when buying maca from eBay. This is largely because a lot of maca brands on there are not well-established. As such, their quality cannot be verified. There are even nameless maca products that are produced and sold by what appear to be a person or people, rather than an actual company. Because of this, the maca is unlikely to be tested and verified for quality before it’s sold. Other than that, eBay offers excellent customer service support and many sellers ship internationally.
- Gonzales-Arimborgo, Carla, et al. “Acceptability, safety, and efficacy of oral administration of extracts of black or red maca (Lepidium meyenii) in adult human subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Pharmaceuticals 9.3 (2016): 49.
- Rubio, Julio, et al. “Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 6.1 (2006): 23.
- Gonzales, Gustavo Francisco, et al. “Effect of Black maca (Lepidium meyenii) on one spermatogenic cycle in rats.” Andrologia 38.5 (2006): 166-172.