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I’m a big fan of both Fenugreek and Maca. But as they share some similarities, some people may find it tricky to pick between them.
Well, if that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place.
This is exactly why I started this Supplement Comparison Guide!
In these articles, I put 2 supplements up against each other and compare them on their pros, cons, price and much more. All so you can make a wiser decision.
In this post, we’ll take a look at Fenugreek vs Maca.
Here’s whether you should take Fenugreek or Maca:
You should take Fenugreek if you want increase breast milk production or improve your blood sugar levels. Whereas you should take Maca if you want to increase your nutrient intake or reduce menopause symptoms.
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is a versatile herb native to western Asia and the Mediterranean region.
Although it’s mainly used as a medicinal herb, Fenugreek seeds are often used to cook with and some people use the leaves as a vegetable.
(Apparently, the seeds smell like maple syrup.)
Fenugreek is sometimes applied directly to the skin to treat wounds, eczema and swelling.
What is Maca?
Maca (Lepidum Meveni) is a root vegetable that’s been grown for thousands of years.
Despite only recently rising in popularity, Maca has been used since the days of the Inca warriors.
Appearance-wise, it grows in a variety of colors, including black, purple and yellow, and looks quite similar to the popular turnip.
Maca grows in many South American countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina, although it’s mainly cultivated in the Andes mountain range.
Benefits of Fenugreek
Fenugreek may help lower blood sugar levels
Many people supplement with Fenugreek to help control their blood sugar levels, and research supports its use for this purpose.
A study of 60 diabetic patients had them take Fenugreek in either capsules or on biscuits.
According to the results, 2 grams of Fenugreek in either form can help lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
In another study, diabetic patients ate bread containing Fenugreek flour and then regular bread 1 week apart.
Interestingly, the Fenugreek bread helped improve insulin sensitivity, which plays a key role in diabetes management.
Fenugreek may boost milk production in new mothers
New mothers often use Fenugreek as a galactagogue thanks to its ability to increase breast production.
In one study, 66 mother-baby pairs were divided into 3 groups.
One group drank a placebo tea every day, another group drank Fenugreek tea, and the last group drank no tea.
The results showed that the women in the Fenugreek tea group had significantly higher breast milk volume.
Also, the babies in this group had significantly higher weight gain than the others.
(Note: Fenugreek may have adverse effects in pregnant women. So if you’re taking it to increase milk production, then only do so after you’ve had your baby.)
Fenugreek may enhance sexual desire
Many cultures have added Fenugreek to their diets for 1000s of years to boost their libido.
This has been supported by research, as many studies suggest it may enhance sexual desire in both sexes.
For example, a study of 80 women had them take either Fenugreek or a placebo every day for 8 weeks.
By the end of the study, those who took Fenugreek has a significant increase in libido and arousal compared to the placebo takers.
Another study of 60 males had them take either 1200mg of Fenugreek or a placebo every day for 6 weeks.
The results showed that the Fenugreek group experienced a 28% increase in sexual desire, while the placebo takers had a decrease in sexual desire.
Benefits of Maca
Maca may protect the skin from UV radiation
The sun emits UV rays which can cause sunburn and damage exposed skin.
Over time, this can increase your risk of skin cancer and give you wrinkles.
But when applied to the skin, Maca may be able to help protect you from this damage. (Source)
Just to be clear, this benefit is only seen when Maca is directly applied to the skin – NOT when taken orally.
Maca may boost libido
Like Fenugreek, Maca may be able to revive your sex life.
In one study, males supplemented with Maca or a placebo over 12 weeks.
Interestingly, those who used Maca reported a significant boost in sexual desire after only 8 weeks.
Maca may help relieve menopausal symptoms
Once a woman has gone a full year without a period, she’s officially diagnosed with menopause.
Although this is a normal part of aging that every woman will encounter, it can lead to some annoying symptoms like:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Sleep difficulties
If you’re unfortunate enough to experience these menopausal symptoms, then Maca may be able to help.
This review of 4 studies concluded that it’s effective at improving these symptoms.
(Related reading: 3 Best Fish Oils For Menopause)
Maca is rich in nutrients
Maca is a fantastic source of many vital minerals and vitamins.
In as little as an ounce of Maca root powder, you’ll find:
- Iron: 23% of the RDI
- Copper: 85% of the RDI
- Potassium: 16% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
- Manganese: 10% of the RDI
Also, Maca is rich in other health-promoting nutrients like glucosinolates and polyphenols.
Fenugreek comes in a variety of forms, including seeds, powder, and capsules.
Here are some typical prices for these:
- Seeds: $7 for 8 Oz
- Powder: $9 for 8 Oz
- Capsules: $7 for 100
Maca is typically sold in capsules or as a powder.
Standard prices for these are:
- Powder: $27 for 1 lb
- Capsules: $13 for 100
Fenugreek Side Effects
Fenugreek is considered safe for most healthy adults, but in some instances, the following side effects have been reported:
- “Maple Syrup” scented sweat/urine
Maca Side Effects
Like Fenugreek, Maca is well-tolerated by most people, but Peruvian natives advise against boiling fresh Maca root as it may have adverse effects.
Also, Maca contains substances called goitrogens which may interfere with thyroid gland function, so please speak to a doctor before taking Maca if you have thyroid issues.
My Fenugreek Recommendation: NOW Fenugreek Capsules
Fair-priced? You betcha.
Trusted brand? Mhmm.
NOW Fenugreek is the real deal.
What I like about it
Hundreds of epic reviews show that this is a trusted Fenugreek supplement that’s used and loved by many other people.
Also, it’s great to see that these capsules are organic, which means the Fenugreek was naturally grown without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides.
(Just as nature intended.)
I’m a big, big fan of NOW as a supplement company too.
They’re GMP certified, which means that every single step of their manufacturing process has been carefully analyzed for quality.
This is just one of many reasons why NOW are one of the most respected supplement brands in the world.
The strength of these capsules is mediocre.
But for the low price, you really can’t complain.
My Maca Recommendation: The Maca Team Organic Black Maca
An epic Maca supplement that’s created by a team of Maca enthusiasts.
You’ll do well to find a better Maca supplement that this one.
What I like about it
A great feature of this supplement is that the Maca root is pre-cooked.
This makes it easier for your body to digest and utilize, boosting its effectiveness.
It’s good to know that this supplement is made by a team of Maca lovers too.
Well, as their company focuses exclusively on Maca, it means they can put all their resources and money towards sourcing the best Maca on the planet.
Which I believe this supplement is.
Swallowing 1 capsule is the norm.
Swallowing 3 capsules is mehhhh.
But swallowing 8 capsules is just a pain in the backside.
(Yes… their recommended serving size really is 8 capsules.)
Fenugreek vs Maca: The Verdict
Thanks a bunch for sticking to the end of this Fenugreek vs Maca showdown.
I hope you’ve learned something new and have gained value from it!
If this article has served its purpose, you should now have a solid idea of which one you’re going to take.
But if you’re still on the fence, then here’s what I’d recommend.
You might prefer Fenugreek if:
- You want to stabilize your blood sugar levels
- You want to enhance breast milk production
You might prefer Maca if:
- You want to boost your nutrient intake
- You want to combat menopause symptoms
Hope this helped!