No traditional descriptions have been found about effect of maca (Lepidium meyenii) on learning and memory. Though natives in the central Peruvian Andes attribute the use of maca with improved school performance.
Experimental studies have shown that black variety of maca has positive impact on learning and memory in animals. Black maca improved learning and memory in mice [1, 3] and in memory impaired in mice .
Three varieties have been studied (black, red, and yellow) and black maca was the only on showing significant biological effects . Black maca (0.5 and 2.0 g/kg) decreased brain malondialdehyde (MDA) levels marker of oxidative stress and acetylcholinesterase (Ache) levels in ovariectomized mice whereas no differences were observed in monoamine oxidase (MAO) levels .
In summary, different evidences suggest that particularly black maca, improves learning and memory. It was suggested that the effect of Black Maca on learning and memory may be due to the presence of polyphenolic compounds. Previous studies did not show any toxic effect during short and long-term administration.
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.
Rubio, Julio, et al. “Aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts of Black Maca ( Lepidium meyenii ) improve scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice.” Food and chemical toxicology 45.10 (2007): 1882-1890.
Rubio, Julio, et al. “Aqueous extract of black maca (Lepidium meyenii) on memory impairment induced by ovariectomy in mice.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011 (2011).
Chung, Francisco, et al. “Dose-response effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) aqueous extract on testicular function and weight of different organs in adult rats.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 98.1-2 (2005): 143.