What Nobody Tells You About Maca Root Powder – Dangers And Side Effects

So I had my appointment with the Chinese Herbalist / doctor yesterday and I learnt a couple of things from the consultation that are definitely worth sharing.

A word of caution about maca root powder

maca-roots.jpgI’ve been talking a lot lately about maca root powder and how I think it has helped my skin heal a lot. You also might have read how over the Christmas period I had extremely bad PMT which lasted for over two weeks. I suffered from depression, anxiety, headaches, insomnia and a had a really bad acne breakout. At the time I thought I was just unlucky that month and that the PMT symptoms were due to a large amount of stress in my life. Yesterday, I learnt that this PMT, emotional state and massive breakout were actually due to the amount of maca root powder that I was taking.

Be careful with maca, there is such a thing as too much too soon. I read a forum posting on the net today, and my herbalist confirmed it. Maca root actually can exasperate your hormonal symptoms and make them worse. It’s also an energy booster so this is why I was feeling like my heart was beating faster all the time, I felt a heap of stress and I couldn’t sleep at night. In fact, my herbalist is not a fan of maca and does not recommend it. The only reason he agreed that perhaps I should continue to take it was because for the past week with continued use of the maca, my skin has started to clear, I’ve been happy all the time and not anxious or depressed at all. In other words, maybe my hormones have finally balanced out. Maybe it’s from the maca, or maybe not. He suggested that I keep taking it because it’s working, but if I experience the crazy PMT and mood symptoms again, that I should immediately stop taking it.

I’ve been taking the full recommended dosage – four capsules a day. I’m going to try halving that and taking two capsules only to see if it makes any difference. Maca is really helpful for people with low libido and low energy and is great for women going through menopause. I don’t have either of those and I’ve read that women who just want to control their PMT can take a lower dose, so I think I should be okay with just the two capsules. I just want it to help keep my hormones balanced.

If you are going to start taking maca powder, I urge you to start slowly, because chances are the same thing will happen to you. The aim here is to make your skin clear and balance your hormones. If you take a lot of maca root (a lot is actually the recommended maximum dosage on the bottle) then you are likely to get a massive breakout like I did, and the mood disorders that go with it. Start really slowly. For the first two weeks I’ve even advise you to quarter the maximum dosage. Then after two weeks, and only if you feel you need it, slowly up the dosage.

I’ve read some advise by a maca manufacturer on the net which sounded quite good. They said to have some days off from the supplement. So for every week have one day off, for every 2 weeks have 2 days off, and for every 2 months have 2 weeks off. This is just to make sure you keep it all in moderation. To be honest, I don’t like the idea of being on any supplement for ever so I don’t plan to be on it for that long. I’m going to give it a couple of months, then go off it and see if it makes a difference.

I’ll be your guinea pig

I’m still taking the maca root powder supplements so I’ll let you know how my symptoms go. If you want to wait another three or four weeks, then I’ll be able to tell you exactly how the maca is working for my before and during my cycle, and if it removes my PMT symptoms and breakouts, or if it yet again makes it worse. Wow, I feel like I’m a human guinea pig, or sacrificing my skin for science or something!

I’m actually a bit annoyed that this information is made more available on the net. If there was clear warning on the packaging of the maca or on the Internet, then I wouldn’t have taken so much so soon. Nowhere was there any warning or information for me to read about the possible bad side effects. In my opinion, there should be clear warning on the packaging, or in an information leaflet. Something like – ‘At the start of your treatment only, certain isolated premenstrual symptoms may be slightly increased’. The other supplement I’m taking, Premular (which is vitex agnus-castus), comes with that warning and it made me have second thoughts about taking it. And if your symptoms do get worse, it is then a good indication as to why they’re getting worse, and then you can choose to continue using the supplement or give it another month to see if it gets better. One of the worst things about some sort of problem in your body is not knowing why it’s happening. So, if you do decide to take maca and your symptoms do get worse, I’m telling you why, so you can now be prepared.

How my doctors appointment went

In case anyone’s wondering, at my doctors appointment yesterday I chose not to ask for antibiotics! I’ve been so happy with how my skin has been clearing up that I decided not ask for them for now. I did however ask for his opinion on taking antibiotics to clear skin, because he’s a natural therapist that I’ve been seeing for almost twenty years I value his opinion and trust him a lot. He was okay with prescribing antibiotics for my acne, I think because he knows that I’ve been trying to heal my skin naturally for months now. He said the only real risk with the skin antibiotics is if you’re pregnant, because it can affect the unborn child’s teeth. Well, I don’t have a significant other so there’s no chance of any pregnancies!

If my skin gets bad again, he suggested that if I wanted to, I could go on the antibiotics for one week to see how it goes. People can be on them for up to 6 months so a week sounded a lot better than 6 months. He actually wrote me a prescription then forgot to give it to me. I’m considering calling up the surgery today and going in to pick it up but some part of me knows that if I have that prescription in my hands I’ll be too tempted to use it. My skin is healing so well so why don’t I see it out and see if it continues to heal without the use of any drugs. We’ll see.


753 comments… add one

  • Bill

    68yo male. Been on 12 grams of maca for three days and no apparent side effects or benefits as yet.

  • Ginger

    I am a 49 year old female attempting a healthier lifestyle and wanted to try to incorporate some maca into my routine. I started with the Now Foods brand of 500mg capsules only taking 1 each morning which is a fairly low dose. I found that I absolutely LOVED the way the maca smells in the container..even though in capsule form I could smell and and the slight taste of it that I could detect in the capsules seemed yummy to me. I was excited about the benefits of this product; however, within only a couple of days I noticed that my emotions were all over the place and I couldn’t figure out why. I stopped the maca capsules and returned to normal. I let a few months go by and decided that I needed to try the Navitas brand in bag/powder form. I ordered and should have started with a lower dose given my previous experience with the capsules but I put a level teaspoon (still not an extremely high dose) in my fruit smoothie for only 2 consecutive days. By the night of the 2nd dose I felt so extremely depressed and emotional. I couldn’t stop crying. Everything seemed bleak and hopeless and yet I could not give you a reason. Just sad and depressed and over-the-top emotional. I took no more maca and it took a good day to almost 2 days and I returned to normal. …I am so disappointed because I truly want to be able to take this product. It tastes so good to me.. I just open the bag and sit there and breathe it in like some junkie addicted to the aroma. lol. …I was on my period when I took the 2 days/2 teaspoons but I am never anywhere nearly this emotional at any time during my cycle..maybe a little more emotional but this was super-charged hyper depressed low low low mood. ..Can someone tell me if you’ve experienced this? I’m a believer in listen to your body so I won’t force it but also I don’t want to miss a good thing if it’s a normal detox phase? ..If I attempt it again I think I will go with something like an 1/8 of a teaspoon or something and just work my way up slowly to see what happens. I know I cannot walk around and function as a normal human being in that kind of serious depressed mode.

  • Tera

    I am having terrible dress ion anxiety depession headaches insomnia and diahreaha and I think it might be from mac a root powder I’ve been off of it for about 3 weeks and my emotions are out of control what can I do to cleanse my body of this stuff?

  • Matt

    Hi everyone. I really hate to be the one guy that has something bad to say when everyone else has been posting mostly positive gains from this supplement. I have been taking 1- 2 table spoons of maca podwer mixed into my nutrismoothies everyday. The results have been horrible. Not only did I not experience an increase in sex drive but it has been causing me HORRIBLE mood swings and depression. I’ve read elsewhere that it can have that effect on certain people. I guess I’m one of them. I’m 38 and an avid weight lifter and health nut. Clearly the research is there to support this supplement as being beneficial but proceed at your own risk.

  • Patrick

    Ive used maca throughout the years as a adjunct to my training. Great for energy although it has lead to big energy drops when not taking. That being said with all the claims of increasing free test are there any scientific studies that actually show baseline test being increased with maca use?

  • Angelina

    I read somewhere that you should not take maca with any other supplement that influences hormons such as agnus castus. Maybe that is a reason why you are reacting so strong? Does your herbalist know you are on both?

    • Pita

      I have been taking Agnus castus for 15 years, from eight years before I stopped menstruating until the present. Only an allopath would say don’t take herbs that influence your hormones. Plants were around long before the American Medical Association.
      BTW, I added Evening Primrose oil to my daily supplements and never had mental confusion, night sweats, hot flashes, or anything bad during menopause.

  • Mercedes

    Iam taking Maca for weight gain (since I do chemo every day) and am a very thin person I lost a lot of weight due to the meds.
    I am taking Mmaca for 4 weeks now, started with 500 mg the first 2 weeks and increased to 1g on the second week. I gained 4 kg so far ( last time I checked was 1 week ago) which is pretty amazing for someone who doenst ever gain weight. I also noticed increased breat size and increased (and rounded) butt. Face has goten fuller too. I like Maca so far but it wasnt easy at the beginning. The first time I took it my brain felt fuzzy and I was having a drug like experince (something like opening the third eye) but this was only on day 1. Oon day 2 it was less and on day 4 it was completely gone. I believe this was because my body was not balanced and was “detoxing” and “atuning” in a new way. Once the side effects where gone I got agressive behaviour for the 1 week, again on week 2 this behaviour was completely gone. I really do believe that Maca helps cleanse egative emotion but it takes time for the body to adjust. On week 4 I have no major side effects, I do get a little bit of heart burn and very hungry (Maca increases appetite a lot!) and sometimes a little dificult breathing but this could be related to my underlying condition.

    This is my experience so far.

    • macafanr

      “increased breast size and rounder butt” well that sounds like a good side effect to me!

    • Kay

      Hello, if you don’t mind me asking what was the Brad that you decided to take?
      I would also like to gain weight as I am thin and it is very hard for me to put on weight.

      Please let me know as I am also in a struggle.

      Thank You :)

  • angelos

    Hi to all. Last Saturday I bought some red maca. I wanted to try it to help have some strength and make up my mood. I am male 43yo.
    I took it at midday and the amount I got was just wet the tip of my finger and deep it in the package twice. This was less less than the tip of a teaspoon. thanks to the comments in this site I was very restrained and took that much of it.

    Anyway the same night I felt my the sexual energy. I slept not very well but I slept. The next morning It was a nightmare.
    I felt sick and nauseous. I thought I could die. I felt gratefull that I didn’t get a whole teaspoon. In the evening I started to feel very slowly a little better. the more the sickness reduced the more I felt an uplifting mood. It was something like drug experience. It was strange. I didn’t felt total me. But it was good.
    The whole experience was a rollercoaster for me. The moments I felt sick was so bad that it is too difficult for me to try it again baked. I would like to try it baked but still afraid. If there would be way to have only the good effects it would be very good.

    • angel

      The sickness could have been from a detox type of reaction, but that is just my opinion (experience with other detoxifying supplements) I just started taking organic, raw maca, (sprinkled 1/8 ish of a teaspoon in my tea) and I am weary of the side effects I have read about. I already have trouble sleeping, so I hope this doesn’t make it worse.

  • Cynthia

    Thank you for this post. I had googled does Maca bring depression and I found this. I had been taking it only for a week now, a 500 mg pill every day, and missed taking it yesterday and today. I noticed mood swings yesterday and depression. My depression was so bad today and I have been a train wreck. I wish I did some research earlier. I am also already going through a tough time. I don’t know if I will take it anymore… I know it has it’s benefits but I feel like my sanity is more of a concern at this point.

  • Jason

    Male 36 w/Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (mild) and low T. My libido is pretty bad, little to no spontaneous urges, hard to keep turned on. I tried a 6:1 maca pill for about a week (equiv 4g) and it certainly had an effect. Wired me awake, tense all the time, rapid heartbeat, explosive diarrhea, sweaty palms, hot in general, and vastly improved libido/erections. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of sleep and then my thyroid tanked one morning leaving me absolutely exhausted. Stopped completely until I went back to my normal self, then tried a 4:1 (2g equiv) for about 2 weeks. Much more mild effects, but cumulative. At the end was horny quite a bit, especially going to bed – which didn’t help sleep at all. Mild diarrhea which seemed worse if I took it with food, and heart pounding off and on all night. May try half that dose next. I think I may be allergic as well since my sinuses were constantly congested (went away when I stopped). I’ve also made my own tincture of catuaba and muira puama (from powder) using 1 cup combined powder to 3 cups 80 proof vodka. Seems to make me pretty tense as well, even on 40 drops a day. Tribulus gives me crappy sleep and dry eyes. Good luck y’all.

    • Tiago

      Hi Jason,

      Try small dose of maca together with he shou wu. It should make you better but takes time to work. 1 month minimum.

      Maca too strong for you right now.

      Check he shou wu out.

  • al

    it has worked great for me totally the opposite that you mentioned maybe its not for you it doesn’t sound like your body doesn’t respond to it just stop taking it

  • Thanks for the interesting post. My experience with maca root supplements is very positive. I was in a stage that i was constantly tired and in bad mood(depressed). Couldn’t get up from the bed in the morning. I heard about maca properties and decided to try it. Started with daily dose of 500mg of raw maca powder, but it had bad effect on my stomach. I changed it to Gelatinized form of maca( i took organic gelatinized capsules) and after a while felt some improvement. I increased my daily dose to 1000mg and after 2 month I had energies that i couldn’t believe! Now it’s been 8 months and I’m still taking maca as a part of my daily diet and very happy with my high energies.

  • Brenda G.

    Ok I’m glad I was lucky to find this blog because so, far I’ve learned here about the good, the bad, and the ugly on Maca Root. I saw a video on youtube that mentioned Maca to enhance feminine curves in the right areas so I wanted to research it and find out if it was actually true and get all the info I needed to know before exposing my body to do this experiment. Wouldn’t want this to backfire on my health. So I ask the Maca expieranced ladies if this is true?

    • Lize

      Hi Brenda G. I started taking 1000mg og Maca about 3 months ago to balance my hormones. I didn’t know that Maca could ‘enhance feminine curves’ until I read your post and I couldn’t understand why my breasts got bigger. I feel wonderful since I started taking Maca, just take care not to take it in the afternoon. I suspect it keeps me awake at night.

  • jass

    hi guys’ can you help me to increase my libido powder so that s way i want t o start maca that s work or how much i have to take . i just order maca powder not a pills.

    • Hi Jass,

      I can assure you that Maca will help boost your libido but also other areas in your body, like strengthening your bones, immune system because it contains 55 Plant chemicals, now it is crucial that you start with the highest quality of Maca otherwise you might no feel any difference, and I read you already ordered the powder Maca, so you can start with 2tsp. a day and see how it goes. I recommend that once you are done try the Maca that we sell at http://www.incaliving.com
      we bring the highest quality of Maca because of the different distinct factors such as
      100% Organic and gelatinized, sund dried for 2 months, contains a blend between all 3 types of Maca (red, black,yellow) and it grows at the ideal altitude of 13,000-15,000 feet of the Andes were all the research shows thats were the most potent Maca comes from. You will be able to notice the difference within 2 weeks.
      If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly and I will gladly answer them. Whether you order from us or anyone else please make sure you keep this criteria on before ordering your next Maca.
      Take care,

      • Melinda

        Hi Daniela, I have taken Maca powder now for four days 1/4 tsp in the morning and at night. I am in middle stages of menopause and I haven’t had a period for three years but after taking Maca my stomach has ballooned and I have pains in my lower back and stomach like I’m going to get my periods any moment as well as my mind being very foggy, eyes constantly watering and my nose is constantly dripping. Is this my body detoxing and my hormones trying to balance out? What are your thoughts on continuing to take Maca?
        Looking forward to your correspondence.
        Kind regards

  • Curt

    Get, You need to get to the bottom of why your hormones are malfunctioning at such an early age. Mercury, toxics, chemical exposure, birth control pills etc. Find a local holistic practitioner who is a Medical Dr and get tested for toxics. Settle only for a MD.

    My wife and I are older and have been suplimenting with iodorol (iodine) as a way to loose heavy metals and get and keep hormones functioning. Check out the yahoo group for iodine off breastcancerchoices.org . Google: iodine perimenopause


    Please check out the breastcancerchoices.org iodine / yahoo group.

    I have my doubts about maca due to it’s goitergenic properties and risk to shutting down the thyroid. The estrogenic, testostrogenic benefits in my view and short experiments are more for already healthy bodies who want “more”. The risks are not worth it to look to maca to fix weak or malfunctioning bodies. I posted above my reasoning. Chinese herbal protocols might be better bets for supporting weakness. In the end BHRT is the mainstay for an antiaging treatment for andropause or menopause. We are both on BHRT and I take lots of Chinese herbs and maca but can’t say that maca OR Chinese herbs have a noticable benefit. Iodine (iodorol in the range of 50mg or more) has a noticable benefit. Initially iodine will worsen your symptoms since all americans are loaded with toxics since we place such a low value on clean air, water, food.


  • get

    I have very high levels of FSH at 37. Doctors told it is early menopause. Since it is detected recently, I would though of reversing it with natural herbs. Can Maca help?
    It is too early menopause at 37.

  • lee

    i clearly cant count. that would be 8+ kg. I went from 62.5 – 68.5 over ngiht and when my period started 1.5 weeks ago (first time in over a year), i put on another 2 (again, over night). My period is now on its 14th day…arrrgh.

  • lee

    For those of you who experienced weight gain on MACA, how long did it take to subside/decrease after stopping the maca?

    I was on it for about 6/8 weeks. I gained 7kg (from 62.5kg – 70ish), almost overnight, after about 1.5 weeks of takign it. I only just realised that it was the MACA and stopped about 5 days ago. I think it’s mainly fluid (ive had substantial pitting edema) but have noticed that my arse is massive… the thing that upssts me is the swelling on my limbs and how my breasts have grown (and become more sensitive). ….really wish i never started the stuff.


    • Jason

      Effects disappeared within a day for me.

  • FaireMaiden

    I would just like to add my two-cents here. ‘Dosage’ of anything is so utterly personal that there is only one way to know what the right amount, of anything, is for you.

    Learn to use a ‘pendulum’. With this device, you will not only discover ‘what’ products you should be ingesting, (and avoiding!), but in what ‘dosages’.

    In this way, there is no ‘guessing’ about it… there is no ‘experimenting’ with ‘should I, shouldn’t I’… there is no worry, no fuss, no muss.

    I use it in the grocery store all the time. I use it to tell me which fruits, veggies, and meats are good for me. I use it to figure out which ingredients are best for me to use in my smoothies and other recipes. I use it to find out if the medication my doctor is wanting to prescribe is good for me or not… and, if not, I ask if there’s an equivalent medication, AND, check to see if that one is acceptable to my body, (my doctor is used to this by now, *lol*).

    I use it for body products… washes, cosmetics, shampoo, etc.

    I use it to find lost keys and other items I’ve misplaced.

    In short, I’ve used my pendulum for everything for the past 30-years… and it hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

    Get one, and learn to use it. It’s so simple and, moreso, so reliable.

    You can find these all over the place, but the one I use is from Hanna Kroeger’s site: (and, no, I’m not affiliated in any way with Hanna or her site… I’ve just been using her products for decades to great success):

    Pendulum: http://www.hannasherbshop.com/shop/pendulum.html

    Book: http://www.hannasherbshop.com/shop/pendulum-book-the.html

    Charts: http://www.hannasherbshop.com/shop/pendulum-charts-the.html

  • Sharonp

    just thought i would post this from DR Oz WebSite comments.this guy seems to know more them al of us,im glad to know black maca and white are just the same thing

    Chris Kilham · CEO & Founder at Medicine Hunter · 242 subscribers
    CORRECTING MACA MISCONCEPTIONS… There is no such thing as “male” maca or “female” maca. Maca is not Peruvian ginseng. It bears no relation to ginseng at all. ALL colors of maca grow in the same fields from the same soil. Every batch of maca contains red, yellow, crema, green, bluish, black and other colors of maca. NOBODY is growing single color maca. I have worked with the top maca geneticist. There is no known known difference in maca from one color to another. I understand that companies want to create a mystique or proclaim “new science” to gain a market advantage, but offering misinformation isn’t the preferred way to accomplish this. Maca is an amazing food with highly beneficial qualities, period. Look for certified organic maca, and pay no attention to claims of male, female, or special colors. Best to you all. Happy trails- Chris Kilham.
    Reply · 15 · · May 20, 2012 at 12:53pm

  • Gigi

    Hi! If you are just taking the Femmenessence for PMT and don’t have Peri – or Menopause symptoms, you should probably be taking the “Femmenessence MacaHarmony™” The dosage for that one is one capsule. You can also, contact the company, and ask medical questions regarding the products. I believe they have a staff of Dr.’s who address the questions. It would probably be good for you to check out. http://www.naturalhi.com/Contact.aspx :}

  • Sue

    HI, my husband and i want to get pregnant but it hasn’t happened yet. Can I take Maca everyday? Should I take a break, is it safe to take Maca throughout the cycle?

  • Hi Stacy,

    I am surprised you are taking FemmenessencePRO and on this blog as it is our Health Professional product and is meant to only be able to be purchase from a practitioner who would hopefully be looking after you!

    Based on what you are saying going up in dose to 4 a day could actually be making it worse. Can I suggest contacting us medical.team@naturalhi.com and we will work through it with you and can also give you some other ideas on things to do in conjunction. For example removing dairy and gluten can have huge impacts so we can chat about that and other things. But dont stop FemmenessencePRO as it is a key part of stopping hormonal acne and balancing hormones we just need to get you on the right dose.
    James Frame
    Natural Health International

  • Hi Stacy,

    I can provide you with more information about FemmenessencePRO and your conditions. One thing to consider is that food sensitivities can also be problematic (dairy and gluten being top culprits) and insufficient protein/ or fats can keep you from getting the results you are seeking when you are trying to balance and regulate hormones naturally. Sounds like you are trying to keep your liver clean as well which is of course another component. The body’s natural, short term response to hormone changes is water retention. This is transient and goes away with continued use. In the clinical trials virtually no one saw weight loss in the first month and, in fact, on average, scale weight went up, but after 4 months, women lost an average of 6% of their scale weight. Talk to medical.team@naturalhi.com for more questions on your specific situation as everyone is built a bit differently and we can work with your provider for optimal results.

  • Stacy

    Just wondering if you have taken/heard of FemmenessencePro and what you have heard of side effects. After 2 weeks, I am going up to the dose of 4/day (like you). I am 39 and hormonally a mess. Fatigue/Cortisol/Adrenals etc… I have in the last 3 weeks had an increased spare tire around my gut that is very noticeable! Have you heard about weight gain? Acne got worse, but now it is slightly, MAYBE lessoning (have bad adult acne) Any advice? I eat like a clean green machine and barely drink anything (lots of water) but occasional wine. Thanks and any isight would be great! – Stacy

  • rihanna

    I would just like to say that maca is not an herb. It is a root, just like a carrot or potato. It is a food. So calling maca an herb is incorrect, that would be the same as calling a carrot, or a turnip an herb. Also I have been taking maca root powder at least 3 times a week for over a year and have had no negative side effects, and I am 7 months pregnant, with a very healthy boy, and have had a wonderful complication free pregnancy so far.

    • Sue

      Rihanna, can you let me know which brand and dosage and form y(pill or liquid or powder) ou’ve been taking of the Maca root? I want to take it but there is so much out there. Trying to get some recommendations from people who have been taking it with good results. Thanks.

    • Zman

      It seems that people here are unaware there are different kinds of maca that can be taken. First of all, there are 4 colors of maca root which implies some possible subtle differences in the nutritional value of the roots, but the most important difference is whether or not the maca is raw or Royal. Raw may have some mildly toxic enzymes and contaminants (such as molds, etc.) that don’t agree with some people’s physiologies, especially the digestive tract, and cause other adverse reactions in the body as well. On the other hand, Royal maca is considered “clean” and completely safe for consumption. Royal maca has had loads of clinical research done on it with no noticeable negative side effects in humans. As with any superfood or health supplement, taking too much too fast at first may result in discomfort as you push your body to adjust to changes quicker than it is ready for. Another possibility is that it can cause a cleansing reaction (detox) known as the Herxheimer effect. This is where poisons are released from the body’s internal tissues rapidly during the cleansing process and dumped into your blood stream in order to transport the toxins to the kidneys for expulsion. The more poisons dumped at once, the more sick you may feel until the toxins are excreted. The symptoms of this may include nausea, diarrhea, headaches, aching joints/bones, fatigue, fever, etc. Keep in mind that this should only be temporary, but a lower dosage of maca is recommended regardless during the initial cleansing stages until you feel that you can handle a higher dosage. http://www.realrawfood.com/maca-history-info

    • Zman

      oops, I didn’t mean to post the previous posting as a reply to your post. Sorry about that…but I would actually still like to comment that Maca is considered an herb. You might want to do your research. Many kinds of tea are from leaves on trees, but still considered herbal. You don’t use carrot to treat an illness, but you can use maca root to treat thyroid / hormone issues. It’s medicinal, unlike carrots, which just happen to be good for your health only. The same could be said for other foods such as mushrooms. Some are herbal and can cure cancer while others are merely commercially edible and offer no real boost in health benefits or healing.

  • Cindy

    My boyfriend and I have both been taking 1-2 tbsp of maca powder once a day for 12 weeks now. We take a day or two off every couple weeks, but otherwise we take it every day. We have both noticed a slight increase in libido and energy level, but neither of us have had any negative side effects. He is 50 and I am 44. It does slightly curb our appetites too.

    • Dawn

      Can you share with me what brand you take and where you purchase it from? Thanks. Have a wonderful weekend!


      • Dawn

        Author: Mark
        I get mine from new spirit naturals. You can easily find them on the web

        Is this from you? If so, I was unable to find them on the web. Would you mind providing a link? Thanks so much!


  • femaleEU

    5 weeks ago I started to use Gelatinized Maca 1tsp 5 days in week. I was short of energy my libido was almost 0. Now im feeling better but my libido is still low. I have ordered Kacip Fatimah 100:1 and planning to use together with Maca. Is it good idea? Can i use MACA+Kacip Fatimach? Or better use only Maca or only KF?

  • Emily

    So I am doing my research after starting maca, which is the opposite of what I usually do, but anyways…

    I am 26 years old and just went 5 months without a period. I was not pregnant, and the tests I’ve had so far suggest nothing was worn with me. I have been referred to a specialist, from whom I am waiting to hear.

    I started adding a small amount of maca, maybe a teaspoon or so, to my morning smoothie last Thursday, and what do you know! I got my period later that morning. It is probably coincidence, (as ovulation would have to occur much earlier) and this is a particularly painful cycle (maybe not due to the maca, but due to the 5 months without one I just went through) but now I am curious.

    Seeing as I have no idea how long my cycle will be, should I just keep taking this daily? Or just for two weeks and then take some time off? I would like to keep working at normalizing my hormones as I have no idea how long it will take before I can see the specialist. Anyone have any thoughts?

    • Christy

      Hey Emily, I started taking Maca Root powder sups in my smoothies last week too. I take “one heaping teaspoon” each day in the morning. I’ve always had irregular periods, and literally within 24 hours of taking the powder, I got my period – well sorta. It’s very light, and not “regular” by any means. And mine too was pretty painful the first day. This tells me that maca is nothing to be messing with or taken lightly. If it can literally have that kind of trigger for our bodies, it’s the real deal. I’ve been taking the powder for about 2 weeks so far, and my period is still going. It’s not heavy, very light still, but two weeks is way too long. Additionally, I noticed I’m bloated every day now; like bad! I was told by my doc that I need to also take natural progesterone cream in addition to maca once a day to balance out the hormones that are making me have my period every day and bloat. I’ve had breakouts, pimples, for two weeks straight too. I’ve bought some progesterone cream at Whole Foods, and I’m going to start tonight. But in short, the maca really had an impact on my body and so far, I’m not pleased. I’m going to give this a go for 60 days, but if nothing improves, I’m just going to go back to having irregular periods and get off the supplements.

    • Cathy

      I am glad that I saw your comment. I was experiencing something interesting, but at the same time that scared me. I have just gotten my period, I had two days pause and thought that it was gone, then I took one tbs maca and in less than a half an hour I started bleeding and got my period back, in a large quantity. Usually, my period lasts 3 or max 4 days, but last month and this month took me 7 days.
      Anyway, I decided not to take anymore because it seems that my hormones got crazy.

  • Nara

    I started using the Maca powder about two weeks ago, in my smoothies. I didn’t know how much powder to use, so I threw in a tablespoon or so. I think that was too much, as I started getting headaches every day…a sign of cleansing I imagine. But I don’t know if that was necessarily from the Maca powder…I also used green powder, and spirolina, almond milk, raw organic almond butter, and fruit (mango, peach, strawberries, banana, etc.) I quite the smoothies, and my headaches went away. I had one today, finally, I’ll see how it goes. I will also decrease my amount of Maca I use, down to a teaspoon. I get this powder in bulk at my local health food store.

  • sam

    Currently staying KSA , please adivise me
    where i will get Maca i want in natural (Maca root )
    and what is the price and how can order.

    please provide need full help and support

  • jaye

    I have started taking maca and after reading these posts I think
    1. Introducing any new supplement into the body will produce effects while the body detoxes and they start working to correct. Even prescription drugs cause side effects initially. If the discomfort lasts more than a week or two, only then would I discontinue usage.

    2. I am taking a powdered organic maca, 1/2 teaspoon daily for now for energy from hypothyroid and hormonal balance and depression. I feel renewed energy. I used to find it difficult to even leave the house to run errands and now I am up and at ‘em. I am also happy. It has positively effected my moods. This is a big benefit for me and I wish I had started it years ago.

    I also take Spirulina and Chorella but it wasn’t until I added the Maca that I could feel my mood lifting and a happiness that was before only fleeting and which my doctor’s prescription of Wellbutrin didn’t help.

    I would recommend an organic powder ( I get it on Amazon) as some capsules have fillers added and the capsules themselves may cause problems.

    • Sue

      What is the brand that you are using? I am hypothryoid, too. Can you also provide a link where you buy your Maca Powder, please. Would really appreciate it.

  • Jeff

    Maca is great! Regulated my bowel movements to 2-3 a day. Sex drive increased significantly. Skin is a lot smoother. I have been using maca gold by Life-flo at the recommended dosages.

  • Fanta S

    I started taking Maca today, 1 tsp twice a day. My periods are irregular and I am hoping the maca root will help. I added it to my green smoothie and didn’t taste the root at all. Will update you soon. No side effects so far


  • Dar

    To Fran, I think I learned more about maca from this blog than I did anywhere else on the internet. So many people with so many different issues and points of view, it’s been very helpful. Thank you for starting your ‘teeny tiny blog’.

  • Is Maca recommended if I have high blood pressure?

    • Zman

      no!!! not for high blood pressure. Only potentially if you have low blood pressure because that is a sign of possible hypothyroidism. Be very careful with powerful supplements like maca and always do research of your own. Don’t trust people on a blog site like this one. Most people don’t know what they are talking about as they are not experts and make a lot of wild assumptions without any professional advice. There are plenty of websites dedicated to accurate reliable info about maca by certified experts. Also, always check multiple sources of information rather than just reading from a single source. Compare what everyone has to say before drawing your own conclusions. Be safe and good luck.

    • There are no many side effects for maca and this herb is relatively safe, because it’s a vegetable and native peruvians use it in food from very young age. But, still there are couple of things that you have to be aware about, before taking maca on daily basis. It is not recommended to people with high pblood pressure, as it might cause rise in blood pressure in people with tendency to have high blood pressure.

  • Ahhhhhh bless everyone, I thought that perhaps it was time I replied on here. If you look at the date on the article it’s January 2008 – that’s OVER FIVE YEARS ago!! Much has changed since then, and this article seems to have blown out of control.. it was written on a teeny tiny hobby blog, most likely in an evening after working in my day job… honestly without much thought on how big it could potentially get (oops). I now have a wonderfully healthy relationship with maca after living in Peru for the last two years.. funny how these things work out.

    Either way, I’m happy that this funny little article has created such a huge forum of discussion. Enjoy!

    • Diana

      Fran, I am a little surprised that you’re more seemingly amused at the extent of the responses from your original blog post on maca instead of ready to share your maca chronicles over these past years. I would like to hear more about your 2 year progress and how you have been using maca in your diet especially because you’ve been in Peru where the maca is used as a food. Please don’t just be flattered by your silly un-intentional blog on maca, give us some details that are useful.

  • Lisa

    Fran reading your symptoms, I was just wondering, a very personal question, have you had a Tubal Ligation. If so or anyone else reading this or any men that may have had a vasectomy, please research side effects. These two surgeries have ruined some people’s lives & some marriages. I am in the process of saving for a Tubal reversal, but have been looking at maca powder to help with the constant fatigue, but at the same time a little worried about the weakness of my body due to this surgery that it may be too strong as I struggle with chilli, garlic etc.

  • Dar

    An update on my progress of changing over from my bioidentical hormones to just maca to manage my perimenopause symptoms. So far, so good. I’ve managed to cut my hormones in halve and increasing the maca at the same time. In the next couple of days, I’ll decease the hormones further and increase the maca a bit. Hopefully before long I’ll be off the bioidentials altogther an on just plain maca. Much healthier alternative all the way around.

    • Dawn

      Please share which product you take and how long you’ve been taking it. I just bought some from GNC in a capsule but not sure if it’s the correct one. Thanks.

    • Diana

      I was wondering about taking maca in conjunction with bioidentical hormones, which for me is 5 mg of cortisol and .6 mils of progesterone cream. But I’m wondering who is helping you decide that this is the right alternative for you? Have you received any support from a personal practitioner regarding the switch over? Is maca safe to be on for the rest of your life?

  • Hi!

    I was wondering about using the maca root powder. I’ve heard many different people say that they have used it in many different forms. One of them is using it as a clay mask for your face. I was just curious, if puting just a pinch of the powder into some non sentented hand loction be just as helpful. As well as even more so harmful, due to maybe deluting it some? I hope I can get some feedback on this thank you

  • Stephanie

    I’m a 22 year old female and I recently started reading about how maca can supposedly help balance your hormones.

    I’ve struggled with severe pms (pmdd) since I was very young, and have been dealing with chronic yeast infections for a year which has really effected my libido in a negative way, so maca sounded like THE miracle drug to me.

    I bought raw, organic, non GMO maca capsules (I wanted the powder but they were out) and took them for 3 days.
    I felt absolutely amazing. My energy was up, my mood was great, and it really did effect my libido in a very good way. Last night I had really high energy, my face felt tingly and hot and my heart rate was up a bit which is what prompted me to do some more research.

    I’m really disappointed to hear that it caused depression, mood swings and all around nightmare ish periods, as I started taking it to cure myself of these things.

    I’m going to stop taking it for now, especially since I have a cruise coming up around that-time-of-the-month and can’t afford to experiment.

    I’m going to try to find the nutuvia powder and start taking it in smoothies in a month or two, while continuing to research it.

    • Dar

      Stephanie, you should be taking the gelanitized maca and it sounds like you may be taking a bit too much. Rather than stopping it altogether, you might consider just cutting the dose a bit.

  • Dar

    Hi all, I am a 52 year old woman and last summer started having TERRIBLE anxiety along with TERRIBLE insomnia. The anxiety caused me to not be able to eat and I lost 20 pounds in about 8 weeks, very scarey to not have control of that. I had a saliva test and turns out I had next to nothing for estrogen and my progesterone was also low. Periods were sporadic. I was close to going over the edge from no sleep and anxieity and had tried every herbal combination in the book, so chose bioidentical hormones. Shortly before I started taking the BHRT, I started using some chinese herbs designed the ‘balance the body’ along with a greens product that contained 1000mg of maca (I assume raw). The first month I was taking all 3 products and had my period (very small) but right on schedule and I was sleeping great and anxiety was gone. At the end of that first month, I ran out of the chinese herbs but though the BHRT was really the thing that was working. Then the next month, the greens formula with the maca ran out, so I was down to just the BHRT. I started not being able to sleep again, so ordered what I now know (from this blog) is raw yellow maca. Started with 1/4 teas and worked up to 1/2 teaspoon, started sleeping again. Then decided to have my hormones tested, they came back really high with didn’t make any sense, so I decided to titrate them down and transfer to maca. Then found out I did the test wrong. I’m still committed to getting off the BHRT for many reasons and onto gelantanized black maca as recommended by Tim. He seemed to be quite an authority on maca. I used his link and bought the maca last night. As soon as it arrives I will begin the weaning process of the BHRT along with changing macas and increasing that does to compensate for the lowered BHRT. I hope this works. I was a crazy person on the edge before BHRT. I will keep you all posed as to my results. I spoke with the owner of the company I bought the maca from and he said there are slight differences between the different colors of maca, but it’s really splitting hairs. He said they are all basically the same, although the black maca seems to be a little higher in alkaloids. So we’ll see how this works out. If the black maca doesn’t work, I may try the Femmenessence. Wish me luck :)

    • Dar

      Correction: ‘increasing that dose’

  • Cosi

    Hmmm…. your PMT sounds more like winter blues, aka seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.).

  • Peter

    Hi Nick,

    News: Maca seems to have improved my testosterone level as well, so it is at 4.78 ng right now, after being low in December at 1.56 ng….
    The only thing, I have to fight with, is nervosity without a reason, especially in the morning…?

    Cheers, Pete

  • PhillyGuy

    Well Maria, as a guy, I commented on this many months ago, and I can say this much to you. I did try a GNC bottle of just pure Maca powder capsule well over a year ago. But I didn’t take the recommended dosage on the bottle, which I think if I remember was something like 2 – 3 capsules a day. Instead, I just took 1 a day.

    With just that 1, I certainly noticed a difference with my libido, I mean a “definite” difference in regard to my libido and physical “readiness”, if you catch my drift. I think 1 bottle would last you a month if you take the recommended dosage on the bottle. Since I took about 1/3 of the dosage, the bottle lasted me almost 5 – 6 months.

    However, I’m always from the school of thought that I don’t just bombard my body with an unfamiliar substance all at once. I would much rather have my body “gradually” acclimate to a new herb to see how “my body” reacts. Besides, I would much rather take something natural like Maca, or Gensing, or any other herb BEFORE I would EVER ask for a prescription for Viagara, Cialis, or whatever that has a list of side effects as long as my arm! I wasn’t necessarily trying Maca solely for sexual performance, but it certainly was a reason to consider taking it, just for knowledge.

    Another thing that may be a little different for me than some other people, is that I think the Maca acted very successfully for me, mostly because I’ve also maintained a pretty good diet, and at least moderate levels of exercise weekly. So, maybe someone who is overweight, maybe has some health issues with blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar, and etc. may have a different reaction to taking Maca than I have had.

    But, if they don’t have as healthy a body as myself, I couldn’t imagine the side effects of Maca being worse off for that person, verses if that same person were to take a prescribed pharmaceutical equivalent.

    No matter what, check with your doctor if you’re not sure about what is right for you. But I can assure you, more than half of the time, your doctor doesn’t have a clue about anything homeopathic. It’s not a requirement for most of them in med school. Prescription drugs are however. Oh, they know those drugs like the back of their hand.

  • Maria

    I as advised by my Naturopath to take maca powder because of low libido. After reading all of this I am a little scared to try it. Can you recommend other natural remedies to help with low libido, I say a comment above where you said there were safer aphrodisiacs to use for low libido? .. Can you recommend other that won’t have such bad side effects?

  • Paola

    From what I understand there are lots of variation of the drink that include different ingredients that do different things.

  • Paola


    Maca has been around for centuries and from what I know It is taken regularly in Peru. I myself was born there but I was raised in Canada. When my oldest son got sick and started getting a headache that lasted him 2 weeks and the doctors here said they had to do more studies because they had ruled out migraines, a friend of the family recommended I speak to his uncle a renown naturalist in Peru. One of his recommendations was that I give my son Maca but not by itself he told me to make a drink of oats and quinua and add a little maca. That drink is how they have it back home.

  • Jan

    Hi, I have been taking Maca Power certified organic powder in Australia. I am 51 and tried it due to menopause symptoms, mainly lack of energy and mild depression. The first 2 weeks were inconsistent with energy levels and symptoms, but since then have mainly had amazing improvement in energy. I started with half a teaspoon in juice and built up to a heaped tsp per day. I only take it before lunchtime otherwise the high energy keeps me awake at night. I think it would be better with food but although I eat generally healthy food I have trouble eating in the morning. In the first 2 weeks I did notice some little heart palpitations and random little possible symptoms. I think 1 use a quality product 2 start slow 3 take food 4 listen to Your body. I only take it in morning, but it has changed my life for the better like no other product more energy more happy. Good luck.

  • Peter

    hi Nick,

    Maca seems to have been very successful in improving my liver values: the Gamma-GT went down from 969 to incredibly low 240 within 5 or 6 weeks. Unfortunately my testosterone values will be ready in a week, so I cannot tell, if they improved as well, but the liver shows a great improvement.

    I reduced alcohol to almost Zero, but long before Maca, and there was little change…

    I´m performing power-sports, but started long before Maca, too (since 1 year)….

    And I changed my diet before Maca, too, eating more meat, fish, vegetables and salad, avoiding sugar, fat and carbon-hydrates…

    so Maca seems to have done it, or the combination of Maca, sports, food and low alcohol….

    how the Testosterone level changed, I can tell you in a week or two…

    thank you for the hint with the Zinc…!

    Cheers, Pete

  • Charity

    After the birth of my son, I was experiencing depression, mood swings, no libido, excessive fatigue, and anxiety. I had these symptoms for 9 months. I have been taking Maca Magic for about 2 weeks now and I feel amazing. I have my life back. It’s like the fog is lifted and I have energy and I can think clearly. It is nothing short of a miracle. I did not have any hormone testing before, which would have been optimal. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any medical dr who would be on board with this supplement, and I won’t take antidepressants which I could only guess would be the recommendation. I take 1 teaspoon per day. The only side effect I have had has been gas, but It’s nothing to deal with compared to what I was experiencing before. I feel like it might just be my body adjusting, like when you increase fiber intake. Also, I have been trying to eliminate sugar from my diet (it’s my drug of choice). I have never been successful for more than a day of so before. I have now been sugar free for almost two weeks. I haven’t even had any real cravings.

  • Nick

    Hi Pete, Maca has no affect on Testosterone levels.

    What exercise do you do?
    What is your alcohol intake?
    How does Testosterone affect your liver?

    I ask these as you can raise your levels by reducing/cutting alcohol and simply hitting the heavy weights and doing squats/deadlifts..these movements increase free test. Combined with the right foods: lots of lean meat and lots of vegetables, and lots of sleep (8hrs) will do it. Add Zinc/ZMA and you will feel a lot better.

    I ask about the liver as only oral Test tablets like Dianabol will affect your liver..injectable/transdermal will not.

    Cheers, Nick

  • Pete


    I have been on Maca for 4 weeks now, but as it seems, Maca will take a long time to boost my T level to normal again, if at all: on a scale of 3-10 my Testosterone is below 2…

    So I am thinking about the next step: TRT – however there seem to be many possible side effects, especially in my case I have to be very careful, because of extremely high Liver values (gamma GT is 970), making me hesitate to try TRT at all – and then my urologist will not give me a prescription, as he also is afraid of the effects for the liver…

    But what else can I do to feel better? – I am pretty nervous all day long, and I refer it to the low T level. I also heard, that men with low T levels get health problems anyway and do not live very long…

    My endokrinologist supports the view, that there is a connection between the Low T and my Liver problem….

    So, should I try TRT ???

  • Christine Deverell

    Sometimes taking a new supplement can make symptoms worse, or make you a bit uncomfortable, but never forget the healing process can be painful. This is useful information about Maca which I have just started taking again, as I love the benefits, but I will be exercising caution, as you should with anything like this.

  • meleelee

    hello all,
    i had been researching something “natural” to take for hormone imbalance because my doctor wanted to put me on birth control pills. After much research, I had found maca. I bought it at a health food store. Each capsule is 750mg. The supplemental facts state “organic gelatinized maca powder(root). Then it states “other ingredients” Microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate.
    I started taking it on Tuesday, 1/29/13 and took one in morning and one in afternoon (by the suggestion of the herbalist? at the store) and felt nothing but actually more tired. Thursday, 1/30, I could hardly get out of bed in the morning, today I feel the same, kind of tired. Should these capsules not have these extra ingredients in them? It seems I shouldnt be feeling more tired. Any suggestions? Thank you. And where did TImothy disappear to?

  • johar

    Oh, for heaven’s sake, the word is exacerbate. Frankly, the fact that you don’t know the difference between exacerbate and exasperate makes me question your intelligence. I don’t think I’ll be taking your remarks too seriously.

  • Katie

    Thanks for the comment Michelle. The problem is that my weight gain seems to be all in the tummy right now. Maybe after working out heavily in the near future I’ll see a change in that. If anyone else has had the weight gain issue please comment.

  • LRG

    Hey Pete_I give my husband the maca caps formulated using the “male friendly” maca types -you can check it out at macalife.com
    that doesnt answer your question but perhaps the drs there will answer that like they all my myriad of questions.

  • Michelle

    Katie, same thing has happened to me! Been taking it for about a month and I immediately gained weight in my boobs and butt! Like you, I stepped up my exercise and my weight went back down, but my butt and boobs are “fuller” than they were before. Upside is my waist is smaller and I’m building more muscle, so I don’t think it will have a negative impact on my body.
    I will continue to work hard to be able to keep taking this supplement – it has taken away my anxiety, I have loads of energy, mental clarity, better emotional stability, no more dizziness, loss of carb cravings..its awesome!
    Haven’t had any of the side effects discussed here except for the first week when I felt like i was on speed, couldn’t sleep etc but that is gone. I do also take virgin coconut oil caps which help keep my metabolism burning hotter to keep my body from storing fat.

    • Gary

      Michelle, AND Katie.. PLEASE provide me with the brand. I am a male, and very fit, but went overboard by cutting out too many fats in my diet. I lost too much weight and as such need to put weight back in my rear as well as my face. Being an actor, it is not a good thing for me…Please let me know exactly what brands /ways you took it? Thanks so much..

      • Katie

        Greg, it was Navitas Naturals for me. I had one teaspoon each morning mixed with just a little juice. However, I think it has more to do with me being a female and the adaptogen evening out my hormones than the brand of the Maca. I loved taking it and I just started back today. I will just have to deal with a little tummy gain for the awesome maca benefits.

  • Pete

    which maca is the best for treating/improving a low testosterone-level, yellow, red, black or another color?

    how long does it take to see an improvement?

    (for 10 days right now I have been taking Maca Powder of 3 colors mixed (yellow, red, purple), 1 teaspoon (5g) per day in the morning…)


  • katie

    I’ve been taking about 1 1/2 tsp gelatanized maca every day for almost a month. I love the energy and focus it gives me so I want to continue taking it, but I’ve put on about 5 lbs since starting. No other changes in my diet or exercise and I’ve been the same size for years so I’m pretty sure the maca is the culprit. Does anyone know if this weight will even out or drop once my body adjusts? I’ve stepped up the workout to try to combat it. I’ve heard maca adds “curves” to the female body but I’d rather not have any curves.

  • Sandy

    I have been through a hormone imbalance and used bio identical progesterone cream, the first 3 months were terrible, symptoms got worse etc but then after the third month everything settled right down, now I wonder that with any treatment for hormone imbalance is going to have this effect. The balance between progesterone and estrogen in the body has to be perfect for everything to be normal, so I wonder if the worse symptoms are just part of finding that perfect balance again?? Thoughts anyone ?

  • Greg

    I am finding that too many people are relying on the “pill” form of maca, I myself grow and make my own powder, with no other ingredients execpt the root itself. I find that any bottled and capsulated form (and some powders) of this product contains other ingredients that could add to the harmful side effects of maca. I only make maca root powder for myself and a few others to see how it affects people regarding age, weight and other characteristics. Myself and 16 others that have had my pure maca root extract have all had the positive effects of this product and none of the harmful side effects that I have read here.

    So just as a word of advice/caution, read the bottle, make sure it contains just maca, and if there’s something in it you’re not sure what it is/does I would recommend putting it back on the shelf.

    Naturally, Greg.

  • Thanks Fran for sharing this information. I just started taking Maca recently (In addition to some of it already being in my Shakeology) and I have been trying to do lots of research on it before recommending it to my clients. Thanks for sharing your input on it!

  • Diane

    I didn’t see any mention of the different types of maca root there are. I purchased some red maca powder and on the back it describes 3 types, Red, Black and Yellow.

    On the information it says Red Maca is best for prostate health, Yellow has beneficial effects on female fertility and menopause, and black maca is for memory and learning.

    I will be picking up the yellow and black powder, passing the red on to a male friend.

    I’m also going to look into the different types more and see if I can find out anything more that might be beneficial to add to this thread.

  • I have heard about the maca root powder that it is good for the energy, & also for health. But after reading your article I think that it has lots of side effect also so it’s up to us that in how much quantity we take this.

  • ron

    I bought Premium organic red maca powder.
    I took red maca powder 1/4 of a teaspoon a day for two days and i had diarrhea so i stopped and after 2 days started again,this time mixed with a tablespoon of yogurt to make it palatable.
    my stools are loose but not as bad as the first time.
    any thoughts on this will be helpful.
    i am taking it because i do not want to take Viagra (yet).I have tried increasing zinc intake by chewing pumpkin seeds and sweet apricot kernals.
    the capsules are 500/1000mg so what is a quarter teaspoon.

  • Bev

    After taking Maca for over a year and having great results for menopause symptoms I got my period or should I say more a hemorrhage ,, I immediately stopped taking the Maca even though I had reduced down to 1 capsule a day.. I have been off all remedies for 5 months and am climbing the walls. Today I started taking femmenessence Maca pause (one capsule am and one in the pm). Will see how this goes. Hopefully it will be the end of the night sweats and hot flashes, moodiness and everything that goes with menopause

  • Maddie

    I would recommend taking a diuretic, such as Spironolactone instead of antibiotics for acne (females only). I suffer from adult hormonal acne and nothing has helped but Spironolactone. After a year on it, my skin is consistently clear and I have zero side effects. It makes some urinate more, but that’s because it’s a diuretic. It works because it clears the toxins out of your system, but it only works for females with adult hormonal acne. There are natural diuretics you could try also, but I can’t speak for them alone. I’d tried dandelion root along with the Spironolactone and had positive results.

  • Hi Dezigner,
    Thanks for the info. Everyone is built so differently that I don’t want to shoot over potentially poor information without really getting to know your case. Since you are not in the US and don’t have direct access to the medical team via phone as easily, I can work with you one on one to see if there are missing bits and pieces to your situation. The first thing I typically do in practice is eliminate unnecessary products and change foods based on some detailed questions. If you email me at corey.schuler@naturalhi.com I will send these questions to you and then we won’t burden the others on this forum with our very personal discussion. I have a sense that some of these products given in too high of a dose may slow your estrogen metabolism and I’d like to get to the bottom of it with you. Looking forward to hearing from you!


  • Dezigner

    Dr Corey Schuler NHI – I have been taking NHI *Femmenessence Pro-Maca Go since 2010 along with many other Naturopath, holistic Dr prescribed natural health supplements- Progesterone cream, Natural Thyroid extract, DHEA 7 keto, DIM ( Estro Block), Adrenal support, Liver support, W Multi Vit, Vit C, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Vit D3, Fish Oil, Q10/E etc. I eat and practice a low fat balanced healthy mind and diet lifestyle.
    * However STILL in 2012 my saliva and urine tests have shown very little improvement in my very poor oestrogen metabolism -2/16-Oh E1 Ratio is still extremely HIGH and my E3 very LOW. Progesterone still low and Thyroid is still sub optimal. Now at 58 with a very poor metabolism I have still not lost weight or had much increased energy or better sleep, v poor hair, skin or youthful zest, not to mention have lost all memory of a once health libido etc. So Im very confused trying to constantly understand why all my very long dedicated efforts and so many $$$$ invested have shown such little or no results!… even after many years of trying to be positive positive.. its all understandably *very depressing as knowledge, practice and my persevering patience is failing me….along with my bank balance! Could this *Maca now be reeking havoc with my low Thyroid function, upsetting the whole Hormone balancing effect ? I don’t live in the USA and this product is still not available in our country… so any needed well trained one to one support from NHI is minimal.

    • Marcelo

      Check the book The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush by Andreas Moritz. This can help you in correcting most of your symptoms.
      Good luck and Blessings,

  • Plants of the brassica family have been associated with thyroid issues, but this is only the case when iodine stores are deficient. Maca is of the brassica family, but its goitrogenic properties have been questioned. This is only part of the answer. Depending upon where the maca is grown and the growing and harvesting conditions, it may have iodine in it naturally or it may have none. Ask the company you are buying your maca from to provide you with a detailed analysis of mineral, vitamin, fatty acid and amino acid content if you want to be sure.

    Dr. Corey Schuler
    Natural Health International

  • Elizabeth

    When my thyroid gland gave up the ghost one of the first things I noticed was my body broke out all over and my blood pressure was extremely low. It might be wise to insure that you aren’t low in thyroid before beginning a course of maca.

  • I just took maca for the very first time today in my smoothie. I bought it because I’ve always heard it’s really good for you. A couple of hours later I started feeling this weird sadness come upon me out of no where. I was so anxious and felt like crying for no reason. I thought I’d look online for any side effects of the maca and found this site. Now it all makes sense. I will not be taking it anymore. That was the only different thing I had in months. Thank you for this post.

  • Heather

    Any thoughts on the maca in liquid form?

    I just bought it and was excited to jump right in..until I read your story.

    I’m very nervous now, that I will increase my acne or worse..make my fibroid grow =/

    Thank you for any thoughts

  • Nancy

    I dropped dose, seems to be helping. James, thanks for comment above and follow up to my private email yesterday.


  • Nancy I am sorry that you are having issues and frustrated but lets work on a solution. If we break down your comment Femmenessence worked for two years (or else you would have stopped taking it). However when you took breaks your symptoms would come back and throw you out of balance.

    So as we mentioned to you, every woman is different and in relation to your personal experience we do have some ladies (we have been using Femmenessence for 7 years now with patients and over 10 if you include our 3 clinical trials) who just keep taking Femmenessence, in their lower maintenance dose, so as to avoid those issues. Not every woman experiences this but because every woman’s experience in menopause is so personal many need to have their own personalized dose, as you experienced, and regime of dosing as we have also seen with you.

    In relation to other recommendations you indicated that you already knew the advise we gave of increased exercise and melatonin however didnt mention the increase in protein that we suggested – did you add a protein powder as that can be really impactful. (Femmenessence is like the mechanic tuning your car engine but you need to add the fuel with with hormones is protein). Also in relation to melatonin, which is also a hormone, dose is critical. If you had tried doses that you normally get at stores of 1mg -5mg it is probably too much. Dr Oz actually even had a segment on this discussing how a high dose can make sleeping worse. The body only produces 0.3mg of melatonin a day and that is why we always start patients on 0.3mg of Herbatonin as it is ideal and often gets the best results. If necessary people can build from there. In relation to exercise it is very important to do weights as this is the type of exercise that impacts hormones and sleep the most. If you need some guidance on what types specifically let me know james.frame@naturalhi.com.

    I am really sorry that you had no response from the chiropractor we referred you to. That is not acceptable. If this ever happens always please contact us and let us know as otherwise we can only find out on forums like this! It is our job to ensure Femmenessence not only works, as it did with you for two years, but continues to work for ever to support you not just with menopause, but heart, bone and mental health throughout your life. I will follow this up, but did you send them an email and call as I know with one of your emails it once went to spam and was a cause of frustration when you thought we weren’t responding. PLEASE be assured there is a very good reason we have doctors on staff and so much support for customers and that is that we know how critical it is to guide people through health issues and how different every single one is and thus needs individual support.

    In relation to us having a chiropractor on staff. Dr Schuler also has a Master’s in Nutrition, has studied herbal medicine and lectures at Universities on natural medicine. He knows is stuff but you need to go back to him when things dont work. We are working with you by phone and email which makes it very hard and is why he wanted to connect you with a practitioner who could do tests and give you in person support. We always make sure we refer customers to practitioners who understand Femmenessence versus who has the best credentials on paper. However as I said if they dont provide you with what you want and should get let us know as we will!

    So as mentioned above please drop me a line and we will work on helping you through this transition and get you back to where you have been over the last few years with everything working perfectly… and no breaks ;)


    James Frame
    Natural Health International

  • Nancy

    I’ve been taking Macapause/Femmenessence for over 2 yrs. Last break it just stoppped working. I contacted the company and for the 1 main symptom they gave me advise that they assumed I hadn’t learned along the way–exercise and melatonin. Interesting.
    Their contact doctor (of chiropractics) and I’ve seen him on an infomercial for something else gave me some other advise. None of it seemed solid to me–either person connected to the company. He referred me to a local chiropractor, which I have no clue why or how a chiropractor cold help someone w/ hormone/women’s issues. That referral never even responded to my e mail. He found the referral in an hour or two in some outlying small rural town, too. Interesting. I’m more confused than ever.
    I had issues w/ other breaks and had contacted them previously and now the doctor said not to break–after my body is totally screwed up.
    I just wanted info on this product, research, stats, etc.. how it works long term, etc… Confused and frustrated and trying to help myself on my own. If you have more ind epth questions, where do you go? Your average MD doesn’t understand Maca and can’t respond. I’m not sure the company understands their own product either.

  • I am 50 and I take 1tbsp of maca powder per day. I hate the taste but it’s (surprisingly) easily masked by blending with juice. It’s been great for reducing hot flushes and improving energy and libido. I get my organic powder from Detox Your World. They are English, but seem have a large USA presence. The prices are extremely competitive.

  • Yacub

    I just started taking Maca Root today for the first time. I bought it from GNC. I’m only taking 525 mg a day. I’m taking it because it’s supposed to increase sperm production, sperm mobility and overall sperm quality. My recent sperm analysis was not that great. My wife and I are trying to get pregnant really bad. I am 42 and she is 34. I hope that I get good results and after reading this most informative thread I’m a bit scared. I really can’t handle emotional ups and downs. I’m also afraid of the potential stomach discomfort. I’ll keep an open mind and pray for the best. If anyone has and further advice please don’t hold back. Thanks for all of the input.

    • Marcelo

      Tapping gently your coccyx and sacrum for 2 min and the area around it stimulates your libido & sexual health this is very good for both women and men. Also, Standing for 5 minutes or longer, feet shoulder appart and knee a little bend. Strengthen your kidneys and improve the functioning of your sexual organ and more. This has work for many and it is wonderful for overall health. Be well

  • i came here cause I heard it makes your bum bigger and hips wider.

    ; )

  • Jorge

    A an example of how good is Maca, the Chinese and Japanese governments have breakfast programs for kids in the school which one of the main ingredients is Maca.

  • Jorge

    I will never take maca pills because you never know where the manufacturers got the roots. For most part I only trust in one brand that I personally order from Peru. It comes in 80 gr powder presentation and I use to mix it with any juice in the morning. Benefits are awesome but I only use once a day. It is crazy to consider more than a pill a day, I don’t know who tell you that.

  • kirsten

    ihad no side effects at all! i suspect that i have fibro and cfs…but no docs up here are good at diagnosis. gave me energy, motivation, and generally made me feel better. it was a noticeable change…not like most supplements. I will be giving the ol man a couple today and see if he lifts his butt off the couch. I have hope in Maca!

  • Andrea O'Brien

    Is Maca root the basis of the supplement Macafem? If so I have been taking it for 8 months, but about 3 months ago I developed chronic neck pain which eventually caused a bout of depression for a good fortnight, as it really wore me down. I stopped taking the Macafem and two weeks later my neck pain has gone. I initially felt really good taking the Macafem and felt it alleviated my symptoms but possibly taking it for a shorter time with breaks may be more beneficial. What do you suggest?

  • Anita Friedenberg

    After reading only about 1/3 of all the comments, I came to my own conclusion—I should not use it. I am so weak and tired from fibromyalgia I thought it might help. I shop at a very good Health/Organic Food store and they really “pushed” maca as being great for “energy.” However, I also have IBS, bloat immediately after eating anything, and besides that have headaches every day and migraines about 4 times a month. Several years ago, I tried Siberian Ginseng, and other ginsengs. Well, my reaction to that is exactly like my reaction to maca. I immediately develop a fog in my brain, feel my heart race faster, but I actually feel like I have zero energy. My stomach aches, but my entire digestive system is “whacko.” Thus, I quit the ginseng and never felt it until today, when I again tried the powdered root in one of my fruit/vegetable smoothies. And those very same aggravating and frightening symptoms began to occur once again. Then I thought to myself, my smoothie also asked for Goji berries. Now I haven’t looked those up yet, but as far as they and the maca, I took a minute dose of what they wanted. Someone mentioned ginseng and maca taken together. I think they are like duplicates of each other only in the sense that they cause the same symptoms. Now if I read up on the Goji berries, I may just learn that they cause the same outcome. I have decided to stick with fruit and vegetables. In a smoothie they are quite dense anyway, so I am going to be very careful about adding any new berries and such. Remember every person is different. I fall asleep if I drink coffee. So does my son. Neither of us were ever tested to see if we had ADD or ADHD, but people always ask. My old aunt who died years ago once said, when my child was really active and spinning around and dancing (a bit out of control, but not that much) give her coffee, she said. She and my son drink a lot of coffee, but I don’t any more. There are too many things the medical and scientific community haven’t tested—always a strange one like me—so I am sure it is important to be careful. I am 64, but have never looked my age, however, I now am very weak, have a compromised immune system, so all the pain I feel daily (all the time) makes me unable to do the things I used to do. Now I am well overweight, and it is not a healthy weight, whatever. I could say much more, but this is enough!

  • Fai

    Hi to all,

    I am a 34 year old woman suffering from depression, irregular periods and a chronic skin condition. I discovered Maca Root through recommendations on a website I frequent. I started taking Maca Root Capsules of 525 mg 2 times a day, then the next day went up to 3. It was great at first. I felt a lift in my depression, libido and energy. I have never felt a vitamin ” work” so fast. Then I noticed my heart would race and I was experiencing hot flashes. Am I taking too much? I really like the feeling I had because of the Maca at first, but the heart racing and the hot flashes I had later on made me extremely comfortable. I stopped taking the vitamin for a day and those effects almost immediately went away.

    Also, is Maca Root safe to take while I am breastfeeding? There is a lot of conflicting info on the Internet. My 18 month old seems to have many of the same hormonal issues I do and is big and slightly developed for her age. She has been blood tested for precocious puberty and I was told her tests showed she did NOT suffer from it, but I don’t want to exacerbate her growth or cause side effects through my breast milk.

  • nick

    Hi – I just bought some Holland & Barrett Organic Maca powder for libido issues – it says take 10-15g a day….yet everywhere else is saying 1.5-3…what are your thoughts please?

  • Pinkgreenbean

    Are you sure it was the maca root causing your issue? I had ALL of the same symptoms as you, nearly suicidal on depression (never happened before in my 30+ yrs), on VITEX (chaste berry). I was taking it one per day and after a week noticed significant decline in my mental health although my spotting was controlled. I have had ZERO effects from Maca root…although I also only take that once per day. I have never taken both at the same time as they do the same thing in the body and it would be overload.

  • Diana can I strongly recommend that you contact our medical.team@naturalhi.com who can give you a complete holistic protocol on how to address PCOS using both Femmenessence MacaHarmony and other diet, lifestyle, exercise and supplement options.

    We have actually seen that normal maca products which have phenotypes generally ideal for energy and men’s health can actually make PCOS worse while with Femmenessence we see it reverse. However it isnt a one stop solution of just Femmenessence but a protocol as mentioned.

    Feel free to also email your phone number and one of our doctors can also talk to you and answer any questions you may have.


    James Frame
    Natural Health International

  • Diana

    Hi! I’d like to know, please, if maca can decrease free testosterone level in women. I’m 22 years old and my doctor says that i have polycystic ovarian syndrome. My level of free testosterone is very high and my LH is low. Do you think Maca can help me? Or it can do more damage? Do you know somebody with the same problem who tried Maca? Thanks!

  • There are indeed things that many people don’t tell you about maca, especially when there are money involved. Anyway, if you don’t exagerate the maca powder dosage, I remain to my conclusion: Maca is good, and the fact that is an ancient remedy for many conditions user ceturies ago made me trust maca.

  • Melissa Marino

    I have noticed that when I started taking the maca I got my period early. Then I didn’t really seem to bleed that much in the middle. Then all the sudden the bleeding has picked up and my period has been a little longer. I seem to get a lot of blood clots. I have been taking two pills maybe I will just take one.

  • harry cohones

    Try growing wheatgrass to clear your skin. Remember your skin is the biggest organ of the body, and acts as a filter, much like a giant kidney. To rid your entire body of toxins which inevitably exit via the skin, juice wheatgrass with an inexpensive MANUAL wheatgrass juicer. The seeds are also inexpensive, and you can learn how to grow it, from videos on youtube. Remember to toast good health with every shot. Take care, Godbless.

  • Charles

    There are a few different types of maca root. Becky’s approach seems to be a good approach for me as well (and I am male). I have noticed that if I consistently use maca week in and week out without a break I grow impatient and less tolerant with those I interact with, and it is not good for my anxiety. Taking a break from most ayurvedic medicine, or using them only when needed seems like a good approach for me.

  • Becky

    My package of maca powder suggests going 3 weeks on, and 1 week off. It’s not meant to be taken continually over a long period.
    Personally, I use it about once a week as part of my ‘variety is the spice of life’ routine. Perhaps, that is not enough to experience any benefit but, when I was taking it for a few days in a row once, I felt like it turned on my fat-storage hormones (could have just been in my head). I mainly add it to my smoothie when I need it to be extra filling.

  • PhillyDude

    I’ve tried the GNC 525 mg maca whole herb capsules for several months now, and I can definitely say that in regards to libido, this stuff can perform like viagara without the side effects! I’ve never had any of the side effects that any one is talking about, because like anything else, you take it in moderation to see how your body adjusts to it. At the most I’ve taken 2 in one day, and not at the same time. Usually, 1 is enough, but that’s also because I eat a fairly stable diet, without junk food, sodas, and sweets everyday.

    You wouldn’t just plop 4 motrins in your mouth for the 1st time, because you woke up in the morning with a killer headache! That’s common sense. You gradually move into ANYTHING you ingest into your body. If you’ve never tasted mussels before, would you stuff 6 of them in your mouth to get the full effect? Of course not.

    Maca is no different. I’m not saying people may not have reactions to maca, but I can assure you wouldn’t have the same 30 second paper long list of “serious” side effects on the prescription commercials. And if you do have an effect, you would’ve had to take an awful lot of maca to feel weird or completely abnormal. I don’t have problems with it. And as for a sexual enhancement, YES unequivocally it does give you that, very well.

  • Julia


    Could you go into more detail on why women should only take maca in days 1-14 of their cycle? I started Maca a few days ago hoping for increased overall balance and decreased pms symptoms and am now 4 days late for my always regular menstrual cycle. I also have much more breast tenderness than pms typically brings on.

  • Marc

    Wondering if anyone else has had this problem. I put my raw maca poder in the oven and baked it. The whole house stunk from the stuff. It is now 4 hours later and the smell is still there. I haven’t seen anyone talking about this when it comes to cooking it. Any way of cooking it without smelling up the house?

  • Anon anon

    People! Look up the warnings about RAW maca. That may be the problem. Peruvians don’t use maca raw; like some other plants it can irritate the body if taken raw. Use the processed/cooked forms, and like any new herb or food, start SMALL.

  • blossom

    I have emailed you, thank you.

  • Dr. Corey Schuler

    Hi Blossom,

    You can email me at corey.schuler@naturalhi.com so we can determine which product is right for you. The product selection is based on stage of life versus symptoms although sometimes there is a gray area between which stage of life we are actually in! We can discuss dose and timing as well. The products are available in the UK at http://www.nutricentre.com/search.aspx?SearchTerm=femmenessence

  • blossom

    Can you give me an email address please? And did I see that your products are for sale over here? If so can you point me in the right direction? Thanks.

  • Sure Blossom

  • blossom

    James, Im in the uk but if I emailed one of your doctors could they recommend which product would be appropriate for my symptoms/health disorders?

  • Kate

    Hello folks,
    I am 50yrs old and pretty close to full menopause I have had one period in 8 months. I have been involved in natural alternative medicine for over 20 years and find I have done enough research to know a few things.
    1. Everybody is different as in every body type being it doshas, blood, or hormone levels…I happen to be estrogen dominant.
    2. Know your body and its signals very well before you take on a product or food or adaptagen that causes one’s body to change.
    3. Adaptagens work to balance…if for example you run “hot” and my body runs “cold” and adaptagen can be taken by both of us to bring us to a even level. ( But and a big but is my body may have huge swings and terrible responses and your body is not effected in the least by the adaptagen.)
    4. When taking bio hormones or maca etc you must know your cycle and/or with menopause your body and how it flows and ebbs with estrogen and progesterone.
    5. Research the product you purchase first…go to your local herb store…go online and research. I find many of the websites that sell directly their “own” product…can give out any properganda in any form be it studies, research …whatever. I am not criticizing any on this site…it’s just education is best with alternative medicine.
    6. Find a website like an iherb where you are getting a vast audience throughout the world using a product for many different reasons and ailments…you get to see what works for some and not for others. It is not like a study but it is a good starting point in knowledge and research.
    7. A LOT and I mean A lot of these herbs and medicine are not lifetime fixes. They are not a prescription that a doctor gives out that masks symptoms and does Not cure. Some can cure and other’s can ease symptoms. Some you only take for short periods..or cycled or for a lifetime…like certain vitamins.
    8. Too much of one thing is not always good.
    9. Know your acidity/alkaline within your body…get some cheaps strips. It will help decide when your body needs to detox or rid of yeast. Get an acid/alkaline food chart…this alone changed my life.
    10. If you can try to take whole foods…maca is a food but by the time a company gets done with it…it can become a dangerous supplement. Like Tim mentioned…try to eat it in it’s most natural form.
    11. Usually it is the lack of minerals that is the cause for most disease within the body…once again whole food vitamins are good.
    So for myself who is estrogen dominant and had pretty much PMDD growing up. Many things factor into my intake of certain things. For perimenopause I took DIM…man I love that stuff…felt great…increased my testosterone…great libido and slept well something that has effected me the most with menopause. Excellent for men who have estrogen dominance…low testoterone but like a good thing I realized that as I come into menopause I needed to stop DIM…it lowers estrogen yes, the good kind but I would get too many hot flashes. Menopause is already causing my estrogen to wane and the cruciferous content does not help my thyroid.
    So now I cycle myself on and off bio estrogen and bio progesterone…in very minute amounts. I also take supplements for my thyroid ..and once again once a week..too much iodine gets me jittery …iodine supplementation is a very fine line. Using estrogen, dim, maca you need to know what your body needs to get the full benefit. Ashwaganda another fantastic adaptagen…works for both myself and my boyfriend but I DO Not take it all the time. Vitamins, supplements they need to be taken in doses that level your amounts in your body…even too much of certain types of calcium are a bad thing. When your estrogen decreases the side effects anxiety, depression and lack of sleep along with restless leg syndrome(yet another disease Dr’s are needlessly prescribing medicine for) is usually just an effect of low magnesium.
    Magnesium/Potassium during this crucial time can ease a lot of symptoms. I get very few hot flashes now and I take very small doses of certain things. My friend who is testosterone D has extreme hot flashes…she is losing all the very little estrogen she has. My other friends(treated by Doctor’s) are taking patches and cycle on and off progesterone to relieve high levels of estrogen thus causing a pretty horrible period. It confounds me how folks rely on doctors who have no idea your body type, and your levels at different cycles…they give out a one fix for all solution. Taking synthetic from Doctors is scary and has caused many woman to shy away from bio creams…these are two differnt things. Most cancers are caused from bad estrogen…know the good one.
    Make sure you use a both bio cremes ..progesterone balances any excess estrogen. Tim seems to know alot about what type of Maca to take…it is a learning process. Few of you getting sick with Maca …it could be your body balancing or you could have a bad product or be allergic to nightshade plants like I am sensitive too. Maca gives me hot flashes but I do it on purpose to balance the effects of possibly too much cream…but for many woman it eases the hot flashes. It’s all a fine balancing act.
    As Socrates said “know thyself”…this is the first step.
    Good luck

  • Sarah can I suggest you speak to some of our doctors as our medical team having dealt with thousands of woman using Femmenessence and can help you with any question you might have.

    Also remember that while Femmenessence is a maca based product that there are many different types of maca and Femmenessence MacaHarmony uses specific types for women at your stage of life and concentrated levels (10-20 times what is found in raw maca) so it is very specific and works in different ways to normal maca powders so it is important to get your information from experts in Femmenessence.

    Please email one of our doctors corey.schuler@naturalhi.com


    James Frame
    Natural Health International

  • Sarah

    I have fertility issues and have started taking Femmenessence MacaHarmony to balance my hormones and promote overall reproductive health. My period is late and now, suddenly very spotty. I’m not sure if this is a negative or positive side effect of maca. It seems that the sudden irregularity might be a cause for concern. Any women with feedback, please help! Thank you.

  • Zach Brandon

    I just want to point out that it is not valid to blame an ingredient when consuming multiple ingredients. Just science. It would be prudent to use a maca product to understand your own response to it before having an opinion on the effect of the herb. In regards to your playful dig, do you suggest men be excluded from OB/GYN profession or other healthcare professional not have female clients or patients? I am telling you that I have women who go to the ER with “menstrual cramps” only to find it was excess fermenting fiber and colic issues. I’m sure you are correct though in your case.

  • Peacetree

    I love that this comment is from a MALE. No, I had no gas at all, it was most definitely my uterus cramping, I am quite familiar with my uterus. I also had spotting mid cycle with the severe cramping episode, which I’ve never had before, and which is not related to gas. 1000mg is also a lot of maca to be starting on if you’ve never used it before. It was a vegan shake, no whey.

  • Zach Brandon


    I want to understand this. You started a meal replacement with dozens of ingredients in it and you assume it is the low dose of maca that is causing you symptoms? 1000 mg is not a large amount of maca. What type of protein was in it? Sounds like a reaction to denatured whey protein, not a hormone reaction. Intense gas and menstrual cramps can be confused even in individuals who experience both on a frequent basis. Unfortunately, it seems as though you’ve jumped to a conclusion on this one.

  • Peacetree

    Listen to your body when starting maca. Maca works great for some people, I’ve read some glowing reviews online, but I’ve also found a few that are like my experience. Maca is not for everyone. I don’t typically get menstrual cramps that are anything beyond just uncomfortable, and that’s usually only one day out my cycle, day 2, my heavy day. I started a meal replacement shake that contained a very large amount of maca and started having HORRIBLE off the charts painful cramping four days out from even beginning my period. I was doubled over, having cold sweats, trouble breathing, ready to vomit… the pain was INTENSE. I suspected the meal replacement with maca was the only thing I had changed in my diet/lifestyle. I immediately stopped taking it. Next menstrual cycle rolled around and everything went fine and normal, some very mild cramping, one day only, to remind me my uterus was still there, but nothing too out of control. A few weeks later in the middle of my cycle I decided to try this meal replacement shake again that I had laying around and that I had dropped big money on. BIG mistake. This was the middle of my cycle. I had just ovulated, and the next day after taking this shake I had absolutely excruciating uterine cramping that was just like the worst menstrual cramps ever that I had experienced when taking the maca before. This time the pain was so intense I did vomit. I was ready to go to the emergency room, had I even been well enough at the time to move or breathe or get those words out… This time the doubling over and uterine contraction like pain lasted over an hour and caused my entire abdomen to convulse and cramp up and it took me a week to recover before I could even walk upright again because all my insides were so sore. Of course stopped taking the shake with maca, and my cycles have been fine and have not experienced that horrible pain since. Seems to me to be a connection… I am only thirty and perfectly healthy, living a “clean and organic lifestyle”. One serving of this shake has 1000 mg of organic gelatinized maca.

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  • estella

    Hi, I am a 51 year old women who has been experiencing debilitating hot flashes10-20) during the day and extreme night sweats along with irritability, decreased libido and inability sleeping. Heard about maca root from a co-worker and decided to do the research which i strongly recommend that all do when planning to start some new type supplement. Also be sure to speak with your health care provider about the supplement if you have pre-existing medical conditions. I had been taking HRT and it was very helpful;however, I did not like the increase in weight gain that came with the hormones. Once i discontinued the hormone replacement my menopausal symptoms came back with a vengeance, worse than before i started taking HRT’s. I probably should have weened myself from them gradually. I am not knocking HRT’s, they’re just not for me. I began using maca root the certified organic raw powder and after about 6 days i noticed one day i did not have any hot flashes on day two of using the powder i noticed i had way more energy. And boy does it increase your libido. I am not fond of the powder so i changed to the certified organic maca root vegetarian capsules. There are directions on the bottle depending on what you are taking the maca root for, I started as directed for menopausal symptoms with 3 capsules. I can truly say that i have about 1-2 hotflashes daily. The brand that i take is whole world botanicals which i purchased from a health food store and make sure that if you are going to buy from a health food store,talk with the individuals there to make sure they are very knowledgeable, you will be able to tell. The only thing that i can say that has changed with my taking maca root is that i am experiencing some constipation which never was an issue for me. I will continue to take my maca root as this is the only natural supplement that has been able to decrease if not eliminate my hot flashes—not even black cohash, soy, flax seed. evening primrose, etc. You name it , I tried it. On the label it tells you to avoid any estrogen or estrogenic herbs as maca root does stimulate your body to produce a oestrogen. Good luck everyone..

  • Deeps

    Hi after reading above all the blog today I have decided to take maca so I went and bought organic raw maca and as timothy suggested I roasted it for few minutes in the oven and Then took one teaspoon n glass of juice about 8 am.anyway around 7 pm in the evening my right lymph Got swollen up and hurriedly I put ice pack which reduce the swelling to 90%..I have pcos so thought maca will help but don’t know why it hpen to me! Has anyone had those symptOms? Did I not take it in a right way? Please help if anyone know about that…

  • Carol

    I am so glad I read this thread! I bought organic raw maca and wan’t sure how much to take. I took my first dose of 1/2 tsp. w/juice this morning. Thanks for all of the advice everyone!

  • Leigh Lawton

    Been taking Maca powder for 10 days now, Still no side effects. The Tenderness in breasts have stopped and stomach cramps are non exsistant. Loving it. My drepression has lifted I have more energy esp for work and kids I have missed a day but it did nothing still had the same effects. I am taking the recommended dose from day dot. Mine is not raw I got it from a health food shop who knew what they were talking about gave me LOTS of info on the stuff. extremely happy with the results I am getting even my face is clearing up and exma is clearing to. Wouldnt stop taking this product its worth the $20 I paid. Loving it and will be putting my daughter on this when she is old enough aswell since pcos runs in family. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

  • LRG

    I turned to Maca because of severe hotflashes and depression.
    I had to stop taking Sam_E because of severe stomach pain and nausea. I took the maca very slowly and with food for a few weeks because of my previous bad experience. Then I started taking it without food and finally up to the full dosage by 3 weeks. My depression had lifted in the first week but the hotflashes not until I was taking the full dosage. I have heard of RAW maca causing tummy trouble for people. I have been taking a product by a company called macalife-it’s formulation is heavily researched and it is not raw. and my tummy has been fine. relief.
    there are so many types of maca out there and I think maca gets a bad rap because of ignorance and poor processing in so many on the shelves out there.

  • Emma

    It took me 6-7 days to get over the ill effects of the Maca.

  • Hillary

    Hi all – my mom started taking raw Maca powder a few weeks ago to help with menopausal symptoms. Recently, she started experiencing extreme stomach pain. She thought it was a reaction to milk, so she stopped drinking milk. The pains continued. At times they were so debilitating that they forced her to lie in bed for hours at a time (I can count on one hand the number of times my mother has ever been sick – she is the epitome of health!).
    I believe the Maca powder is responsible for this. The last time she took some was on Saturday and now it is Tuesday night and she is feeling severely ill. Does anyone know how long it takes for Maca powder to leave your system?
    Once my mother has recovered, should she try taking Maca again, perhaps in a smaller dose?
    Many thanks!

  • Jackie 54

    Thankyou to everyone who has put a message on this site and a big Thankyou to Timothy for explaining that raw macca powder should be cooked. I am peri menopausal, aged 54 and have been having foggy brain for a few years now. I had placed my order for the maca powder before discovering this site. My husband and I have just started taking maca in porridge, cooked plus using it as a thickner in our meals. So far, no negative side effects with using a desert spoon between us, daily cooked. Question for Timothy, I’m not taking maca as recommended, from day 1 to day 14, does that matter? Thanks!

  • Leigh Lawton

    I have been taking maca “powder” now for four days now as I have really irregualr periods and was a suggested method to help regulate my menstral cycle as I didnt want to take the pill as my husband and I are trying to fall pregnant. I am happy to report three days in and FINALLY got my period after 8 weeks of nothing. Also yes I have suffered tender breasts, and some cramping I am also a pcos sufferer. Unlike these I now feel like I am a women again and would rather suffer the cramping and sore breasts than feeling like I am not female. Which of those who are like me will understand. Will update on my progress as I continue to take but I am happy to report these are the pnly side effects so far ^^

  • Something that you should always take in to consideration. Supplement brands will always tell you to take more than what you need, this is because it’s a smart way maximizing profits… Actually this can be potentially harmful to your health in some cases. For instance a brand of whey protein would probably tell you to eat 2g of protein per 1lb of body weight per day… Do the maths on your self… When in reality a normal person cannot use more then 100-150g of protein per day, unless they’re on steroids… In fact eating too much protein will effect your hormone balance because while your body is dealing with excess protein in majorly hinders hormone production, so too much protein could actually hinder your training results… With maca. I’ve been using it for about five days now at only 1tsp per day, less than what is says on the packet, this is because I did some research before it took the stuff in to my body… I’ve noticed no negative health benefits. I actually feel like my testosterone is higher; I’m more confident and less hesitant, I’ve got more strength in the gym and I’m a horny beast!… I believe it boosts up all glandular activity in the body which is often suppressed by our modern foods and lifestyles… I would recommend maca to anyone, provided they use it responsibly.

  • Shauna

    Hi over 2 yrs ago I had a uterine ablation and haven’t had a period since..I started taking Maca about 2 1/2 weeks ago for my menopause symptomes and now I’ve started to have a light period this month..I’m not impressed!! I talked to the health food store where I bought it and they have no answers..I strongly suggest people do lots of research before taking natural products because they aren’t regulated..

  • Myra

    My partner is experiencing low sperm count and motility problem. We can’t conceave even all ok with me. He already has children from previous marriage.
    I heard about Maca and wanted to hear if any man had positive experience in impoving sperm motility by taking this supplement?

  • Monica

    Hello. I just recently found out about maca and I was wondering if I could take it because I am 18 years old but my hormones aren’t balanced. So, would it be ok for me to take this or am I too young to take it?

  • Emma

    I’m so pleased I found this webpage. I have just read everyones comments on the maca.

    I started taking the maca powder at 1/2 tsp a day (raw) about 14 days ago and in the last 7 days I have started to suffer from nausea, I would feel very sick after eating anything. My nose broke out in spots and I have never suffered from acne in my life. I lost weight (not a good thing when you’re 5’3″ and 8.5st). I was lethargic in the day, I would hit a ‘slum’ at about 3pm and go very tired. I thought it was just my body adjusting it’s hormones and tried to ride through it but then I had double the dose yesterday to try and make it more effective and today has been that bad that I had to call in sick at work. I woke up with extreme anxiety, I have been very tearful all day. I had to go to my Mums for the whole day (I’m 35!), I’d never had anxiety like that. I couldnt eat a thing I felt that sick. I fell out with my partner and everything! We are OK now though as I have explained to him that I’m sure it’s the maca powder.

    I started taking maca for extreme PMS and had such high hopes for it, I’m gutted it has done this to me. I really want to try again but if I do I will be buying the black gelitinized maca. I had red organic raw maca and Iv’e thrown it out this afternoon.
    Can anyone recommend a starting dose please?

  • Logan

    My girlfriend has had stomach pains for the last two nights. Bad enough where she was keeled over in pain. She had been taking Maca for 6 months now. I suggested to her that perhaps it IS the Maca and she should stop. She didn’t really believe it was so I looked it up and stumbled across these great posts! It was nice to read all of these comments to her – definitely opened our eyes a bit! She also stated that her last menstrual cycle was the worst she’s ever had and considerably early. She is exhausted at night and can easily sleep for over 12 hours! Before her last cycle, her breasts were in so much pain that any pressure at all on them was unbearable. She’s been sneezing and coughing, flu like symptoms for awhile now. After all these posts she has decided to go off Maca for at least a month and see how it changes her body. I’ll keep ya updated, as I don’t like Maca and truly believe it causes more side effects than benefits.

  • Thank you so much Dr. Schuler! I have a good feeling about the MacaHarmony! I will look into these other options as well and discuss them with my Doctors. I really appreciate it! :)

  • Hi Melissa, Please be aware that there are 3 different versions of Femmenessence. You would be looking at Femmenessence MacaHarmony. I’ve included a testimonial as published in Better Nutrition magazine http://on.fb.me/NzdY7l While Femmenessence MacaHarmony is the first thing I would recommend in your case, there may be other lifestyle choices or products, as you may know based on your post. Evening primrose oil and chasteberry would likely be good additions as would DIM, I3C, or calcium D-glucarate (these are often found in products together). Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are high in these compounds.

    Dr. Corey Schuler
    Natural Health International

  • sue

    Is MACA good for arthritis pain? I thought I read that somewhere? Anyone?

    • I don’t think so.. But maybe you would wanna look into Kratom (mytragyna speciosa) its a very natural pain reliever and it has worked for me and many others! Good Luck!

    • sorry, I thought I’d add that although the Kratom its self has done wonders for me regarding pain, I do also take Maca and its works wonderfully with the Kratom, but i do not think that the Maca alone will help with the pain.. It has many other great health benefits which is why I use it as well..

  • Sue, thank you very much for your last comments. I am going to look into the Femmenessence! I am 31, off of anti-depressants and off of the pill, but unable to regain a cycle. I’m currently estrogen dominant (no progesterone at all), have been on progesterone cream for 3 months so far, and will have blood drawn again next month to see if it’s made a difference. I’m on Tribulus to regulate hormones as well as Extress to help with stress/anxiety and 5-HTP to help with mood/depression. I’m not sure that any of them are working. :( I usually put raw maca powder in a smoothie once a week, but try not to overdo it. Maybe this type of maca will be better. Thanks!

  • Sue

    Another benefit I have experienced is being able to get off of antidepressants. I was on half of the lowest dose, every other day, as I was trying to wean myself off. When I would try go a few days, I would get a really weird buzzing-like feeling in my head. Since the femmenessence, I have been able to stop completely, with no bad effects.

  • Sue

    I am 52 years old going through menopause. I was able to handle the hot flashes and night sweats, but I began to be extremely irritable and unable to contain it. It reminded me of Jr. high PMS. I went to the doctor to get estrogen, which she prescribed, and then went to the natural food store to get some natural progesterone. While I was inquiring, the clerk who was helping me suggested Femmenessence. I decided to try it before taking the other. Within a week, my mood swings were gone, I felt much calmer and more energy. The only problem I am having now is sleeplessness, which I did not have much of before. I am backing off from 2 pills to 1 in the afternoon to see if it makes a difference. I was greatly pleased with the effects on my moods, as this was bothering me the most.

  • Sher

    I have been taking MacaSure for 9 months, and it stopped my period completely, and all kinds of red rash came out on my foot below the knee, like eczema. I stopped taking it for about a month now because I ran out and just did not feel like buying it this this time and guess what, my period came and the rash is gone. I will watch it for the next month and see how it goes. If not, I will continue to take it as it does help my energy level and balance my hormones!

  • LRG

    I am having great results with FEMMENESSENCE.
    But I started very slowly and take with at least a little food.
    I am planning to use it on an empty stomach soon as it works
    more efficiently that way.
    my menopausal depression has lifted, my hotflashes are diminishing-that took almost a month to begin resolving however. thats ok with me as its not a drug- its a nutrient and nutrients take time to change and balance our systems.
    Im thrilled with the personal communication with a health professional i have received at the website as well. you should try to contact them with any questions-they were pretty patient with my many queries. good luck.

  • AGE 50


  • Hopefo

    I have a cousin who had total hysterectomy with no ovaries left. Since maca works on hormones, she had always wondered if maca will work for her menopausal symptoms as well as low libido, as she has no ovaries. Also she in on blood pressure tablets for blood pressure. I read on the posts that maca might not be compatible with blood pressure. Please any advice for my cousin will be appreciated.

  • BE

    Wow. I just read ALL of these posts. whew! lol I’ll keep this short and sweet (since I’m TIRED). :)

    And I’m sick and tired of feeling tired and sick.

    I’ve spent YEARS not taking care of myself (crappy diet, little to no exercise, smoking, high stress, I’m a typical American, ok?)…and now, in my early 40′s, it has obviously been catching up with me.

    -In 2009 I was diagnosed with DCIS (pre breast cancer that’s found IN the milk duct but has not escaped) and went through surgery to remove the affected duct. Then endured several radiation sessions. After my mom also got breast cancer, they tested her and showed we do NOT have the genetic type, but it has to do with hormonal imbalance). After 2 years of mammograms every 6 months *OUCH* I got the “all clear” and am now OK to just get once a year mammograms, yay..

    -I Have had HORRIBLE periods from the beginning which have gotten progressively HEAVIER and worse. I was FINALLY diagnosed with two HUGE FIBROIDS in my uterus. I recently (this past December) had a procedure called “Uterine Fibroid Embolization” where they actually cut the blood flow off to my uterus by plugging up the arteries with some little plastic balls in order to ‘starve’ the fibroids so they’ll shrink and die. Supposedly the blood flow will return to my uterus at some point. It’s been 5 months now and an ultrasound has shown the fibroids have shrunk a little but I haven’t had much improvement in my symptoms, although the flow might be subsiding a little, but not much…

    I had quit smoking and started eating (what I thought was) healthy about 2.5 years ago (after the breast ordeal) and was successful in losing the 20 pounds that I had RECENTLY gained (I was not too heavy my earlier years, so I guess it was a combo of radiation, stress, and hitting 40?) I was back at my high school weight and felt GREAT. I was active and had energy for a while but was living under enormous amounts of stress and strife…

    -THEN, it’s like I crashed. Started losing steam, fell off the wagon, started eating like crap again, quit exercising, and sort of spiraled out of control. It’s like I have up and went nuts. Now, I have not only gained BACK the 20 pounds I had lost but have also gained back a LOT more (I don’t care to share how much). Now, I guess I replaced the habit of smoking with eating to counter-react my anxiety? ;(

    -After MUCH research (on my own, since the doc is really no help, although we did find I am low in vitamin D and have been taking high doses weekly to get it back up.) I have discovered I may have been experiencing:

    *Adrenal Fatigue (from the horrific amounts of stress and strife) and maybe…

    *Estrogen dominance” (which is evidenced by my DCIS and fibroids along with other woman troubles), and possibly…

    *casein and gluten intolerance (the proteins in dairy and wheat) , which I accidently discovered after I had fasted from animal products to do a cleanse, had my symptoms of life-long constipation, fatigue, body aches and brain fog go away during the fast but then came back with a vengeance AFTER I started back on dairy. I later found the gluten is related since it’s the same size molecule as the casein so my body reacts the same, which is to attack the protein molecules, but then ends up attacking itself. I also believe I could have something called…

    * Leaky gut syndrome” which is when the intestines get permeable (maybe from yeast overgrowth and damage from poor diet). From what I understand, molecules from inside the intestine can pass over into the blood and some can cross the blood/brain barrier and actually act like morphine in the brain (the same compound found in opium are also found in cow’s liver) Which COULD explain why I’m in such a brain fog and have typed a MARATHON POST here when I said I was going to keep it short and sweet! lol I’m actually ADDICTED to cheese (which is concentrated casein), the same way some can get addicted to heroin…and when I’m coming off it (fasting), I get a lot of the same detox symptoms as someone coming off heroin…

    So, anyway…

    After MUCH research, I had put myself on supplements to try to “cure” myself: a store brand multi vitamin/mineral supplement, fish oil, digestive enzymes with probiotics, DHEA, DLPA (amino acids to help with dopamine and depression) and glutamine (which helps the gut and the other amino acids to work? 5htp at bedtime (to help with seratonin, anxiety,and cut sugar cravings) Progestrone creme beginning on day 14 of my cycle through the beginning of my next to combat the estrogen dominance…but, currently, I’m still on dairy/wheat and getting ready to get back on the wagon so I don’t think ANYTHING will work until I can get that under control.

    And now that I think about it, I had read about MACA in the past and had gotten a bottle which I had finished. I never got another, maybe because I wasn’t seeing much improvement since I was still on dairy at the time? hmmmm

    Now, after reading ALL of this (and processing everything from the past 40+ years in this one post), I’ve decided I need a new strategy.

    Money is definitely an issue and these supplements can get expensive. I actually choose them wisely, but It seems I’ve been throwing a lot of well-researched supplements at my health problems and wasting my money (and time) since I haven’t really taken a systematic approach?

    I have ZERO faith in the mainstream medical profession and have noticed that my doc seems to just want to medicate each symptom instead of dealing with the CAUSE. I have somewhat of an equal distrust for nature docs too, not only will insurance not pay for them, but they also seem to push a lot of natural remedies they sell in their shops. That may be an over-generalization, but I don’t have the time or money to experiment and shop around for someone I trust. I feel like I’m on my own…

    So, I think it’s best for me to start over, using the newer info I’ve gathered over the past few days (from here and other sites).

    *****It seems MACA can help with many of my issues. Here’s what I pulled from ALL these posts that seem the most useful to me:

    -RAW is bad, it should be cooked or gelatanized (sp?)

    -Either breaking open the capsules and making a tea or adding it to baked goods seems to be the best methods if not using the gelatanized (how DO you spell that)?

    I should take it slow and work up to the dose that works for me.

    I should take periodic breaks from it with long term use.

    -I would best benefit from the creme colored MACA (for peri menopause, hormone, and adrenal issues)?

    ********I have a few questions*********

    Since MACA has tryptophan, should/could I quit taking the 5htp? I’m thinking I could make/take some MACA tea (made from the raw form) in the morning and still take some 5htp at night? However, if I could stop taking the 5htp, that would save money I could put into the MACA…

    Should I discontinue the progesterone creme and replace it with the MACA or try them side be side (I won’t be due for the creme for two weeks since my new cycle started yesterday, ugh)?

    Am I right about the creme-colored MACA for my case and if so any suggestions as to which company/type?

    Would it be ok to start with the gelantanized (to get a jump start) then switch to the raw (in tea or baked) or would it be better to do it the other way around (since we’re supposed to work our way into using it? I’m trying to figure out what’s most cost effective…

    What’s the least expensive/best source to buy in bulk (if I decide to go with the raw powder and make into tea or baked goods)?

    Does anyone sell the actual maca root, in it’s whole form?

    So, sorry and thanks for letting me put this all down in a post, if I didn’t it would just keep going round and round in my head and I would get nowhere! (I NEED to get off the cheese lol)!

    Even if no one answers my questions, I’ve been helped tremendously by just reading all the posts and typing out my own since it’s the best way for me to think.

    Either way, I’m going to try the MACA. I’m also getting back to a whole food/non toxic diet (no processed/dairy/wheat/non organic meats or poultry or unfiltered water). I’ll try MODERATE exercise so I don’t wear myself out before I heal from the adrenal fatigue. I’ve already been working on lowering stress and taking care of internal business (through various self help groups and DEALING with emotions properly) and will keep working to keep the stress under control. I’ll continue taking the other targeted supplements I’ve chosen (although I think I’m going to add in fulvic acid, which I have also just recently learned about for trace mineral absorbtion which I feel I DESPERATELY need in light of my food intolerance/gut problems).

    So again, thanks for this. Hopefully it will change my life. And to anyone else dealing with all this, I hope something in my post can help you. LIVE!

    BE :)

  • Hi Over 50, Zach’s assessment is accurate. I’ve had the opportunity to work with patients using maca as well as review the literature and reported events for multiple manufacturers. Maca naturally has tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for helping the bowels to function properly. However, that would not explain yellow stool. Yellow indicates bile which is produced in response to fat ingestion. It seems coincidental yet if you have further questions, you can email me directly at corey.schuler@naturalhi.com . We may be able to fill in the blanks to your story and guide you to the right support.

  • Zach Brandon

    That does not seem like it could possibly be the case. It sounds more like something going on in the gall bladder. Routine blood tests would direct your primary care to check out the right things. While alarming, it is usually no big deal but should be checked out. I think you can be confident that it wouldn’t be the maca.

  • Over50

    Can femmensence, macapause cause serious GI problems, produce yellow stool?

  • gillian

    I’ve been taking maca on and off for a few months now. Mine came in a powder pack that I use a tsp to measure out.
    I’ve only added it to my morning smoothies. The bottle says to take it in the morning to prevent insomnia that can occur if taken too late in the day. I measure out what I can physically take tasting in my smoothie which is about 1tsp.
    I do not take it everyday, I have a ball of energy, a huge sex drive, clear skin, my periods are lighter and shorter.
    I am 30yrs old, have had 5 children over the past 10yrs and I eat a regular diet, meaning I am not a vegetarian or anything like that. I eat happily and feed my kids well. We eat a variety of fruits and veggies, meats, grains and breads… if you watch your own body, you will know how much you can handle.
    There is no need to overload your systems with something you have never tried before.
    As with anything you put into your body, be careful. Pay attention to any effects and if it scares you, stop. Dont take more because you dont notice any effects after just a week because for many minerals or vitamins, it can take up to 4 weeks to see the full potential offered by them. Overdosing on anything is not good for you, so just be careful.

  • LRG can I suggest not taking Femmenessence with a normal maca product. We see specific types which are beneficial for women and sometimes taking a normal powder with Femmenessence doesnt have the optimal result.

    Can I also suggest speaking to some of our doctors about your personal condition email: medical.team@naturalhi.com or 415 243 9991

    If you want more information on the different types of maca here are a few articles http://www.naturalhi.com/Editorials.aspx

  • LRG

    not sure if i want to join you on that endeavor Sasha.

  • Sasha

    I actually started taking it to increase my backside. My butt was 41 inches and a month after macaroot it grew to 42.5 inches.

  • LRG

    I was taking Sam-E for mild depression for 2 months . It turned that around but took a toll on my GI system. Nausea stomach pain. The moment I stopped -the pain all stopped. I started taking Maca after hearing that it can help with mood and hot flashes.
    I am starting slowly taking one femminessence (sp?) and gelatinized navitas powder 1 tsp in a smoothie per day.
    two weeks and am unsure about improvement in my symptoms.
    The hot flashes are unchanged. the depression came back worse as the Sam-e was working its way out of my system but I have had a few good days and I think my energy level is just slightly better. I will continue to take it slow and increase my intake.
    I would appreciate if people would continue to specify the form and dose of the Maca they are taking before going into their experiences with the product. That is helpful.
    BTW-what is all the talk about getting a big butt by taking Maca? random.

  • Mary McDaniel

    Hi, I have been reading the post, and I find it quite disturbing that no one on this website has a clear notion on what Maca Powder really does for you. I will say this in Maca’s defense, I have been taking Maca on and off for years, and I have to say it has done wonders for me. Yes, I do believe that there is a resting point where you have to stop taking it for a month or so, but I tell you it has really regulated my periods, It cleared up my skin, and I have been able to maintain my weight. furthermore, I concentration and focus is pretty good too.
    For those of you that are giving medical advice, I wouldn’t because everyone’s body function differently, and if they are not a patient of your then i wouldn’t suggest telling anyone what to take and what not to take. My suggestion to all of you is try whatever works for you.
    Have a blessed one

  • Bev

    I started taking Maca 5 months ago for hot flushes. It changed my life. Took care of the flushes aNd def increased libido. I started with 2 capsules and increased gradually to 4. However……….. I have noticed sore joints and stomach cramps recently. After reading the above comments, I m now sure it’s the mac a. I have taken off days as well as reduced to 2 capsules daily but still find that mt joints are sore. At this stage I would rather have sore joints than hot flashes!!!! Pick your demons ladies!!!!

  • Faith

    Most people here are experiencing detox…the maca is moving the toxins out of the body so you should INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE to help the body get rid of the toxins and sea salt intake. Sea salt helps to flush the body of toxins!

  • Mark

    Thanks for your thorough reply. I’ll definitely take a look at the products you mentioned.
    I don’t think it’s all that severe yet, but it’s always good to be on the preventive side.

  • I’ve been reading a lot of the posters here and it seems that many are taking too much Maca too soon.
    Maca is a powerful adaptogen so taking smaller doses on a regular basis will be more beneficial.
    Also, be careful of the quality of Maca you take and don’t take it with another adaptogen like ginseng.
    Give it time to take effect (one week isn’t long enough) and take a full weekend or week off if taking it consistently for several months.
    I take a good quality maca and have taken maca powder with no side effects. It has been excellent at balancing my hormones and also increases libido and energy.
    Find out more at my blog http://www.herbalcollective.ca/source

  • Hi Mark, Sasha is correct. In fact, you may want to try Revolution MacaLibrium which I’m using with patients, but I always make sure I’m adding in things like DIM (di-indolemethane), I3C (indole 3-carbinol), and also calcium D-glucarate. There are products that have combinations of these. For example, EstroSense is one such product. Also, if you feel it is severe and want conventional medical support, you can ask your doctor about Arimidex which is what is called an aromatase inhibitor and slows the conversion from testosterone to estrogen. If you are overweight, you will indeed need to lose the excess body fat. Fat contains aromatase which will continue to convert any remaining testosterone over to estrogen. The situation you describe can be highly detrimental to prostate health so be sure to act swiftly. In regards to the use of Revolution MacaLibrium (I can’t speak to maca generically), I routinely see increases in testosterone especially when combine with supplemental protein. The benefit for you is that the adaptogenic nature of maca should support more than just the testosterone/estrogen balance. Best of health.

  • Sasha

    You should be fine.. It’s suppose to stabilize ur hormones.. I think it’s a good way of helping your body.. As far as excersice goes just walk for a few minutes a day.. NOthing to strenuous

  • Mark

    Thanks. I came across Maca googling for natural anti-estrogens, as I believe I’m developing gynecomastia-tendencies due to high intake of Soy-products for the last 5 years. I’m now changing my diet, and I’d just like to figure out if Maca will help me in this process, or if it will just make it worse. I’ll look into it some more.



  • Sasha

    My friend has big breasts normally, her chest got bigger.. My but is big already it was 41 inches and after 3 weeks with maca its 42 inches.. As long as you excersice it will help increase your muscle mass. If you don’t excersice u might gain a lil weight,

  • Mark

    Will Maca help me get rid of belly- and chest fat? I’m on a good diet, and follow a strict workout routine atm. I read that some people experience swollen/enlarged breasts when taking Maca. Is it just women who experience this? I’d like to achieve the.. opposite effect. :)


  • K'Jean

    Hi everyone TODAY 4.11.12 I bought my VERY 1st pack of ORGANIC RAW MACA POWDER from the health food store. My goal is to achieve balanced hormones, develope more of the feminine body parts…hips and glutes, and the V shaped torso. ( if possiable balance out the one breast that is smaller than the other ) BUT MOST OF ALL BECOME PREGNANT:)…I AM HAPPILY MARRIED:) ABOVE ALL I LOVE MY BODY AND I AM VERY HAPPY WITH MYSELF AND MY LIFE. I DO BELIEVE THIS IS THE YEAR FOR ME TO CONCIEVE. WITH THE HELP OF JESUS NOTHING IS IMPOSSIABLE. I will be going to the doctor on 2marrow to get his approval on my NEW regimen. I am so EXCITED! God bless you all:)

  • Issy Cracknell

    Hi, I hope someone can give me advice. I have a skin condition called perioral dermatitis and am currently trying different natural remedies to try and get rid of this skin condtion on my face (its a bit like acne). I have no idea why it has reappeared again after 4 years and will be putting off taking antibiotics as long as possible. But also I havent had a period for 4 months and may be starting the memopause perhaps – waiting to have blood tests at the doctors. Someone has told me about the benefits of maca powder if your hormones are unbalanced and it may be affecting my skin too. After reading so many conflicting messages – please can you advise me? Many thanks

  • jeanette

    Hi,Ive got an UNDERACTIVE thyroid and am on thyroxine can I still take small doses of maca?helpfull info would be great,Im 49 perimenopausal & have weight gain & very low labido, please help if you can

  • Tia


    I’ve heard that maca is good for weight gain, especially in the butt area, is there any evidence to prove that this is true?


  • Another reason why your skin is breaking out is because of dairy. If you are ingesting any products with dairy from chocolate to icecream, cheese, milk, etc & ESPECIALLY if it’s not organic, this is the origin of your hormonal imbalances, mood changes, & acne. Immediately switch to Organic Cheese & eliminate milk if possible. Soy milk is NOT a good alternative because it will cause acne as well. Something that truly tastes IDENTICAL to dairy milk is ALMOND MILK. I forgot the exact brand that I use, but it comes in a blue box. You are going to want to get the “original” flavor. Also, even Walmart started selling Organic Cheeses. Try the Dubliner Cheese. You will find it on the refrigerated island with the specialty cheeses by the deli at Walmart.

  • Try irish moss powder for your face. Get the ground Irish moss, which is a type of seaweed. Add purified water to a mound of the irish moss in your hand in proportiant amounts to make a paste like consistency. Then apply to the face & let dry. This will reduce your acne swelling, etc immensely in just the short period while the irish moss powder mask is on your skin. The irish moss is also packed with vitamins & minerals giving your skin what it needs.

    p.s., regarding the maca, I am an herbalist & with any herb, one should start with the minimal dosage, never the maximum. With any herb, a very smal amount should be taken at first to see the bodies reaction, ALWAYS starting with MINIMAL amounts(for makka one should start off with 1/4 tbs daily), GRADUALLY working your way up through time to larger amounts. Also, taking capsules is part of the problem because if you are doing so, you are ingesting the whole herb & thus the essential oils which are volatile & a type of poison all herbs have. The true medicinal way to extract the healing properties of herbs is to make an “infusion” or a tea from the plant. This makes the medicinal properties “bio-available” for the body. You could even empty your capsules of maca into a pot of water to make tea. So, take a medium sized pot, place it on med temp, empty only 2 capsules in the pot & allow to seep/soak for about 30-40 min. Then, drink. Drink about 1-2 tea cups worth & save the remaining tea in the fridge. Drink the remnants within 48 hours. Also, you may want to make yourself a pot of maca tea only several times a week, NOT everyday.

  • Hi there, I take maca as a food and mix it in with my green smoothies and frozen banana icecream, usually a heaped tablespoon full. A lot more than 4 capsules worth I think, but I don’t have it every day. I’ve heard David Wolfe say maca is awesome but it is more of a 3 weeks on 1 week off type of food if you are having it every day. I love it and I’ve never had any problems. I get mine from a raw food supplier so I know it is raw and organic. Good luck!

  • Hi – there can be a difference between raw and cooked brands of maca. I have found I respond better to some brands than others.
    Maca can have a detoxifying effect when someone first starts taking it – so go slow.
    I take half the recommended dose of 4 capsules a day – that’s all I need. When a woman is midway through her cycle, about a week after her period, stop taking the maca for a couple of days. You can also skip it for a week at that time and then go back. It does balance hormones and give energy – I think it’s awesome.

  • Janet

    Here’s a site with all kinds of info on Maca. Differences in raw, cooked and organic, dosages, storage life, etc


  • Sasha

    If I take maca root to increase my buttock size and I stop taking it after a month or two, will I experience bad side effects? Will the size go back down? WIll my hormones become unbalanced? I”m 22 perfectly healthy, I work out 3-4 times a week. Thank you

  • Sunchild

    Dangers of Maca powder?? Is this an American site by any chance? ;) I’m sorry, it is meant to be freandly ‘teasing’ rather then insulting.

    Now I read somewhere on this page that Maca can make someone’s endometriosis worse? Maca is one of the few foods that can actually have any effect on the increase of progesteron levels and the balance of hormones in human body with endometriosis. Still in a very small way. Having that said, I am certainly not a medical professional and I would never tell anyone to do or not to do anything.

    To myself personally, my ORGANIC maca powder is just another food. As the Peruvian gentleman said on this page, he used to eat it (fresh maybe) from when he was a child. Indeed, nothing wrong with that because it is a food like a potato, but with a higher and different nutritional value. Like some people’s tummy’s don’t like certain foods they might not like Maca either. But let’s not make this into some ‘dangerous thing’ that is supposedly bad for you. It is not. Seriously, how on earth do you know for sure where your symptoms came from really? Rationally pinpointing one thing would take much experiment and then much more research.
    If you want to listen to some stranger on the internet telling you about what you should or should not do take my advice:) Relax first, and take a bit of maca every once in a while. Trust your common sense and ENJOY life!:D


  • Arthur Dent

    I have been taking Resveratrol (by Solgar) for eight weeks now,and getting the same good effects. I was extremely tired and even falling asleep standing up before I took it. Resveratrol is a plant-based pill. I take 2 a day. I am 65 and it was recommended by two women in their 60s who said it had changed their lives. I have not felt sleepy for one day since taking it. No side effects. Resevetrol is quite expensive and wondered whether I should move to Maca. The Maca side effects are putting me off. Thank goodness for a great web site. Congratulations. Has anyone else tried Resveratrol?

  • Thanks for the great info on Maca! I’ve been taking very low doses for a while now to increase energy levels (about 1/4 recommended dosage), now I’m increasing it slightly only when I feel I need it. I have a history of terrible skin, and just stopped taking the pill so my breakouts are accounted for, I just hope they clear up soon! They’re not awful, but not wonderful either. Thanks for all of your info!

  • Tara

    To greatly reduce or eliminate your PMT and any period pain EAT BROWN ALMONDS. I discovered this by accident about 4 years ago. I used to get horrendous period pain and PMT.

    Eating a packet of brown almonds over the course of each month meant I had zero PMT problems and insignificant period pain. My teenager daughter has the same response to eating almonds.

    The most annoying thing is that when I tell people they don’t seem to believe that such a simple thing actually works so they DON’T EVEN TRY IT.

    If you or anyone else tries it for themselves, please let me know how you went by dropping me an email to cicadahaven at yahoo.com.

  • Dear Julie,

    I was hoping to touch base with you again but cant find your email as one of our doctors wanted to talk to you about your experience with Femmenessence MacaPause for a paper he is doing.

    If you are still watching this blog please email me james.frame@naturalhi.com



  • Rochelle

    I’m curious and I want to take it but Im kind of hesitating. So what can you recommend me about this? thank you

  • Jeb

    Started using some maca and had issues with my prostate but read how there are different types. Started using Macalibrium and all good now.

  • erika

    Hi I have just started taking maca (just on a week now), I take one tea-spoon mixed in water with breakfast – straight down the back of my throat as I can’t handle the taste :) My metabolism has gone into over-drive as my energy level has increased. I have taken Chinese herbs and am usually a skeptic but the rapid detox I feel has blown me away. I have not has any negative side-effects.

  • Von

    For those of you who have had digestive problems while taking maca, were you taking raw maca and what brand did you take? Just wondering I’m considering taking maca and I’m trying to determine if there is some sort of commonality between the brand and raw or cooked maca.

  • Teresa

    I am VERY depressed most of the time but about 3 days before my period, I get ‘nutty’. I am tired all the time, eat like crap and don’t exercise at all. I am also 40 pounds overweight. I used to weigh over 300#s, now I weigh just over 200. I had the gastric bypass surgery. I sometimes suffer from social anxiety due to my low self esteem. Is Maca right for me?

  • Liz

    I have started taking Maca for the last month and half and i can honestly tell you i have never felt better than how i feel right now. I have been suffering from depression, acne, bloating, belly fat accumulation, displasia, Migraine Headaches, high blood pressure, Miscarriages and sleep disorders for the past 4yrs of my life only to find out that i have a hormonal imbalance. I have tried everything from depression medcation to prescribed hormones. I was tired of taking up to 8 pills a day and i was not feeling any better not until i went in to a herbal store and talked to a lady that after telling her my problems and letting her know i wanted somthing natural she recommended “MACA”. This stuff along with Pepperming tea had made me lose weight has made me feel like i used to feel before like i was waiking up after a long sleep. The lady told me to start with just one pill a day and to increase to the recommended dosage of three pills but slowly, I did get the leg tingling cramping feel all day and sometimes at night wich made it difficult to sleep but that went aways within a week, i also felt like my heart was beeting 100 miles per hour and that has also stopped. I am now taking two pills and do not feel any side affects just a wonderful calming feeling that i love. I will be taking a break from them as the lady susggested but from all the research that i have done i now know that many woman who have most of the symptoms i had are mostly from a hormonal imbalance and that this happened to me because i stopped excercising and eate Mcdonals or alot of processed food for years. Your body can onyl take so much and your body will not function the way it should.

  • sandy

    been taking macca gelatinized organic powder for energy, hormone balancin and can say i have no adverse side effect and long as i can remember my period arrives on day 28 with no pre-menstrual symptons. I am so far happy with this product.

  • Cindy Christmann

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that there is a really great product available here in Germany that does a wonderful job on clearing up your skin. It is called 101E Skin Revive and can also be obtained online. It comes from China and is imported to other countries. I used to have terrible skin problems as a teenager. I tried everything and the only thing that helped me was antibiotics (was on them for over 1 year!) and vitamin A acid (which was too harsh most of the time for my sensitive skin). Later on I was on birth control pills and that also kept my skin problems under control. Took those for about 10 years and later my skin flared up again. Even now (I’m 50) my skin sometimes breaks out, but I just use my 101E Skin Revive for a few days and my skin is just as smooth as a baby’s. Thought I would let you know since I know how it is. Take care.

  • Giancarlo

    To Sinan…
    of course it doesnt man, if not nobody would take it lol!, well I have noticed when I drink maca powder before I sleep I cant sleep so many hours, but anyway It gives me a lot of energy, Im lucky here in my country (Peru) its very cheap, the only problem it is that I got sore throat, I noticed my libido is increasing, and my erections are more powerfull

  • sinan


  • Valerie

    It seems that many of you with bad side effects are consuming raw maca root. See article at http://www.wholeworldbotanicals.com/blog/1-royal-maca/comparison-of-raw-maca-and-cooked-royal-maca/ . It should be cooked.

  • Todd

    For what it’s worth, I am a very healthy/fit 39 year old man. The only “supplements” I take are chia seeds. I started taking maca powder about 3 weeks ago…about a half tablespoon each morning.

    Not sure of any relation, but I started having a dull pain eminating from my groin about 2 weeks after I started. 3 days ago and again last night their was blood in my semen…hematospermia. Not serious/life threatening, but not something you want. I’m not saying it is the maca, but the timing of this is strange.

  • Diane

    I have been taking Macafem for about a year. I’m perimenopausal, age 51, still having periods, light, but fairly regular. I had no idea of these side effects. I have been taking 1500 mg daily but like some of the other respondents in this thread, I miss days here and there. Oddly enough after this long time of taking it with no noticeable negative effect whatsoever, I noticed that my body felt hot every now and then just in the past week. I thought it might have been hot flashes (since I’ve had none) but I don’t know what that is supposed to feel like. My friends say they get totally sweaty…which is not my experience. I have had absolutely NO other menopausal symptoms. I have to say that like some other people writing in, I have an extremely healthy diet and lifestyle and never had any issues with my periods so maybe I am just one of the lucky ones. My question is about the Maca root powder, the pure organic powder. I have just seen some advertised and they are saying the serving size is an OUNCE a day!!!! That seems a bit much unless there is something else mixed in with it. But the packages says that it is the pure powder. I see that it is the general consensus in this thread that one teaspoon is sufficient. Any comments or advice would be appreciated. BTW, the name of this product that recommends taking an ounce a day is: Earth Cycle Organics.

  • Janet Lea

    I am curious if anyone taking Maca are diabetics. I am and noticed a spike in my blood sugar and could only atribute it to the Maca, it is organic and blended with Cacoa Powder by Power Super Foods in Australia. I have secondary breast cancer now in my spine, have CFS and cyst on liver, gall stones. I am happy my brain is now out of its fog but am concerned about the diabetes but would like to continue taking Maca on min dose.

  • Jamie

    Hi, I’m just wondering why no one has mentioned candida overgrowth in relation to taking maca….for example I have taken maca when I don’t have candida overgrowth and I felt fine and all positive side effects, but when I developed candida overgrowth later on in life and I started taking Maca to get my endocrine system back on track so I could actually successfully beat candida I would get a mild consistent cramp for about 30-60 mins and the best way I found to stop it was to drink a electrolytes replacement drink? my thoughts on this tend to sway towards the fact that a balanced endocrine system is one of the primary keys to not getting candida overgrowth to begin with along with flora balance. could this be the reason why maca can cause cramping, the maca could be casing the environment to change and getting the candida to react or die ? given that candida overgrowth is so common today but half the time no body realizes they have it….and doctors from all medicines never seem to think of it as a possibility for any symptoms there patients are suffering.

  • Zach Brandon

    I’ve referenced and seen Femmenessence (and the men’s product Revolution) referenced on this thread. It is a vegan product in a vegan capsule.

  • sinan

    Diane thanks so much its my fault that I did not make the question clear, the one I am talking about is the one I bought from Holland & Barrett, its in 500mg Maca cell capsules, but those capsules are made of gelatine, the reason of my question is I am vegeterian, I sent an e-mail about this to Holland & Barrett but they still have not replied,

  • Diane

    Hi sinan,

    If you are talking about the gelatinized form of maca, it doesn’t refer to gelatine but the method of gelatinization, which just means the maca has been heated to break down the natural starch in the root for easier digestion. The maca appears to be more crystalline than raw maca root due to the starch being processed out. Extracts of maca go through a similar process. Have a good one.

  • sinan

    Guys I know this is a weird question, but is there anyone here who knows the source of gelatine that maca has, is it from (fish , cow, or pig ) ??

  • Hi Diane thanks for your post.

    Leanne what your nutritionist said isn’t actually true. In fact many women who have been on hormones should not go “cold turkey”.

    If you would like some guidance from our team of doctors on weaning off hormones or combining them with Femmenessence please feel free to email us at medical.team@naturalhi.com


  • Leanne

    The nutritionist who told me about Maca said that it was important to not be on any synthetic hormones. If you’re on the pill, or progesterone creams, etc., you need to stop taking those for a least a month before you start taking the Maca. This may reduce side effects.

  • Diane

    I’m guessing Buffo didn’t use raw, but gelatinized as she states she contacted ‘World Botanicals”… I won’t go any further, but their tag line is ‘raw maca is dirty’ maca’ and pride themselves on their ‘Bioenergetically grown’ maca. They call it gelatinized and/or extract.

    Buffo, I am so sorry you had such a horrible time with maca. I can tell you that I also tried that brand and it made me very, very sick (they only maca that ever has) and when I contacted customer service the response is, “well, you’re better now. I guess it passed.” With the exception of one company I can think of, ‘raw’ maca is always heated in some fashion, usually at very low temperatures as it is being ground slowly into powder. Gelatinized Maca undergoes a process of high heat and pressure to remove 90% of their starch content. Although this can be highly beneficial to people with digestive issues, the potency is the same as raw. (Many companies that claimed gelatinized is 6X stronger, or even 10X stronger have since removed this from their packaging). Extracts, however, are stronger by their nature, usually standardized, and there are some fine ones on the market. Yet, with both gelatinized and extracts, many health experts feel that vital nutrients are lost in the process. Whether that is true or not, I err on the side of caution as I want all the minerals and amino acids, etc., that I can get out of the root. The good companies (such as Navitas or Mark Ament’s Maca Team) would follow sanitation protocols for washing the roots and heating them lightly in the grinding process, so any issues of ‘dirty maca’ would be non-existant. I have used both of the above companies raw maca root powder with wonderful results. And Mark Ament’s site sells Red, Black an Cream colored maca individually for different needs: Red, the strongest is for fertility issues and men’s health needs (prostate), and is a very mild, sweet tasting maca. Cream colored roots are the most often used and are wonderful for fertility and hormone balance as well as adrenal issues. Navitas uses cream colored roots. They also make a gelatinized product, both in powder and capsules. But there are many options to consider, as well as MacaHarmony or MacaLife (you will see many posts from James Frame on this site) which is a very good product and has gone through a lot of studies and testing. Give your body some time to recoup and research these companies to find the best product to meet your needs. And then start off slowly, with a very low dose to see how you tolerate it. Best of luck.

  • Buffo – I’m guessing you were taking a raw form of maca, not gelatinized?


  • Buffo

    I sure wish I had found this conversation a couple of months ago – I just went off Maca after taking it for two months for hot flashes and menopausal issues. I tried various dosages and had been taking a minimum amount when I started getting terrible stomach cramps [they felt more like menstral cramps, but I'm I'm post menopause!] every afternoon and evening every day for 14 days. I suspected that the Maca Root could have something to do with that, but like others who have posted comments, I did a lot of research before I purchased it and did not see any side effects. Also, the manufacturer I used [World Botanicals] never returned any of my calls, so I assumed that I had nothing to worry about. My skin has also broken out the worst in my life. I’ve always had skin issues, but at 57 years old I have more than 100 scabs all over my face like a teenager with horrid acne. After stopping the Maca Root three days ago, my afternoon stomach cramps are now gone. But I didn’t realize that my acne had likely also been exacerbated by the Maca Root. I assumed it was the heat and humidity of the summer, but since it’s never ever been this horrid, it has to be the Maca Root. So, my conclusion is that you really need to watch this stuff – it has side effects that can be very dangerous for you. It will likely take me months to heal my skin now. It’s so upsetting that even though I only took it for only 7 weeks, it has impacted my life in a very bad way. Thanks.

  • I tried the maca root Caps 6 caps a day for 14 days and developed severe diarrhea .. I thought it was something I ate so I stopped it for a couple days everything seemed fine then I tried it again approx 5-6 days later I took only 2 caps that morning with breakfast and after lunch I developed severe diarrhea stomache ache and nausea. I have decided NOT to take it anymore because I believe thats what is making me ill my stomache still gurgles. I spoke with the company I purchased it from because I bought a 1ib bulk bag of powder in hopes of using it after my capsules were gone but found I cannot return it so I am stuck with this bag of Royal Maca Root “Ugh”

  • fred

    I tried it it was ok at first then i got cramps and diarhea bad gas so I gave up on it. try yhr gelantised version it has less issues. I take sam-E for joints it works well. Not perfect, it is compunded with Condroiton and msm takes most of the edge off quite a bit more flexibilities.


    Hello everyone, Great site. Can anyone tell me if they experienced bone, joint or mulse pain while taking MACA? I have been taking the extract in minimum potency. At first, it was great, no more flushes, brain fog lifted but now all my joints etc are stiff and painful. Help please. Also, has anyone tried SAM-E(the amino acid) for the menopause. I am considering it myself, just doing some research on it first. Thank you for reading this post regardless:) and good luck to you all with your aliments, hopefully, there will come a time when all our knowledge can be pooled and we can advise and heal each other WITHOUT the DRUG COMPANIES.

  • El

    I stopped using maca immediately. But bleeding wouldn’t stop. Looks like it’s good for women living on 3.5 km above the see level, but may be too harsh for my metabolism. Maybe I should have used it less, perhaps 2 capsules a week since even Peruvian women do not use it that often.
    I was advised by the herbalist to look for the solution in herbs that grow in my surrounding. They are best suited for my metabolism.
    Bleeding problem is almost solved with 2l of squeezed roseberies per day. Apparently they are excellent for hormones . I also use sempervivum tincture, since that also helps glands.

    Maca is not for me. It really messed me up for a week.

  • Hello EL
    I’m experiencing day 2 of light bleeding after my cycle. I”m usually done by the 5th day. My cycle is regular every 28 days and only last 5 days total. I started taking maca 5 days before it started. I know its got something to do with it. Dont know if I should stop or keep going to see if it may be balancing me out. I’m 37 and thought it would be good to keep my hormones in check. If any one has any answers or experienced this please share your experience. Thanks

  • El

    But it’s been going on for past 7 days and I see no indication of stopping any time soon. I think I’m low on estrogen and I was hoping maca will fix that. That’s why I started using it.
    Am not sure what to do now and I would really like to avoid using synthetic hormones.

  • Diane

    Hi El. I’m wondering, since you are at CD14, if you might be having an ovulation bleed? It is not uncommon in some women when estrogen levels fall sharply right before ovulation. It can last a few hours or 2 days or so. It happened to me when I first took maca extract. Differing opinions will say it is due to high estrogen, some say low estrogen. Either way, it happens at the end of the LH surge, when estrogen drops very low, just prior to ovulation. Hope this helps. :)

  • El

    I started using maca a week ago . I as at the end of my af . Now , CD 14 , I got my period again. I’ve been using capsules (1400mg/day).
    Anyone had similar experience? Not sure what to do . Probably the best thing is to stop or maybe take it once in a while.

    I did notice though more energy and better skin. I think I have low estrogen level , since my skin is very dry and am not sure am ovulating regularly.

  • Andrew

    Is there anything else to get my wife’s sex drive back ?

  • Raspberry

    Different people have different reactions to things. My mom uses Maca capsules for her menopause and it has been working great for her with the symptoms of menopause, when she decided to see how it was really working and took a week off, she realized how it had balanced her out and went back on it. She doesn’t have the mood swings, cravings, night sweats, hot flashes or anything like that.

    Some people react poorly to it. It’s like the capsules vs. liquid vs. tablet in the vitamins. Some can’t digest tablets and vomit or get severe stomach cramps, like I do, while others have the reaction to liquids and switch to tablets. Different life styles, eating habits, blood types and all that effect how your body reacts to things.

    Also checking where it is coming from, is it organic, how much YOU need. What form it is best in. Some people don’t need the dose they say on the bottle and end up over doing it.

  • Jacob Crim

    22 yr old male here and I took my first tablespoon of maca in a smoothie this morning prior to the gym. This smoothie also had chia seeds in it but I felt like a monster lifting. I have never been so focused and was able to push out A few more reps. I really hope it was the maca and not a placebo effect!

  • Lolita

    @Dezigner#273 Just wanted to ask how long did you take Maca after you realised that your hair stoped thinning and falling out. I am post menopausal 54yrs old and have been on “Rainforest Foods” organic Maca, Spirulina, Starflower oil, vit B, Evening Primrose Oil for a month, but my hair doesn’t stop falling out. Don’t know what else to do, I’m panicking and feeling really down. After 2 weeks taking 500mg Maca 2capsules x2 a day my hot flushes and night sweats completely dissapeared. Just can’t believe it! Have a bit upset stomack, but don’t care. Hot flushes is the worst thing. But, unfortunately, my hair loss and thinning is tremendous. Someone please help!

  • Paul

    To the author of this article,

    Would love to get an update on your progress.


  • Hi Susan W,

    The trouble with normal maca is you dont know what type you are getting and thus what it may do. So I cant comment on those. But Femmenessence is different in that the types used are specific for women. However in saying that there are many other things you need to do in conjunction with using Femmenessence and before hand all under the guidance of a practitioner who knows exactly what they are doing. The big upside of this is that they will be getting your body completely healthy to reduce the chances of having breast cancer in the future because you are creating an environment in your body which is “anti cancer”. The is too much to discuss on this forum so please send us an email at medical.team@naturalhi.com and one of our doctors can maybe talk to your doctor and potential introduce you to a Naturopathic Doctor who can work in conjunction with your doctor.



  • Susan W

    @James: Where can I find more information about the use of maca root for women with a history of breast cancer? I was taking maca for about 6 months last year for menopause symptoms with great success. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my oncologist, who had never heard of maca ((?) said to stop taking it. I have seen this contraindication in a few web articles, but I have yet to find a reputable site that explains why. Now that my cancer is gone, yay, and I am not having to do chemo or radiation, the menopause symptoms are back with gusto. If you have any information, I would like to show it to my (new) oncologist at my next appointment so I can hopefully begin taking maca again. Thank you.

  • AmazonBeauty87


  • gary

    Just a note to the men in the crowd, I started taking Maca Root powder several months ago, but immediately felt something was amiss. Not sure if it was blood pressure, age, or whatever so I backed off for several weeks. Started taking it again, small doses at first, then increased the amount. I how take a tlb spoon daily, and I feel great, lots of energy, and my wife certainly approves………

  • Judy

    Getting back to you from May 10th – you wanted to know which store I purchased Femmenessence. It is called, It’s My Health (located at 2374 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI 02864).
    I was there today to purchase Revolution for my husband and noticed the Femmenessence was sold out. The store owner (I apologize for not getting her name) said she has been selling quite a bit recently. I shared my positive experience with her and, again, she had nothing but good things to say about your company.

    I’ve been taking your product for 2 1/2 months now and I still can’t believe the difference it has made for me. No need for that morning coffee, my anxiety is MUCH better, and I have so much more energy during the day yet need less sleep.
    My husband wants to try Revolution because he sees how positive my results have been.
    And, a few friends are watching me very curiously to see if it may be worth their try.

    Hmmmm, I wonder if my raving to EVERYONE I know could have something to do with our local store selling out ~LOL!

  • Teya

    I’m trying maca (brand: Macasure) in capsule form to balance hormones of perimenopause, increase libido and energy. I took two last night with a meal and one at coffee break with food. Both times I’ve had heartburn. Is that a side effect anyone else has encountered.

    Thanks for the suggestion to start slowly with it. I’ll go back and read the post to see if others are using it for the same reason I am.


  • No worries T, one of our Doctors will get back to you.

  • t

    Thank you for your fast response James. I have email to the medical team as suggested. As you would understand, people like me seek answers from websites and fellow users such as this. I do appreciate you taking the time to answer me & give me an email to contact someone that could help out.
    I hope the medical team could guide me in the right direction since unfortunately for me my OB/GYN has not been able to in the past 5 years. Hope to hear back from them soon.



  • t

    Thank you for your fast response James. I have email to the medical team as suggested. As you would understand, people like me seek answers from websites and fellow users such as this. I do appreciate you taking the time to answer me & give me an email to contact someone that could help out.
    I hope the medical team could guide me in the right direction since unfortunately for me my OB/GYN has not been able to in the past 5 years. Hope to hear back from the soon.



  • Hi T,

    Can I suggest sending our medical.team@naturalhi.com an email so they can help you. You might also want to give them a bit more information such as a little more history and why you started MacaHarmony. However many women experience various results when first starting MacaHarmony especially early on as the body rebalances.



  • Sabrina

    I saw my OB on Monday. I asked him about maca and he said it was a great product for sexual health but not everybody needs it.

  • t

    I was recommended the MacaHarmony pills. I have been taking 1/2 dose (which is, 1 pill with bfast). Since I started, I can’t seem to stop having my period. There is NO pain &/or cramps. The problem is the heavy & large clots. This situation is common during my period but not for over 2 wks.
    My skin is almost acne free & I’m not as tired as I normally am.
    I have been wondering if perhaps I need to take the 2 pills a day as mentioned on the box or if I should stop.
    Please advice! Thank you –


  • Brooke


    I started taking Maca Gold Capsules two weeks ago as soon as my cycle finished. I am 19 years old who hasn’t been getting regular periods for six years. I usually get it every two months. My mum takes Maca Gold also, so we both started taking it pretty much the same time. I have tried other meds to regulate my period and it didn’t work well… example – the pill. So two weeks later after having two tablets every morning.. not four that it says. I noticed a massive change. At the start I felt great with energy and motivation.. then all of a sudden I was extremly depressed, emotional, experienced terrible acne break outs and I never ever get acne, I was emotional in every way possible, didn’t see no point in anything and that is when I knew it must be the tablets. I spoke to mum about it and she told me she felt depressed too. We chucked the tablets out, and I have read all of the comments on Macca.
    Overall it works differently with everyone, so I do suggest try it for two weeks if anyone is new with the product but if you are feeling any major difference and have a negative response to the capsules that do not proceed in taking it. I am releived that I now know the problem was Macca. It was very scary experiencing all of these emotions as I am usually very positive and full of life. So for my family and friends to notice that I have changed within the two weeks I felt the need to share my experience with you all.
    Good luck to new users and please don’t go ahead with the tablets if you arn’t feeling on top of your game!
    Brooke x

  • Liz

    Monique, you can mix Femmenessence into smoothies too, just pull the capsules apart! Maca is so helpful for period relief isn’t it.

  • Monique

    Thanks James, I’ll check it out. I prefer a powder form to mix into smoothies, but if need be, I’d be more than happy to try your product, Especially as you seem so passionate about it.
    Many thanks.

  • Monique yes the Nutricentre in the UK stocks Femmenessence MacaHarmony for younger women however it isnt online yet so you need to email them directly to order rachel@nutricentre.com

  • Monique

    @ Ann Duncan/Timothy/Anyone else who has advice,

    Ok, I’ve been on the Gelenatized Black Maca from Skyfield Tropical for about 2 weeks now and I need some advice.

    My primary reason for wanting to take Maca was for the energy boost; I’ve recently started working out and sometimes I find it really hard to motivate myself to get up and go to the gym.

    I started off on a 1/4 tsp 2-3 times day and didn’t really feel like I had any more energy that usual. After some advice from Skyfield Tropical i increased the dosage to a 1 tbp, and I still don’t really feel like I have more energy. Granted I’ve only been on the new dosage for just over 24hrs, so maybe I’m just being impatient. But I’ve heard that Maca has made a a big difference to people suffering from CFS, so I’m slightly disappointed that I haven’t felt a difference.

    I have felt some effects though; coincidentally, i began taking Maca the day before my menses and although I wasn’t taking it for this reason, I was amazed to find that not only was my cycle shorter AND lighter but I had absolutely no cramps whatsoever. Literally no pain, didn’t need my hot water bottle once. I’ve also noticed in increase in libido, I feel more like my old self, before the recession and the depression.

    Anyway I’ve only been on it for 2 weeks, and I’ve got a whole 1kg bag to go through, so we’ll see what happens. But I am determined to experience all the benefits Maca has to offer, so if this doesn’t work out for me. I’ll try other methods.

    james Frame- Do you ship to the UK? Also do you have any Maca products suitable for a young woman who is nowhere near menopausal?

    Many thanks to everyone in advance.

  • Hi Christina here is a full presentation talking not only about the different types of maca for men and fertility and women and fertility but also a comprehensive breakdown of all the things you should be looking at by international best selling author and fertility expert Jan Robert http://www.naturalhi.com/downloads/Improving_Reproductive_Outcomes.pdf

  • christina

    is anyone taking maca to help with fertility

  • Hi There,

    I am peruvian, and used to eat maca since I was a kid (now 26) I never had any problems with it and I ate a lot of it without even knowing about dosage or anything like that, so far I just got benefits (stamina, libido, energy, overall wellness) But I am also a very sportive person and do not take any other stimulants (such as coffee, cigarettes, etc)

    I am now living in canada and it took me a little while to find maca, I finally bought a brand called Macasure, it is a little expensive (37$ on GNC stores) but had deliver great results,
    I normally take 4 to 6 capsules daily. Hope this helps.

  • joey

    I have taken three days worth of loose powder (geletainized white ) . there are 3 kinds black, red and white(cream). My Peruvian friend tells me take it since I go to the gym and work out. Many weighlifters and health gym(ers) use it.

    I see amny reference to see your “Chinese acupuncturist/ herbalist” on this site.

    Perhaps, but that is like asking an Eskimo for help on how to make Black forest cake. Or a pizza man from Brooklyn on how to make ponzu sauce.

    For libido add some horney goat weed tea if your doctor says it ok. Use twice the water steep an hour squeeze the bag, (do not break it). Then add iced tea mix or instant tea (and sugar if you like). For me the stuff is an energizer, and is not Viagra, but I am looking for circulation to the toes and ears and eyeballs.

    By all means ask your doctor first before taking anything. And they may not have an answer. I just found out that what was giving me grief (intestinely and heartburn wise) is caused by the stuff that I use for joint pain. And It only works for about 50% of people, and for me (thankfully) it worked. Taking it all on an empty stomach followed by big meal stops the issues pretty well.

    feel well


  • Ian DIM helps metabolize estrogen.

    Re your girlfriend she should stop maca immediately. Firstly she needs to be working with a doctor for Endometriosis as it can make it worse and secondly she must use Femmenessence for this condition and only after she has done a number of other things first, in the right doses and in conjunction with a number of other supplements and herbs. Can I suggest contacting us and we will refer you to a health professional medical.team@naturalhi.com

  • Ian

    Can DIM actually increase E2 levels?

    Im taking MACA and dim now

    My dreams are out of this world! Oh and my girlfriend just started with MACA and she has ENDO in her ovaries. We will see how she goes! :)

  • From what I’ve learned, the raw maca is probably the culprit behind your stomach pain.


  • Sabrina


  • Sabrina – what kind of maca were you taking? Raw or gelatinized?


  • Sabrina

    I took maca for 3 weeks before I read this thread and the gas in my stomach increased dramatically causing a lot of pain. My BM was still normal. I stopped taking it and everything was fine. I will try maca again when I start my cycle.

  • Ian

    I live in Adelaide (AUSTRALIA) am i able to order from the http://www.naturalhi.com website? It might be a problem with customs.

    I click on the AUS picture and it comes up as NZ prices only.

    My dreams are getting extremley intense and emotional on my 7th day of MACA. I feel much better and my sex drive is WAY up already. This stuff works and works kind of fast! I think it definitley works on mens hormones just as much as females.

    This thread is good by the way, sorry to bomb it with all my comments

  • Julie

    James, my Whole Foods is in Omaha on Regency Circle(I think its the only WF in Omaha). I will check it out this week if they are carrying it now.

    When I had my hormone levels checked after being on the Macapause, my GP asked me, what the heck are you on! :-D. She was likewise impressed and to her credit is open minded regarding alternative products as she is well aware of the ongoing problems I was having with Rx estrogen-”bioidentical” and otherwise.

    I will be checking out the info regarding the Men’s maca on the NHI website. DH has issues with BPH and low testosterone…I was not sure how to navigate both issues with Maca, but since this is a relatively common condition, hopefully it will address both things.

  • Ian

    Thanks James,

    I emailed my questions yesterday :)

    I have DIM at home, i might take that for anti-androgentic and hormone balancing properties in with the MACA.

    As my sex drive, acne, hair, joints have never been the same since the treatment.

    I will definitley buy my next lot of MACA from your website though! Looks legit!

    Is it normal to have extremley VIVID dreams on MACA??

  • Thanks Julie your story is such a great one :) thank you for sharing. Which store are you closest as we are now in nearly every Whole Foods store now.

    Ian can I suggest contacting us directly as hair loss for men is a lot different to women medical.team@naturalhi.com

  • Ian

    Thanks so much James!

    I have DIM aswell, but i have heard that it actually acts like a anti-estrogen which destroyed me last year. I need my estrogen levels to increase and level off or vice versa.

    Do you think DIM would help with the MACA? If my estrogen is low, would it still be advisable to take DIM?

    I read up that DIM can increase the “good” estrogen but that sounds a bit far fetched. Bodybuilders use it to block estrogen etc i dont want to do that, i just want everything to be in balance again! :) (naturally ofcourse)

    I have to say this thread is really helpful and informative!

    Oh and MACA is giving me the most VIVID and wild dreams it is unbelievable. It is a known effect? I wonder what this could mean?

    I also sent you a email yesterday :)

  • Julie

    I have been on Femmenessence Macapause since August and am doing very well on it. I posted my blood serum numbers on post#394 on this site. My estradiol went from 23pg/ml to 168pg/ml–a seven fold increase, stunning since I only have one ovary! This was after 4 mos of usage. By comparison, I was on a estrogen patch and it got my levels to 105pg/ml–this is actually an adequate level for someone of my age, 53, but I felt really lousy on it. Some women do ok on these patches, but for some of us, it feels toxic. I have tried a couple of other brands of gelatinized Maca, felt ok on Navitas Naturals, had a big hormone crash on Royal Botanicals. The Fem. Macapause is more expensive, but it is a superior product and feel confident it is actually keeping my E2 levels in a healthy range.

    The first time I took the recommended break of a week off the Maca was pretty rough, but I now have it worked out that taking 5 days off every two months works just fine without a “crash”. I am surmising that the longer you are on it, the body must become more efficient in hanging on to the increased E levels. I have nothing but postive things to say about the Macapause’s customer service as well…James was very helpful and prompt with my persistent inquiries.:-)-I look forward to our local Whole Foods carrying your product.

    Honestly, discovering this product has been the only bright spot in my post hysterectomy experience.–Ladies, avoid, avoid, avoid hysterectomy.:-(

  • @Judy that is awesome, can you let me know which store and staff member if you remember and we will send them a big thank you. Also feel free to post your experience in the reviews section of our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/naturalhealthint

    @Ian I believe Zach is talking about Revolution which is about 10x the concentration of normal maca. We are just in the process of updating our website but will have links to several men’s blood work who have used Revolution and experienced increases in hormone levels. If you would like to talk to one of our doctors feel free to contact us on medical.team@naturalhi.com and re metabolizing estrogen can I suggest combining it with DIM

    @Tim drop me a line with your info at james.frame@naturalhi.com and I will send you a sample

  • Ian


    Do you think if it has a affect on hormones in females it should have some kind of effect in males too? :)

    I am not saying it is not true, the claims on MACA is almost to good to be true!

    Anyways, i am trying MACA (on the fourth day) and i have to say i feel a little different. I feel more connected with other people (strange!) and i feel more relaxed and calm. It has definitley got rid of the foginess. Sexually i feel more….lively so to speak.

    It could be all placebo but i will keep on it. I am looking to balance out my hormones from medication i took last year that destroyed my joints, and hair (anti-estrogen) so i am looking to increase or balance them all out.

  • Ian


    Thanks for that link.

    It still clearly says that is does not affect hormone levels at all. So i am not sure why people buy it to “balance” out their hormones.

    Maybe it balances out your nutrients by giving you a multivitamin style.

    Still, at the end of the day there are plenty of reviews where it helps women PMS and hormone related problems (they could be fake reviews or scam related to sell their products) so it must do SOMETHING. Even in males

  • Judy

    Hello Everyone!
    I have been reading this thread for just over a week now and you all have been extremely helpful in my search for answers about maca. I stumbled here while researching any possible side effects, as I had already purchased Femmenessence (for peri-menopausal anxiety) but was skeptical about the product & the company’s claims. It all seemed too simple. For something to make THAT much of a positive difference w/o all the potential side effects of anxiety meds.
    I have been taking Femmenessence for 8 days now and, thanks to the wealth of information here, I have had no negative effects. Being the skeptic that I was, the first thing I did to “test” whether there was any difference, I cut out my beloved morning coffee/caffeine fix on the 2nd day. To my amazement, I experienced absolutely NO w/drwal symptoms – normally, I’d have a headache by 9am – nothing! Tried it the next day….nothing. In fact, I found myself sleeping better at night, waking up earlier (feeling rested), and having more energy during the day. I still haven’t had any coffee & I don’t miss it one bit. My sister doesn’t believe me because she watched me agonize w/ caffeine w/drawl during 2 pregnancies & nursing.
    As far as the anxiety goes, I feel a huge difference already. Like I said, I’m definitely sleeping better than I was, my appetite has improved immensely & I just generally FEEL better.
    I must add that my doctor does NOT support my decision to try maca over the Rx he gave me and I am someone who has never tried a homeopathic remedy before so this is all eye-opening to me. That it’s so simple. And, so far, effective.
    @ James, if you’re reading this, the local store owner here recommended your product over another – she had nothing but positive things to say about your company. I consider myself fortunate to have stopped in & talked with her about Femmenessence. I’ve learned a lot since then and am very grateful for that!

  • Zach Brandon

    What a lively discussion we have here! @Ian and Dsbhaver, did you have a look at James’ links about Femmenessence as this clearly shows effects on hormones? And I similarly have seen increases in hormone levels with patients in women and while I haven’t seen clinical studies on men with increases in hormones I have seen analysis showing increases in testosterone from Revolution Macalibrium with my male patients.

  • Timothy

    Ian, this is a frequent topic actually – I remember this was talked about a few times in this thread I think, over a year ago. There are so many posts here, I will just recite the resource again.


    How maca may work is discussed there, and in the works cited. It appears maca acts well on symptoms of hormonal issues. There are many studies in other languages, so what’s available on Maca (lepidium meyenii) at PubMed may not represent all the available work.

  • Ian

    Hey guys and girls,

    Please read the below PDF link:


    It shows it has NO effect on test/estrogen/FSH/LH or affect on ANY hormones what so ever in men. Just food for thought.

    I have read about two other blood tests and studies done on women and it has NO effect on hormones directly or even change/balance them at all.

    Anyone have any input on this? I just bought a kilo of it to balance out my estrogen/test due to my shedding of hair and feeling like crap in the bed etc

  • @Tim send me your details and I will organize a sample for you james.frame@naturalhi.com

    Happy to be of help @Liz

    @Diane you are very right, many companies who have been making blind claims have removed their statements. However we havent as Femmenessence and Revolution is ten times stronger than normal raw maca and we actually have analysis to prove it – see this link for the comparison between Maca-GO (the ingredient in Femmenessence) and the two strongest concentrated maca extracts on the market in the US and Europe http://www.naturalhi.com/Manufacturing.aspx

  • Dsbhaver

    Hey guys and girls,

    Does everyone realize that their has been bloods done in both men and women for test/estrogen/fsh/LH and all hormones after 8 weeks or more on MACA and it did absolutely nothing compared to the placebo study…. Zilch

  • georgie

    Thanks Timothy! You are a wealth of maca-wisdom!

  • Timothy

    Nope. Gelatinized is cooked already. Toasting or cooking is only something done with the raw whole flour. I take a break every few days (for a day or so) it seems to keep the effects up.

  • george

    Hi, I have been taking maca for a while, and just switched to gelatinized maca. I was wondering if I still need to toast or cook the gelatinized maca powder? I take about a teaspoon a day, usually in a cup of herbal tea, and I notice it has had a good effect on balancing my hormones. I have a lot of endocrine issues, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism and pcos, so I am wary of any health product as it is hard to keep a balance. But so far maca seems to be helpful.

    But – should I take less gelatinized maca? Should I toast it before using? And should I take a break every couple of weeks or less?

    Thanks to you all for providing all this great info!

  • liz

    Thanks v much James – I really appreciate the wealth of information you’ve given me and I’ll take it on board. It makes a lot of sense now why we should take breaks from products that support our systems from time to time, and its good to know its not something I need to do on a monthly basis in connection with my cycle. I think a lot of women taking maca are a bit confused about this issue tho’ as I have been.
    Cheers xx

  • Diane

    Black maca is very potent, considered to be the strongest energy promoter. Purple, black, and to an extent, red maca also contain “significant amounts of natural iodine, a 10-gram serving of dried maca generally containing 52 µg of iodine.” (I have read black maca has up to 78, but I can’t claim that was accurate.) And I’m not knocking Iodine, it is a vital part of good health. But those with thyroid issues, be vigilant. A guy on another forum site described black maca as “sweating like a teenager before learning how to use deodorant.” Or something to that effect. He said women were definitely more interested in him when he was taking the black maca. Not a bad side effect for the fellas! One site who sells organic black maca says “It shares the same rich nutritional profile and benefits of other macas but has been specifically sectioned out in recent studies, for its potentially beneficial effects on latent learning, memory and spermatogenesis.” More findings site, “Black maca is most beneficial in reducing Erectile Dysfunction, increasing sperm count and sperm motility and for restoring learning and memory, but unlike synthetic ED drugs, it does not produce hormonal changes that lead to unwanted side effects. Red maca is the variety most associated with reducing prostate size.” Again, all great stuff. Black is also by far the most adrogenic… that I have heard from male friends who have tried all different colors of maca. Not sure it is the best choice for the ladies… energy, yes. An eventual goatee… not so much. As far as gelatinized vs. raw… gelatinized maca has undergone a heating process to remove the starch from the plant material. Or rather, to break it down… it’s not really removed but broken down to be more digestable. However, most reputable companies also put their “raw” maca through a drying and/or heating process to assure contaminents are removed and to preserve the many inherent nutrients. (Many also argue that the heating process also may lessen some of the therapeutic powers of the herb). That I’m not so sure of. But unless you have trouble digesting regular raw powder, and there are those who do, the only difference is the starch that is inherent in the root. I have noticed lately that several companies who claim their gelatinized maca is 6 times stronger, or 4 times stronger than regular raw maca have removed those claims from their sites, as well as their labels on the jars/bags of maca. Maca extracts are usually standardized, giving you the benefit of an exact, identical dosage every time. This is wonderful. However, if the capsules are not well absorbed… how much benefit are you getting? One solution would be to open up the capsule and take the powder as you would any other maca powder — in a smoothie, etc. Seems like a lot of work, but if you are partial to extracts, it would assure absorbtion. I always fear with extracts, or at least the generalized, mass produced ones, that some of the vital minerals, amino acids, etc. are not present. But that’s just my fuss, and not necessarily true at all. Long story short — I know, too late — you have to decide what works for your body and your particular psychology. For me, gelatinized maca made me feel like I was in a void. And my bottom eyelashes fell out. (I’ll never understand that part…) but a good, reputable raw maca works like a charm. At least for now. I would love to find an extract that ensures all the vital nutrients, but I haven’t. Yet… You have to experiment with brands and types of maca until your body ‘sings’ to you. And you’ll know when it does. When you feel focused, energized, youf sleep is sound and your mojo is rockin’… that’s the one. Find your maintenance dose, take a few days off per month and live out loud! Best to all. Keep looking, keep healing and never give up!

  • Timothy

    Wow, a lot of messages today.

    James, I’d certainly be willing to try it, is there a chain of US stores where I can purchase Revolution? I’ve tried so many kinds in capsules but not yours specifically. Most maca in the USA tends to use the MacaPure extract, so I do like to try things outside that scope.

    Everyone, My experiences with maca are as a food. It has a diverse nutritional profile that may be difficult to retain in capsules for the basic problem of volume. So, I choose to eat it, incorporate it into the diet, which is how it has been recommended in Peru, and in the older books I’ve read. It doesn’t taste bad to me. I find there is a rich maca “effect” that I just don’t get with capsule products. I can get it from baking with the flour, or using the gelatinized products. Occasionally, I use the freeze-dried juices, too.

    I’ve mentioned BoneThruTheNose for gelatinized maca often, but For people who really just want to use the flour – I have to recommend the unsterilized white flour you can get from Amazon Discovery – you have to ask for it specifically. The gelatinized powder is ideal for shakes and liquid mixing – but for cooking and baking, the unsterilized flour is where it’s at. I keep about a kilo in the cabinet for various cooking projects. Good maca flour has a rich fresh not-bitter flavor. It has been difficult to find palatable flour in the USA , most of the mainstream companies cannot secure a good eating flour for some reason.

  • thecatsmeow01

    Most of you don’t know what real maca is or how to take it. I order organic black Gelatinized maca root from bone thru the nose dot com and I get 2.2 lbs which lasts for months for under 40 bucks off ebay. It doesnt have the carbs so theres no stomach upset and it absorbs quickly in liquid so just put some in your favorite beverage and 10 minutes later you’ll feel the best you[ve ever felt. Research it and try it for yourself. Capsules do not work like the Gelatinized original powder so don’t waste your money. BLACK GELATINIZED ORGANIC MACA ROOT is what you need to look for. Good luck!

  • Hi Liz and thank you for your feed back. Great to hear your results and yes many women only need one cap to get balance due to Femmenessence high concentration. In relation to the break: Bodies respond to stimuli based on intensity, frequency, and duration of that stimuli and the state of health of that body. The healthier a person is, the more easily adaptation and balance occurs. Therefore a healthy person may wish to take a one week break from Femmenessence only every 6-8 weeks. By taking a break, you stop the body from getting used to the support, ensuring its own function is maintained as optimally as possible and improved health benefits when they restart. An example is how athletes and body builders get better results when they change their workouts often and take breaks from training altogether versus never stopping. Alternatively, someone just getting into shape can use the same program for several months and see gains. Conversely the person with a weaker constitution, often seen with chronic or complex illness, will take longer to adapt and may need a higher dose. In these cases, a person may go 4-6 months before needing a one week break and thus why we always recommend everyone start Femmenessence by taking it for the first 4 months straight.

    Regarding the use of cycling Femmenessence with your menstrual cycle and not taking it for the last 14 days: I think sometimes people don’t fully understand the mechanism of action for new herbs and thus make assumptions based on what they see with other treatments. I suspect this was the case when maca was first introduced to the Western world. This theory with maca I believe is based on the concept that women’s hormones change through their cycle and a bit like birth control they don’t want any hormones introduced or affected at the end of their cycle. Or maybe they thought it mimicked phyto estrogens like soy or red clover and didn’t want to increase estrogen at the end of the cycle when usually progesterone dominates? But either way Femmenessence does not introduce any hormones into the body. Instead it nourishes and supports the Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal Ovarian Axis (HPAO Axis) and thus supports the body’s own production and balance of hormones. This system works through bio feedback so it can increase or decrease hormone production thus if Femmenessence supports this function and doesn’t introduce hormones then it should make no difference supporting this function at the beginning or end of the cycle. In fact in theory it would need to help it even more at the end when most women are out of balance! However, and this is where the confusion arises, Femmenessence doesn’t do the balancing and regulating, the HPAO Axis does. Femmenessence supports the system (HPAO Axis) which balances and regulates and if that system is being over stimulated (or under stimulated) it can throw it off in the short term, thus why getting the right dose is so important and no doubt why one cap works perfectly for you but 2 caps a day might throw you off balance. I know that was a little long but I hope it answered your question and helped. Remember you can always ring and talk to one of our doctors in person on 888 668 3661 or email medical.team@naturalhi.com

  • liz

    Can I just say as a totally impartial person who does not work in the field of health / drugs etc, nor having any interest in the companies who sell Maca, that I have found Femmenessence (perimenapause) to be extremely beneficial to me over the last 3 months of taking it. I only take half the recommended dose daily and it has been fantastic! – pms symptoms have totally gone so no more sore boobs, no more cramps, mood swings, break outs etc. Periods are shorter, heavy scarey bleeding is under control – what an improvement and how good to have my life back!!! James, this product works so well for me and I will sing Femmenessence’s praises and maybe Tim won’t give me a hard time cos I’m just a regular punter without a hidden agenda ; ) Only joking Tim.
    One thing tho James, loads of people talk about giving our bodies a breather from Maca from time to time so I would like some information about why and when we should stop taking Maca, for how long, during what part of the monthly cycle etc? Is there any research available about this?
    Cheers x

  • @Andie your herbalist is right but usually the issues happen immediately and should resolve within 2 cycles at worst 3 cycles. If you would like get your herbalist to contact our medical.team@naturalhi.com and maybe we can send her some more information on some things she can do inconjunction to get things balanced a bit faster

  • No worries Tim I know exactly where you are coming from and in fact what you might not know is our company used to be one of the main suppliers of raw materials to the biggest herbal extraction companies in the world. We used to supply 150 tons of kava, 200 tons of st. John’s Wort, 100 tons of red clover, 100 tons of maca… so huge volumes. However we too got so disillusioned with the fact we would supply some of the highest quality raw materials and yet crap would end up on the market. Being a customer myself in those days (and Dr Meissner the head of our R&D) I could not believe the quality and lack of real scientific and clinical research, which is what started our journey. The reason I refer back to our products on this site so much is because we know more about maca than any other company. And you are exactly right each person’s health is specific and individual which is why we have 4 soon to be 5 different maca based products because we have seen what all the different types do and that women at different stages need different types as you see with the 3 Femmenessence products and so too, do men, where we have one, soon to be three products also. What I do try and do on here however (as I do not want to be selling but educating) is refer people to independent clinical research and editorials by leading doctors who have come to the conclusion that Femmenessence or Revolution are the best maca based products on the market. My thoughts are that when you have health professionals who see hundreds if not thousands of patients and are experts in their field having tried lots of products then rather than a person listening to another customer on here they can hear from a third party expert. In saying that this forum is invaluable as it shows people every little potential issue others have experienced which doesn’t get highlighted by companies, but in saying that you will see that is exactly why we are engaging here and explaining to people why these things happen and providing hopefully solutions.

    As an aside when it comes to products I am always only recommending the best products on the market which I have research in depth scientifically, clinically and personally. From Dr Ohhira and Progurt probiotics, to Minami fish oil, Vega protein powder and Original Himalayan Crystal Salt, but when it comes to maca while I may be perceived as biased, as an expert in natural products for 15 years there is no better maca products on the market than Femmenessence for women and Revolution for men when we take into consideration the vast majority ie 99% of people. In fact I would love to send you some Revolution for you to try and get your opinion?

  • Andie

    I have been taking a few spoonful of macca powder daily for the last 3 months. My menstrual cramps became more painful than usual and my cycle went slightly off schedule. The herbalist suggests that it’s normal that it happens at the begining whilst my body rebalance. I am still taking it at a lower dosage. So far, it seemed to have made my period symptoms worst than before.

  • Ian


    I don’t have time to read through all 429 comments. I wish I did, though. Looks like an interesting read! I just want to relay my friend’s experience with maca root powder, and hopefully Fran and/or someone else can give some advice that will help her, because she’s in some pain, and has been for a month and a half straight after taking maca powder only ONCE.

    I found out about maca through talking to someone at a health food store. They recommended Righteously Raw’s Maca Bar. I love the taste (even though you have to get used to it in the beginning), and the person there said that girls love it. I’m guessing that’s because it helps balance their hormones.

    Anyway, I found out about maca root powder by talking to someone at Whole Foods, and decided to give that a shot as well. It was great. I really did enjoy it and did get energy from it (make sure you take it with a fruit juice or something, because if you take it just mixed in water, it tastes like sawdust, LITERALLY!). So I decided to share it with a friend of mine.

    I first shared the maca bar I mentioned earlier with her. She ate one of the three sticks (it’s the size of a Kit-Kat bar with the same 3 stick shape). Then she had one serving of TerrAmazon’s Maca Powder (which they no longer sell, btw; they now sell cacao with maca). Her friend was with us and also had a stick of the bar and a serving of the powder.

    Soon after, her friend was saying, “I feel like I’m on crack!” Too funny, but she had soo much energy that it made her feel that way. My friend also had energy, but not like that.

    The next morning, my friend had the second stick of the maca bar, but no powder. Within a day or so, or maybe even that day, she started breaking out. But this was no normal breakout. They were (and still are) like acne cysts! And they’re quite painful as well. Apparently she was at the end of her menstrual cycle, which is the WORST time to take it.

    And what’s weird is that she says it’s symmetrical on her forehead, meaning if she gets one on the left side of her forehead, then she also gets one on the right side in a location that mirrors the location of the one of the left side. Odd.

    She’s been experiencing this “cyst acne” for a month and a half straight and has not consumed any more maca, nor has she changed her diet.

    She’s scared to try a remedy for fear of making it worse, and figures time will heal it, but that obviously is not happening.

    Any suggestions on how she can rid her body of this crazy acne would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

  • Timothy


    I appreciate that – I should say I was not referring to the ‘content’ of your information, nor questioning it’s validity – I was referring to the ‘scope’ of information you provide – i.e. continuously referring people to your very own website. Whereas, I think that people need to consider more than one basic source, and so I prefer to recommend many. You may have to excuse my particular bias, which I will explain here – I have gone through so many health issues, and been led down so many fruitless paths by companies, part of the many voices offering “help” to whom I turned when I was not well physically and mentally. Some of the products recommended were advocated not to make me better, but to sell product – something I figured out after the fact – and some of them actually made it worse, which is the pertinent part for me. This has made me not only skeptical of the rather undemocratic nature of the internet, but generally I have come to encourage people to think in a similar scope regarding their health information. In my own experience, personal health is not something obtained easily, nor is there often a one-size cure. Each person comes with a unique set of variables, physical and mental. People who are suffering health issues are also some of the most vulnerable, open to suggestion, as I was. As such, I prefer to encourage the individual as part their own empowering to research widely and patiently as possible. I have been deceived in the past, rather routinely, by not doing so. So, understand it’s not you, nor your efforts to show products, which I am responding to, it’s really just an information principle I developed from my own experiences that brings this out.

  • Hi Tim,

    It isn’t salesmanship if you have a look at the articles by two of the top practitioners in health they have over twenty references to clinical trials. You personally have experienced how different black mac a is for you so it stands to reason, as all the research in the twenty published research papers from clinical trials on thousands of woman, would also be valid.

    Also I thinkmit is important to point out that Chris Kilham has been engaged by Pure World Botanicals for the last 13 years writing and presenting for them on maca however I would never assume what he presents is salesmanship. The same way when the biggest doctors in women’s health independently write articles about Femmenessence such as Dr Tori Hudson and Dr Christiane Northrup. All of these doctors livelihoods are based on their credibility which is founded upon independent opinions derived from extensive research and their experience with thousands of patients.

    That is why I referenced the articles and research. You can not fake published clinical research demonstrating effects on hormones, cholesterol, bone density and many other areas of health. Many people and companies make claims on boards and forums like this and who knows what else they have been taking, doing or if they are honest as who knows who they work for? However doctors who are the most well known in their fields, controlled clinical research published in medical journals is something that everyone should be made aware of as you said to make their own educated decisions.

    In saying that this board is tremendous as it highlights how many different individual experiences people have both good and bad. And that is why our company is here as we have thousands of customers, the most clinical research and a team of doctors who have been using Femmenessence (Maca-GO) and maca for in some cases over ten years and know nearly everything that can go right and wrong, but most importantly how to fix it and usually why. Which is why we are here to help.

    Salesmanship is based on stories and fiction but our information is all about facts and empowering people, just like you are here to do.




  • Hi Tim,

    It isn’t salesmanship if you have a look at the articles by two of the top practitioners in health they have over twenty references to clinical trials. You personally have experienced how different black mac a is for you so it stands to reason, as all the research in the twenty published research papers from clinical trials on thousands of woman, would also be valid.

    Also I thinkmit is important to point out that Chris Kilham has been engaged by Pure World Botanicals for the last 13 years writing and presenting for them on maca however I would never assume what he presents is salesmanship. The same way when the biggest doctors in women’s health independently write articles about Femmenessence such as Dr Tori Hudson and Dr Christiane Northrup. All of these doctors livelihoods are based on their credibility which is founded upon independent opinions derived from extensive research and their experience with thousands of patients.

    That is why I referenced the articles and research. You can not fake published clinical research demonstrating effects on hormones, cholesterol, bone density and many other areas of health. Many people and companies make claims on boards and forums like this and who knows what else they have been taking, doing or if they are honest as who knows who they work for? However doctors who are the most well known in their fields, controlled clinical research published in medical journals is something that everyone should be made aware of as you said to make their own educated decisions.

    In saying that this board is tremendous as it highlights how many different individual experiences people have both good and bad. And that is why our company is here as we have thousands of customers, the most clinical research and a team of doctors who have been using Femmenessence (Maca-GO) and maca for in some cases over ten years and know nearly everything that can go right and wrong, but most importantly how to fix it and usually why. Which is why we are here to help.

    Salesmanship is based on stories and fiction but our information is all about facts and empowering people just like you.




  • Timothy

    Yes, but this all salesmanship…? Since this is a message-board, I’m mainly just speaking from experience. I can’t speak to the few prouducts recommended directly above, there are so many maca products recently, and I haven’t tried those ones specifically. In terms of getting information I suggest that anyone concerned with taking health into their own hands consult an array of sources. On maca asa a source of personal interest, I personally suggest checking out Chris Kilham’s work with maca – it’s in the books “Hot Plants” as well as “Tales From the Medicine Trail” – also there is a great entry in Leslie Taylor’s exhaustive book “Healing Power of Rainforset Herbs” – http://www.rain-tree.com/maca.htm as well as several leads in the Wikipedia “maca” entry that are worth exploring.

  • PS here is a great article called are you using the right type of maca? http://bit.ly/m8Lykm

    And one by Dr Tori Hudson who is regarded as the top Naturopathic Doctor on Women’s health http://www.naturalhi.com/downloads/IMCJ_Tori.pdf

  • I agree pretty much with everything Tim says however for women I strongly recommend Femmenessence. There are several different types of maca and while black maca is definitely the best for energy and adrenal fatigue (thus why so many men and women benefit) however it is really important for women to know that some of the other phenotypes of maca are more beneficial for their other hormones, regulation of cycle, PCOS, PMS, menopause, bone health and other areas than just black maca. However FYI Femmenessence does have black maca in it but also has specific other ones. And Femmenessence is gelatinized and concentrated to levels which are over ten times what you find in normal raw maca. Men as Tim has pointed out black is ideal for you however red benefits your prostate and another can help your cholesterol. Revolution Macalibrium is a combination of those for men.

    I would also like to point out that if you have any issues we have a medical team of doctors (some of which have been using Femmenessence with patients for over 7 years and working with maca for over 15) available to answer any of your personal questions.


    Using the right maca for you personally is really important and as Tim has pointed out not the only thing! Greens, probiotics, minerals, omega 3′s are all important too.

    Be well,

    James Frame
    CEO Natural Health International

  • Zach Brandon

    The only maca product I would recommend is Femmenessence. I’ve seen several presentations on it now and they just seem to do everything right from the way it’s type is research, the way it is planted and farmed to even the details of how they manufacture and package it. Not to mention they have trials on their own product….pretty rare. However, most importantly, patients get results! I have what I would consider amazing stories from both short (24 hours) and long term (5 year) use.

  • Monique

    @ Ann Duncan and Timothy,

    Many thanks for your advice, it is much appreciated. I’m completely new to this world but I’m very interested in improving my health by ingestig thr right things.

    I had though as much and plan to start with the Maca and maybe intoduce Perfect Food about a month later.

    Once again, thanks so much for your advice, I’m so happy I found this page!!

    Have a wonderful day.

  • Timothy

    Hi Monique,

    Yes, I would also start with one, and once comfortable, try adding the other and see how you feel. I do take Perfect Food alongside Maca without any concern for interactions. Both are food-type products, based mostly on nutrition rather than active herbal ingredients. The Perfect Food tends to give me a focus-type energy, rather than physically motivating energy like caffeine. It helps me to collect and focus my energies. I get a similar effect from spirulina, oatgrass, barleygrass or powdered spinach, too – so if PF is too expensive there alternatives to use also. It’s kind of like taking a liquid specialty multivitamin. PF is not particularly palatable- I usually mix it into a thick fruit juice – such as mango, peach or pineapple, or even other premade greens juices.

  • Monique, I also learned a lot of very helpful info from Timothy. I’ve posted a few times on here, mentioning the good maca has done me. Very pleased with the gelatinized black maca. If I were trying something new, I think I’d be doing one at a time, initially.

    Blessings of health to you…

  • Monique


    I first learnt about the benefits of taking Maca a few days ago after reading an article in a womens mag. Now, I’m not someone who just dives head first into something without doing ample research, so I got online and began to search.

    This was the first page I came across, and after reading ALL the comments, I felt armed with enough information to proceed with my research with a much better understanding of Maca and how it works.

    First of all, I have to say a BIG BIG BIG thankyou to Timothy, you’ve singlehandingly given me a wealth of quality, condensed information that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I’ve now ordered a 1kg bag of the Geletinized Black maca from Skyfield Tropical, and I’m eargerly awaiting it’s arrival.

    I will definitely be posting about my experiences with Maca in the coming weeks!

    I’ve improving my diet lately but still feel like I could be getting a lot more greens, and I came across your comment regarding GOL’s ‘Perfect Food’. After doing my own research, I became so impressed with the consensus on the product that I’m so excited, and can’t wait to order it.

    I just had a few questions if that’s alright Timothy; I know you take both Maca and Perfect Food, but I wondered whether it was recommended to take both them? As I read that PF gives you quite an energy boost and I wanted to know whether both products taken together could potentially cause a negative reaction? Because I’m very keen on taking tbe both of them. I also wondered whether they can be consumed together ie, mixed into the same smoothie?

    Thank you so much for the positive honest information you’ve shared, not everyone is as forthcoming about such things.

  • Timothy

    Ignore the word “ginseng” as it’s only accurate to describe true ginseng plants (panax species). The ‘supplement’ industry sticks the word ‘ginseng’ to almost any revitalizing plant, making the term not only confusing, but also rather useless as a distinguishing term. Ashwagandha is good, gentle, and it is not related to true ginseng. If you respond well to it, then I would go with that.

    Was the maca you had a raw type (powder / flour)? Raw maca is a baking flour that has to be cooked to break down it’s indigestible parts. Why people are eating it raw is baffling, but for some reason raw foodists advocate this, and the idea has spread widely.

  • I had sever pain in the area of my left ovary while taking maca. I tried another recommended brand today and had stomache pains and diarea which is a side effect. I have diverticulosis so I do not want to risk perforation, so I am discontinuing maca, also known as peruvian ginseng. I do like and tolerate ashwagandah which is indian ginseng. Not sure about the difference between the two ginseng’s, but I can tolerate it much better.

  • Timothy


    I’m glad something is working for you. It took me some time to find what worked in particular for my own past anxiety, chronic depression, and so forth. Often herbs are inconsistent, so I am glad to have found something that seems to work well for others. I have been using black gelatinized maca for many years. It is a very positive plant, and I find it makes life brighter all around. I’d say the two key ones for me are the cordyceps and the maca. They rejuvinate not just one’s body, but also one’s confidence and acuity. They make you stronger, more determined. Ashwagandha is calmative, it basically keeps the mind from tension/intensity that result in breaks of anxiety, and panic. I also pay attention to diet, and do daily cardio exercise, keeping rhythms which help to mediate and maintain.

  • Nick

    @Timothy #407, Your input is really appreciated and very indepth thank you. I have be using a maca supplement now for about 4 weeks and changes have happened. I found the first week my mood was up and down and then eventually balanced out. When it did I found myself taking more controll over the decisions in my life (alot more drive) instead of just going with the flow. This has had big changes in my lfe both at home and work in positive ways.
    I am still having mild anxiety so I intend to order the Ashwagandha you have recommended today. Thany you again the information contributed here from yourself and others it has helped me greatly.

  • Timothy


    Maca Magic sells a white maca powder, I’ve used it on several occasions – but it is not gelatinized. Any maca that is gelatinized will always specify “gelatinized” right on the package – gelatinized is a few times stronger than the raw flour/powder because the fiber is removed to better digestion, which is a main selling point. MacaMagic does have a good maca flour for cooking / baking, I still have some in my cabinet, though it is a fair bit overpriced as maca flours go. I see MacaMagic.com is $40 for a kilogram of raw powder. For a similar price you can get 1kg of gelatinized black maca at BoneThruTheNose.com (where I get mine). – So keep an eye on prices.

    (and if indeed a raw powder is what you want, then AmazonDiscovery.com has the best flour product/price I think)

    In terms of Libido, the effect is that of a warm sexual attraction – it’s not an induced feeling, but rather it simply makes you more sensitive to visual and physical stimulation. You will find yourself looking at, and thinking very positively about the company of women. It basically makes your own inherent feelings stronger, and more frequent. One of the better aspects on the sexual side, is that maca can allow both some men more than 1 orgasm – some people deliberately take it in higher amounts for this effect. Yes, it can work too well, only if you take too much – and as I just said, some people do in fact use this trait to their advantage. However, it is best to start out small (like 1/2 – 1 level teaspoon) and work up from there if you feel you want to add more.

    I hope that helps you somewhat —

  • Thanks for all the useful information here. I’ve had CFS for 20 years as well as some heart issues. I’m thinking about trying the Maca Magic powder. Is this a “gelitanized” form as I keep seeing referred to here? Others have experience with it?

    Also, could those that have taken it give more specific feedback on the libido/sexual side of it? What specifically were your issues before and after? Did it increase desire, performance (and how so), etc…

    And a few of you said it worked on the libido too much? (that’s possible? :-)

    Sorry to ask personal questions, but this seems like the only place to get the real answers. Thank you – really appreciate the help.

  • Kim V

    I am 48 and peri-menopausal. I started taking Maca root supplements about a year ago – worked great for relieving me of the hot flashes and night sweats and helped with mood and energy. I am also on a very low dose of birth control per my doctor due to family history of ovarian cancer. For the past 2 years I would very rarely have any monthly bleeding, maybe just a spot or two, but after several months of taking Maca, I started to get cramping and more bleeding each month. So I stopped the Maca for a few months and the bleeding stopped. Did some more research on it (what little is available online!)- read that it should not be taken consistently, to stop periodically. Tried it again, this time several days on, several days off, but the bleeding actually got worse – would start mid-month and last for two weeks or more. So stopped again for a few months, but then my hot flashes and night sweats came back…so tried again and this time the bleeding was much, much worse – like having a miscarriage – golfball size clots and heavy bleeding. I have a history of fibroids, so don’t know if the Maca is exacerbating the fibroids or what…. My doctor won’t talk to me about natural remedies, just says they are dangerous and points to this as her case in point. I know that I cannot use HRT due to the ovarian cancer history, so I would really like to find a natural alternative to get me thru this time. Is the bleeding a common side effect of Maca supplementation and is there a recommended doseage timing schedule to work with your cycle?

  • Mariette

    I have been usuing maca root powder (mix with water) for 3 months. I have advanced multiple sclrosis (diag. in 1988). The maca root powder has given me unbelievable amounts of energy!! The “only” prescription drug I now use is my daily injection of my m.s. drug. I take 2-3 tsp. a day of maca root powder, mixed into 2-3 4 oz. servings of water a day. I cant amagin living without maca root now. It is part of my daily routine. I’m 55 years old. It is also assisting with my menapause issues.

  • Mariette

    I have been usuing maca root powder (mix with water) for 3 months. I have advanced multiple sclrosis (diag. in 1988). The maca root powder has given me unbelievable amounts of energy!! The “only” prescription drug I now use is my daily injection of my m.s. drug. I take 2-3 tsp. a day of maca root powder, mixed into 2-3 4 oz. servings of water a day. I cant amagin living without maca root now. It is part of my daily routine. I’m 55 years old. It is also assisting with my menapause issues.

  • Timothy

    Triska, I’m glad the Black Gelatinized Maca is working for you. Sometimes maca can take a little while to restore a healthy sex drive, and it does seem to have more of those effects on some people, less on others. If you want additional help rebuilding sex drive quicker, I recommend adding the combination of Rhodiola Rosea (ideally a 3% rosavin, 1% saldiroside type) and Ashwagandha. These are two gentle, inexpensive herbs which one can find at most health food stores (though I do recommend the ashwagandha above, but handling th raw herb can be tedious). These plants help build sex drive on basic level over a month or so.

  • Triska

    Timothy @
    Thanks for the suggestion about skyfield tropical! You were right the black maca is very potent, and is doing wonders for me.
    If anybody is considering consuming maca root, you can trust Timothy, and order from skyfield tropical. I went from needing a nap daily, to not being able to. It also helped my monthly cycle normalize. I’m become more and more balanced everyday. My periods went from 6-10 days long to 3! I no longer suffer from an extremely painful/heavy flow. The only thing I haven’t noticed a difference in, is my libido. Still very low. I only take 1 tbs a day (in a smoothie) and there has been zero side effects. But as Timothy said it’s very potent so start slow. 1tps(max) for the first couple of weeks.
    Thanks again Timothy. I am no longer wasting my money.

  • Timothy

    Nick, what you describe sounds very similar to what I have experienced in the past. I now use 3-4 supplements daily that have completely corrected my fatigue, and anxiety.

    1: Cordyceps – This one restores energy very well. It also helps one to quit eating unhealthy foods. It dampens appetite a little, too. The best, strongest stuff is from Aloha Medicinials. Just enter that into Google to find the company.

    2: Black Gelatinized Maca – This restores energy, helps calm the nerves, and also restores lost libido. It’s a good balancer, and a good energy tonic. It’s also a nutritive, kind of like a natura multi-vitamin. I get mine from Skyfield Tropical – it’s really strong. – Google “Bone Nose Maca”

    3: Ashwagandha – I use the fresh powdered organic root in “00″ size capsules. It calms the mind, enhances thinking patterns, and generally restores vitality and sexuality at a fundamental level. An excellent supplement. I get this one at Mountain Rose Herbs (enter into Google), and put it in capsules myself.

    Between these three herbs, pretty much all fatigue, libido, and anxiety issues can be resolved, in my experience.

  • Junior – I’d not be looking to maca to address your issue, but you can google CHEESESLAVE, she and many others have had very happy results, ie, babies, very healthy babies!

    Anon – curious, were you taking raw or gelatinized maca? I’m noticing that most folk reporting such symptoms were using raw, which doesn’t seem the wisest way to go.


  • anon

    Really good article! I took Maca to address stress, give me more energy and improve sex drive. It worked to a point, but I, like may others, started to feel very sick. Stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. I honestly thought it was a stomach virus! But the symptoms persisted for 3 weeks and, after detoxing and reading this site I realised it was the Maca that was the problem.

  • chris

    I’ve been taking maca for two years,I mix two to three tbsp in a glass and drink it daily.I started taking it because of its many healthy qualities as well as a cure for my once low energy.I feel great,Ive never noticed an overwhelming sex drive, this is in conjunction with a organic non G.M. diet.This plant has made a huge difference in my life I’m very active now and in the best shape of my life..The only side effect Ive ever got is I find too much causes me to become a little more aggressive than usual but nothing out of control

  • junior

    I have heard of all the benefits Maca has for both men and women. I want to start supplementing with Maca for general health. My wife and I have been trying to start a family but have not been successful. Perhaps due to irregular menstrual cycle. Will Maca help us out? Advice will be greatly appreciated….

  • Crystal

    Can any 1 answer my question or do you not know the answer to it? #399

  • Rita Henderson

    I just started taking Maca Root 500mg a day. I have more energy now. Before I was sleeping 10hrs a night and taking a nap during the day. Am 64 yrs old and work out almost every day. I have noticed that I no longer need my blood pressure medicine. Check it 3 times a day, It is now about 110/70. One day, even lower, had to sit for a while. Anyone else have this problem? I will be happy to stay off the blood pressure meds.

  • crystal

    alot of people have told me that maca root will make u fertile an increase your butt size is this true?

  • Nick

    Im a 30 year old male who has had very low energy levels for probably 7-8 years now and a low labido. I admitt my life style as a young male consisted off large amounts of alchol daily and a poor quality diet. Since cleaning up my act 5 years ago I’ve been in a constant battle to regain my youthful energy and general well being. For years I exercise, supplement and cut out most processed foods, although I feel better in comparision I still feel less than energetic and still a week labido, I have also discovered a have mild anxiety.
    I have ordered some gelatinized gelatinized today and will check back in and post any postive / negative experiences I may have. However, after reading much of this blog I am hopeful.
    Very informative thank you to everyone.

  • Jinty

    Hi there. I am 62 and post menopausal. I have been through a very stressful phase with 2 bereavements, too much work, moving house and renovating my new one. In a word I was knackered and totally unable to sleep. Waking every hour and jittering for an hour, repeated all night. Trying to do my work travelling to meet clients, and all the time feeling I was wired and exhausted at the same time. Someone suggested I had adrenal exhaustion. I googled and came across Maca.
    I took the full dose at first (I am a shit or bust person) and I got SO jittery I couldn’t function. Absolutely no sleep totally unable to work. The dose was 2 x 900mg twice a day ie 3600mg. So I halved the dose. Now I am feeling brilliant. I sleep like a log and am totally chilled and happy. I upped up the dose again one day to see what happened and was jittery again. Conclusion 1800mg a day does it for me.

  • gary

    Hi Fran, I’m 67, and have a history of high bp, which I take meds for. I have powered maca, and for a week was taking the recommended dosage, but found my bp was elevated, all the time, and that I would wake up at nite with my heart racing. I have been off it now for several days, but I am still have bpressure and sleeping problems……….Do you think it was the maca?
    The good side was the increase in vitality, from almost day one. Thanks for your help.

  • I have been taking maca root powder 1 tsp in my tea in the morning..excepting on days when I have my period. First of all I am a person prone to depression, angry, very emotional, hypothyroid, high cholesterol, over weight, prone to migraines and headaches, hyperacidity, constipation and UTI. Now that I have been taking Maca Powder, I have never felt better. Increased energy, a natural anti depressant, I feel so calm, relaxed and happy..not angry, depressed or easily agitated. I don’t take the capsules, the powder directly into my tea, only 1 tsp in the morning, 3-4 days a week,excepting on days when I have my monthly. Even though I take it 3-4 times a week, the benefits lasts all week. I am almost 40 years old, mother of 2 and vegetarian/vegan.

  • Julie

    I have used Femmenessence Macapause, started in mid Aug and used it continuously for about 3 months. I started out with the full 4 capsules dose away from food, (2caps AM, 2caps PM) per the instructions. For background, I am 52, hysterectomy over 2 years ago, just one ovary and am POST menopausal. I was not on any HRT prior to starting the maca. The side effects for the first few days were actually increased hot flashes and VERY sore breasts(I actually went up a bra size, but this was temporary). Per customer service’s recommendation, I decreased my dose to just 2 caps per day and slowly worked up to the 4 caps over the course of 7-8 days. The breast pain went away completely by day 10. There is NO doubt that it raises estrogen(Estradiol specifically). My levels of E2 were 23pg/ml prior to starting(my base line). After 3 months, E2 was 168pg/ml. This is a 7 fold increase! My progesterone level was unchanged, sadly. But the Fem. Macapause was impressive, to say the least. It does what it advertizes. Frankly, I think for me, staying at two capsules a day would have been adequate, but regardless, I felt better overall than being on nothing and definately better than standard HRT. (I have also tried Navitas Natural Gelatinized caps, which I liked and Royal Botanicals which I did not care for…but hard to pinpoint what the problem is with that brand.)

  • To Nancee,
    I am also very sensitive to things and just started taking femmenessence yesterday. Could you please tell me which negative side effects you initially experienced? I am happy to hear these reactions have completely subsided and you are now only experiencing the positive effects maca offers?

  • Timothy

    I also generally prefer the powdered Gelatinized macas, because they are so gentile and effective. I’ve gone through gelatinized products by Royal Maca, Nativa’s Naturals, Intimaca, and a few others. I settled on Bone Thru The Nose (.com) brand black maca because they seem to be offering and stronger product. You can feel it. Plus, you get a lot more of it for a better price than most health food retailers. Strong stuff, and not really bitter either.

  • amh

    gelatinized maca from navitas is great. i use a large teaspoon sprinkled on greek yogurt with chia seeds and a bit of coconut water, maybe some oragnic white honey. tastes great. no digestive distress or side affects. i’ve been doing this for about a month now and my energy and concentration levels have boosted dramatically.

  • hi.. i have taken maca. it balance my hormone. before i take maca i only got 3times period in a year. after take maca i get period everry month :)

  • Leah, I believe the raw maca is what caused the stomach issues for a lot of folk. Is yours raw or gelatinized?

    I switched from raw (from Navitas Naturals) to black maca from: http://www.skyfieldtropical.com/Results.cfm?category=7


  • Nancee

    I’ve used Maca, the femmenessence brand, for over a year now. It’s helped tremendously. I’m very sensitive to anything and I had a few side effects initially (2 days) that clearned quickly. Nothing more.
    It helps your peri-menopause symptoms significantly. I wish I had found it when peri started. It would have saved me much misery.

  • leah

    I had taken maca for a month, slowly building up dosage and felt less lethargic after about two weeks, really noticeably more energetic, I was thrilled. I’m 40 and by 3PM each day I am dragging and after dinner all I want to do is crawl into bed. I was careful with the maca, regulating my dosage, not going over, and taking a three day break as has been indicated. But for the past week my stomach has felt like it has a pile of leather shoes in it, when I went back to research, I saw stomach issues. Have stopped today and hope the battle royal in my stomach stops soon. A shame, enjoyed the increased energy and being able to sleep soundly at night.

  • Warren KW


    Quick note that I noticed recently after buying like 10 bottles of it on sale, the maca that is the power and called ” macasure ” is really awesome, a normal tablespoon does regulate and give me the energy and also cuts down the Tylenol I need almost daily for headaches and cluster migraines, be aware though the cheaper brand name ” NOW “, it gives me a weird sort of side effect, like sore eyes almost, really hard to write the feeling down. I will continue for the next few weeks and see if there are any changes in the next few weeks.

  • “Be careful with maca, there is such a thing as too much too soon.”


    You should know that higher dosages than recommended of any product (not just maca) may bring side effects.

    Aristotle said more than 2000 years ago:

    “Proper balance or proportion makes for health, lack of it for disease”

    Ingest more to heal faster? Come on! Give yourself a break from trying to find the perfect solution for acne. There is no such thing as perfect, and only balance.

    I know of customers who ingest twenty to thirty tablets of Maca per day, and they tell me they feel great. I only tell them not to get excited and to watch for stomach irradiation. Why? Because Maca is from the family of mustard, and in its natural state it is very spicy, and spicy foods can irritate the stomach.

    So, in a few words, step aside from ignorance and start living a happy life being who you are, and panaceas don’t exist, so I suggest you stop looking for them, and don’t blame Maca for your human blunders.

    Santos Jaimes

  • Wow, plenty of good maca information here! If I may just add a little something–we haven’t had any of our customers relate anything less than positive effects–primarily more energy and a heightened sense of well being. Thanks for your post.

  • The reason I love maca is not only that it is nutritionally rich food, but also the fact that maca is an adaptogen and as such able to simulate the entire endocrine system. It works only on those parts of the body that needs healing.

  • tim

    which one better red or black or yellow maca powder?

  • Belinda

    Chris I got mine at Whole Foods but it is the concentrated gelatinized product specific for women called Femmenessence.

    Here is a great article on the different types I read called are you using the right maca http://www.naturalhi.com/Editorials.aspx

  • Thanks Ann, there are no naturopaths close to me! I just realized I bought the raw version, the whole food by me did not have the Gelatinized version, they carry Navitas Naturals. I guess I will have to return that and order online..

    Are there some brands that are better then others?

  • Chris, I definitely would give macca a try, but don’t look for it to resolve all your issues :) There are numerous factors. I strongly encourage you to seek out a good naturopath, as well.


  • Chris

    Hi all, I have enjoyed reading all the comments and there is so much information to take it.

    I have been having hormonal problems forever, mood, irritability, extreme breast tenderness, pmdd. I also suffer from a very low (non existent) libido, except around the time of ovulation. I have recently had a hysterectomy, with the removal of one ovary.
    I’ve ovulated (the sore breasts) and can only assume when a period would start (soreness goes away) Can I just take it every day?? that would be so much easier :)

    I am going to look into getting macca but was just not sure about the powder or the capsule. I’m going to go back and read through the posts. I am hoping to find it local so I can start right away!

  • Lilly, maca has been a tremendous libido booster for me. It surprised me to boost mine so high so soon when I started taking it for mood stabilizing (it worked for that very well for me.) In fact, that is how I gage how much to take – if I get too much, it spikes my libido level too high. That has been my only side-effect :)

    I started with Navitas Naturals, but now use black maca from BoneThruTheNose.com It is concentrated and I take only a tiny amt because I am very sensitive.

    There are other factors to consider as well. Do you have a naturopath available to you?


  • Lilly

    I’m a female in my early 40′s do you have any suggestions for libido boosters? Mine has been lagging for the last few years.

  • rebecca

    Maca root is also very good for the gums. I have periodontal problems due to a trauma, and after just one dose, I could feel and see my gums getting healthier! I have never had any problems with maca, I use only occasionally, one to three teaspoons in a smoothie.

  • Belinda

    Good point Annie because that is what happened with Kava where there was one specific extract that the linked back to all the liver toxicity issues.

    I did some research on Maca-GO after my doctor told me about it and they have actual clinical results on it. Maca-GO is the the ingredient in a product I take called Femmenessence which is specific types of maca for women. More importantly it has actual toxicity research and human trials proving safety and dosage.

    I am pleased to report I had no side effects and the results have been amazing, especially for my cholesterol and menopause symptoms.

    Liz I take Femmenessence all the time not just the first 14 days of my cycle and it works for me!

  • Annie

    After reading everyone’s comments I wonder to myself could the different reactions to Maca possibly have something to do with where the Maca comes from? The “brand” or “form / pill or powder” it comes in? It would be nice to get a list complied of websites and branding of which the Maca was purchased & then different reactions or out come it has on people. I am aware that the results differ due to many things: genetics, overall health, gender, etc. But if people are purchasing a similar brand and having similar results it would be interesting to look into?

  • liz

    I am about to start taking maca to try and combat some peri-menopausal problems. I’ve read that women taking maca for problems relating to their cycles are doing so during days 1 – 14 and not for the latter part of their cycle. Can anyone clarify exactly why this is? Why take maca for only half your cycle? Is maca effective / needed during the oestrogen surge you get during the first half of the month but not during the latter progesterone fuelled weeks? Thanks in advance.

  • Triska

    Thanks Timothy
    You confirmed what I suspected. I wasted my money. I have ordered Black Maca from bonethruthenose.net, and will let you know how I do.

  • Fran,

    I found you through Gideon Shalwick originally and now again searching for info on Maca Powder.

    I just wanted to warn you that long term antibiotics can cause a lot of GI problems because they kill off your natural gut flora. Look into those side effects very carefully before you decide on antibiotics for your skin.

    A Paleo diet might be worth a try too, but that’s another topic entirely ;-)

    Thanks for a great blog!


  • dragonvrod

    Well I am very disappointed with the information that is being displayed here. Maca is a food! It is not a drug and has no known side effects because it is a FOOD.
    Try purchasing only organic maca, this way it is guaranteed to not have any herbicides or pesticides in it, it may be less reputable suppliers that are adding chemicals to the maca root that is causing someof the above side effects
    . Also it helps the body to balance the hormones but it doesn’t create the hormones for your body. Please get your answers about maca from a reputable source.
    Do the research yourself, and there have been over 30 years of studies done on maca root!!!!

  • juju

    My girlfriend Emily and I started taking 4 capsules a day of Maca Gold last week with no side effects. Both our libidos are heightened and have more energy…as no-one else appears to have had adverse reactions to capsule form Maca Gold it may be the way to go… -I always look at the box to see full ingredients as I am a coeliac with other grain intolerances…I don’t believe maca itself is causing all these reactions…unless u r specfically allergic to Maca. Don’t jump the gun…

  • Timothy


    MacaSure looks very to me much like just another maca extract product. I have seen a whole slew of them down here in the US as well, it is often difficult to tell them apart on any basic level. I use many teapoons of black gelatinized maca every day – more nutrition than any supplement capsule could contain. I always tell people to think of maca as a food primarily, rather than an herb. As such, I eat it like food. If it is a good maca, you will FEEL it. It boosts your mood, and generally makes you have more energy and stamina. Like coffee, but more subtle and solid, with no come-down. The reason I use Black Gelatinized Maca (I get mine many Kg at a time from BoneThruTheNose.net) is because it is a basically a concentrated whole root minus the carbohydrates. It is the strongest in effects – the reason I love maca. Lots of minerals, lots of nutrition.

    BC – I have a very thick head of hair after all these years. As far as I know though, maca doesn’t act directly on hormone levels, rather, it provides ideal nutrition to the body, balancing it all naturally. Generally, maca is nutritious, mineral-rich, so it is good for hair, nails, etc. But this is true of most vegetables (cruciferous and green leaf, etc), in being nutrient dense. Don’t know much more about Maca specifically. Wish I knew more.

    In any case, I encourage people to check out the books “The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs” (by Leslie Taylor – now available free online) and “Hot Plants” (by Chris Kilham) for in-detail information about maca, it’s effects, modern and traditional uses.

  • I’ve had Maca for over a decade and never took more than 4 tea spoons in a week. I hate flue shots and have never been sick past the age of 14 and am now in my late twenties. There are plants more receptive to some people than others and must be respected in the quantities used. Each person to his/her own medicines. One plant that is good for one person can be dangerous to another.

  • BC


    I’m a male also, and I’m curious about the condition of your hair after your many years of consuming Maca. I’m looking for an alternative to finasteride, and I’ve read that Maca can lower DHT levels in a similar fashion, without the side effects finasteride cause. Any feedback you can give is most appreciated.

  • Christine

    Update on my status….

    I noticed once I drank water my headache went away, as well as the stomach discomfort. So scratch that. Also, I’m taking the recommended dosage on the back of the bag (Navitas Natural Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder) which is 1/4 TSP, not TABLESPOON. Sorry about that…

    Energy is still high, happy overall. Broke up with my boyfriend of three years today and surprisingly I’m not as broken up about it as I know I should be, as we have a tendency to make up and break up a lot. Sorry for the TMI. :/ But this product so far so good. I’ve even told a few people about how great I’m feeling and they’re interested. Thanks for listening again. :)

  • Christine

    Hi Everybody,

    Thank you ALL for your wonderful input on Maca. I was skeptical to try it but my curiousness outweighed that LoL So I purchased the Navitas Natural Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder. I’ve only been using it for two days and I’ve noticed negative, yet positive effects.

    For starters, I woke up today around 9 and didn’t want to go back to sleep. For me that is UNREAL. I am a total sleep-til-noon kinda girl. I didn’t have HEAPS of energy, but just the fact I didn’t want to lay back down impressed me. I even had a sensible breakfast because I noticed a little stomach upset the day before after taking Maca (I eat HORRIBLE, I’ll admit it). For me to pick oatmeal and OJ over sugary cereal and milk is a big deal. I’m only 25, will be 26 in a few days and wanted to start the anti-aging process. I’m only taking 1/4 tablespoon in the morning, as I’ve noticed everyone seems to be having dosage issues or has most of the discomfort when taking too much. Also, I’ve been doing a little research on red and black maca, should I be taking either of those instead? I’m mainly taking it to get increased energy, libido, clearer, focused thinking, and motivation. I’m trying to get back on the work out track and lose 25 lbs. and KEEP it off this time. I have no thyroid issues or reproductive issues as far as I know.

    Only bad thing I could say besides the stomach upset on day one is the fact that today, day two, I have a headache. I keep reading about detoxing… Guess thats what is happening? I’m going to keep taking it to see what happens. I will keep everyone updated. Thanks again for everyone’s input!

  • Kevin

    Hey there,

    Do any of you know where I can find gelatinized red maca? I have yellow and black maca in gelatinized forms, but I am interested in the red for the prostate health benefits. I’ve found the raw red powder at a decent price, but no gelatinized ones anywhere.

  • Jan

    Lisa, thank you for answering.
    I think my doctor took some blood sample for checking out the thyroid is that possible to get it checked and excluded out with a blood test?
    And i´ve been checking that some of the socialphobia forums have tried Maca aswell… and got relieaf.
    And as much as i´ve read online many articles about Maca says that its very good for depression ,stress, anxiety… and so on.
    and helps the brain to create more serotonin.
    anyways still if somebody has had same problems and has taken Maca…
    would love to hear it out.

  • Lisa W

    Jan, I don’t know if maca will help your condition, but have you had your thyroid checked? Many of your complaints sound like you could have thyroid issues. That’s good that you are searching out other options since ADs can cause a whole host of problems. I also had some bad anxiety problems that were helped by taking l-theanine. Google doses for more info, but you can safely take quite a bit without any side effects. Good luck on your search.

  • Jan

    Hello, i wanted to ask about Maca , since i was suggested by a friend.
    My doctor wants me to get on AD, but i dont want to go on any AD at all.
    but i would still love to get rid of my anxiety , depression , social anxiety/phobia…
    would Maca be a good choice for me?
    does anybody have exp.?

    plus since i have read that Maca is good for blood circulation? yes?
    i have been having bad circulation in my legs for years now…
    cold feet, sometimes cold hands aswell.
    and for a 22 year old guy i have very very low libido due to the depressions and other mental issues i guess.

  • Triska

    Wow! Timothy your apparently the man to ask about Maca. So here it goes….
    I live in Canada, so my options are fewer than most for brand selection. I bought capsules on the recommendation of the staff. The brand is macasure. By sequel. http://www.macasure.com. I’m 31, 110lbs. I was just concerned that this brand isn’t great?!? I’ve been taking capsules for over a month now (started with 1 with food, now up to 3) and I’ve noticed no effects (good or bad) in your opinion is this a good brand? should it take this long to notice increased energy?
    Thanks so much.

  • keegan

    drop the macca. and try sme coca leaves. lol. you could climb a mountain after, it will certainly whipeout any fealings of depression or exhaust. and as for your libido, well lets just say you can go on, and on, and on… …well you get the picture. go to peru its a common drug there just as common as liqour or cigarettes are here… and let me tell ya those drugs are 10x more destruction (on your brain) then chewin on a little coka!

  • Tim and D.L. Rosen we have seen patients who take too much Femmenessence increase their symptoms. Ironically like Bunny Lady (thanks for sharing!) above where it was over stimulating. By simply reducing the dose we see it correct the issues.

    On a side note everyone we have been doing some research on Femmenessence and our men’s concentrated maca phenotype formulation Revolution in relation to blood types and seeing some very interesting results about certain types seeing better results. And again more interesting research on phenotypes, once we have everything finalized we will send everyone here some links to the data.


    James Frame
    Natural Health International

  • Timothy

    D. L. Rosen – Yes, this is true. Hormonal symptoms can be exacerbated, though usually only by -raw- maca (i.e. people eating maca’s raw baking flour…). This is because maca is naturally rich in goitrogens, just like any cruciferous vegetable- turnips, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc. Since goitrogens are deactivited by cooking, the heated maca products (gelatinized maca, maca chips) should not have this effect. This is how it is eaten in the Andes – always cooked.

    Some people are hypersensitive to any food with effects on hormones, so if you have hormonal conditions, proceed with caution with all supplements.

  • Bunny Lady

    Thanks for this great information. After hearing about Femmenessence in Dr Christiane Northrup’s book Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom I thought I would give it a try. I started on the recommended dose of 4 caps a day and immediately my hot flashes got worse, I had stomach upset, couldn’t sleep and was wondering what in the world was happening!

    After reading info on here from the CEO and talking to one of their doctors I reduced the dose to half, started taking it with food and only in the morning and early afternoon and everything corrected :)

    8 weeks later and everything is perfect, no hot flashes, sleeping better, energy has gone through the roof and my hair, which I was starting to lose, is growing back. I can’t believe all this from just hormones.

    Thankyou Femmenessence! Dr Northrup! and this page!

  • Rachel

    That is awesome, Jill. Glad to hear that you’re doing so much better.

  • D.L. Rosen

    Maca root actually can exasperate your hormonal symptoms and make them worse. SHOULD READ
    can EXACERBATE your hormonal synptoms….

  • Jill

    I began taking Royal Maca Plus w DIM for Women by Whole World Botanicals exactly 29 days ago on the 1st day of my cycle. I picked it up at the Earth Fare near my house after it was recommended to my by my raw foodist neighbor and after doing tons of online research. I was nervous about how much to take so I started slow.
    I am a 38 yr old mom of 2 and ever since removing my Mirena IUD over 2 years ago my skin has been horrible and my cycle very inconsistent. Mostly I’ve had very short periods, mostly spotting and that arrived anywhere from every 21-52 days. I had acne breakout when I ovulated. I had acne breakout when I menstruated. I just had acne. I’ve done everything natural that could be tried. Changed my diet. Removed dairy, removed sugar, at all raw, drank tons of water….I knew because my cycle was off that it was most likely the culprit. I’ve used Murad, Proactiv, all natural stuff from the health food store. I’ve taken Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Zinc, had accupuncture, taken the herbs recommended to me there…… No luck!
    After a perfect 28 day cycle, my period arrived today. That in itself would be really cool. But what’s even better is that my skin has responded amazingly. I got one pre-menstrual pimple. One. No grumpy PMS symptoms. This could be my magic bullet.
    I used “muscle testing” to determine my proper dosing. But started with one capsule per day and then on Day 14 of my cycle muscle tested again and upped my dosage to 2 capsules per day.
    I am over the moon excited that this has worked for me I hope it will work for you!

  • I bought some Maca yesterday and the natropath said to only take 2 capsules to start off with and build up as it detoxes your body and if I take anymore I will have bad side affects.

    Maybe this is what has happened to you. Detoxes causes skin breakouts and other symptoms.


  • I’ve heard that it’s best to mix it up with other superfoods like Spirulina, wheatgrass and cinnamon to make Maca taste better. Plus the ingredients are easy to find in any local organic or natural food store, or you can always buy whole foods online from Amazon or http://goo.gl/g1Jxl

  • zzz

    Let’s replace the word “maca” with “potato’ in all those comments and read it again! just kidding!

  • gogi

    I’ve been taking Maca last 4 month, every morning two small spoons. I also start 5 months ago with 100% raw food. In this time I met with most of the problems you are all talking about. I believe It was just part of the detox because now I feel great and my period is better with less pain and less bleading. My energy level is high and stable, as well as my libido, I sleep less but very good and I never wake up tired. That is my experience.

  • laura

    Here is what I’ve gleaned from reading all these comments:

    There can be a strong placebo effect from taking Maca. This may be the cause of the reports of wonderful effects in a short time. (good for you, placebo is just fine)

    Also bad side effects can be caused by many things. One is detoxification of the system, which may be why so many have upset stomachs break-outs and headaches. These are classic detox symptoms. Still it can’t hurt to start with a lower dose of Maca and raise it slowly. I will definitely do that as well as continue to rid my diet of inflammatory foods.

    Finally: I will try not to attribute everything that happens in my body as the fault of Maca.

    I’ve been on a quest for 6 years to work with perimenopausal symptoms and I’ve come to understand that the body is dynamic and ever-changing. What helped 4 years ago is probably still helping but there are always new problems to work out in the body. We live in a polluted environment and our food system is very shoddy. There is no magic pill to “fix” all our problems. I hope Maca can be a good addition to what I’m already doing, but it won’t be a cure-all no matter what anyone says.

    Thanks for all the info folks. It really helped me get my head on straight.

  • @Ania
    Some helps for sleep:

    an herb: Valerian. Be sure to be ready to sleep 30-60 minutes after taking

    melatonin: our brain secretes it naturally according to our body clock (sleep habits + sunlight), but at times is not right due to various possibilities. Most pills are 3mg, which may be too much. Be sure you get it in pill form that can be broken in half (or cut in fourths, better yet if you have a pill cutter). Some people have a severe chemical imbalance, meaning more may be needed. Start small, and see how it works.

    Maca may keep you awake at first because your body is adjusting to actually having large amount of naturally occurring nutrients, and trying to figure how to handle it. I can sleep fine now by taking maca before I go to bed. At first I had trouble. Try staying off maca for about 3 days, then take it in the morning every other day for 2-4 weeks, and gradually increase it every couple weeks. You body needs to learn how to handle the nutrition it has been deprived of.

    Work your way to eat healthy, drink water so your urine stays clearish (be sure to have a decent amount of sodium in your diet), stay away from junk, and get plenty of rest and exercise.

    Caffeine in moderation is good. If you need caffeine to wake up, then you have a problem. Try your first cup of coffee 2 hours after you wake up.

    My Dad used to be a caffeineaholic until about 3 months after he started taking maca. Now, he drinks decaf only. He said he is no longer attracted to caffeine he depended on for several decades to pick him up in the morning. He said it just doesn’t seem to agree with the maca well. I drink regular green tea and sometimes Assam tea (usually in chai) almost every day, an no problem. I do drink a lot of decaf regular tea almost everyday.

    I hope this helps

  • I was taking Maca in capsule form for a few weeks, and stopped a few days due to redness of the eyes, and wow, I felt a drop in energy.

    I started small, and as soon as my eyes cleared, increased it.

    I think all these “side effects” mentioned are due to our bodies are not used to so much nutrition, and so has to adjust. Kind of like someone who fasts can’t break the fast by eating a ribeye steak, but has to gradually “wake” the stomach up from rest by eating small, simple foods.

    I read a post from someone a while back (can’t can’t remember who), and I agree, Maca is a food, not a medicine, and we should treat it as such.

    Want a powerful combo? Try Maca, Acai, and MSM. MSM makes everything work better (because without it, we die. We don’t get enough in our food these days, so we suffer greatly).

    So, start in small amounts for 2 – 4 weeks, and gradually increase according how you wish to deal with the body adjusting to getting more adequate nutrition.

    As with MSM, the “side effects” are parts of the body that are healing, “healing pains” you might say. I recall by month 7 of taking MSM, I had the worst of my own problems, and they gradually died down, now hardly noticable. I still have some repair work to do, and I think maca will play a key role in this. That with acai, eating right (plenty of veggies), and keeping junk down or out as best as possible (namely MSG and hydrogenated garbage (like transfat)). I believe if we watch our input, out daily output will slowly be corrected as best as possible in this fallen world.

  • Ania

    Hi all,
    I’ve found it fascinating reading these responses about maca. I’ve had cronic insomnia for the last 4 days or so with palpitations, even though i’ve not been at work and haven’t been all that stressed. The weird thing is that I’m usually very sensitive to sleep deprivation, but I also haven’t even been that tired. It struck me, just now, lying sleepless in bed at 1.30am that it might be the raw maca i’ve been adding to my smoothie in the morning since i got back From holiday. Is reaction realny possible??? I’ve having about a table spoon before 9 am, is it possible that it’s still affecting me 16hours later?????
    I’m going to switch to good old fashioned coffee tomorrow and see if I get a better nights sleep. If I do, well it will be clear to me how potent this stuff is!
    Thanks for all this info!

  • Diane

    Thank you for the responseIs), Ginger! :) I didn’t get the email until today. I agree with you about foods and healing properties… it’s why so many people adopt a raw food diet to begin with. Lignans garlic, bioflavinoids from citrus, all of these have specific healing mechanisms. I did get bloodwork done… all was “normal”. Not so sure which end of normal, though, as talking to this doctor (or his nurse) is like talking to a brick wall. I will keep a close eye on that for any other oddities. Threw away the eye makeup just in case. A friend reminded me that I had a similar bad reaction to another specific brand of gelatinized maca about 3 years ago. It could be that certain companies kind of ‘bio-engineer’ their own maca and my body doesn’t like that at all. Or maybe it’s just too strong for me in that format. Who knows. Thanks again for your interest. And everyone have a great day.

  • Ginger

    Diane… also, check your eye makeup also, mascara, pencils, etc. That could be simple solution to at least that problem. Not the yawning, but… at least maybe what happened with the lashes…

  • Ginger

    Hi. Diane, if you sign on, there are many ‘foods’ that have antifungal properties… garlic comes to mind as a strong antifungal/antibacterial. As far as maca goes, I’m not really sure, although it is supposed to have a lot of minerals including potassium, which has some antifungal properties. As does iodine. With the yawning, however, it sounds more like the maca affected your thyroid, or even adrenaline/cortisol level. Antibiotics are a tricky thing… we need them to remove some nasty infections, but they can throw your system out of whack, not the least of which your thyroid. Did they do bloodwork for you during your antibiotic stint? Thyroid? If not, you might want to consider having that looked at. I’m not saying it IS that, but a possibility. But as far as foods go, yes maca is a food, but foods have been used for healing forever and all foods have properties. If maca as a food didn’t have healing properties, why would people take it? Hope you feel better soon.
    P.S. Not to harp on it, but loss of eyelashes is also listed as a sign of hypothyriodism (my cousin is hypo). They do grow back,,, I think within a couple of months. :)

  • Timothy

    Interesting…. I dont think maca has anti-fungal properties, it’s just a food, really. It does have some caffeine-like alkaloids which normally impart energy / good feelings. I don’t think of maca as a “detoxifying” herb – there are other herbs for that purpose. I don’t really think of it as anything other than a great food, with a great feeling.

    See what the maca company ( http://www.bonethruthenose.net ?) says, that’s the best idea.

  • Diane

    Hi everyone. This question also is for Timonthy (who has so much experience with gelatinzed maca)… I recently started maca again (gelatinized) after talking a break. I had been hopitalized and on antibiotics for 3 months. After which I took probiotics and olive leaf, which I had been using on and off for years. I then gave myself a month’s break and started maca. My intial reaction, after a half an hour was excessive yawning. Not tired, not sleepy, not anxious (I don’t think). Just idiotic yawning. I felt cold, and had a couple of irritable bouts which were out of left field. The next day I woke up with my eyes literally stuck together to the point I lost some lower lashes. Never in my life had this happened before. My upper eyelids looked kind of pinkish also, but no other problems there. I occured to me later that it was very much like what I’ve read about as die-off reaction from antifungals. Does maca have anti-fungal properties? Especially gelatinized which is stronger than the raw? Having taken maca before, as an extract also, I don’t think it’s an allergic reaction. At least I hope not. I’m thinking that after antibiotics, the maca is maybe trying to sanitize my system? The only other thing I can think of was it was an extreme release of tension, but that doesn’t explain the odd eye thing. I’d appreciate your insight on this. I also emailed the maca company to get their opinions. Thanks.

  • Timothy

    Yeah, I would cook with the flour – but that may be tedious in your case. Raw maca flours are loaded with goitrogens (just like all cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, turnips, etc) – however the gelatinized maca type is processed by cooking & fiber removal which eliminates goitrogens entirely (and much of maca’s bitterness also). So, I would only recommend gelatinized maca in cases of thyroid issues, the raw powder is difficult to deal with and ultimately not the ideal choice.

    Yes, see a good doctor, naturopath, or with some luck, a hybrid (my favorite) – I always recommend that people avoid yohimbe – yes, it works, but it is a stimulant (like caffeine) with many side effects in some people. For virility, an herb like maca (gelatinized especially), or epimedium (horny goat weed), or tongkat ali (LJ100) works very very well, and is much safer.

  • Alex, see Timothy’s remarks above :) and start with 1/2 tsp of the gelatinized black maca. It disolves easily in liquid, has a mild taste.

    Also, seeing a good naturopath can help you sort out your issue.


  • Alex


    I want to get on Maca to balance my endocrine system after taking yohimbe for 3 months, which created long-term poisoning and likely a thyroid disorder.

    I am thinking of using a maca powder form. I have some questions, though:

    1) What COMPANIES, BRANDS, etc., do you recommend?

    2) What DOSAGE do you recommend? (1 tsp/day, 1 tbsp, etc.)

    3) Do you think it should be taken with on/off periods?

    4) Can I cook by boiling the powder? If so, for how long do I boil it, and would I be able to drink it as a tea?


  • Denise

    Taking GOOD probiotics like Kyo-dophilis will clear up skin. The problem with antibiotics for skin issues is eventually it will result in an imbalance in your digestive flora. This, in turn, will foster yeast growth, which will also give you …you guessed it!…skin issues…esp acne. Feel free to google it yourself!

  • Timothy


    I’m glad there is enthusiastic maca users out there! I use it because I have a lot of physical labor in my daily activities and Maca certainly helps with all of that.

    I also cook with the maca flour/powder. (what people are calling maca “powder” is actually maca “flour” – harina de maca). As I may have said earlier, I get it in bulk – Unsterilized White Maca Flour – the best price I have found for just the raw stuff is at [ http://www.Amazon Discovery.com ]

    If you’re looking for strong therapeutic, energetic maca, then the organic Black Gelatinized at [ http://www.BoneThruTheNose.net ]. That’s the strong stuff, and the best USA price I have been able to find.

    I have tried some of the tinctures, one peruvian company (Chakarunas) even makes a syrup and other culinary flavorings now! (including a maca liqour) It is all very interesting.

    My maca shake this morning was: 2 very ripe bananas + 1 tbsp black gelatinized maca + 5 strawberries + organic milk…. delicious! Just enough to get the day going.

    As you said, I also hope everybody interested finds the maca that works best for them.

  • linda

    I started taking Maca at the beginning of my last cycle which normally is 27 days. My cycle started on day 20 this month which is earlier than normal, did the Maca affect my cycle. I don’t want it to be earlier as I am TTC. Any advise?

  • Maria

    I have been taking Maca tablets from this company since January,


    I was taking 3 per day with food. It worked perfectly for 3 months, all menopause symptoms were gone. Then gradually it didn’t seem to work any more. All the symptoms returned again.

    Should I try a different brand? It must be a good brand it if was working in the beginning.

    I don’t get it.

  • Heather

    Hi Ann,

    I think people use maca for many purposes. I am athletic and use lots of maca on a daily basis, so when I order, it is several kilograms at a time. The gelatinized black maca really helps with my workouts, as well as my focus. You drink it and feel it being ab0sorbed 20-30 minutes after drinking the shake. Love it. I even have this “Skinny Cow” shake I now make with the black gelatinized – I blend 1 cup of milk with 1 oreo cookie flavored ‘skinny cow’ ice cream sandwich + 1 tbsp gelatinized maca.

    Such as Peruvians do, I use the raw flour whenever I make brownies, pancakes, waffles, banana bread, etc. I substitute maybe a few tablespoons wherever white flour is called for. I keep the raw flour on hand because it is a different product altogether – I don’t think the raw flour is a therapeutic form of maca, so much as it is a cooking flour. At least, that it it’s use in Peru. Exctracts, tinctures, and particularly gelatinized maca are therapeutic, and can work very well.

    Blessings to all, yes! I hope most people have the positive experiences with maca, but I hope also they use the proper types of it, so they get a true sense of what it is. On the other hand, for some people maca just doesn’t mesh, meaning it just not the ‘herb’ for them. Don’t write maca off- try other forms, other herbs, find what works for you.

    For me, maca was a revelation. I love it!

  • Teach me more

    I’ve been taking Maca for about four months and have to say that I’m depresssed and have developed cystic acne. I never had a pimple during adolescence or during my cycle as an adult. Now, after mid-life, I’m experiencing low libido so I decided to try Maca, “The natural libido enhancer.” Libido is still the same so I stopped taking it and my acne is clearing up. As soon as the last “live” cyst is gone I will begin microdermabrasion to get rid of the acne scars on my once “near pefect” skin. So very sorry I tried Maca! Glad to hear it worked for some of you. Sad to hear it didn’t work for the rest of us :(

  • Lisa – Maca powder has helped tons of women with hormone issues, has been an absolute lifesaver for me. I learned of it from holistic nutritionists that highly recommend it. Haven’t tried tincture so can’t speak for that.

    There is no one ‘magic’ anything that will be the answer for everyone. Partly because we all bring varying issues and so many different factors with us. I know what it’s like to get your hopes up about something that does not do what we thought it would. I’m so sorry this did not work for you at this time.

    Healing blessings to you…

  • Lisa W

    I just want to add some of the side efffects I believe are from maca. I am perimenopausal and wanted to try maca to balance my hormones. I was taking a maca tincture so not sure of the amount of maca, but I followed the dosage on the bottle. After taking it for only about 10 days, I started noticing symptoms. One night after dinner, I felt a little nausea coming on and one hour later I vomited (rare for me), thinking it was from the food. The next day I could hardly get out of bed feeling like I had the flu. Then I started getting break outs all over my face in places that I normally don’t. I also notice my face is oily. At first, I didn’t associate these symptoms with the maca, but after reading many of the responses here, I am quite positive now. I had high hopes when I started taking this, but now I am afraid to try it again. I guess it just didn’t agree with me :(

  • Candace:)

    Ashlea, I did the same thing when I was taking it at the beginning. Hives are a sign of an allergic reaction to it. But it’s weird, because I only did it that one time. I’m not even sure this crap works. I’ve been taking it a month and a half and it hasn’t regulated my periods yet. So, i’m going to my doc to make him give me a hormone test, because he doesn’t take me seriously. Hope it works for you!

  • Bea

    I’m a Peruvian lady, since I was a little girl my grandpa gave me the best food from the earth, best seadfood, meat,fruits and so on…for people who started as a child eating junk food as North Americans pretend to be an adult healthy eating Maca, the best to improve their hormone and recovery all those years of life, isn’t going to work any natural products for you, Maca works for me because I had been well grew up, also I’m a Cancer Survivor because I fought since my mother’s Cervical Cancer, after a year she delivered me, she died and I continue fighting with that disease in my body, Kiwicha, Kiwigen, Maca, Quinua all those products improve my defense since I was a little girl, now I can eat less but I’m still healthy, beautiful, young, sexy, triathlete, strong Peruvian Lady….do you want to know how do Maca works for you?, ask me first.
    Bea Lluen on Facebook.

  • ashlea

    is there yeast in the organic maca powder?as i broke out in hives after taking only 1 tsp in the morning.it is recommended to take for 90 days then off for 30?is that a safe time to be on it?is this a normal reaction?

  • James Frame

    Thought you all might find this interesting. It is an editorial on maca and the different types titled: Are you using the right type of maca?


  • James Frame


    The body produces less than 0.5mg of melatonin a day so having high doses like 3mg each day is ok short term but longer term it can start to effect your body’s own production.

    Experts in melatonin believe the highest dose you can take long term and not effect your own production is 0.3mg which is also the dose much of the sleep research and melatonin has been done on.

    Here is a link to low dose melatonin http://www.naturalhi.com/Products/HerbatoninSleep.aspx

    Also try taking maca earlier in the day and it should improve the inability to sleep. Ideally in the morning.

  • Traci

    I had a little issue of not being able to sleep, after the raw maca powder mixed with a little water but now i take 3mg melatonin an hour and a half before bed, and it regulates my sleep and helps me come down from my energy.

  • Heather, the maca powder has worked great for me for several years, too. Hormone and energy-wise. Haven’t tried it cooked. And thought the gelatinized was not as good for us? I know there are different opinions, haven’t sorted that out for myself yet.

    The powder has worked well for women I’ve recommended it to, as well. Mainly for hormonal issues. Some of them experienced a too high jump in libido and needed to take less maca.


  • Heather

    I’ve been using maca for a few years to treat hormonnal issues, and have kept tabs on this blog discussion a few months now. What some people say about raw vs. cooked maca is true. Cooked maca is stronger, I have tried the maca chips, and also used the flour in cooking. I recommend using the gelatinized maca, it’s the most versatile and strongest type.

    What Adam says about the libido boost is true, though I don’t feel it as strongly. Perhaps it’s not as strong in women as in men, but it’s quite noticable nontheless. I have tried several kinds you can get from health food stores Nativa’s Naturals, Royal Maca, Maca Magic.

    The recommendation Timothy made a few months back about black gelatinized maca from bonethruthenose.net was excellent. I have been using their gelatinized black maca ever since. Highly recommend it, and they don’t overcharge you for it like most of the health industry seems to do. The black gelatinized maca is strong, so don’t use too much. It is my favorite.

    Some of the liquid extracts are good too, but don’t have the same effect as using a gelatinized powder, which is why I prefer gelatinized most. Maca is a wonderful herb and I hope people learn as much as they can about it. It’s not for everybody, but for me it clicks very well.

  • Being a single 32 yr old guy (saving myself in case I get married) I cannot testify for the sexual part of it, but maca has provided so much energy, and I can handle daily stress much better while on it.

    Not only that, dairy normally causes me acne and bloating, but with Maca, I am fine, and consume dairy with no problem. I do have an underactive thyroid, which I think is related to acne due to too much iodine in dairy products (cows eat grains with iodine as a preservative, plus fortified stuff)

    The only problem I noticed is the blood vessels in my eyes get red, like they are bloodshot. I feel fine. I probably took too much too fast- about 8 capsules a day for a couple weeks (450 mg each)

    I stopped taking it for a few days, and it went a way. I started again (a lower does- 1 capsule 12 hours a part), and they started up again.

    Now, I had my left temporal lobe (brain surgery) removed 13 years ago, and the bottom left hand side of my left eye is the most obvious part- bloodshot to the max.

  • Twinkle

    I’m on day 3 with the Natrol maca 500mg; has anyone ever used this brand and experience any side effects?

    I read somewhere that goiter can be a side effect in taking this type of maca. Is that true?

    I’m in the stage of perimenopause, have falling hair and have some insomnia so I started taking the gelatinized capsule. The dosage says 1 a day. I’ve not experienced any side effects yet. I also just started some exercise programs 2/week and walking daily.

    Just curious if the goiter issue is true.

  • Hi.
    I have been using it for months and I’m 36 years old with a mild temperment or whatever you want to call it, I’d get really happy for a bit, then almost pissed off for no reason, and up/down all day. After years of this and getting worse I started to research my issue. Maca has been good for me, a little more energy, and the ups and downs are almost non-existant. I have lowered the dose to one cap a day, but find if you really want the true energy you need to use the aweful tasting root power.

    I work crazy hours at my new job, and find this helps alot, it is better than pumping all that coffee and other engery shots into me! If you take it at 6 or 7am, it is not to bad, if you take it to late in the AM; it will keep you up until your body is really used to it. :)

    I am personally a fan of the stuff. The sex drive did go up for awhile, but that soon calmed down to my normal 80% daily thoughts… :) L O L….

  • Adam

    I am a man. I started taking Maca about a year and a half ago – after reading an ad from a source I trusted. The source said it would greatly enhance energy, stamina and focus, and boost libido. I found all of these to be true. But BE WARNED – the libido boost (at least for me) was WAY beyond a little boost. I became downright nuts for women again – like I was 15. Thought about sex constantly. I’ve calmed down now, and still like taking it… but I agree with others on here that you should start slowly, and just be aware that for some (like me) the sex drive can just go wild on Maca.

  • Traci

    I have been on Maca powder for over two weeks combined with Salba which are amazing combination. I have Celiac’s disease and have been very ill, this herbal combination is a blessing i’ve been looking for of course i use CQ10 with it and St. John’s wort. As for giving it too me and my husband, the taste wasn’t so good so i tried some recipes like peanut butter, honey and mixed the maca powder but the best way to eat it is with a little water and just swallow it, and that works best. It’s worth it, i would recommend it with all my heart. The Maca powder i used was about 17 a nice bag that should last several months. For celiac’s disease it combats chronic fatigue syndrome. I hope this helps.

  • Timothy


    That depends entirely on your purpose in taking maca. I don’t use the alkaloid-only extracts because the effects are not the same. Yes, this is anecdotal.

    As far as the idea of nutritional synergy, this is suggested in books “The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs” (Leslie Taylor) – available free online – as well as “Tales from the Medicine Trail” by Chris Kilham. They go into some detail about the amino acid content, with one of the authors suggesting that maca’s L-histidine and L-arginine content also contributes significantly to the sexual effects of the plant. Of course, this is surmise, yes, and more comprehensive testing can and should be done. There’s a lot of stuff in maca.

    I personally suggest that people cook an bake with maca for one reason – because it is a wonderful food, I find it delicious, and I want to encourage people to understand and use it as it is used throughout Peru. People of the Andes certainly don’t consider anything other than the alkaloids mere “filler.” For me, the effect is always more pleasant when I eat it as a food. So I encourage others to do the same.

    That’s about the size of it. Feel free to ask more questions if you like, though.

  • Chris Davis

    @ Rich

    Selling the old “auto-intoxication” scam eh? The notion that herbs can pull toxins STORED IN OUR FAT CELLS is so physiologically absurd that it honestly makes me LOL. People, listen up. All of the detox products a complete scam. Eat more fiber and stay regular to limit the VERY miniscule amounts of toxins that enter systemic circulation from the colon and reduce toxin intake from foods and plastics. You can not take a pill or herbs that will clean the kidneys or adrenals or whatever organ system they claim. It’s physiologically impossible. Once the lipid soluble toxins are stored in the adipocytes, they are not going anywhere unless you break empty the triglycerides out via lipolysis. You can sweat very small amounts out too but the process is very slow and arduous. Please don’t waste your money on detox products.

  • Chris Davis


    Synergism? That’s surmise. The benefits, if any, from maca are more than likely procured from the alkaloid constituents in the plant, which are only 1-2% in most commercial extracts. I’m assuming the amount of pharmacologically active alkaloids are very small in the whole herb, or whole food whatever you weant to call it. Anecdotally, I have to take 3 grams of a 4:1 extract per day to get a noticeable libido boost. I’m not about to scarf down 12 grams of the whole food powder. Why take in so much “filler”. It’s possible that we are leaving behind some of the pharmacologically active constituents with the extracts but it’s very unlikely.

  • SE

    just started taking creative nature macaroot capsules, the only one i could find in my local health store, (in UK.) I decided to try maca after researching on the net due to: total decline in labido after v difficult pregnancy and birth of gorgeous son who’s now 6. i have a history of several women dying of ovarian cancer in the family, in early 40′s to early 50′s. I’m 42 and have found that i’ve been putting my husband through the ringer with very severe mood swings, from 10 days before period to 4 days after, these mood swings have increased in severity over the last year, and have a familiar pattern that i recognise from being on the other side of them as a teenager. I don’t take any other supplements or medications/contraception. This morning, before taking the tablets I had severe stomach cramps.. which actually became milder after taking the 2 2oomg capsules. I’m very reluctant to go on hrt, my mother’s thyroid was underactive and at times she had 8 times the amount of estrogen more than she should have had. i havn’t felt any increase in energy today but certainly felt better than before the capsules. i’ll be interested to see how maca helps me through the moodswings this month. Any recommendations as to which days of a cycle i should increase dosage and days to decrease or stop taking would be helpful. i’ll keep you posted to let you know how i get on adverse or positive, the next fortnight is key for me, and often i can feel my heart rate.blood pressure increase from usually about 3 days from now, and have to start holding back the anger.. spirally depressive thoughts, and victimisation of my husband, so fingers crossed. oh and thanks for the suggestion to add to banana cake, a real fave and as i eat this regularly a good way of me taking it into wirk

  • J.Q.

    Hi Mathew! # 297, i know i am not Candance, but i do have the same symptoms, been wonder why i have ALWAYS had that “lump” betwen and top of my shoulder blades… the heavier i get the bigger it gets, i hate it… also i put most of my weight in my stomach, hate it too… and yes i am hot ALL the time, and living in south Florida doesn’t help… Any input will be greatly appreciated…

  • Timothy

    525 mg? Of the raw root? If so, that amount is miniscule. Bear in mind, the therapeutic products are not raw maca flours/powders. The therapeutically valuable ones are the gelatinized or toasted maca products, and alkaloid extracts (such as MacaPure) to a lesser extent, since such extracts usually ignore maca’s nutritional synergy.

    The biggest misunderstanding with maca spread by the health food industry (though perhaps inadvertently) is that maca is an “herb.” It’s not an herb, it’s a food. It should be considered a food, and be incorporated into the diet, much like chia seeds, bran, or flax. This is perhaps the best way to think about maca. All this talk of ‘dosage’ especially in reference to raw maca (or maca of unknown constitution), only illuminates for me, the misconception the public has about what maca is, and how it is eaten. Maca powder is an abundant provincial baking flour used in Peru. It is always cooked.

    As I have said many times before, there are so many maca / maca-containing products available – but above all else, to preserve the identity of the plant, it is most important to know that maca is foremost a food, one consumed in quantity, not in small ‘herbal’ dose amounts.

  • Lala

    Did you happen to notice your butt getting bigget? I only bought the maca root for this purpose and this is my second day on it and I have experienced weird headaches and a WEIRD dream last night. LOL

  • I just started taking maca root yesterday at twice a day @525mg. I want to put this herbal rememdy to the test. I decided to take maca root to balance my hormones, gain more engery, increase my libio and of course make my butt bigger. Please feel free to follow my blog regarding maca root.

  • I am just starting to research Macha and even only within this site I am finding some consistencies which may be of benefit to you. My specialty is research to identify root causes of disease. Secondly, research those things that are natural that have track record of working to resolve specific issues and heal organs. One thing you have to understand and accept is that each person/body is different. What works for one person may not work for another either at all or as well. The biggest point you also have to understand and accept is that the body “is” designed to be in balance. What most of you are discussing through the entirety of this website are your “symptoms” and trying to resolve them. Any time to take “anything” to try to resolve a symptom you have to ask yourself, “even if this is a herb, is it resolving my root cause issue?..or is it masking the real root cause?” Have you taken steps to clear the appropriate pathways of elimination and toxins considerate of “your individual sequence”….(emphasis added)…”before” taking this? If you have not taken proper steps or if your practitioner has not taken proper steps to identify underlying issues that make up and identify first “your individual sequence” for over-all resolution, you could be self intoxicating yourself by trying to clean up a clogged pipe starting at its middle. “Always” start something new that has potency in small doses and hold that starting small dose for at least a week before adjusting. The differences people are stating between taking capsules vs powder, powder with mixed drinks may have everything to do with when, where and how it is absorbed. Other differences that could be causing adverse results is if you have any kind of leaky gut and it is determined that potentially over 80% of the population does. If you have leaky gut and take this as a capsule..or even at all, it could be going systemic and in to your blood stream with other pathogens and your reaction is your immune system working to over come it as a new issue. That could explain why several women are having the severe bleeding and clotting when taking it. Other contributing underlying causes for such issues could be the result of a toxic or over burdened liver. There are many considerations and potential factors and variables to look in to. ALL of them is your body saying ‘HELP”… You’re either moving too fast with too much or I have a blockage or congestion or sub-toxin issue somewhere. and THAT is actually GOOD news if your practitioner knows and understands how to recognize and follow through to use it to help identify underlying issues speaking out in your behalf. Because something is a herb does NOT mean it cannot throw the body out of balance and harmony. Do your homework always and be safe. If you do not understand the body ad how it functions and potentials for cause and affect then my advise is to go to a professional. Because someone is selling a [product that sounds great ALWAYS do your own homework first. It is YOUR body..after all. Your health and welfare is your responsibility. I hope this may be of “some” help to some.

    Have a great day and a better year.


  • Candace:)

    Oh, FYI, I also have tachycardia which may be a reason for that^^…

  • Candace:)

    Yes, to all of the questions except getting hot a lot. I’m actually quite cold natured, but I tend to get hot fast and sweat before some people which doesn’t make much sence. I am a student so I am always stressed to some degree. I think I get stressed to easily. Thanks for your help.

  • Mathew

    to Candace. comment number 289. I just thought that i might be able to help a little. If you could answer a few little questions for me i may have some sugestions for you. If you dont want to answer the questions here on the site, you can email me at eastmeetswesttraditionalmedicine@live.com. Do you get hot a lot? Do you have a fmall mound of fatty tissue at the top of your spine that can look like a hump if you slouch? do you seem to store more fat on your bum or stomach? Do you have a lot of stress to handle? If you feel comfortable answering these questions i may be able to help….Mathew

  • DouglasD

    while i believe most intentions to be good, there are people here dispensing advice to others based on what? your experience in medicine and herbalism is what? its like you eat everyday and now your an expert nutrionist and chef? i dont think so….stringing together corralaries between symptoms and conditions and the dosage of the herbs youve taken is so absurd, its disturbing. the possibilities of what could be causing any of these effects in your body is infinite. your experience is anecdotal, not factual. some are allergic to penicillin, what if those folks wrote in that penicillin is bad, they got real sick and warned others not to take it-how many countless folks could be hurt because of one persons reaction? the internet is a wonderful place, full of good and bad information and full of expression and opinions. i choose to express myself here because there is some certainty to the dishing out of advice that seems inherantly dangerous as some dispense dosage recomendations to others-please, at the very least qualify your remarks with this is just my non medical non trained opinion. which is just as good as asking your bus driver or barista for maca dosage advice.

  • ofayhonkymofo

    Another thing…

    Those of you looking for healing should do some research on two other wonderful herbs that come from the Andean mountains. Those being the magical coca leaf & san pedro cactus. They will heal you, for real.

    Fran, I still want to bang you.

  • I’ve been taking Maca for about a month and have developed these exploding cysts on my breasts. Has anyone else experienced this? It’s really painful and made, even me, queasy. I can handle PMS but I cannot deal with these horrible things on my breasts.

  • craigieji

    I experienced mild insomnia, almost obsessive focus on work well after my usual bedtime, and then borderline nervous breakdown in the 5 days after starting maca. it feels like there is a ringing in my head and my nerves are just not coping with stress. i take one heaped tablespoon in a smoothie which i ate thoughout the day including a glass for dinner. could the maca be somewhat responsible?


  • Lim

    I have tried maca powder product from “www.bi2u.net”, it is quite good for me, they have maca for men & also women. VITCA-M & VITCA-F

  • Timothy

    Maca is cruciferous. ‘Lepidium’ is a species closely related to broccoli, mustard, radish, turnip, etc. Much like other cruciferous vegetables, maca contains substantial amounts of goitrogens when eaten raw. In Peru, maca is never eaten raw, and to do so can be considered unhealthful. Maca powder/flour is an inexpensive processed baking commodity (harina de maca). I recommend that when one is using maca in quantity more as a food (where there will be greater potency), that people purchase cooked macas or use the flour in int’s intended way – for adding to recipes. Gelatinized macas are specifically designed for dissolution into shakes, drinks, etc. Toasted maca chips are for adding to trail mix, cereal, soup, etc. The raw flour is for cooking and for baking.

  • Amazed to see such a wide range of comments!

    Maca powder (I started with Maca Magic, then found Navitas Naturals) was an ABSOLUTE lifesaver several years ago when I was hitting a wild hormonal imbalance. It worked immediately for me.

    The only side effect I’ve ever experienced was way too much libido, so I cut way back on my dosage. Typically take 1/2 to 1 tsp. in water.

    Most folk would not care to mix it in water, but I don’t mind.

    I’ve had people tell me the liquid or capsules did not work for them.

    Curious about the raw vs cooked. I cook any vegetable that would be harmful raw, such as cauliflower, brocolli, etc, but think raw maca makes the most sense.

    Everyone needs to find what works best for their own body!


  • Candace:)

    To Fran or anyone else…
    I’m 21 and I can’t seem to lose weight no matter what I do. I did a survey in The Hormone Diet book and it said that I have too much estrogen and testosterone and not enough progesterone. So I went to a herbal store and this lady suggested that I take macaforce. I was wondering how much I should take and how often? I saw where someone said to take it days 1-14, but is that right for me? I hope someone can help me! :)

  • Hello. I have been reading the info here on maca and am amused with some of the comments. Firstly, maca shouldn’t really make your heart race as it is its ability to maxamise the blood flow in the arteries that creates the feeling of energy and well being. Also this is the reason for its ability to increase the sex drive. Bee Pollen and Ginseng have much heavier contraindications especially with asthmatics and patients with AV block. Maca is one of the most gentle and natural ways of gaining more energy. Before acting on advice from any health care professional, make sure they are up to date with todays evidence based practice as much has changed and more info is available than say 20 years ago. Buy the root powder and drink it with a little coco first thing in the morning. Contrary to popular opinion, maca can ease insomnia…….Mathew Allan, Naturopath, TCM Practitioner, Nutritionist, Neurobehavioral science. eastmeetswesttraditionalmedicine@live.com

  • Cheese

    I think the many listed side effects are simply due to the dosing…Start off with the minimal and slowly increase…if side effects start to present, then decrease your dose until your body is side effect free…if you continue to experience side effects with the lowest dose then discontinue the use of maca. It also seems that it acts as an anticoagulant hence the heavy periods…or simply your dose is too high for your body type. Be careful of taking too many supplaments at once as well as they can interact together…one thing at a time and start off slow! Good luck everyone.

  • Alison

    Why are you all taking Maca capsules??? Why not buy the raw root powder – its way cheaper and great in smoothies. Brilliant for menopause and energy. Have suffered no side effects on 1 tablespoon a day for some while now. May be the capsules you are all swallowing are not so pure or they contain other stuff. If you have to take capsules buy the empty gelatin ones from chemist and fill em yourself….. waaaaaaay cheaper

  • ava

    just thought I would give an update. I took the Maca plus DIM for about 3 weeks then switched to pure MACA, 6 tablets a day per the recommendation of the practioner. Took it since July and didnt get a period so I did the progestrone withdrawal test and I got some slight bleeding today. Before, the progrestrone withdrawal tests would never work indicating that my estrogen was really low so I would only get my period with HRT (am 36).
    So I got some bleeding today, very slight, but better than nothing and am thinking that maybe my estrogen levels are slowly increasing finally. I havent had a real period in over 4 years and am hypothyroid so I am taking MACA to see if I can restore my hormones (increase estrogen mainly) so as to avoid taking additional hormones to get pregnant.
    So I will keep taking the MACA for another few months and see if that will continue to help me acheieve a real period but this time without the progestrone hopefully.

    thanks everyone

  • tina

    hi fran..thank you for this useful information i hav been trying to follow your advice for past few days and treating my acne through natural products..im an asian and i hav hormonal acne on the side of my cheeks and along the jaw line..there are tiny pimples which never go away..you said the maca powder is not that great but since this post is 2 years old i wanted to ask if you are still using the maca powder and is it working well for you ? i want to try it bc i do feel my acne is hormonal since it gets worse when i stress out but im afraid to try it..would you recommend any other supplements to treat hormonal acne for people with oily skin and large pores..thanks fran :)

  • J.Q.

    Thank you for your answer, i already order gelatinized maca and i really want maca to work for me, suffer from early menopause, i am planning on simmering it on almond milk maybe even rice milk and added to my cup of tea, baking it sounds good, sadly i do not respond well to sugar and wheat, however i want to make waffles and chocolate cookies with it for my 2 teenage daughters, wonder if it will be helpful for them, they are healthy, but with the quality of food they eat at school, i worry…

  • Timothy


    I would simmer at least 5 mins. 1 teaspoon is not very much. 1-3 tablespoons, depending on how you respond to maca. I would also use honey to sweeten. Maca and honey are a common flavor combination in Peru.

    I do also recommend baking with it- for instance, add maca flour to Banana bread, I substitute 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the white flour with maca flour. I have also added it to brownies, oatmeal cookies, etc, in smaller amounts (1 tablespoon). Be creative.

  • J.Q.

    Hi this is for Thimoty, thank you for the wonderful info. How long and how much (1teaspoon) do you say we need to simmer the raw maca in almond milk? i also have a bag of raw maca and do not want to throw it out, too expensive, won’t order it again…

  • countryfarmer

    Have read through all the comments, lots of things I didn’t know about Maca. Bought the product (Brad King’s Ultimate Maca Energy 750mg MacaPunch (Organix Gelatinized Maca Powder)). Only on day 3 of 1 capsules of the recommended 2-4 capsules daily. I hope that the product will boost my energy levels because I can’t seem to stay focused for more than 8 hours a day. Concentration diminishes about 5 hours after I get out of bed in the morning. Am 54 yrs old, had hysterectomy 25 years ago, but still have overies. I was on Estro/progesterone for 10+ years and quit a year ago. Have terrible night/day sweats and very low lack of concentration. The night sweats probably contribute to lack of sleep, translating to the tiredness during the day. Tried bee pollen for more energy and that didn’t work, so thought I would try Maca. So far have not had any of the symptoms described in any of the posts, but also have not had increased energy or clarity. Seem to be a bit more on edge and have to suppress angry outbursts but always had to do that throughout menopause. Are continual day/night sweats a natural menopausal thing. My GP says they should only occur during the night. Find it very hard to focus and concentrate as I am always fighting the urge to sleep. Any suggestions?

  • Dezigner

    To James NHI

    Thank you for your updates and info, I will increase my Macapause by one cap and monitor.

    Are NHI products yet available in Australia, 2010 ???
    or still NZ and do they supply your Himalayan crystal salt to Aus ?

    thanks D

  • John unfortunately I dont know the levels of iodine in the black maca powder you ordered so I cant really comment, nor do I know how it will interact with your medication so cant really advise on that except to say be careful because it may. However adding the kelp with your medication may be too much and do the reverse. Re diabetes we have actually found with one of our products that we can reverse type 2 diabetes in men – specifically reducing insulin resistance.

  • kelly

    Does Maca Root make your butt grow bigger?

  • John Mageras

    Morning to you: Have thyroid condition (hypo). Take 250 mcg.synthetic lyvoxal. Still low. Ordered kelp for iodine boost. Will be ordering black maca powder, gelatinized. Does this sound like a move in the right direction?? One of my concerns was the compound “glucosinolates” as a negative to the thyroid. Am also a type 2 diabetic but very much under control. Have a “6″ on my A1C test. My sincere thanks to James for his input on blog site. Lots of great discussion and info for many people. Thank you for your time and advice. John Mageras

  • James Frame

    Dezigner that is great news re Femmenessence. Re libido what dose of Femmenessence are you on as sometimes slightly increasing that can have an impact. The link below is actually a presentation on this topic called: Menopause and Beyond a presentation a presentation by Jan Roberts, B. Pharm (Hons), Dip Clinician Nutrition on health through menopause and later life and talking about keeping intimacy alive through this stage of life. http://www.naturalhi.com/downloads/Menopause%20and%20Beyond.pdf
    Re weight loss can I suggest having a look at Sole therapy and Himalayan Crystal Salt which support your metabolism even more http://www.americanbluegreen.com/intro_pack.html

    James Frame CEO
    Natural Health International

  • Dezigner

    My Menopause update ……. FINALLY !!! 9 Months latter still taking Femmenessence MacaPause + Spirulina + Chia seeds + High strength fish oil + Indolplex + Adrenoplex
    I have finally “WON” some of my battles :))

    No depression No mood swings & endless crying
    No Anxiety No anti social behavior No panic disorders
    No headaches No dizziness No confusions No more thinning hair loss No foggy brain fag No heavy fatigue sleeping all day No restless nights No hot flushes … all in all very very very improved without HRT or Anti depressant drugs !!!!!
    A MIRACLE after so much suffering.

    Although still….. grrrrrrrrr No Menopause weight loss
    No returned healthy libido.
    Any suggestions to boost these areas ????
    I walk daily, light exercise, drink good water, eat healthy whole fresh foods but find it hard to eat more than one small to average meal a day now, I rather eat small healthy snacks fruits nuts protein. Just cannot get the metabolism to kick start and burn all the extra stored fat, very sluggish.

  • KLC

    Everyone’s body is different. Mine has its own quirks. I don’t mean to send out any ill will to maca. I have read that many people have benefited from it. It may just not be the right choice for me personally. I am simply on the experimental journey along with everyone else. I agree Dawn, an adventure.

  • Dawn

    Good luck to you and I think that sounds like a more comprehensive approach. Do the detox SLOWLY and make sure you have proper nutrition in the form of fresh, organic veggie juices, probiotics, and electrolytes (fresh juice from coconut is usually good though I’m no expert). Find a good program to follow that actually gets the old stuff out. I’m reading Cleanse & Purify Thyself right now while doing The Master Cleanse. Although the Master Cleanse is great I’m wondering if herbs wouldn’t better help getting rid of more built up toxins. I realize this is a maca forum so will not be responding to any more comments because I have no more input on maca. On the maca note, though, I was able to use the maca in another product, as previously mentioned, mixed with other greens and in a low dosage, I was just not able to take a large dosage straight. I have it every once in a while with no known ill effects and I do not promote or discourage it’s use. I wish everyone luck on their journey towards excellent health; It is an adventure.

  • KLC

    Thanks Dawn. My ER visits were from another product, not the Maca. I agree with you regarding a detox/cleansing approach. I’m going to do a cleansing and look at my current diet habits again. In the mean time, I think I’d better hold off on the Maca. I’ve ended up with strange allergic reactions to supplements ever since I was a child. It always seems to work best for me if I find foods, rather than supplements, to balance out my body.

    Thanks again!

  • Dawn

    It is not normal to end up in ER from food unless you are allergic to it. Don’t listen to anyone or anything but your body. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. I would start inquiring about a refund if I were you. I got a refund on my Royal Maca, I think it was 80% back from the original price I paid minus shipping both ways. If you had a reaction that resulted in an ER visit I would not try this product again in any amount. I, like another person who posted a comment, had never heard that maca acts as a detoxifier. I have not researched it since my bad reaction but I researched it during my reaction and didn’t come across that. Do what feels right and makes sense. We are all struggling to help ourselves, and no one has the right answer, and even the right answer for someone else may not be the right answer for your body. I read that we should not be trying to correct ONE problem in the body, that everything is interconnected and if one thing is out of balance, everything is. That’s when I came across the detox-again-and a complete change in diet. I believe that if you aid the body (give it the tools necessary to heal) it can heal itself.

  • KLC

    Thanks to all for your comments. I’m concerned about the “detox” comment too. I’ve been told before that my body was simply “detoxing” and would get better. Both times something went very wrong and either I was having an allergic reaction, or as Dawn mentioned, the detox went badly or too quickly. In both cases I kept getting progressively worse and ended up in the ER. So, I get a little concerned when I’m told it’s a detox and that I should keep taking it.
    However, I spent a lot of hard earned money buying this product and want to give it a fair chance. I have contacted the medical team and am awaiting their reply.

  • James Frame

    I think it is really important to point out that Natural Health International has been working with Maca now since 1999. The head of our research and development is probably one of the top 4 researchers of maca in the world http://www.naturalhi.com/DrMeissner.aspx . We have done more clinical research including pharmacology, toxicology and human double blind placebo cross over clinical trials than any other group in the world on maca http://www.naturalhi.com/Post-Menopause.aspx and we have tens of thousands of patients that our medical team have worked with. And our medical board includes the leading integrative practitioners in women’s health including Dr Tori Hudson http://www.naturalhi.com/MedicalTeam.aspx and recently Dr Christiane Northrup OBGYN included information about Femmenessence in her book so we really do know what we are talking about. In relation to Femmenessence we use a proprietary process which includes the most effective gelatinzation process in Peru making our product 99.9% water soluble. And this is not meant to offend any of the people who offer advice as much of it (especially Timothy) is great but if someone is using our product and having issues I would ideally like them to contact one of our Naturopathic Doctors to discuss what they can do because health is such an integrated complicated issue and as Diane pointed out often involves pre existing issues which need to be addressed before or symultaneously and a Doctor who understand all this, can work with a patient personally getting a full understanding of their health (and how strong Femmenessence is and what it can do versus normal generic maca) is best qualified to help.



    James Frame
    Natural Health International

  • andy

    I started royal maca gelatinized powder 2 1/2 months ago. Had some strange lethargic reactions to it at first taking just the smallest recommended dose of 1/6 tsp. I upped to 1/4 tsp two weeks into it, and learned that it helps me most when taken in the morning with food. I find it to be most beneficial as long as I keep my diet as clean as possible as well. I did have early menstruation the second cycle into it so am lowering the dose and only taking it on days 1-14 after learning from the posts that is what women are supposed to do. Will give it more time and see if that’s the trick. But I am enjoying improved mood and think I am noticing fewer hormone related migraines.

  • Mike

    Thanks timothy. I would also like to know how much of each product to use. Is it still ok to take the recommended dosage of each product? And do you take them at the same time of the day? or separately?

  • Timothy

    Mike, I use Spirulina and Black Gelatinized Maca together. It is perfectly fine, and works great for enhancing focus.

    I myself cannot emphasize Diane’s point enough – maca is COOKED in Peru. Raw powders are a baking flour (harina de maca). You have to use the cooked product to glean the most effective benefits. Either bake with the flour/powder, or get a gelatinized product. You will notice a tremendous difference in efficacy.

  • Diane

    I have never heard of anyone detoxing from Maca. I have heard of discomfort in the balancing process, of course, but more commonly you hear of adverse reactions in those who have fungal or another type of infections. The adverse reactions would be much like what they call “die-off” from antifungals. This can happen to women who use a good, natural progesterone cream also. A yeast infection, whether it is of the skin, scalp, etc., would thrive on and devour progesterone, leaving the woman feeling wildly estrogenic. So it is usually recommended that any type of this infection be treated first so that the desired product can do it work. Also, I find it curious why that the product is sold the way it is… is there more to it than maca? I really couldn’t find any information on it that wasn’t put out by Femmenessence itself. I do agree with taking a break. And, as I posted earlier, I know two native Peruvians and have a friend who has traveled Peru many times… the native people eat the maca root COOKED, mainly in soups, or use the cooked root as flour for baked goods. They really do not eat the roots raw. So if you do want to try maca again, try the powder, or maybe a gelatinized version that has been through a cooking process to remove starch and impurities. Navitas has both, wonderful products, and there is a company, Royal Maca, that only sells the gelatinized maca, as well as a host of other good companies. And start with a very small amount to see if your body tolerates it. If so, you can always build up a litle each cycle until you feel balanced. Best of luck to you and I hope you start feeling better soon.

  • Debbie

    Recently started taking maca tablets, 3 tablets before food. I am going through the menopause and for the first time in ages, my nights sweats were not so bad. Im not saying its because of the tablets as it is early days. However, to go from being constantly dripping wet all night long to being able to sleep for several hours with the quilt on me is quite an achievement. Now I do realise it could be just my body balancing itself out, if so great. In the meantime I will keep trying this medication but giving myself a day off in every 3. Fingers crossed

  • Dawn

    Personally I feel you should stop the product, but that’s just my opinion. IF it is a detox symptom, you are having too strong a reaction and your detox needs to be slower. I am doing The Master Cleanser by Standley Burroughs and it is inexpensive and detoxes the body (colon), not just targeting one issue. The booklet can be found in most health stores and on Amazon, where you can read hundreds of reviews. You can find the info all over the internet, as it’s been around for over 30 years. You need to follow the instructions EXACTLY, so I would recommend reading the book; it’s only $6.50 new in the store. It’s short and easy to follow. I’m beginning to think these supplement companies are similar to drug companies (in fact some of them are). Listen to your body and do what YOU think is best. Maybe you should try an easy body detox and try the Maca after IF you find you still need it. Sounds like you need to ease into a detox program as well so your reaction is less intense. I wish you luck:)

  • James Frame

    KLC in around 10% of cases with PMS women will have an adverse effect of a much worse period than normal. Unfortunately in cases like this rebalancing hormones is not pleasant as the body is also detoxing to some extent. In fact one of our doctors experienced this so you are not alone. The upside is that while your first cycle on MacaHarmony is worse than normal, the second period is usually better than normal and in these 10% cases usually by the third you have no symptoms at all as it has corrected the imbalance.

    One aspect which is also important is supporting your detoxification. Products like milk thistle, dandelion and one of ours pH Quintessence are a great combo for 6-8 weeks.

    Can I suggest contacting our medical team if you have more questions medical.team@naturalhi.com

    James Frame
    Natural Health International makers of Femmenessence MacaHarmony

  • KLC

    I started with one tablet a day the first few days, to make sure it wouldn’t upset my stomach. I then went to the twice a day remedy. Things were okay for the first few days, but now, it seems that I’m having some kind of adverse reaction.

    I should preference this by telling you that I am 36, I occasionally have a few acne breakouts and 2-3 pounds of weight gain the week before my cycle starts. However, this time, I have now gained almost 10 pounds in the past 2 weeks. My entire back is covered in breakouts as well as some acne on my face and neck. I’ve never, including the teen years, had my skin breakout this badly. I also have never weighed as much as I do right now.

    In addition, I realized today that I haven’t left my house for 2 days. I didn’t even unlock the front door! It seems that something about the product has spiraled me into the worst PMS I’ve ever encountered. Depression, weight gain, acne …. I have not noticed any of the positive effects I had hoped for – no extra energy either … obviously or I would have probably noticed the front door hasn’t been opened.

    The only thing I’ve changed in my life/diet has been the MacaHarmony product. I’ve been taking it for about 2 weeks now.

    I’ve contacted the makers of the product to ask them for information or advise.

    • lee

      Hi KLC – i know you posted this years ago but figured i would ask just in case… how long did it take for all the negative side effects to go away after stopping maca? I’m struggling with the same issues as you (i have a tinge of acne but ive never, in my entire life, ever had anything so this is new for me). weight gain and all other reactions are same for me… :(


  • Mike

    Hey, does anyone know if its safe to use both maca root powder and spirulina together? Spirulina is also a herbal super food.

  • Allison

    I started taking Maca caps from Femessence 5 weeks ago. I started taking it for estrogen dominance/high testosterone levels. I am 44. I started with 2 caps. Week one was great ,felt great. Week 2 the acne started. My period was a week late. But felt awesome! Week five on 2 caps my acne is out of control. Oily skin, huge pimples, itchy skin. I have very congested skin, very odd for me. The people at Natural hi were very supportive and helpful with their suggestions.
    I just cannot take the acne! I know there is a process involved in the balancing of hormones. But by week 5, I expected it to be better. The funny thing is I feel great!
    Upbeat, positive, calm, balanced. Any thoughts?

  • Greg

    I had ordered whole Maca Root powder from Herbs America. The dosage said to take 1/2 to 1 teas. daily.
    After reading these articles. I took 1/8 of teas. and mixed it with my pancake batter then cooked them. That night I came down with 102 degree fever,. The next night it came down to 100.6 and stayed there. I took it last Monday morning and finally felt better this morning(Fri, no fever). That was the only symptom I had. Has anyone else had this reaction or heard of this before, or is this just some kind of crazy coincidence?

  • Burnt Elf

    I bought Maca root powder from Z Natural Foods. I used a quick cap gizmo, size 00 and made my own caps. I have extreme hormone imbalances, (too much testosterone) PCOS, and hypothyroidism, and well as PMDD. I take Moringa twice daily, and Chaste Berry (vitex) during days 1-14 of my cycle along with 2 tabs of Trace Minerals.

    Two Maca Cap’s daily (one am and one pm) was too much for me. Mood changes, and all the other things other people have said and more began to happen. This stuff is powerful. I can only tolerate one cap in the morning, taken four hours after anything else, and with food. By dosing this way, I have no side effects, but great results! All the benefit’s that people talk about having on Maca, I can achieve this way and this way only. I will continue to monitor as I get past day 14 of my cycle to see if this changes. But so far I have lost 10 pounds, and my skin is clearing up and I am a happy girl.

  • Diane

    Hi everyone. From what I understand, and have experienced, Maca should never be eaten raw. The native people of Peru always ingest it cooked, primarily using it as flour, and don’t eat the enormous amounts that some websites would have you believe. Raw maca can cause great gastric distress and enormous amounts would have to be taken to achieve any of its intended effects. There are a few very reputable companies that sell maca cooked, or “gelatinized” which is essentially bringing the raw powder to it’s intended disgestable, flour-like state. The amount taken would be low, maybe 2 capsules a day, as in it’s cooked form it is far more potent. Raw powder can bring a whole host of problems — fungi, yeast, etc. — that no one wants. To really experience maca, you could try a site like Royal Maca, which I find wonderful, or raw food sites and/or cooking sites that sell maca flour as opposed to raw maca. Hope this helps.

  • Dawn

    Hi Christer,

    I’m only responding because I started my journey at about your age and am now almost 42. I have done extensive research and cannot say I have all the answers, but…what I do believe is that no one supplement is going to heal you. From my reading, and yes, with every piece of reading material you will find conflicting material, the body is able to heal itself if given the proper tools. The body works as a whole, and when something is missing, each part of the body responds differently, as the missing component affects each part of the body differently, so you may have different bodily responses at various times in your life depending on the type/length of deficiency(ies). The tools to help the body are: healthy, nutritious diet, unpolluted water (and unrefined sea salt like Himalayan sea salt), sufficient sleep, daily exercise, reduced environmental and life stressors. You should see a drastic difference in your brain fog if you change your diet (and drink water), leaning towards a more vegetarian or macrobiotic diet, at least at first. Then, you can slowly introduce new food items and see how your body responds. I am reading The China Study now (check the reviews on Amazon.com) and cannot recommend Your Body’s Many Cries For Water enough. The M.D. who wrote that book says all the things you mentioned come from lack of sufficient water to allow your body to function properly. Try drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water, and eat lots of varied fruit and veggies, maybe some BROWN rice, and see if you don’t feel better quickly. You must listen to your body and see how you feel. NO SUGAR, and NO CAFFEINE, and no drinks other than water. If you want to take nutritional supps, look at whole food supplements like you are doing with the maca, not synthetic supplements. Remember, maca is a food, and you should be able to heal yourself with food, as bad food was probably a contributing factor that got you in the predicament that you’re in in the first place. I wish you the best of luck and hope you find wellness. Being unhealthy can change the entire direction of your life. You are still young enough to figure it out. Your body is trying to tell you something, always listen. Do not disguise the symptoms, get to the ROOT of the problem.

  • Christer

    hi there, this response is directed at timothy.
    Sorry to assume your help but you do really seem the most knowledgeable and unbiased individual on the net on the subject of maca! But please anybody respond.

    I’m a twenty year old male, and up to this point since the age of 7, I have been diagnosed with ADHD, asperger’s syndrome, depression, and personally it has always just felt to me like confusion, fatigue, and the inabiity to think/exist in more than a very basic way.

    It’s been very frustrating as I’ve had occasional patches of slightly better brain function, allowing me to reflect back on my life- very empty.

    I was wondering if you feel that this mental state could be improved by maca? ive been taking it for a few days and have felt more content and operational but i still really do want to eliminate this helpless feeling of running underwater with regards to the most basic brain function, eg: maintaining continuous thought of a task for more than minutes. (took me 3 days to read all these posts)

    Looking into adaptogens, it all sounds very encouraging! i have ordered hemp & chia seeds, maca & wheatgrass in the hopes of blasting away my brain fog, superfood-smoothie style. will give updates, thanks for reading.

    Any advice? dosages, combinations etc. Also my penis is bigger but that’s the last thing i could care about right now.

  • Julie

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been taking Macafem brand 500mg tablets twice per day for 4 weeks. The suggested dosage was 3 times per day but I decided to start a bit lower and increase or decrease if necessary/possible.

    I have been having some good, as well as some confusing symptoms lately.

    I started maca because I was going off birth control (which was preventing PMS symptoms) and wanted something natural to help with the symptoms instead, mostly moodiness (excessive laughter one day changing to excessive crying the next few – not a rollercoaster I want to ride every month, or put my guy through).

    At this point in time my period is over 2 weeks late and this site is the only one that mentions this as a possible side affect of maca. Along with the emotional sensitivity I’ve been experiencing (crying, irritability), mild nausea after some meals, mild stomach cramps and diarrhea, until I read this site I was convinced my boyfriend’s vasectomy had sprung a leak! And to our surprise we were actually happy about that possibility!

    I took a pregnancy test a week ago and it was negative. I was going to make a doctor’s appointment this week just to make sure, and because of the symptoms I’ve been having. I really didn’t think the maca could be responsible for everything that I’ve been experiencing, but everyone’s comments here have started to change my mind.

    On the up side, my emotional sensitivity seems to be evening out now and I feel really good in a slightly different way than usual that I can’t really put my finger on. Again, I was leaning towards thinking that was a sign I was pregnant, but after reading everything, it seems more plausible that it’s the maca (should we reverse the vasectomy after all?! He had it done long before we met).

    So, bottom line, I wasn’t crazy about the moodiness of the last few weeks (and my boyfriend was put through the ringer!), but I think that has lifted. The stomach cramps and nausea have been mild and not a big concern. I will likely go to the doctor just to confirm everything. I may also reduce the maca to one tablet and see how that goes, or leave it the same as long as my emotions are stable.

    Thanks for having this information available! It’s a bit interesting not knowing what is happening with your body, so it’s nice to find info that helps solve the mystery!

    I will post again if it does turn out I’m pregnant, but at this point, I don’t think that anymore. And I’m fine with being late!

    Take care everyone,

    ~ Julie

  • andy

    we both gave it up as both of us got headaches and it could have been the powder helping it on as mine was the second in 3 weeks and last for 3 days [light migraine l do get every so often about 2 monthly av.
    Didn’t make me more sexy either but only 1 tsp a day. Might give it a miss folks

  • andy

    I been on Maca now [ref post 6/16/10] for a few weeks and don’t notice any difference really, but there again , l have energy already.
    My wife has just started, and l will keep you posted.
    l found a good way to take it cooked as the puruvians do in porridge, but l simmer a bit by self in good water and add it to my favourite smoothie fruit whips. Can’t notice the taste then.

  • ava

    thanks everyone. I got some cortizone and it helped. I emailed the company too but havent heard back yet but will update you.
    hoepfully I will get my period soon! fingers crossed

  • andy

    supplies natural Estrogen Ava

  • andy

    to Ava #242
    Have you tried wild yam cream to rectify hormone imbalance you may have?. My wifes periods went from 19-21 days average to 26-27 the first three months on that starting 27-26-27 to this the third month. May help rectify moods as well.

  • Im a 26 year old female . I have tmj and a bulged disk in my neck at the moment. I also have really bad heart burn and gas i guess. It started getting worst with all the tmj stuff. Im taking a 1multi vite..1vite-c..1flax oil…and just a pinch of maca powder a day in food. Do you think thats ok?

  • Dawn

    Maybe you are dehydrated like me. Check out the book Your Body’s Many Cries For Water or go to this website:
    http://www.watercure.com/faq.html. It sounds like an allergic reaction, like I had, which is due to histamine release and histamine is the water regulator of the body that kicks in when you are dehydrated. I’m not a dr but I’ve spent sooooooo long studying health and nutrition and this is the only thing that addresses the ROOT of almost all problems and doesn’t just target the symptoms and makes logical sense when you understand the body and it’s basic requirements. Save yourself 20 years of suffering and check out the website just in case it applies to you and experiment for fun. Try drinking the recommended amount of water per day or 1/2 your body weight in ounces and see if the itching goes away. Remember it takes time for your body to rehydrate. Anything that causes an allergic reaction should be stopped or taken in smaller doses (preferably stopped). I was on the same maca and ended up with hives after the itching. Don’t scratch, get some cortisone for topical application. If you scratch you might get hives. Call the company and ask their rep. for advice. She wasn’t in town for one month when I had my problems with it but maybe she’s back. Good luck and hope this helps. By the way, the book I recommended explains malabsorption issues, hormonal imbalance, and allergies, all of which you mentioned, in relationship to dehydration. If this helps you, please leave some feedback so others may benefit.

  • ava

    i have the whole world botanics MACA with DIM because I dont get periods due to low estrogen. I have only been on them for 3 weeks so lets hope I get a period. But my question is,
    I dont digest capsules so I started opening them and pouring the powder in my mouth. But the next day i got all itchy. Anyone know why?

  • andy

    l started today on dose 1teaspoon a day in cooked food.
    My wife won’t start for another 7 days till her cycle starts again on day 1.

  • andy

    Hi all,
    l have a wife ,low on energy, sleeps 12 hours a day if she can, and has low labido.
    l am the opposite, sleep 5 hours heaps of energy, average labido.
    We will both start taking Maca poder 1 tsp a day on food after tomorrow and will keep you posted on any major changes and results.
    My wifes cycle was irregular from 19 to 21 days only with pre menstral mood swings [off in own world, with no sharing and switching off completely for 2 days ].
    Now been on wild yam cream nearly 3 months for oestrogen level balance, and from first month, has 26 to 28 day cycle for the first time since l have known her [5 years now]

  • enildeR

    Fran, I came across this by chance, as I had recently started taking Maca. I wanted to see what there was on the internet regarding side effects.

    You say that you’re trying to deal with a skin problem. I would like to share with you my my own skin problem and the remedy I found for it.

    I had a pretty bad skin problem that was constantly dry skin. After taking a shower, within 30 minutes, my forearms would begin to flake. My legs were just as bad.
    I’ve actually had this for a number of years. (I honestly can’t remember when it started. Somewhere in my late teens to early 20′s.) I more or less stumbled across a remedy by researching workout supplements and routines.

    My skin began clearing up immediately after taking high doses of magnesium. It’s a critical mineral for building muscle. I was taking from 400-750mg a day. My skin does not flake any longer. I feel great as a result, too, because I was always self conscious about it.

    Look into it, and talk with your doc about it. 400mg is normal. If you take more than that, spread it out through the day. If you take too much, you’ll know by having soft stool or diarrhea. There are many forms that you can take, and you can also combine it with magnesium chloride flakes for bath soaking (or foot baths). The transdermal absorption of magnesium does not affect your digestive system adversely like pills.

    As for the Maca, I have noticed that I do not suffer from fatigue at the end of my work day. I can go home and still feel up for doing anything.

  • Jenny

    I am hypo-thyroid and have been having fertility problems such as a low egg count. I have been researching this product all week to help with my low egg count along with my symptoms of low energy and weight gain due to my thyroid. Do you suggest the gelatinized capsules or the gelatinized powder? Thanks for posting so much and informing us all about this product. Also could you suggest a website on where to purchase this? Thanks again.

  • Dawn


    You might be right about the concentration of maca.

    I was taking Perfect Food for one year while on a vegan diet and took a blood test and was deficient in many minerals. I have tried almost all of GOL’s supplements with no success at all but I know others swear by them. Maybe it’s a malabsorption issue which is related to the dehydration. When I’m fully hydrated I might try GOL again. I believe some of their products go through a fermentation process and people with histamine intolerance are suppose to stay away from anything fermented.

    Hopefully I won’t need to try the maca again because I have hope of balancing the hormones through hydration and electrolyte balance.

    Thank you for the wealth of information in your postings.

  • Jackie

    Fran, I’m 43, with two children and two previous miscarriages. Since the birth of my second child two years ago, my periods have been totally out of whack, ie.. been three months since my last menses. I really want to get pregnant again. How much would you recommend that I take? Thanks again.

  • Timothy


    I was reading and I think perhaps the answer as to why you can take the “Amazing Grass” product is probably just a matter of concentration. There isn’t much maca in it – less than 500mg of the raw flour (that’s about 1/10th of a teaspoon). L-histidine is one of the predominant aminos in maca, but the dilute amounts in the Amazing Grass product probably don’t amount to an overabundance.

    I myself use the GOL “Perfect Food” product for greens.

  • Dawn

    Okay, let me share something very interesting that may apply to someone else who stumbles across this forum. For me, my experience with maca and subsequent hives was a blessing in disguise because I’ve been trying for many years to figure out what has been going on with me and why my hormones were so out of whack (which is why I took the maca in the first place). I researched day and night for 3 days straight (after my hives) and came up with this: chronic dehydration leading to histamine intolerance. Maca has histadine which converts to histamine which is already in the body in excess if the body is dehydrated. Read “Your Body’s Many Cries For Water” or look up the website watercure.com. When I introduced more histamine (maca) I ended up with an allergic reaction: hives. Interesting to note that I can tolerate another product well (Amazing Grass Green Superfood) which has some maca in it with no problems so maybe it’s in combination with other green supplements or because I drink it with a full glass of water. From what I understand dehydration is responsible for loss of energy, hormonal imbalance and lack of libido (and a million other ailments including headaches) in the first place so maybe all we need is water (don’t forget the electrolytes, especially sodium/water balance) and not the maca at all. I hope this helps someone else ’cause it was a blessing for me.

  • aliw

    Wow, I just found this page. Never knew Maca can effect people differently. I was doing a search on possible side effects of Maca since I started taking it almost two weeks ago. I have noticed feeling basically lethargic after taking it, sometimes it seems I get a migraine a few hours later but that could be from a food trigger to. I got it from a nearby health/organic store and the lady who worked there told me to start out with a very small amount and see how I am with it.-1/6 tsp-which I have not yet increased. The brand I got is whole world botanicals royal maca, says it is sun dried gelatinized concentrate. The reason I am trying it is because of learning that it helps balance hormones, gives energy, libido…but mostly the hormone balance because I have gotten migraines since childhood, and now are mainly brought on with my cycle. I am also changing my diet to eat more fresh foods-cut out any preservatives. Does anybody find that it can make any kind of difference to mix it in a shake or with food at all? So what I am really curious about is could the lethargy and migraine I’m experiencing be a syptom of my system detoxing with the maca, or could it be that it is not agreeing with me. I would like to continue with it and see if I can get some benefit but right now I am comcerned that something is going on that is not so good. Anybody have experience with this, or suggestions? By the way, great posts everybody!

  • Timothy


    You are welcome, I try to share everything I’ve learned these many years taking maca.

    Nan, I agree completely.

  • Nan

    As far as NHI’s statistics being “their own,” regarding their Maca GO brand. Well, many companies, including the drug companies, have their own stats on their own products. Whether or not they’re skewed, well, probably every stat is skewed for every product on the market. How much, who really knows? What is objective research–everything is seen through our own (and researchers’) lenses. And, biases.
    And every thing you buy has some risk–dairy, sugar, meat, additives, artificial this and that. It’s endless. Ibuprofen can cause GI bleeding in some, aspirin tinnitus.
    For prescription drugs, look in the PDR, endless paragraphs of endless side effects and contraindications. Pages and pages for 1 drug.
    You can’t watch TV without looking at men wanting to get their erection problems cured (now, with hearing loss as a new side effect), cures for “acid reflux” (with bone problems as a side effect). Every drug, every substance can have potential problems. Even air itself can produce allergies in people.
    It’s just looking at your own constitution and seeing what’s a good match for you.
    I’ve looked at menopausal symptoms from my own view and if you look at synthetic hormones, the side effects can be alarming, and it’s a crap shoot what’ll work or won’t, how much to take, etc. The bio-identicals are user friendly and much easier on your body–but they’re still exogenous and can and do cause side effects. Look at the research for them–they lump them in with the synthetics, which isn’t accurate, and the ones promoting them are all the compounding pharmacies or the naturopaths selling them.
    Maca is a good alternative for menopause versus the other alternatives that are not great to bad.

  • Sue

    Timothy, thank you for your in depth answers and your willingness to share your knowledge. Maca was recommened to me by a work collegue and I feel confident now in going out to source it. Thanks again

  • Timothy

    Maca certainly isn’t a panacea, though they often try to market it as such. I’m trying to think of everything I’ve seem maca marketed for – let’s see – libido, hormones, muscle mass, dieting, energy, focus, adrenal support, endurance, bone density, blood tonic, hair & nails, prostate health (only in red maca)… there are so many claims being made about maca.

    Yes, indeed maca “science” is often conducted and or cherry-picked by people with interests in selling and distributing maca. This is kind of a routine in the “health food” industry. Only a relative handful of herbs have genuine, peer-reviewed science to back them up (Kava, or Turmeric for instance). A lot herbal product marketing is basically just compiled anecdotes, supplemented by cherry-picked science. Maca seems caught in limbo. The only peer-review science I recall seeing are for a lab-confirmed increase in libido. (I’m looking for the studies right now). There’s certainly a lot of conversation and marketing for the hormonal treatment properties.

    Speaking of anecdotes – I have had a generally positive with the black gelatinized, and a few other forms. Definitely an herb that works well with me, hence my enthusiasm for it. I have noticed far more positive responses to it when people use suitable forms (there are lots of reactions to raw maca, on top of it being over-priced).

    Most companies go for the image of reputation, fancy web pages, etc. With any herbal product, I always try to find people who are honest, straightforward, informative. I have had some negative interactions with many large maca retailers, and with some small ones. It’s a gamble sometimes.

  • Dawn

    Thanks Lorraine for your recommendation. I STILL have the hives from the Maca so I’m not willing to entertain the idea of another remedy at this point. I’m also not menopausal, as I’m only 41. I’ve had the same hormonal issues since about age 16. I did the saliva testing through Sabre Sciences and had natural cremes designed specifically for my body’s needs and it threw me into a tailspin. The Maca is the second worst thing I’ve tried for the hormones, as I don’t recall having hives before. I personally think my body responded to the Maca like a previous response to poison oak; the first contact with the raw Maca gave me the hives, then the second contact (gelatinized) made it worse, a cumulative effect.

    In response to Nan’s comments, I have read that the “statistical studies and research” on Maca are only conducted/funded by the companies who are marketing/promoting/selling the Maca; there don’t seem to be independent studies from non-biased parties. Maca was originally promoted as the new Viagra and when that didn’t work as promised they changed their target to hormonal issues (from what I’ve read). Maybe we are all a part of their research. All I know for sure is that it didn’t work for me for hormonal balance (maybe I didn’t take it long enough) and caused an allergic reaction. I will give it one positive, though, it did appear to increase the libido but since I have no boyfriend/husband at the moment it was a wasted benefit for me. I think each person’s body responds differently to everything. My recommendation is if you want to try (gelatinized) Maca (from a reputable company) just pay close attention to what your body is telling you and if there are any negative changes whatsoever consider the possibility that they are a result of the Maca and stop immediately. Don’t make any other changes in your diet or lifestyle so you can isolate it to the supplement.

  • Timothy

    Maca is cruciferoous, very rich in goitrogens, much like raw broccoli or raw turnips. People with thyroid issues should never consume raw macas. Cooked or gelatinized maca should be ok (since heat destroys goitrogens), however one should always proceed with caution, if at all.

    Unfortunately, since raw maca is a cheap commodity, it is also the predominant whole food form of it. Peruvians never eat it raw. It’s a baking / cooking flour.

  • Jayne

    Be very careful with the maca. I am taking thyroid medication, and no one warned me about taking the two together. It upset my whole metabolic system with tremors, sweats, nausea, trembling, fast heart rate, I couldn’t think, I was hypoglycemic and felt awful. I have stopped taking it for over a week and still feel the effects. So check with your doctor or pharmacist, the health food people are good they just don’t know about the prescription drug interactions.

  • Nan

    In some people, it’s hard to tell what the overlap is between their original complaint/symptoms and the effects/side effects of a supplement. That’s why there are statistical studies and research.
    For me, Maca GO has presented enough stats/studies to prove that it works, and with minimal side effects.
    For menopausal women who are having horrendous times, there is only synthetic HRT or bio-identical HRT. The synthetics have side effects and longer term effects and the bio-identicals are still at an early stage of study to determine if they really are safer. Black cohosh and red clover are great early on and if your symptoms are milder.
    I also think there are great variables within Maca products, such as type, manufacterer/grade and dose.
    But, for many women, Maca GO is a great alternative, effective and without major side effects. Please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • Maggs

    Sorry guys that you’re not too happy with this product. It’s so disappointing that there are all these health sites promoting products that promises heaven and earth, when they don’t do such thing!! However, products on Scandacare look interesting. I’ll give it a try and let you know how I got on. Thanks

  • lorraine

    Hi Dawn/Maggs
    I too have given up with taking the Maca I tried all cooked/raw black root/gelatinized etc and I had similar symptoms to you dawn and infact my moods got worse with terrible insomnia, I am short on time so I will keep it brief, please have a look at http://www.scandacare.com the natural herbal product menocool. Scandacare are product researcers,developers and specialist distributors. In short they search the world looking for products that offer safe,natural and non surgical solutions. When they find a product they learn everything about them rigorously check their safety and test that that do exactly what they say, if the product doesn’t meet these requirements they are not distributed by scandacare. The information on Menocool at scandacare is current scientific opinion of many independent pharmacists,bio chemists and herbalists. I am in the UK and scandacare supply and deliver to me here in the Uk for overseas enquires please phone or email info@scandacare.co.uk I am giving this information so that you may try this product as I know how awful the menopausal symptoms are I was a victim of a hit and run accident and 2 years later at 44 along with other health problems I found out I was at the start of the menopause night sweats, hot flushes, tiredness with brain fog, terrible mood swings and depression along with terrible insomnia and hair loss.
    I have tried lots of different remedies and vitamins as I too didn’t want to take HRT and I nearly did start HRT after my Maca experience( I have the presciption from my doctor unopened) but I fell upon an ad in Readers Digest offering a solution to the menopause free!!
    I rang scandacare and answered a few questions and within a week my tablets were delivered FREE. All that the company ask is that, if you have a positive experience with the tablets that you order at a reduced cost of £19.99 per month for 60 tablets and tell your friends/gp about your experience! But you are given the 60 tablets free to try first!!! which I think is brillant as I have spent a fortune on trying different remedies. I started my menocool 6th May and within my first two weeks my sweats are almost gone along with my hot flushes although I still get the odd one now and then but I am told the full effects are felt after 1 mth and I have only been taking the tablets for 2 weeks! my mood is better and I am sleeping better also I have noticed I am not losing so much hair! which is brillant no hairs on my pillow when I wake up and not plugs full after washing my hair! All in all I think its a good product without any harmful ingredients. I wish I could scan the ingredients off the box so you could all read it but unfortunately I can’t. It is a food supplement containing HOPS,DIETARY FIBRE,BUCKWHEAT,BLACK OATS,MALT,RYE,BARLEY,WHEAT,MAIZE,COLLOIDAL SILCA,NATURAL ISOFLAVON COMPLEX,VEGATABLE MAGNESIUM,STERATE. I have a wheat intollerance and I have no problems after taking my tablets. I started with 3 a day for 7 days and then reduced to 2 a day, I think the maintenence dose is one a day but I won’t be on maintenence for a while I don’t think. I know how frightning HRT seems with its side effects with its added risk of cancer due to taking for longer than 2 years, its worth trying to protecting yourself as much as possible thats why I am trying natural remedies and hopefully I won’t need to start HRT. Good Luck to you both, I hope this information helps. I know I have had a positive response to Menocool and I hope you do too!!

  • Dawn

    Not sure if you are addressing someone in particular or anyone who will answer. Here’s my update on maca: After almost 2 weeks on 1 capsule per day of Royal Maca (even skipped 2 days) I ended up with hives again, it just took longer with the gelatinized vs the raw (or maybe it was a smaller amount). It is an unusual reaction for me. I know nothing about the Krill oil or phytoplanktons though recall reading something somewhere of a possible benefit. I’m discouraged and tired of trying to find a solution and of the time-consuming research and of spending thousands of dollars on remedies that don’t work. The only thing that ever worked for balancing the hormones was a very very strict nutritional regimen coupled with moderate exercise and lots of purified water with a few supplements (veggie green drinks) that worked for me. I just couldn’t live like that for more than a few months at a time but they were the best months as far as balanced hormones, balanced mood, and a “normal” life. The Maca did nothing for me regarding mood, in fact, it seemed to make matters worse for me after time. Maybe that was part of the balancing out but it almost sent me over the edge. I think I’m going to stop experimenting with anything for awhile because nothing seems to work and always seems to make it worse. I wish I had good news with my Maca experiment; the disappointment is much worse when your hopes are high. Maybe I will just have to live with a severely restricted diet and lifestyle for the rest of my life; at least that works.

  • Maggs

    I’m going through my menopause and I don’t want to go through the HRT route. So after hours searching the net I came across this products that apparantely hlp with irritability, memory problems – the Etherium products, Marine phytoplanktons, Krill oil and of course Maca. The article above was written in 2008. I just wonder if there is any update on Maca, and also if you know anything about the products mentioned. You call people up but no one wants to discuss them!!! Thanks

  • Dawn (itchy scratchy)

    I just want to thank everyone for writing down their experiences which have been so helpful for me. I tried Navitas RAW Maca BEFORE reading this and broke out in hives on the second day. I only took 1/2 tsp day one and 1/4 tsp days 2 and 3 then had to stop due to the allergic reaction. I just ordered Whole World Botanicals Maca (gelatinized/pre-cooked) for Women with DIM (due to a family history of breast cancer). I hope it works! If I am relieved of lifelong hormonal imbalance after having tried everything under the sun EXCEPT HRT I will try to remember to come back here and post it’s success. I did lots of research on the RAW Maca and it appears to be a definite no no. If you go to http://www.wholeworldbotanicals.com/royalMacaDiffernce.html you can read all about Maca. I am not recommending the product because I haven’t used it yet and I can warn you now their customer service is pretty bad which is not a good start. I hope the hives go away before it arrives in the mail ’cause I wanna start right away!

  • rc15

    also my other bloodwork in regards to hormones was normal…just the low estrogen

    • KF

      Wow, I had the exact same symptoms that you describe after being on a low-estrogen birth control pill for a couple years! Just had blood work and low estrogen was my only lab that didn’t come back normal. Have only had one period after stopping the pill. I’m still in my 20s. They wanted me to get an MRI too, but I am resisting because of the large expense and I want to try to fix the issue naturally if possible. Would be interested to know if Maca helped you at all!

  • rc15

    I was on Yaz for 4 years. I am 34 and went off Yaz in Sept 09 to try to concceive. Since I have had one real period. All my bloodwork and ultrasound of ovaries came back normal EXCEPT my estrogen very low. Dr wanted me to go have it done again today. HE said if still low I need to have MRI to make sure a tumor isn’t creating this problem. I wonder if it is because I had bulimia for many years. I began taking maca today and I am waiting a few weeks to have the bloodwork done. Hopefully there will be good changes. I am so depressed.

  • Claire

    By the way, I also was interested to see by exactly what mechanism the maca improves libido, and it is by histadine, which the body converts to histamine.

    “The amino acid histidine also is found in maca root in high amounts. This amino acid plays an often-overlooked but important role in sexual function: during ejaculation and orgasm. The body utilizes histidine to produce histamine, and histamine in the corpus cavernosum (penile erectile tissue) ultimately is responsible for the way ejaculations happen.”

    There is medical evidence that some people are predisposed to produce higher levels of histamine naturally than others (google “high histamine”)…these are often the high energy, high achieving types but high histamine can also be associated with rage, short temper, etc. Something that might be of interest to those who have had an adverse effect related to their moods while on maca. As Timothy and others have suggested, maca will interact uniquely with each individual; suits some, not others. In the case of getting extra “histadine” which your body will convert, there may then be some point to being judicious in how much you take each time. Some may have a predisposition toward higher histamine expression anyway, and then when on too much maca (for them), it makes them feel irritable, angry, snappish, tense.

    Just my theory; thought it was interesting. The libido effect comes from the histadine, and does not improve libido by directly raising testosterone levels…..(this is in the article link from Timothy)….


  • Claire

    Thanks, that was a helpful link! Here’s relevant info from the article in case anyone else had the same question I had and wants the “cliff notes”:

    “Other benefits and anecdotal reports touting maca for hormonal balancing, endocrine and thyroid function enhancement, and even immune system enhancement are likely related to maca’s amino acid and nutrient content as well. The endocrine system drives many functions in the body, including the production of many types of hormones (which, in turn, regulate many other bodily processes). Although hormones are chemically diverse, they are constructed simply from amino acids and cholesterol. If given sufficient levels of starting materials (natural amino acids), the body may use them as needed to construct hormones which keep the body in balance. Where diet and nutrition are poor (a common problem in the Andes, home to so few green, leafy vegetables), maca is a vital part of the diet – providing the necessary nutrients to keep the body healthy and functioning efficiently.”

    I noticed it talked of how the Andes people have little access to green, leafy vegetables….makes me wonder (anecdotally) if that’s a relevant cause for hormonal dysfunction in those of us who have access to leafy greens….but just don’t eat enough of them! :-)

    Thanks again, Timothy –


  • Timothy

    My understanding is that maca “balances” hormones by providing the building blocks for the body to naturally rebalance itself. Here’s an encyclopedia entry from an herbal research project:


    It seems to provide the information you are looking for.

    - Timothy

  • Claire

    Is maca similar to an herbal adaptogen, in that it balances an imbalance or depletion/deficiency in hormones, adrenal function, thyroid function, etc? (As opposed to *only* being suitable for a certain kind of action, i.e. increasing progesterone, or suppressing thyroid activity in hyperthyroidism, etc). For some people, would it be a more natural way to balance estrogen to progesterone ratio than, say, oral or topical natural progesterone? So if someone has too much estrogen and/or is not making enough progesterone anymore, maca can act to balance that; or vice versa, if someone is low on estrogen, it can bolster that hormone production to more optimal levels?

  • Timothy

    Mitigating ADHD and focus issues is one of the most underemphasized aspects of maca. It can be VERY effective for this purpose. Green juices – spirulina, wheat, oat, or barleygrass (freeze-dried) – are a prerequisaite for any focus issues. If you use the green juices alongside maca, the results for focus are amazing. I would highly recommend this combination to anyone with serious focus issues. I use Garden Of Life “Perfect Food” with the gelatinized black maca, and it makes a world of difference for both mood and focus.

    As far as the phallic extension… that’s been reported by others as well (anecdotally), but it’s certainly not a typical result (despite optimistic advertising)…

  • andres

    I use maca to mitigate my ADHD sintoms but I noticed that my pennis growed 2 inches since I bought it 4 weeks ago.. this is great.. my ADHD is not as bad as it was, i do not have anxiety problems anymore and my I can focus in college.
    my girlfriend is loving it too :D

  • Timothy

    Yes. Maca is always cooked in Peru. Cooking concentraers/enhances the effects, and makes it digestible. It is a wonderful food when used correctly.

    What has been happening is that companies are buying the raw “maca flour” (harina de maca), a very inexpensive provincial commodity, re-packaging and selling it with all the claims of “traditional therapeutic use.” Raw-food enthusiasts are particular culprits of this practice. Doing so, they make 6-10X back what they pay for the maca in the first place. This type of price-gouging is one reason why the “health food” industry has suffered little during the economic recession. Herbs like Maca can be huge, huge money-makers for anyone involved. (Acai berry is an even bigger goldmine – Brazil has 1,000,000 Kg surplusses every season…)

    It is sad, to me, because it all ends up hurting the image of a powerful, effective food (Maca). People get weak products, have bad experiences, all because of a basic lack of knowledge of the herb’s traditional uses. So, I encourage everyone to take marketing aqnd pricing with a grain of salt, learn where herbs/plants come from.

  • I read that raw maca has anti-hormones and digestive suppressants, Peruvians always had it cooked. Rats taking raw maca had lower birth weight…

  • Timothy

    Having grown and used maca for many years, I can say with some certainty that taking maca in water is a particularly disgusting way to eat maca, especially for the uninitiated… One of maca’s best aspects is the flavor mixing – coffee, chocolate, fruit, honey etc. Mixing raw maca with plain water is a sure way to gross people out, especially in larger therapeutic amounts. Using raw maca powder, 2 tablespoons is a relatively small amount. For instance, I often eat 1/2 a cup of maca flour in some cooking / baking uses.

    As for “reputable sources” – I have to consider such claims to be a matter of opinion. If a person has a good experience, likes the people they interact with, or perhaps even represents the company(s) they mention, then to them it’s obviously “reputable source.” In my experience, every single maca supplier you encounter, if asked, will have a litany of praise for their own maca source as being “pure” or “non-contaminated” or “non-irridiated” “organic” and so on, compared to everybody else’s maca. Always take such claims with a grain of salt.

    Indeed I am familair with ‘Sunfood Nutrition’ = David Wolfe’s products. He is a raw-foodist and recommends that people eat the “raw” maca flour (he markets the red-root maca). However, as has been delineated thoroughly above, raw maca powder/flour is in fact the form that is least suitable for general, widespread consumption. Raw consumption is the main reason why people are having bad experiences with maca in the first place.

  • Jill

    I note some of the comments on here regarding taking of maca so thought I would share my experience. I came across Joyvit selling maca on the internet whilst looking for something natural to help with menopause symptoms. The worst of it was hot flushes and lack of energy. I read up on Maca and thought it was worth a try. I started with four capsules a day and within a matter of days the flushes had stopped altogether and I had so much more energy. I am now on my second bottle and have reduced the dose to three a day and am still fine. I acknowledge that care must be taken when taking natural things not prescribed but for me it has been a miracle cure.

  • lin

    Hi everybody.

    My husband and I take about 2 tablespoons of Maca daily and we only use Maca from a reputable source – no capsules. Or of you have a great maca in capsules, open the capsules and sprinkle it your water. Check out http://www.sunfood.com for the Healthforce Nutritionals Maca Force or get pure, organic maca powder without anything else in it.

    I take so much for fertility reasons (it’s helped so many people). I haven’t had any symptoms at all, but I do take it with water and on an empty stomach and wait an hour to eat/drink anything else. (I think 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon daily is fine. Try it on an empty stomach and wait to eat anything for an hour.)

    Perhaps some people are just mixing too many fruits/vegetables and food right away and are having symptoms from a poor combination.

    Maca is not a supplement – it is a food. Try it in pure filtered water and see if you have any luck.

    I wish you all good health and please stop taking anything that is making you miserable – the key is to feel good (sometimes detox does happen so patience may be needed).

  • timothy


    Not sure why your comments didn’t post here, but I did receive it -

    Raw maca “powder” = maca flour unless marked otherwise. It’s basically ground, dry maca. It doesn’t take very long to cook maca properly, just a few minutes. Goitrogens should be destroyed quickly by heat – the maca will become less bitter. You can try different methods – I am accustomed to adding it to breads (even pancakes / waffles in the morning). Whatever ideas you have for cooking it may be better than any I have.

  • Timothy

    Generally, yes, black maca is energetic. In my experiences I think it really depends on the person. After a few days of taking it, the stimulating, energetic effects subside as the body adjusts. Maca is generally like this, which is why for energy purposes it has to be cycled. The body quickly builds a tolerance to the energy aspect. I use it every day, and the energetic effect for me is small. Some females I know swear by the strength of the black maca, or by that of the freeze-dried raw juices, to help their menopausal symptoms. They require something strong, and these macas are the only thing that works for them. It depends on the person, at least IME.

    James makes an -excellent- recommendation about the liver supplements. Metabolism is very important aspect of hormonal regulation.

  • Hi Lorraine,

    Yes I am not sure who suggested black maca but that is primarily for energy so would have been the worst type for you to take. FYI nearly all maca products on the market have the phenotype combination for men that is why they dont have issues. There are specific types for women which as you have seen work better such as Femmenessence. The issues you are having seem to relate to dose as you are having benefits but also other issues. Something that we have seen which is very beneficial for women taking Femmenessence is supporting their detoxification ie liver and kidneys (Milk thistle, dandelion, pH Quintessence) as this is also important during menopause as well as DIM to help metabolise estrogen properly in the body. Can I suggest you call us on our toll free number and talk to one of our Naturopathic Doctors 888 668 3661 who can give you some help and recommend a doctor in your area.


    James Frame
    CEO Natural Health International

  • Timothy


    The raw juice powder is awesome. I myself don’t use more than 1/2 teaspoon, but always adjust to how you feel. 1Kg of that stuff lasts quite awhile. It will certainly enhance the libido substantially. I have gotten mine @ intimaca.com in the past.

    If it turns out you are sensitive to raw macas, the best price on gelatinized (black root) is BoneThruTheNose.net. You can get it at intimaca.com also, but BTTN has a more reasonable price.


    I’m sorry to hear about your problems with maca in general. I’ve heard that some people are sensitive to maca like coffee… If I take 6or7 tablespoons of gelatinized I start to get the symptoms you describe there… racing heart, insomnia, headache. With all substances it’s always a matter of quantity. I refer people to BTTN for gelatinized maca because I’ve had very pleasant interactions, they seem to be informative, nice people.

    As you are doing already, I would certainly see a doctor about any breast lump. I do know that maca itself is entirely non-toxic, no carcinogens, nothing that can directly cause breast lumps. My understanding is that these are systemic and form over time (unless it comes from an injury). Maca can affect hormones, though, and in most people this is normalizing effect. I would suggest also that everyone proceed with caution with anything new, start small and see how your body handles it.

    One of the biggest factors for the body is stress, stress hormones (cortisol) can cause all sorts of troubles. If you are sensitive to an herb, then it can possibly make stress on the body worse. In your case Lorraine, I would probably avoid coffee, maca, and other energy herbs altogether. It sounds like your body is reacting to unwanted stimulation. There are all sorts of factors with body stress, though, so do what you can sort it out step by step.

    I wish you good luck, too. Eat lots of greens, fruits and vegetables. Exercise pushes stress hormones right out, so if you can, that always helps.

  • lorraine

    Hi everyone just thought I should tell the rest of my story as when I last wrote I was about to try the black root gelatinized maca after taking the NHI pre femessence capsules and having several problems including insomnia even though capsules were taken before 10am everyday. Well I did attempt the black root maca from bonethruthenose.com who I must say are brillant and extremely helpful. I took half a tablespoon on my porridge for 2 days and I began to feel so much anger and rage with worsening insomnia with a racing heart and headaces, breast tenderness. The only benefit was an increased libido! I contacted bonethruthenose who immediately told me to stop taking the black root as I may be sensitive to the alkaloids in the maca, and after a great deal of help from them I realised that this must be the reason I have had so many problems since taking the maca. It was suggested I only consume the white gelatinized maca but with great caution, may I again say how brillant bonethruthenose.com is and they also gave me a full refund even though I had ordered a 1kg bag of the black root maca. Some people can be sensitive to the Alkaloids in Maca if you find coffee keeps you up at night then you may be sensitive also to maca as coffee contains the Alkaloids. I started taking pre femessence NHI back in November 2009 taking the suggested 4 capsules a day, I did find relief from my hot flushes and my mood improved along with my fog brain! but very shortly I started having problems with my sleep and stomach upset so I reduced to 3 capsules broken open on my porridge but this didn’t work so I reduced to finally 1 capsule a day, this however has helped me with my moods slightly and less hot flushes but its no way elliminated my menopausal symptoms but I will say I am less depressed even with one capsule so I am scared to stop taking them as I don’t know what else I can take. Recently I developed very tender painful breasts and just assumed this pain was down to the menopause. I don’t have a gp locally who can help me they just tell me to try HRT and they know nothing about maca or alternative medicine and aren’t interested either, I took a list of symptoms to a local lady doctor and she said THERE’S NO NEED BLURTING OUT ALL THESE SYMPTOMS I CAN ONLY TREAT ONE THING AT A TIME! and so as you can imagine I did not return to this gp but as I live in a small town with only 2 doctors surgeries choice is limited, so I try to treat myself. Anyway to bring you up to date, I have had terrible breast pain and tenderness while taking the maca and have now found a lump in my left breast. I saw a doctor yesterday who has referred me to a specialist and I should be seen within 10days, I am very scared and so so worried but I know I will be seen by the right people as I have chosen a hospital 300 miles away that has a specialist breast unit as the local hospital here is far from good and continues to have ward closures due to norvovirus. I never had breast pain or tenderness on this level before taking the femessence and I didn’t suffer from insomnia either infact it was the opposite I slept for 8 hours plus a night! I just thought the insomnia was due to the menopause but my sleep has improved since reducing the femessence capsules obviously due to my worries right now sleep quality isnt too good. I have been taking one capsule of the pre femessence for a while now but I know I must stop due to having the breast lump and I know my mood will be horrible with depression and more hot flushes but having seen all the problems other ladies are having I thought it best to write my story, it may not be anything to do with the Maca. I know it has helped me greatly especially within the first 4 weeks and my mood is defintely better when taking the femessence but with all the other problems including insomnia I worry what else I may have done to my body!! Just be careful girls!! as I don’t see any men logging in with any problems taking maca, so I assume it effects more women due to our hormones? I will keep my fingers crossed that my breast lump is nothing and I will keep on looking for an alternative treatment for my menopausal symptoms.

  • Aine

    Thanks for your response Timothy that really answers my question. I had been wondering when I was taking maca what everyone was raving about energy-wise and re the libido… but yes i had been recommended to get the freeze dried juice and at the time I couldn’t find any, so I got the raw powder… now I see where I went wrong! I might actually try the juiced stuff as I wouldn’t mind experiencing this big burst of energy… and my boyfriend would be happy if my libido increased by any degree… but i will bear what you say in mind and not take it every day.. and I won’t take it after day 14 of my cycle as the breast pain thing was horrendous! thanks again and for all the other comments, I’ve found this site invaluable

  • Roisin

    Hi All, Really glad I came upon this. I have been taking maca for about 5 months to increase libido. I also have problems with painful periods/pmt etc and thought this was ideal as it would solve all my problems in one go. How wrong I was! Yes it really helped my libido but I feel this was at the expense of everything else. Since about 3 months into taking it my menstrual cycle has taken over my life. My periods are even heavier and far more painful than they were (and not responding to painkillers like they used to) and then my pmt seems to begin from about day 14 and continue until my period again but is worse than it ever has been in 15 years! Also I have the WORST breast pains that start right from ovulation and get steadily worse until start of period. I never had all of this before. I had PMT for 4/5 days before period but nothing in that league and I had slight breast pain but again nothing compared to this. I have now totally stopped taking maca!! I was probably taking far too much but I am now scared to take it at all and hope my body will go back to normal but dont know how long this will take.

  • Claire

    This is a question for Timothy…I have organic maca powder from Mountain Rose Herbs; it seems it may probably be raw since the packaging does not indicate it has been toasted. If I cook a little in milk to make hot cocoa, would that sufficiently cook it?

    I am feeling enlightened by this discussion, especially the goitrogenic activity of raw maca. I began taking maca for hormonal balance (low progesterone, estrogen heavy), and for a while, was feeling an instant boost in energy, less need to dip into my daily nettles infusion (which I make for energy and adrenal support). But I started taking a bit in the late afternoon as well, when my energy would take a dive; it would help my energy but then I would have stomach upset. I figured last night I was taking too much. I’ve also felt other emotional imbalances which are not normal for me, and am breaking out on my face, whereas I usually do not have this problem at all.

    I am going to adjust my dosage and stop during the second half of my cycle, but when I use it, to also cook it somehow; I was thinking that cooking it for several minutes in water or milk to make a hot drink would be easier than actually whipping up batches of maca muffins all the time. :-) Will my idea sufficiently deactivate the goitrogens? I think that is what was messing me up, as my thyroid is already affected by adrenals that are taxed and progesterone/estrogen imbalance.

    Really glad I found this thread….

  • Timothy

    The primary issues that come with ‘raw’ maca, though they are not too common, are generally are twofold:

    1. Goitrogens – maca is cruciferous, so just like raw turnips or raw broccoli it is rich in goitrogens. This can interfere with thyroid in some people. It can negatively affect hormones in sensitive people. This may be responsible for your sister’s bad experience. Cooking deactivates goitrogens.

    2. Fiber – raw maca also has dense fiber, which causes digestive issues in many people. This is a main reason why maca is cooked traditionally.

    Freeze-dried raw juice – I am a huge fan of the raw maca freeze-dried juices. It is fantastically strong maca (at least 10x stronger than raw powder). It is a very strong product that will ignite things like you can’t believe. Not for the faint of heart, you will notice this maca. Even I won’t use it every day, and if one uses too much… you’ll be climbing on the ceiling for a bit not unlike spiderman. Intense maca for intense personalities. My only real issue with it is the price – It’s very expensive.

    As I said in some earlier posts, my preference is for the gelatinized ‘black’ maca, chiefly because it is strong, but not too strong (about 5-6X stronger than the flour). It also tends to be half the price of freeze-dried raw juice, so it just seems like the best choice economically. I’ll use freeze-dried juice once in awhile, but I use gelatinized ‘black’ maca daily. You get an equivalent effect, albeit muted in comparison, but honestly I find it more pleasant. Absorbs quickly, and it’s difficult to accidentally use too much. — Also, if the breast pain was caused by goitrogen hormone interference, gelatinized (or cooked / toasted maca) would be the only way to avoid that problem.

    Both macas are good products, but different, for different types of people. That’s my 2 cents there…

  • Aine

    Hi, very interesting forum, I came on here because myself and my sis have both been taking maca. I know people who have had amazing effects.. however my libido is low and has remained low. My sister’s libido was boosted.. however she got severe breast pain, really bad pmt for 2 weeks every cycle, worse anxiety and period pain than normal… .And i know for some people it helps normalise period pain. Firstly, we were taking too much… she was taking up to 2 tablespoons a day. I would take a smoothie with a tablespoon in it, but not every day. Neither of us knew to take it only on days 1-14. I did get, on 2 occasions, a severe stabbing pain in the breast. I was taking the raw powder, and was thinking it wasn’t strong enough… i noticed no boost to my energy either. Anyway my question is… I can see that the raw powder is problematic for many and can be hard to digest ( i eat mainly raw food and hadn’t had probs digesting it) and my raw foodist friends had always recommended the freeze dried juice of the root as the best most potent way to take it. So I’m thinking of getting it and just taking maybe a teaspoon or half of one, days 1-14 and seeing do I get a result. Any recurrence of that breast pain though i will be stopping it.. it was severe! I’m wondering what people on here think of the freeze dried juice products? Is the juice ok, even if the raw flour is not really suitable to eat unless cooked?

  • shari

    I have not had a period for over a year, I am 54 years old. But after taking Maca, I am wondering if that is why now all of a sudden I had a period and my breasts were extremely tender? Should I discontinue? I don’t want periods again if this is causing it.

  • Zoe

    Thanks for all the great information on Maca. After reading your information I was very excited to start on bought some Maca online http://www.zobilgreens.com.au
    I took1.5tablespoons of Maca on days 1-14 and than half this 3/4 tablespoons on remaining days. My skin has improved by nearly 70% in last 45 days, I am so impressed.

  • Lisa

    I am peruvian and I am taking Maca for some time now. Of couse, like with evertyhing else, I take it with moderation since we are all different and our bodies may have different responses. I had very bad acne and i am perimenopausal(hot flashes). So I started taking 1000mg twice a day for 3 to 4 days and then stopped for about a week.Took Maca again the way I explained above and the flashes stopped for about 4 months. when they came back i started taking the Maca more often. I took 1000 mg for 4 days stopped for that week and then again for another 4 days . Flashes stopped in a two week period after I started again. My understanding since I am peruvian is to take Maca a max of 3 month and then stopped for 6 months. That is what I have always know the treatment should be. I take Maca everynow and then( once or twice a week and then wait for a couple of weeks or so). My acne has cleared so much, but honestly this won’t happen overnight. It did take me about 8 months to stop the breakouts. Remember ,Maca is a natural product and we need to understand that and let our body adapt slowly. Good luck to all!

  • jedev

    In Elaine Hollingsworth’s book ‘Take Control of Your Health and Escape the Sickness Industry’ she has cautioned anyone, male or female, who have hormone related cancers from taking Maca powder. The following is from her book. “Maca: Contraindications
    Because Maca regulates hormones, and because no double-blind testing has been done to prove
    its safety when used by those with hormone-related cancers (breast, female organs, testicular,
    etc) we advise extreme caution. Maca should not be taken during pregnancy, nor while breastfeeding.
    Also, consult your health practitioner if you have bladder or liver disease or high
    blood pressure. The use of fertility drugs, black cohosh, dong quai, ginseng or licorice root
    along with Maca is not recommended. E.H.”

  • I’m a 54 yr. old woman who recently had hormone postive breast cancer. Presently taking Aramatose Inhibitors to prevent my body from producing hormones. Also on anti-depressant, so sensation is numb. Is Maco a good choice for me?

  • Hi Everyone starting macca powder today, i’ll keep you all posted on it’s effects on my menopausal symptoms.

  • Timothy


    In my experience, maca is a very good herb/food. So, if someone isn’t having an ideal experience, I always recommend that people try different forms of it. The products on the market vary widely in their presentation of maca. I hope you have a better experience with some different products. I myself have tried many, many products across the board. I would also recommend Chris Kilham’s book “Tales From the Medicine Trail” if you want to learn about maca’s heritage and traditional use (it’s really inexpensive @ amazon.com).

    Good luck,

    - Timothy

  • lorraine

    Hi Timothy
    Thank you so very much for all your advice and help, I have ordered the black gelatinized Maca powder from bonethruthenose. I have stopped using the NHI pre femessence and my sleep has improved, although I did have some good responses to this product i.e hair/nail growth less flushes and my moods improved I just couldn’t stand the constant lack of sleep even on just one capsule. I have started with one teaspoon on my porridge and will gradually increase to one tablespoon with the new powder.
    Have a great weekend
    Best Regards

  • Hi! Guys and gals all of you are treating the simptons not looking at the cause. The cause of illness is in your spine. The vertebras out in your spine pinch the nerve restricting life to the organ or limb. Eventually no spark no life. Put your spine back into align before your illness changes into cancer down the track. I scan patients all day with spinal damage. I see the connection to the organ and the damage to this organ from restriction of nerve, blood, oxygen, minerals, vitamins and hormones. Eventually cancer strikes these organs or the patient has a heart attack from no function of the blood flow ,nerve etc to and fro. the patient feels pain right through the heart to the lung like a knife blade through them. This doesn’t mean you are having a heart attack from cholesterol built up in the arteries when you are young. Because young people burn off the fats with exercise. But a MD will give a by pass operation on this patient any way because he is not trained in the spine and its connection to the bodies function. Every illness you suffer you have vertebra out of alignment. I specialise in this diagnosis and read all illness through the spine. This is how we pick up Cancer long before md’s and gp’s, ten years in advance to their machines they use in hospitals and clinics. When there is no nerve, blood etc there is no life in this area so an illness develops. Check out my web page on Natural Therapies Pages. Code. Practitioner

  • Timothy

    Lorraine, I’m no doctor, but I’ll try my best to answer what I can-

    With maca, the difference between capsuled products and powdered products is mainly nutritional. You are getting a whole synergy of nutrients when you eat maca – each contributing in some subtle way to the overall effect. In addition to the active alkaloids, maca has a unique combination of amino acids, and trace minerals (even some iodine).

    What sometimes happens in the extraction / standardization of herbs (contrary to the intent) is that some character, or potency of the whole herb’s effect is lost inadvertently. Commercially available Kava or Ashwagandha products are ideal examples of this phenomenon – where standardized extracts of these herbs are not nearly as good and pleasantly efficacious as fresh, potent herb material. That’s because there is a more subtle synergy going on, that is difficult to fully isolate. That, plus herb potency itself can vary immensely – anyone who has grown their own will know what I mean.

    This can be the case with maca, which is why I take interest in the powders. I find the effect of eating maca to be more rounded, more total. More pleasant. Then again, that’s just me. Concerning dosages, 4-6 teaspoons – that’s a bit high to start off with gelatinized maca. Start with one teaspoon and you can work up to 3 (1 tablespoon), until you feel comfortable with the effects. Some people use more, and it is of course perfectly safe to do so.

    £15 seems like a bit much for 225g – I know a few companies which will give you twice that amount for the same price (US dollars). I don’t know if BoneThruTheNose.net ships internationally (they might) – but you can also investigate Imperial Gold; (imperialgoldmaca.com) or Intimaca (www.intimaca.com). Or, query “gelatinized bulk maca” and see what else turns up.

    I hope this is somewhat helpful,

    - Timothy

  • lorraine

    Dear Timothy
    I have just found a company here in the Uk that sells gelatinized Maca powder and capsules, its a 250 gram pot of powder for £15.00 INC post. Its Premium Organic Lepidium Meyenii. I was taking Lepidium peruvianum Chacon Maca Go from NHI but having had several very annoying problems such as insomnia I am trying the powder, I haven’t seen a menstrual cycle for 7 months and I am experiencing menopausal symptoms such as fog brain, moods,tiredness and lack of sleep amongst many other symptoms, so I will see how I go on the powder, I started with 2 capsules in the morning and 2 capsules before 3pm with NHI but found this dosage too high and have been experimenting with a lower doasge and went from 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 a day but I still have sleep problems and feel I need a higher dose to manage the menopausal symptoms but when I did increase the capsules I got stomach cramps so I broke open the capsules and sprinkled on my porridge but to be honest I now feel it best to try another maca product, as I have been taking NHI’s capsules since November 2009. Do you have any suggestions as to how much I should use? the tub states 4-6 teaspoons a day but I’m very nervous of trying this dose as I have only been taking one capsule for several weeks of the other product. I hope you don’t mind me asking you but you seem to know so much about Maca and I need all the help I can get. I am 47 years old and I weigh around 54 kilos height 5ft, not sure if this matters but thought it best to include. Any sugestions greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • Timothy


    Raw is often best for fruits and leafy vegetables. I myself tend to cook tubers, roots, and hypocotyls (turnips, beets, radish, etc), though it does depend on what it is (Jicama, an exception for instance).

    I also have several lbs of raw maca flour, mainly for baking. To heat the flour, I might suggest speading it in a glass cooking pan of some sort and heating it 180-200F for an hour, until heated through. Low temperature, at length. I use this same method to dry herbs in a pinch. The principle is just to lightly cook the maca.

    However, for the breakdown of fibers, ideally there should be moisture present. In which case I might suggest simmering (but not boiling) the flour in some coconut or almond milk, then chilling and using as needed in shakes that way. This is how I use some root herbs. Just some ideas.

    In Peru maca flour is just a few dollars / Kg. For reference, a good USA price is $20-25 per KG (2.2 lbs). There are a few vendors offering fair prices, mostly online.

  • Timothy

    @ “harsh side effects” –

    I would say that’s the “raw” maca messing with digestion. It doesn’t do this to everybody – but some people just have a bad reaction to it.

    @ LeAnne – Yeah, Bone Thru The Nose.net is good, very rapid in my experience too. That ‘black root’ maca has a nice, warm lift to it. Love it.

    If you ever cook with the flour (i recommend the white root unsterilized kind), you’ll notice that same warming, happy feeling when you eat the foods. That’s how good maca should feel.

    I understand what people mean when they say they don’t like maca’s flavor. Uncooked maca flour is bitter (goitrogens in all raw cruciferous veggies are a bitter flavor). It does not surprise me at all if people who eat the raw flours do not like the bitter, off-flavor. Cooked macas do not really have a bitter flavor, they actually have a fragrant, nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

  • LeAnne

    I can’t believed I received my package of maca from Bone Thru The Nose (Skyfield Tropical) so fast! Especially since I selected the cheapest method of shipping and didn’t expect my order to arrive for at least a week. I have to say, I am EXTREMELY pleased with the product and have no idea why many people have said they can’t stomach the stuff. I added an entire tablespoon to my smoothie and found that it added a wholesome, nutty flavor to my drink that I can appreciate. The company also included with my order a sheet with a list of smoothie recipes, which I’ll have to try out. Although, I’m really not a fan of durian because of the way the fruit smells, but I do like jackfruit! Timothy, thank you so much for recommending this wonderful product!

  • Sonia

    I have a big ol’ bag of raw maca (i was told that raw is best!) I don’t want to put it in baked goods-can I roast the powder in the oven??-I hate to waste it (and it cost so much!)
    Thanks for all of your info.

  • Timothy

    I remember in Chris Kilham’s book “Tales From The Medicine Trail” (a great reference, actually) there’s an entire chapter on maca’s traditional use. The author also cites the toxicity studies – Maca has none.

    Yes, the black root gelatinized is great stuff. At least one fruit/vegetable shake I make per day contains it. I use about 1 tablespoon or so, but it’s probably best to start out at 1 teaspoon.

    Bonethruthenose.net also sent me a collection of smoothie recipes with my order last time. One recipe included durian! (wow, if it’s your thing…)

  • Just wanted to thank Timothy for his *superb* posts in this thread. Clearly the voice of experience.

    My experience of *raw* maca in the form of capusles from “Now Foods” was very unfortunate. I had not even planned on taking this herb right no