A warning about taking Maca Root Powder!

I love Maca Root and I have promoted it heaps on this blog, so I thought I better tell you what I have discovered about it recently. A few weeks back, I had a few girls email me and describe that they had experienced worse pain after going on Maca Root. I found this incredibly hard because Maca had given me nothing but good results. I couldn’t figure it out and started to get quite concerned that I had recommended something that was perhaps not beneficial to all of us with Endometriosis and that it might actually be causing some girls harm – which is so not what this is blog is about!

So, my research began to find out why this could be or if in fact there was a side-effect to taking Maca Root, which I wasn’t aware of.

If you are not familiar with Maca Root, please read this article I did on it a while ago.

Maca Root is a vegetable plant and it essentially reduces Endometriosis symptoms by regulating all our hormones. This means all of them together – not trying to reduce one or the other, depending on what our imbalances are. It will also regulate our thyroid gland – which has to do with feeling cold all the time. If we have Oestrogen Dominance, it will work out which hormone is less and get the body to create more of the hormone we need. So, in other words, it regulates it all and lets the body determine what it needs and in what quantities.

This is where the problem steps in…..

If we then combine our treatment for Endometriosis with hormone specific treatment using phytoestrogens, it will actually make our pain and symptoms worse. So, if we take any phytoestrogens as a supplement (Dong Quai, Soy Products, Black Cohosh, Coumestrol, Vitex/Chasteberry) they directly interfere with Maca. The Chinese herbal pharmacopeia contains many such herbs and they do not generally combine well with maca root. So, check this first before combining chinese medicine with Maca.

 

Why is this?

Well, phytoestrogens create more Oestrogens in the body. The Maca only regulates what is supposed to be there and gets the body to produce it’s own when there is too little of one or the other.

Basically, oestrogen and progesterone work as a partnership. If one is too dominant, then the other needs to step up. So, if we are Oestrogen dominant, it means we are more likely to be progesterone low. If one added more progesterone, it will lower the Oestrogen levels, so both are in balance again. This is what Maca does so well. It allows the body to work this out all on it’s own. The reason Phytoestrogens cause such problems is because they are in very high quantities in the body. Please read this article on more specific information on why phytoestrogens are not recommended for Endometriosis. 

So, at the end of it all, we shouldn’t combine Maca with ANYTHING hormone related. This includes any phytoestrogens, progesterone creams, DIM and even Evening Primrose Oil.

The good news is, that essentially you could save yourself a whole heap of money by just sticking with Maca :) and there is no guess work with Maca – your body can work it out. I have always been hesitant with progesterone creams/ drops etc because how do we know when to stop? Surely, we can get the balance to go the wrong way – the other way around too?

The Chinese herbal pharmacopeia contains many such herbs and they do not generally combine well with maca root.

 

So, now we understand a little about why Maca and other stuff don’t mix well, we kinda need to decide which way to go on this one. Personally, I love my Maca and will probably stick with that. If I decide to explore any Chinese Medicine or anything else….I will make a point of stopping my Maca supplements first!

Did you have an adverse reaction from Maca? Were you taking Phytoestrogens at the time? Would love to hear your experiences :)

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND UPDATES:

I have more recently discovered that Maca is more progesterone encouraging which is great for us endo girls. This means it will encourage more progesterone in our bodies, which many of us are low on.

It is also important not to take Maca continuously, every day at the same time of the day. It is better to take it randomly. The hormones work better when we mix it up a little. It needs to be unexpected. So, take it one day, not the next or have a break for 3 weeks and then take it again. The best days of the month to take Maca are in the Luteal Phase of our cycle, when we need more progesterone. These are the days leading up to our period, after ovulation.

 


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145 Responses to A warning about taking Maca Root Powder!

  1. Anya April 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    Hi, Melissa,

    Thank you for your website – it’s immensely helpful. I have not been able to ascertain whether serrapeptase works on a hormonal level or simply eats away at the dead tissue. Is it ok to take it with maca?

    Many thanks,
    Anya

    • Melissa April 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      It is totally safe to take with Maca and no it doesn’t work on hormones at all :)

    • Melissa April 20, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

      Serrapeptase doesn’t work on hormones :)

  2. Val April 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    My sister has IBS and she is trying Maca Powder. Should it be causing gas/bloating? She is trying to introduce slowly but seems it is giving her grief.

    • Melissa April 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

      I would probably not recommend it for her then :)

  3. Veronica April 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi,could you tell me if maca is ok for someone with damaged liver.Had hepatitis about 40 years ago from contaminated water..No hep in blood now & liver given good bill of health at blood test last Oct.but there is scar tissue.Eat pretty healthily & do not overeat.reasonable exercise walking etc.Never smoked & very rare small amount alcohol.Thank you for so much info.

    • Melissa April 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

      I am not sure to be honest but would probably recommend Milk Thistle and Schisandra for your liver. The liver regulates hormones so you will be achieving a similar result.

  4. Shelly March 20, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Interesting website! I’m battling both endo & fibrocystic breasts (both indicative of estrogen dominance). I took DIM for a few days and my breast cysts started shrinking, but I preferred the idea of balancing my hormones over just flushing out the estrogen. So I started taking maca about a week ago. I feel really good, but my cysts are back and bad as ever. So I’m moving back to the DIM. Just thought I’d post a note in case any of your readers are also battling both and trying to decide between maca & DIM.

  5. Emily March 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Hi,

    About 6 months ago my doctor found out I had excess estrogen and due to familial history of breast cancer put me on compounded progesterone cream days 10-25 of my cycle. 4 months ago my horrible endo pain started. I have cleaned up my diet even more, take borage oil now (just started this month) and ordered maca powder last week. If I am reading correctly though I shouldn’t use maca if I am on the cream and borage oil? My pain has been less this month and I was hoping it was in relation to the borage oil. I also have hypothyroidism which plays into estrogen dominance and which I have read would benefit from maca. I would love to hear your thoughts/tips etc as I had been looking forward to using maca! Thank you soo much for your site!!!

  6. Stephanie March 16, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I was on BC for 20+ years and had to stop taking it due to all sorts of health problems that started. Good news is my health started getting better. Then my OB put in a Mirena. Almost immediately I started having problems so I had her take it out. I also developed ovarian cyst and have been having mid cycle pain. My doctors don’t want to talk to me about any treatment unless it is a perscription drug. I stared my own research and started taking DIM and Vitex and using progesterone cream. I fell better but still have some mid month pain. Then I read about maca and added that to the mix (500 mg capsule 2x day). Now I am having some stomach problems so I am stopping the maca. I also intend on stopping the progesterone cream at the end of this cycle ( have used it for 3 months). So at the start of my next cycle I thought about dropping them (it’s time to scale back now that I have been doing this for 3 months) all and just using maca but I’m concerned the stomach problems will start back up. Also I am confused how many weeks a month to try maca or if I should be on it all month.

  7. rachael March 12, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    Hi

    first of all, I LOVE this site, I’ve taken so much advice from you already and I firmly believe it is helping so thank you ever so much!

    What I really need some help on (and I cant ask gynie or my GP cos they think I’m just dumb and more hormones is the answer) is this:

    I came off yasmin for a few months at the back of 2012, and went back on. 3 months after stopping I had temporary hair loss for about 6 weeks, I was absolutely distraught, my hair went so thin! its still in recovery now, and I’m not entirely sure whether it was yasmin or other stresses (which were at boiling point at the time) or a combination that caused it, but after this, in early 2013, I had to take a morning after pill (whilst shair was still in shedding phase) and by July 13, I was having excruciating pail in my pubic bone (just above my groin near my lymphnodes) every month just after my period – I went to A&E and they said I had a femoral hernia and operated on it but the pain was the same every month, during and then the week after my period – it took 5 months of being fobbed off and shouting to get them to refer me to gynie who thinks its scar endo from my op (even though i had the pain before it!)

    he wanted me to shut my hormones down and trigger menopause for 3 months to diagnose and I tole him to get lost, I bedrudgingly took yasmin continuously for 3 months instead – there was no pain, had a little breakthrough bleed towards the end and then the pain came back (its always in my pubic bone and my lower back – lower back pain has been going on for 3 years)

    Anyway, because I am OCD :) I found your site doing endless research to fix myself of this horrible pain…. I binned EVERYTHING that had parabens / chemicals in and swapped for nice kind organic products, I cut right down on meat and dont eat red meat anymore – I have a bit of organic now and again, I cut down on eggs and only eat organic when I do, increased my oily fish and avocado intake, cook in virgin coconut oil and eat raw extra virgin olive oil, I quit bad dairy, switched to unsweetened carageenan free almond milk, eat a bit of raw goats cheese and goats butter now and again as a treat. ditched coffee everyday for a now and again treat, drink green and herbal/fruit teas instead, barely drink alcohol anymore except for the odd glass of red in a blue moon – I’m trying my hardest to cut out wheat – switched to wheat/gluten free bread, brown rice pasta, increased my veggies / kale / spinach / ginger… basically nothing “unclean” (except for the odd dairy/gluten free dark chocolate) has passed my lips in weeks – I feel great but havent had the full blown period at the end of the 3 months back to back…. (my follow up appt is April 17th where he wants to discuss sticky plaster treatment)

    (wow that was a long story) so I guess now I’ve explained where I’ve arrived at, I would REALLY like and appreciate your opinions on the following:

    I am DESPERATE to get off this bloody pill, I hate it – my sex drive is through the floor and I believe it triggered that hair loss and isnt helping it now, but I am frightened to death that my already thin unrecovered hair will fall out again if I stop taking it.
    I’m frightened that my endo pain will worsen if I do

    Ive read alsorts of articles about DIM / Maca / Liver cleanses with milk thistle / chlorophyll etc… to keep my body balanced when I come off the pill, but i dont want to overdose on stuff and I’m confused?!?

    What is better to regulate hormones, Maca or DIM?
    Can I also take these with chlorophyll and milk thistle?
    I do think I need a liver detox as in my younder days when I could handle hangovers (I’m 30 now) I used to go out all the time and had a taste for a good wine, I ate cheap chicken, eggs, whey powder and all the things that have probably over the years contributed to endo and I just wanna look after myself and get right with my diet and fitness, and push for the op to remove the rogue tissue rather than cover it with more hormones…

    Please help??? xxxx

    • Melissa March 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Hi Rachael,
      Thanks for sharing your story :)
      I would take DIM or Maca. I personally prefer Maca but some women prefer DIM. It is kinda a personal choice but from the sounds of it, Maca would help that sex drive :) You do need to go off the pill first though. When you go off the pill, take Calcium D Glucarate for at least 3 months to avoid Estrogen dominance effects.
      You can take Milk Thistle but I would recommend Schizandra berry above that one. It is even more effective and doesn’t stimulate estrogen mimicking as Milk Thistle sometimes does.
      You might also like some other tips within the Facebook Group :) I have added you in case you want to join :)

      Hugs

  8. Nancy March 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    Hi! Like your blog… A little history- 51, peri menopausal, hypo thyroid. I take Vitex, a phyto estrogen and a porcine thyroid. I eat organic, grass fed, free range-all the good buzz words… I feel good, am well regulated, but have been doing research on maca and it sounds like it be able to replace everything I take. How much time should I give between stopping what I currently take and starting the maca? I expect my body to be kinda wonky during the transition, I can tolerate that, hopefully! Thanks in advance!

    • Melissa March 7, 2014 at 12:47 am #

      Probably a couple of months Nancy but we are all different. Just test it earlier and see how you feel :)

  9. Aya March 2, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    I have been taking maca this month and surprisingly I was pregnant. I am very worried since it’s a hormones balancer will it affect my pregnancy and lower my progesterone? Since it’s already high when pregnant obviously. I stopped it immediately at 5 weeks and 4 days and I don’t have an ultrasound or blood check until three days.

  10. Monica February 24, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    Hi. It wouldn’t be bad to take a Lo Lo estrogen birth control pill with maca root right? Do you suggest me taking 3 weeks to a month of no birth control pills then starting maca root?

    • Melissa February 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

      I would get onto some Calcium D Glucarate when you get off the pill first and then try maca. I strongly recommend getting off the pill for endo :)

    • N March 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Do not take Maca in conjunction with birth control. It will make the pill ineffective. As will St. John’s Wort.

  11. lisa February 21, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    hi. i’m hoping you can help me…
    i got diagnosed with endo about 6 months ago. doctor wanted to put me on hormone treatments and i didn’t want to do that. so i’ve been doing the natural route.
    for the past 6 months i have been taking maca during the luteal phase of my cycle. i take it once a day and its usually about 2 weeks a month. i read that you should not take maca for longer than 6 months. so this month i haven’t taken any…and i have been bloated and i’m breaking out and i’ve had pain in my ovaries, ever since the day i would normally start taking maca again!
    now it could be a fluke but that’s a lot of things to change drastically all of a sudden!!
    the maca has helped a lot, but i cant find any more info about taking maca long term. which is why i’m asking you… i’d much rather just keep taking maca but because i read you shouldn’t take it for longer than 6 months i got nervous.
    any insight on this??

    • Melissa February 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

      I think if the Maca is helping you, then there is no harm in taking it for longer. Trouble is, you don’t want to become reliant on it. Make sure you are gaining vital nutrients from your diet and also add some other natural superfoods into your diet. You would probably find Moringa really beneficial and Turmeric too :)
      Just listen to your body and adjust as you need to. The dose you are on is not very high either :)

    • lisa February 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      thanks for the response! i did start taking it again and the pain is gone so i’m just waiting it out to see how i feel. i am very much into nutrition and eat a whole foods plant based diet. i will look into moringa and tumeric too, thank you!

  12. Lulu February 19, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Hi Melissa,
    I am waiting for the clinic to open and see if they can help me. In the meantime i am wondering if you know anything about this;
    As I mentioned before I took Ashwaganda and Macca on same days for a week or so. I was few days late on my period and they 2 days ago I started to get hot flashes, I am getting extreme hot flashes now and feels like my blood pressure is going high, cause my brain is hot. and I also feel like my libido is coming back very strongly. I am only 35 yrs old and I don’t know if Ashwaganda did this, or is this early menopause. I had asked the doctor to test my hormones, but she said they don’t do that!! I am gonna go ask for it again. But wondering if I shouldn’t have taken these two together, different places say different things.
    If you let me know I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you
    LUlu

    • Melissa February 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      I would maybe lay off the Maca or at least reduce how much you are taking. I am not sure about combining them but it sounds like Maca is too much for you or perhaps it is the quantity you are taking.
      It can be perimenopause too. If it doesn’t agree, it is best to find the root cause rather than focusing on supplements. They are still very powerful herbal remedies :)

    • Lulu February 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Thanks for the advice, just wanted to update you on my condition, so I stopped the macs and ashwaganda at the same time and the hot flashes were gone immediately. Since i had been taking maca for about 6 months and never had this before, I am going to assume it was either ashwaganda or the combination of the both that did this. I did the hormone test and waiting for the result. But as it is really hard to figure out the cause of these things since doctors don’t really listen to you, I am gonna try with the one at a time experiment. I doubt it is perimenaupse since i am too young for it. But my extreme libido is back, although this is my ovulation week so it might have effected that as well. I am taking milk tistel as well to clean my liver so it might be helping to regulate hormones. But i have decided to stay off the Maca and ashvaganda for couple of weeks and try macs on its own again and see what happens. You are right, I didn’t know how strong these herbs are. But the extreme libido is worrying me a little, hopefully it’s a good sign.
      Thanks again
      Lulu

    • Melissa March 1, 2014 at 2:14 am #

      I never thought anyone would worry about extreme libido :) You will figure it out. The body will tell you what it likes and doesn’t.

  13. Caitlin February 17, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    This last year I found out I had stage 4 endo. I had it removed through surgery roughly six months ago. My hormones were off before surgery, and they are still off after surgery. My doctor told me I need a hormone tune-up and has me taking 200mg of pure progesterone in just the luteal phase of my cycle. I was wondering if taking maca during the first half of my cycle, before ovulation, would still have any benefits? As of right now, I have 5 times more estrogen then I need and half the amount of progesterone that I should have. Apparently my ovaries didn’t read the user manual correctly….

    • Melissa February 19, 2014 at 3:21 am #

      Hi Caitlin,

      I would probably not mix the progesterone with the maca. If it is a natural source it might be all you need :) Progesterone doesn’t work for everyone though so if it is getting wrose, then perhaps stop that one and try maca instead.

  14. meekspirit February 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    The thing is with this super-food, is that it is NOT a one size fits all if you have under lying thyroid issues that are undiagnosed. OR

    If you are currently receiving treatment for a thyroid-related medical condition, then you may want to reconsider taking maca root powder for the treatment of another health ailment. According to Herbal-Supplement-Resource.com, one major side effect associated with maca root is an unhealthy increase in iodine levels in patients suffering from a thyroid disorder.

    As the website suggests, maca root supplements contain a high level of natural iodine, which could lead to complications for patients already afflicted with abnormally high iodine blood levels.

    When in a high concentration within the body, iodine excess can lead to further medical complications including but not limited to kidney failure and other insulin-related illnesses.
    As the website suggests, extreme cases of iodine-related disorders include the development of goiter, or an enlarged thyroid gland.

    Before anyone should recomment what works for them, always encourage others to see a health care professional for any underlying problems first.

    Now i’m trying to reverse the effects of this maca herb that made my menstrual cycle shorter then before! from a perfect 21 day cycle to a messed up 16-18 day cycle, having a period every 2 weeks is depressing. maca for me caused severe frequent urination, breast enlargement, high blood pressure, indigestion, heart burn, hot flashes and an increased heart rate, insomnia, irritability and a constant feeling of something is stuck in my throat all the time.

    I’ll just stick with my B 100 Vitamin complex and Prenatal Multivitamin. might try the Vitex after a few cycle runs as i have heard more positive about this herb then the maca root.

    I wish you all the best happy and healthy!

    • Melissa February 16, 2014 at 3:28 am #

      For sure. Just be careful with Vitex as some women have had adverse reactions to it :)

  15. Lulu February 8, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    I am wondering, I read few places that I should not take Ashwaganda at the same time as MAca? What are your thoughts in that?

  16. Lulu February 7, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    I forgot to mention, I am not sure if I am estrogen dominated or no, but I did a bit of research and seems like lot of it might cause the stomach pain. Is there a way for me to measure these without doctors?

    • Melissa February 7, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      I have written a few articles on Estrogen dominance. Just use the search box on the right :) You can get your hormones tested with labs.

  17. Lulu February 7, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Ok, so because of my endo issues I decided to start detox first and then I became Vegan after that and at the same time started taking Maca route, Don quoe , Chaste berry, etc. All the hormonal herbs that could have helped me with the issue and balance my hormones. So one month after starting that I started to get stomach pains only on 2 first days of my period(not cramps, just stomach pain on top) And been wondering what it was, I haven’t been able to sleep well on and off for the last few months, also my sex drive has gone to zero! I use to be sexual like 247!! And now it’s down to none, also my period pain is still there. I am so glad I found you here. I have gone through lot of changes in my life to fix this hormonal issue and period pains and years of no one believing me that there is something wrong. So I am hoping that finally I have found the cure.
    So my question to you is; you said Maca route is not good for endo and then you said it is ? How should i decide what to take? The hormonal herbs Don que and Chaste berry stuff, or Maca ? I have to mention the only one that I have been consistent lately has been macs that i take with my daily smoothy, last couple of months I have been taking the others every day, just every other day or whenever I remember. I took them a lot at first when I started.
    Any way that i could find out what I exactly need without going to the silly doctors, I have totally lost confidence in doctors, since for years they have been giving me useless advice and don’t seem to know anything about the human body!
    Thanks so much for your help and this website, please let me know.
    Im so glad I found you here :)
    Cheers
    Lulu

    • Melissa February 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

      Hi Lulu,

      I would be weary of taking all of those – especially the Chasteberry and especially mixing them all together. Pick one and take just that one for 3months and see how your body feels. If it doesn’t feel good after a couple of weeks, then drop it. We are all different and for some Maca has been fabulous and for others it hasn’t. I had great results with Maca.
      I would also look at your diet more seriously. Vegan is quite extreme and there are elements within meat that our bodies need – not heaps of it but definitely some of it. It comes down to quality. You would so benefit from my new course : http://www.foodhealingjourney.com :)

  18. Natalia January 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    Hi there! I’m 18 years old and havn’t gotten my period in the last 6 months, and i got tests and an ultrasound done but everything looks normal, so my doctor prescribed me to take progesterone pills to force a period, but i havn’t started taking it yet. I also suffer from acne and i feel cold all the time (my hands turn purple from being so cold). I am eating really clean (vegan, gluten free, low sugar diet), but eating this way hasnt fixed my problems, although it has made me feel better overall, but i was wondering if i should take the progesterone pills like my doctor wanted me to or try maca and wait so see if that will help me? If i do start taking maca, when should i start noticing anything? I was also thinking about trying DIM or Vitex Chasteberry, but i’ve heard not to take that with maca, i just dont know which one would work best for me.

    • Melissa January 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      Hi Natalia,
      I would ensure you are eating enough fats – the good fats like avocado, coconut milk (in a smoothie with banana is super yum) and Chia Seeds. Maca would be brilliant for this – I would avoid the others and including the progesterone pills. Maybe try Maca for a few months and see how you feel :)

  19. Kara January 28, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    I am thinking of trying maca root OR evening primrose oil. I have tried vitex and had negative results. (Immediately induced a heavy clotty period with severe breast tenderness and an acne flare up) I am 25 and since having a child 4 years ago I have had persistent cystic acne and since coming off BC 2 years ago it has gotten worse and worse. My cycles are a steady 28 days but are very heavy with very tender breasts and terrible mood
    swings. I eat an organic diet with very little sugar and no processed foods or white flour. I drink only water and a single cup of coffee daily. I use a detox tea with dandelion and licorice and burdock every other month. I exercise and meditate almost daily. I have gained a notable amount of stubborn weight around my midsection and I am lethargic but have trouble sleeping. My moods are all over the place. Low sex drive. And fairly persistent reproductive area cramping. My husband and i have been trying to conceive for nearly 2 try years with no luck. I am wondering if you have advice? I feel like my hormones are to blame. I am afraid to try the maca root because of the bad experience I had with the vitex. :(

    • Melissa January 28, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

      Hi Kara,

      I would probably not recommend Maca if you had a bad reaction with focusing on just hormones as a remedy. I would do some sort of cleansing for your liver – maybe a juice fast to start off with? You could do more advanced herbal remedies too for the liver which will really help.
      I just wrote an article on it which might help: http://www.cureendometriosis.com/support-liver-mels-top-5-recommendations/
      Our liver regulates all our hormones and your symptoms definitely sound hormonal. If you can cut out the coffee completely that would totally help as coffee affects all our hormones by throwing out the adrenals. :)

  20. Miss Wonder Why January 28, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Hi. I don’t have endo…my prayers to all of you struggling with this.

    I came across this discussion when researching maca. I had a mirena iud for 2 years, that I just had removed because of side effects that were investigated and treated for any other cause. My ob/gyn would never confirm/acknowledge that the iud would have any adverse affect.

    I did a lot of reading and found tons, and I mean tons, of women who experienced the same problems while on this iud. Not everyone reacts the same way, for sure, but clearly a lot do even if the doctors won’t admit it.

    It seems that for me the synthetic hormone has caused me to suppress my own production of progesterone and brought me to some level of estrogen dominance…at least as best as I can understand. I gained nearly 25 pounds, and worse yet, was unable to lose any regardless of diet or exercise…frustrating. But more importantly, I have joint pain, numbness/tingling, hair loss and appear 6 months pregnant. I am not a tiny person, nor am I big boned, just average but now look prego.

    So, after researching I found a product (happy to say brand, but not sure if I’m allowed to) that got great reviews, is all natural (not synthetic anyway) maca and I’m waiting to start.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, should I have my hormones checked before starting? Is there someone I should see before starting? My ob/gyn seems to think I’m nuts, my gp is great but don’t know if that’s where to start.

    Thanks again.

    • Melissa January 28, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      Hi Miss Wonder Why – great name :)
      I totally agree that all those synthetic hormones throw out the natural balance within the body. They will defintely have all those side-effects you mentioned – note my sarcasm :)
      Maca can certainly have fabulous effects but I would also look at focusing more strongly on cleansing the liver and diet – supplements can only take us so far :)

  21. Susan January 26, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi Everyone! I am writing to everyone who has been posting lately, especially the ones posting about the periods and the irregular body reactions. MACA IS A HORMONE BALANCER!!!! While Maca is natural, if there is nothing ‘wrong’ with your hormonal levels, it will cause you to have ‘adverse’ effects. If you are taking it with other supplements, it will also cause you to have ‘adverse’ effects. They may not be negative side effects, periods are not all that bad, but I noticed some of you mentioned you were attempting to conceive. Please please please consult with a legit herbalist before taking herbs that are as strong as Maca. It is important. Sometimes our bodies do not need it. There are A LOT of herbs out there that when taken with other herbs/ drugs, or when not needed can have some serious consequences. I love Maca, but it is not for everyone. If you are having a lot of hormone imbalanced symptoms, begin with what you are eating. SOY SOY SOY…pumped full of hormones and can set your body off. If you have sensitivities, this will also cause like symptoms. And also…and no one wants to hear this. Processed foods. Often times these symptoms are brought on by your thyroid doing to much. I.e. attempting to get rid of things in your body, your body views as toxins. Like food. Good luck ladies, and seriously. Ask someone who went to school before taking herbs! They can be just as dangerous as drugs!

  22. Mrs.Meldrum January 26, 2014 at 3:25 am #

    Have not been officially diagnosed with endo, but 99.995% certain that I’ve had it at for at least 7 years do to unexplained crippling pains within pelvic cage throughout entire cycles… Saw several drs in 2 states but they did nothing but shove painkillers at me- ultrasounds, bloods, & paps show nothing… Have been TTC for 6 years with a ludicrous number of early miscarriages… Was also diagnosed as perimenopausal almost 5 years ago(@26) due to sudden extreme drop in hormone levels, although was considered by drs to be in fantastic physical shape & health… At that time I began studying up on reproductive health & natural remedies… Decided to see if could resolve endo myself, so started taking Wobenzyme a year ago… 1st cycle- only had 1 brief sharp pain just before end of cycle… 2nd cycle- no sharp pains… Found that enzymes appear to cause me a very unusual amount of bruising on my legs… Sharp pains have been slowly returning in about the last 4 cycles… I decided to start Maca in mid December, forego use of tampons, started a less potent systemic enzyme, added oatmeal, coconut oil & raw cacao powder to my diet (for magnesium to help with severe abdominal inflammation)… I started Maca with 750mg of gelatinized Maca per day for the 1st cycle & have bumped it up to 3000mg of gelatinized Maca per day during this cycle… Am again experiencing a great deal of bruising on my legs- likely from the enzymes… With Maca, I felt amazing until about day 10 of current cycle (including very heightened sex drive)… Then I just started feeling incredibly crummy all around – almost certainly due to body detoxifying due to the high dose of Maca… My question, what is a useful way to aid my body in the detoxification process as my liver is easily plugged with cholesterol, my system as a whole becomes easily inflamed, & am TTC?

    Thought I’d also share on a side note that in the last 2 years am only able take Vitex during annovulatory cycles to help regulate- if I take Vitex during a normal cycle I notice more severe & more frequent sharp, crippling pains that I’m pretty certain are caused by endo…

    I’m so ready to reclaim my health, happiness, & fertility…

    • Melissa January 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      Hi Mrs Meldrum,
      I would focus on your diet and cleansing the liver, rather than relying on just supplements. It is very dangerous to just play with hormone based supplements as they all have an effect on some level. Inflammation is so easy to get rid of with the right diet. Have you seen my new course? The Food Healing Journey guides you through the whole process and gets rid of pain, inflammation and so many other symptoms we experience with Endometriosis. http://www.foodhealingjourney.com

    • Mrs.Meldrum January 27, 2014 at 1:33 am #

      I ate a very clean diet until 2009- rarely ate processed foods, sweets, or fats… Then, after a tooth infection ransacked my system in the end of 2008, & 8 weeks of powerful antibiotics, I suddenly started craving all of the above- likely due to candida… Even since I started craving these foods, tho, I still maintain at least an 85% clean diet… I mostly eat fish, shrimp, & free range chickens for meat, tons of different veggies, some nuts, very little dairy beyond an occasional yogurt (I take eggshell calcium with vitamin D to make sure I consume sufficient calcium), rice, oats, quinoa, beans, nuts, eggs, Green Goodness(green smoothies), green tea, lemon water, coconut oil, & raw cacao powder… I’m still looking for ways to improve my diet, but have trouble coming up with new recipes that both my husband & I enjoy enough to continue eating… I’ll definitely check out your course… I’ve tried so many different things to bring a healthy balance back into my body- you would not believe what I’ve put my body through, hormonally, out of sheer desperation… I have seen so many drs seeking a way to regain my health, & left feeling frustrated & empty handed as far as options… I hit a point about 2 years ago, where I realized that it was gonna have to be up to me to fix myself… At that time, I began rashly overloading my body to fix everything thinking that I had several separate malfunctions… I was unaware that all of these things could be due to 1 issue- candida… Hormonally, I have been diagnosed officially with weak ovulation, low progesterone, & a luteal phase defect…

      Supplements I’m currently taking are:
      Liver Care
      Maca
      Eggshell calcium
      Systemic enzymes
      Probiotics
      Apple Cider Vinegar tablets

      Am doing my best to make sure that all other nutrition comes from diet…

  23. Mary Lu January 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi, will Calcium D-Glucarate interfere with the Mirena IUD since it is an Intrauterine device with localized effects not processed through the liver?

    • Melissa January 26, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      It will do. The IUD isn’t really just localized. The body operates as a whole unit :)

  24. GEmma January 25, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    Hey Annabelle, I just googled Evening primrose oil and maca and thus came across your blog. I am taking both of these supplements because of my severe PMS, I do not have endometriosis, just hashimoto, is it still a bad idea to take them together?

    • Melissa January 26, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      The only way to know is to test it but I probably wouldn’t combine them :)

  25. Michelle January 25, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    my breasts have increased in size at least a full cup. I know this is all due to maca. I have a ton of energy for my age and started IronTribe with great results. I am already eating a paleo type organic diet with a little bit of diary and have been for over a year, which I think has contributed to the effectiveness of the maca. Anyway, my question to you is: how long can I expect my period continue? Will I have a period as long as I am on maca or will my body still continue the process of menopause but at a more natural pace? Thanks for your blog – although I have never suffered from endrometriosis the information on here is valuable for all women. I wish I had known about maca a long time ago.

    • Melissa January 26, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

      Maca has been shown to extend the natural flow of having a period for many women – which is a good thing :) I would stick on it but take breaks every 3months or so, so the body doesn’t get too used to it :)

  26. Michelle January 25, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Hi Melissa,

    I am a 50 year old woman who thought my periods pretty much over. At my pap in July of 2012, I told my doctor my periods had been very irregular so she put me on a mild progesterone pill to take 10 days every month to stimulate my period. I did this once but have never been comfortable with taking hormones so stopped. 8 months later the hot flashes and night sweats got so bad that a decent night’s sleep became a fantasy. I stopped having periods. I don’t know if I was terribly irritable but I know I had bad days. I was gaining weight even though I had a good diet. Last October, at the advice of a woman in the local health food market, I began taking organic maca which I add to a smoothie every day. Fast forward to the end of January; no hot flashes, no night sweats, my periods have started again – AND -

    • Melissa January 26, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

      That is super awesome! Great to hear it helped you as much as it helped me :)

  27. Meghan January 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Please help! I have PCOS and did a lot of research on maca. Liked what I read about helping to conceive and regulate hormones. I started taking maca capules, 3 of them (1500mg each) as the bottle recommended.
    For the past 4 days I was spotting brown discharge and now today started a full blown Period and it is just dark brown/black. Is this good or bad? Its been 2 weeks since my normal period. I am also cramping pretty heavy! Advice?

  28. Jane Roth January 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    Thanks for the article. My personal 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.

  29. Lissett December 11, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi, im glad i found this cause i have so many concerns i took maca pills today for the first time and about an hour later after taking i started getting cramps is that normal? Im trying to regulate my period and hopefully conceive any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    • Melissa December 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      I can’t imagine the reaction would happen that quickly Lissett. How did you take it?

    • Lissette December 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      I took it at lunch time with my multi vitamin. I’ve taken my multi before no effects at all so I figured it was that…

    • Melissa December 13, 2013 at 3:43 am #

      Not sure sweets. Perhaps it was the brand you bought? Some are filled with fillers and things that might not agree. It could also just not be for you.

    • Amanda January 23, 2014 at 3:23 am #

      I tried one 500mg capsule of maca and began to has cramps too, then maybe a few hours later I went to use the bathroom and heard something splash in the toilet, I looked and it was a huge blood clot! It brought my period on and it was so so very painful, I thought I had to go to the E.R. I discontinued immediately. My period lasted so log and it was so heavy. Then I had another period after a week. Sucked pretty bad. All from one capsule. I wanted to try maca for it’s even distribution of fat to our butt and hips etc. and to regulate my period. Well that was 3 months ago, I just purchased maca again but different brand, maybe if I take less than 500 mg and I’m waiting until after my period this time. I will probably have the same results, I’m scared but I’m mad that this is like a miracle super food for women and yet I can’t even try to take it long enough to see if it works for me!

  30. Enny November 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Thank U soo much for this blog! I hav been on metformin for 3months now to battle PCOS without result as I haven’t seen my period yet and now am on phytoestrogen to see if it will work for me, and for 3weeks now, don’t really know if it working @all. My question now is dat can Maca work it out for me since its my hormone am trying to balance. Pls can Maca work on my PCOS to reduce the insulin thereby inducing my mensturation? Waiting in anticipation for Ur reply Thanks.

    • Melissa November 13, 2013 at 1:33 am #

      Hi Enny,
      If you have taken any hormone based treatments I would highly recommend flushing those out first. You can try DIM for that. I would avoid phytoestrogens as they just make the endometriosis worse.
      Maca can certainly help but you need to flush out the excess hormones first :)

  31. tumi October 28, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Hi,ive been using macaroot for two weeks now,but my problem is that im experiencing this brown discharge and it doesnt stop.Is is good or bad for my system?

    • Melissa November 1, 2013 at 5:38 am #

      Brown discharge is a way of your body expelling toxins from your body. It can also be that your uterine lining is very thick and is dispelling. I would look at building up your uterus and giving it strength. Maybe check out Mayan Massage as this can be super helpful :)

  32. Anonymous October 26, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    2nd day of taking maca pills (2 day1 / 1 day 2) terrible headache & dizziness – took it with multi vit perfectil / antihistimine & evening primrose/starflower oil not on pill/any other birth control. Not happy will go off it for a while & perhaps try again with maca only. Ouch!

    • Melissa November 1, 2013 at 6:04 am #

      Hi Sweetheart,
      It could be conflicting with the Evening Primrose Oil as Evening Primrose Oil is quite estrogenic. Maybe try it without any other supplements and see how you go :)

  33. Aqua October 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Thank you for your time:)
    I will try come back to Kelp and Agnus Castus.
    What is your opinion about Cats Claw?
    I tried long time ago, first days was hell, but later i was getting better. And at that time i didnt do much effort to my diet and exercise. So not much changed.

    • Melissa October 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      I think it is a great addition :)

  34. Aqua October 13, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi again, thank you for your answer:)
    I stoped taking maca 9th october and hade 2 more days of spotting (in all 9 days spotting)
    Im not taking any other medicine or treatment. After laparoscopy (2years ago) i hade Yasmin pills for 3moths, but couldnt take it any more, cos it made me crazy and horrible person, even worsened my thyroid.
    About two months im not eating meat, dairy or gluten products. Doing yoga.
    About two months ago finished course of kelp, what i hade about for 6 months with couple of breaks in between. My thyroid now better but still not perfect:)
    Im worried about endometriosis, cos last time ( in July) my gynaecologist suggested laparoscopy again, but in the end taled me to come back after 3months for scan. I hade that scan third day of taking maca. Thay said my endometriosis went little bit smaller.
    At the same time, when iv been taking Kelp i hade and Agnus Castus. Im not very sure if it made any difference.
    So should i try again with maca later and smaller dose or should i give up on it?

    • Melissa October 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      It doesn’t sound like the Maca is agreeing with you hun. I would perhaps go back on the Agnus Cactus and Kelp (if your thyroid still needs it) as that seemed to work well. The thyroid and endo cysts are also very closely related as a lack of Iodine will create growths. It is also a good idea to eat some seaweed. :)

  35. Aqua October 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Melissa,

    Im a bit confused and need good advise, please:) Im 34 years old. I have endometriosis (laparoscopy about 2 years ago), under active thyroid. My last period started at 23/09/2013, Maca powder i started taking 3/10/2013, the same day i started spotting with a lot of pain (pain lasted for two days (like usual periods)). At first i fought that its ovulation, but today is 8/10/2013 im still spotting and more amount of blood than at the beginning and is very brown colour. I am taking Maca 0.5 tbs in the morning. In general im feeling different, but i wouldnt say bad different. Could it be that is clearing up or is it something wrong? Maybe im taking to much of maca? Should i stop it or should i take smaller amount?

    • Melissa October 10, 2013 at 2:23 am #

      There could be other factors here hun :) Maybe look at taking some Kelp powder for your thyroid :)
      Are you on the pill or any hormonal treatments?

  36. corinne October 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi Melissa,
    I have hypothyroidism and an iud until nov. when should i start maca? I also have to take met to get preg as i have pcos.
    Thanks
    :)

    • Melissa October 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Hi Corinne,
      I would maybe look at eating more seaweeds instead hun :) I can’t really give you specifics without knowing a little more.

    • corinne October 18, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Only had the iud since march this year. i don’t know if its me or the iud itself but i feel hormonal and moody. I get it out next month, when would be best to start maca.

    • Melissa October 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Yes, the IUD will do that sweets. There are better natural options :)

  37. Suzanne September 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I have cysts on my ovaries and have been taking MacaHarmony. I have been taking 1 capsule a day but read I should combine it with DIM. Did you say it was not a good combination? I am mid 40′s and do not want to make anything worse. Just want to balance my hormones again & shrink my cysts naturally. My gyn does not support any natural supplements. I am also wondering if I should bump my dosage up to 2 capsules a day which is the recommended dosage-1000mg.

    • Melissa September 20, 2013 at 1:22 am #

      Hi Suzanne,
      Yes, I would be hesitant to take them together and if you have been on the lower dosage for a few weeks, I would definitely up the dosage to the recommended amount. See how you feel and allow your body to tell you if it is happy :)

  38. Julia September 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Dear Melissa,
    I am delighted to have found your website as I was very close starting Yasmin pill to get rid of my cystic acne caused by hormonal imbalance. I am 45 and been through Diane / Roacutane but prefer the way my body feels without. I want to try Maca as it seems the right thing to do. Would you advise another supplement to take with Maca and how much should I take daily ?
    I have the impression I am allergic to dairy products and most of all cheese. I also get breakouts when eating white rice and chicken ?
    Could you advise ?
    Love your website your are amazing !

    • Melissa September 9, 2013 at 3:16 am #

      Hi Julia,
      I am super excited that you found my website too :)
      Cystic Acne is totally related to high toxin load on the liver and the consumption of dairy. I would avoid anything that puts a strain on the liver – over processed fats, food with sugar in them and any sugar, too much meat. Avoid any of the white foods: bread, dairy, sugar, wheat and rice – even potato if you can :).
      Maca is wonderful and would make a great addition to a healthy diet.
      I would focus your energies on cleansing your body from all the stuff you have taken over the years. Chlorophyll makes a wonderful cleanser :)

      Hugs sweetheart and enjoy the healing journey

    • Julia September 10, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Dear Melissa,

      So happy to hear from you ! Yesterday I ordered the Fertility Cleanse kit at http://www.naturalfertilityshop.com/ which includes
      Liver Renew Capsules, Liver Cleanse Flushing Tea,Milk Thistle Seed Extract
      Conception Tea,Women’s best friend capsules. When I start using this kit should I continue with Maca at the same time ? Also when in this process would you advise to take chlorophyll and could it interact with one of these products? If I want to buy chlorophyll where would I buy this and how should I use it.
      I also ordered your book so Im sure I will find lots of health treasures in there :)

      Hugs right back to you.

      Julia

    • Melissa September 11, 2013 at 1:47 am #

      Hi Julia,
      Maybe try the cleanse without anything else first and then add the others back in. The Chlorophyll would be a great follow through after the cleanse too :)
      Thanks for the support!

      Hugs,

  39. Carol September 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    I am 55, going through menopause suffering with hot flashes at nighttime only and severe insomnia. My moods swings are raging and off the charts. I am told that maca may be the sweet answer to my dilemma. What do you say?
    Carol

    • Melissa September 9, 2013 at 3:12 am #

      Hi Carol. I reckon it would be perfect for you :) Just give it a try and see how your body feels.

  40. Mally Keo September 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Do you recommend taking maca during my menstrual cycle?

    • Melissa September 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      It is probably not necessary. I would focus on the two weeks leading up to your period.

  41. lucky September 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I have severe endometriosis and my body makes endometrioma cysts. i just had my second laproscopic surgery in 22 months and I want to know what I can do. I’ve had adrenal issues since age 19, too much DHEA which caused hair and ance, so the doc put me on Sprironolactone, then the pill because that messed up my periods. At age 35 I went off the pill to have horrible periods and pain and at 36 my gyno discovered a cyst on my ovary and lots of adhesions. It was mostly removed and grew back in 6 weeks. Then the doc tried everything, Lupron, Agyestin, continuous birth control. Additionally, my thyroid went hypo. I’m 38 now, 5’3″ and 115 lbs. I’ve been vegetarian for 16 years. I don’t like taking all these drugs but I also don’t want another 10 cm cyst. Help? Can I take Maca? Can I take it with the pill and synthroid and spironolactone? or do i cut them all cold turkey? Any advice, articles, anything is much appreciated.

    • Melissa September 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Hi Lucky,
      The natural approach is quite different to using drugs and hormones. It takes a complete holistic approach for things to work. That means, diet, exercise, cleansing and herbs. Maca alone will not be enough. There are supplements that can help with cyst reduction and prevention but you do need to do all the other stuff too ;)

  42. Sue June 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Hi Melissa and everyone,
    thankfully my husband and I have one child already and now we are having problems conceiving. Everything seems to be ok on his end after he got tested.
    Since I had my Ob-gyn take my IUD (Mirena) out in October 2011, my period has been rather light. I had no period while the IUD was inside my body. It really has messed me up. I also have a hypothyroid condition which i got checked out last in February and will again be checked in August. Last status with my thyroid levels was that the results look great. Could taking Maca improve my periods and improve the lining of the Uterus? I only have my period like 1-2 days and my husband and I want to get pregnant but i believe that my lining with this little blood is way too thin. When you have an IUD, it says that it thins out the lining and It seems that my body is still not recovered from that birth control method after 1 3/4 years that it’s out. I am considering taking Maca to maybe get that regulated if possible but I worry that it could mess with my thryoid meds i take in the morning.
    All my ob-gyn recommends at this point is Clomid or go to Fertility Specialist.

    • Melissa June 14, 2013 at 4:11 am #

      Hi Sue,
      I would maybe check with your doc on combining the two but I believe Maca is quite good for the thyroid :)
      Hope the lining returns to normal soon. Maybe also take some DIM or something to flush out the excess hormones.

    • corinne September 13, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      I have the same problem Sue. I have the IUD and have hypothyroid and pcos. I don’t know what I should do either.

  43. Shari May 23, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    When I first started Maca about 3 years ago, I took it in the raw form. I started to have another period three days after the last one ended. Within two days of starting to bleed, I was filling up a super tampon every hour. I thought I might have to have a transfusion. My midwife prescribed a low dose birth control pill to stop the bleeding.

    I was intrigued. It was scary how dramatic an effect it had, but it was also encouraging because it had an effect. I also noticed at that time that my acne had begun to clear (which hadn’t generally happened since before adolescence).

    I found some Maca that was sundried and concentrated and decided to try that method. I started with a much smaller dose (about 1/8 tsp) and am now taking a little over 1/4 tsp. most days. I stop taking it when I’m having my period and for several days after its cessation. I’ve had really good results and notice a difference in my hormonal symptoms when I’m diligent about taking it. It seems to help with the fatigue I get during the premenstrual phase.

  44. Chandra April 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Hi, thanks for posting on this. I am getting conflicting info about Maca? I actually purchased some to increase the possiblity of fertility But then I read that it actually raises your estrogen levels. Is this true? I have a history of Endo and Fibroids which I know that estrogen increase fibroid growth. Is it possible that Maca can increase my estrogen levels and cause fibroids to grow? I know this is not a fibroid site, but wanted to let you know why I was so concerned about it increasing estrogen in my body.

    • Melissa April 30, 2013 at 5:06 am #

      Hi Chandra,
      Maca works a little differently with our hormones and goes straight to the Pituitary gland to regulate all the hormones. I would however, recommend focusing on flushing out the excess estrogens with more than just Maca. The key ones are to avoid foods which are estrogenic, which might have been pumped with hormones. Meat that is not organic is one of the highest estrogen contributors. Avoid chickens for sure.
      Flaxseeds, red clovers and pomegranates are also more concentrated estrogens. They are plant estrogens but will still affect our estrogen levels. Also avoid cooking or drinking from plastics as these are estrogenic in nature.
      Soy is the biggest culprit though. Hope that helps.

  45. S. April 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Hi!
    Is Maca ok to take with supergreen powders, like wheatgrass, spiraling & chlorella?

    Thanks so much for the great information!

    • Melissa April 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

      It should be fine :) They work in different ways for the body.

  46. Saleena February 27, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Hello, I have a question on what to take to get a regular period. Many have been recommending cited and others maca , I’m very confused! Could I take them @ the same time? Btw I’m trying to conceive but it has been hard for me because sometimes I go 3-6 months without a menstrual cycle. Thank you! I love your website it’s very helpful!

    • Melissa February 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      I am not sure what “cited” is. I love Maca to regulate periods though :) It is all personal preference really – try things and see what works for you :)

  47. Ingvild December 11, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    Hi Melissa! I have also taken Maca Root powder for the last couple of months, alongside naturual wild yam pills and progesterone cream. I take regular blood tests since I am doing Ivf on a natural cycle. The last months my estradiol level has been too high, so the Ivf has been cancelled. I never had that high estradiol level before. I have now stoped taking maca root powder because I believe it has caused this inbalance. Hopefully my blood tests will normalize next months.
    Wild yam and progesterone cream really works for me.

    I love your cookbook and use your recipies quite often. Keep up your good work:)
    Thank you!

    Ingvild

    • Melissa December 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Hi Ingvild,
      Perhaps you were just taking too many things all at once? I know when I combined too many hormone specific supplements together, I developed problems. Glad you found the progesterone cream to work for you. Just make sure you don’t take it for too long :)

      Glad you like the book! Hugs

  48. Diana November 17, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    Hi Melissa,
    I found all this very interesting and helpful. I have endo and a fatty liver, for the fatty liver I take milk thistle capsules, and had been thinking about trying maca. Do you think the two combined would be bad?
    I’ve had endo for years and when I was researching it online, there wasn’t that much info on it, doctors all tell you the same thing. Now I’m looking it up again because I feel like it’s gotten worse, and it sounds worse than before. I really hope maca can help me. :)

    • Melissa November 18, 2012 at 7:38 am #

      Hi Diana,
      Milk Thistle works more on the liver and Maca would work more with your hormones, so it would definitely be helpful. Maca helped me heaps to get onto my healing journey.

  49. Lauralynn October 20, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Hello, Is it alright to take calcium d-glucarate along with maca? Or will it lower estrogen levels too much.

    • Melissa October 22, 2012 at 7:16 am #

      Calcium D-Glucarate, works on healing the liver, so I can’t see any harm in taking it with Maca. I wouldn’t advise taking it with any hormone specific supplements or on the contraceptive pill though.

  50. Tammy October 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Hi Melissa,
    I was told to take Meca capsules as I have peri menopause symptoms (racing pulse, anxiety, spotting between periods to name a few) . I am on the Seasonique birth control pill, is it safe to take maca while on the pill?
    Thanks,
    Tammy

    • Melissa October 22, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      Hi Tammy,
      I personally wouldn’t advise taking Maca with the birth control pill. I would consider going off the pill and then waiting a month and then taking it. Maca will try to regulate your hormones and the birth control pill doesn’t work with your natural hormones.

    • Tammy November 18, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Thank you :)

  51. Shari October 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    I have endometriosis and am on the pill to help control it but I am low on estrogen and having severe insomnia and clammy skin. I don’t like the options that my gyn is giving me and would like to try maca. Do I need to get off the pill first?

    • Melissa October 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      It might clash with the pill but perhaps ask a herbalist as it depends on what pill you are on. The best is to just get off the pill completely :)

    • Shari October 16, 2012 at 1:12 am #

      Do you know how long I should be off the pill before starting maca root?

  52. Demetria September 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Hi Iam 45 years old and love to workout 4-5 times a week I love to drink protien shakes after a good workout or even as a meal replacement. I started to take the maca once aday and started to feela little pain here and there along with dizziness I knew right away it had tobe something in that protien shake that did not mix with the maca since then Iam really foucusing on all the ingredients in the protien shakes as they like to add alot of different kind of herbs

  53. Peacetree August 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    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,1000 mg of organic gelatinized 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”.

    • Melissa August 18, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      Thank you for sharing. That sounds like a nasty experience. Can I ask what else was in the meal replacement? It might be that there were other ingredients that were in there that might have contributed or caused it to be so bad? I have heard bad experiences with Maca but never to that extreme.

  54. Rain August 6, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    I’ve found much conflicting information about maca. As I’m trying to conceive, I research a variety of concerns frequently, maca root being a hot topic for me. Apparently, it’s a staple food in it’s area of origin; I’ve read mother’s introduce it into their daughters’ diets at around 3 years old. As it nourishes the related glands, their reproductive years generally extend well past US averages… A testament to its power, if that is a fact. Yet we are taking it as a supplement? Daily, as I have been taking it, creates a major problem for those of us who have know our bodies’ cycle(s) well: if you miss a day, it could affect ovulation, and thus menstruation. Falling pregnant takes timing a patience as it is. My body became so used to that daily dose that when I took the suggested maca break after 3 weeks, for the first time in over 20 years, I was two days late! It’s not a big deal overall, just a proof of its intensity. I appreciate you having pointed to making it random, just as if you were adding it as a side dish to a meal. I feel that I’ve created better health for myself in the past 3 months by taking maca (2tsp/day). But I also take whole food penatals, low dosage noni fruit powder, and chia seeds regularly, and try to eat mostly fresh fruits and veggies, good proteins, whole grains, nuts, and lots of berries. Even so, my monthly visitor is still very painful. I’m hoping that all this attention to detail will begin to kick in more over the next few months.

  55. Regina July 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Hi Melissa,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. It is really assisting me to help my daughter Mary. Can you tell me, if we can mix Maca with Butcher’s Broom? My daughter has POT Syndrome, and the Butcher’s Broom helps her a lot with her blood circulation and pooling – but she also has endo and I was hoping Maca might help her.

    Thank you so much!
    Regina

    • Melissa July 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

      Hi Regina,
      I am unfortunately not familiar with Butcher’s Broom. From what you describe it shouldn’t interfere. Maca focuses mainly on strengthening the hormone functions in the body, through the pituitary gland. You are wonderful mom to look after Mary :)
      Pleasure!

  56. Susan April 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Thank you so much for this blog. I have been dealing with hormonal imbalances for awhile now, causing awful side effects. I do not suffer from Endometriosis but found myself researching natural hormone balancers after a month of painful cysts. My body has also been regulating itself after I had to stop eating soy (because of an allergy…although it is a actually better for women to steer away from soy, especially if hormone fed breast cancer runs in the family…as it does in mine). I am also 23, so I am young for so many hormone issues. I found Maca, Vitex, and Black Cohosh and began researching their benefits and ways to take it. I tried asking my many doctors, but they only wanted to prescribe birth control and pain medication. :( I experienced full body pain when taking them. It was like my bones were on fire. I chalked it up to my cysts and ignored it for weeks. The pain was so bad, I could barely function and did not know why?! I was always cold, sweating, tired…I slept all the time. I wanted to do nothing but eat. I gained about 5 pounds. I could not go to school or make appointments. Nothing took the pain away. After a few weeks, I stopped taking everything but the birth control and my anti-anxiety med and the pain stopped. I never put two and two together though. A few days ago I decided to start taking it again and the pain was almost instant. I typed in side effects of Maca and your blog popped up! I know better than to start taking things without a doctors approval, but you can just get so desperate from the pain sometimes and so tired of taking narcotics, that you try anything. I am going to cut down to just the Maca. You are right to promote the benefits of it, it truly does help so many people! Thank you so much for your hard work to helping as many people as possible. I wish you the best of luck in life!

    • Melissa April 10, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

      Hi Susan,
      It is hard to self prescribe sometimes as there are many factors that cause such extreme pain. The only way to know for sure what it was is to cut out everything else and then try it. The pill and Maca probably don’t go well together as Maca stimulates progesterone production, which the pill will try and reduce. There might be a clash going on there! Also, vitex does very similar things to Maca – so I wouldn’t take both – pick one or the other.
      The pill is probably contributing to things too :)
      Thank you and I hope you find some answers on my blog.

  57. Stacy L. January 13, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    I just started taking Maca (the Femenessence MacaHarmony product) yesterday, after finding it discussed on a couple of PCOS blogs. I suffer from hidradenitis suppurativa, and found the hormone balancing (i.e., fix my crazy androgens that trigger HS flareups) claims to be very intriguing. I’m also at the beginning of perimenopause, and had an endometrial ablation three years ago to deal with heavy periods. Boy, if I knew then what I know now. :) I’ve been on Yaz for three years to control the HS flareups but went off the pill yesterday. We’ll see how it goes.

    Anyway, I was very happy to run across this post as for the past couple of months I’ve been taking a super-mega-women’s vitamin that includes evening primrose oil, black cohosh, etc. I’ve only been on the maca for two days so I haven’t had too much time to feel any negative backlash from the combination, but I’m going to go back to the regular multivitamins starting tomorrow.

    As an aside…I went to my GYN two days ago to discuss my hormone issues and she actually recommended antidepressants and a “good therapist”. When I told her that’s what was recommended to my mom 25 years ago and I was disappointed nothing had changed in the world of gynecology since then, she was a little miffed. I came home, got in a good cry, and then got on my computer to figure out what my other options are. I’m so happy to see there ARE other options.

    Thanks!

    • Melissa January 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

      Hi Stacy! I am super impressed that you realised how much control you actually have over your health! Wow! How silly anti-depressants!
      Maca is great for the depression side too! I found it helped me heaps with the moodiness and irritability side.
      I am discovering that the real key to all of this is to get our hormones back in balance through the liver. If we can flush out the toxins out of our bodies, then we can heal much easier. Also, check out your thyroid.
      All the best and I hope you keep reading cos there is so much on here now :)

  58. Mark January 10, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I’d like to chime in for the guys if that’s okay.
    I started having really low energy levels and feeling lethargic on a daily basis, mentally and physically. The worst part is what the Taoists call monkey brain. This is where your mind just won’t shut up as if it were another entity outside of your own control. I had been taking hormone shots for low testosterone in the past but stopped because it did not seem to help. More and more over the last 5 years this got worse, and I resisted to do anything, it was a struggle to leave the house and I used to be a real go getter. So three days ago a sales man at the local health food store talked me into buying some Maca Root, specifically a brand called Revolution for men. I’m a real cynic (another side effect of my mood) so I expected it not to work, but I was getting desperate and considering asking for some ADD drugs. In 20 minutes I turned 180 degrees. Moodiness gone, Monkey brain gone and a relaxed feeling of wellbeing. Next morning I went running. It’s day 4 now I have not felt this good in 10 years. I hope it continues. I take 2250mg a day and in 45 days I am supposed to stop for one week then restart. I’m sure not everyone will have such a dramatic effect, but for me (so far) this is a miracle drug.

    • Melissa January 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      Hi Mark! That is truly amazing! I can’t believe it worked that quickly! Mine took months to show effects and it only elevated my mood slightly. Are you sure it was Maca? ha ha!
      Another great one for “over chatting brain syndrome” is meditation and Yoga. I find the balance poses in Yoga are fabulous for those days when I am overthinking :)

  59. Amanda December 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    I took maca without taking any type of hormone-altering supplement or medication, no phytoestrogens, no adaptogens, and I was even eating closer to a vegetarian diet (ie. doing everything “right”). It made things get a lot worse as far as endo was concerned. I didn’t realize it could have been the maca until I came across information in a book called ‘Sexy Hormones’ by Lorna Vanderhaeghe and Dr. Alvin Pettle that the maca could be causing the increased symptoms. I stay away from that stuff now :\

    • Melissa December 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Amanda. Maybe we should know that it doesn’t work for everyone and if we experience worse symptoms, to just not use it, rather than keep hoping it will improve :)

  60. Sarai December 2, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    oh my Gosh! I have been taking maca as well as vitex for a long time! which do i let go of? i need to talk to my herbalist!!!! uhhh oh!!!!

    • Melissa December 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

      I would drop the Vitex. It has Phytoestrogenic effects, where as Maca seems to be okay on that front. Definitely check with your herbalist though :)

  61. Jessica December 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    I read your article on Maca root about 8 months ago. I tried it along with DIM. The DIM caused me to have severe migraines. So I only took it twice. But the Maca root has done wonders. So much so, that I can tell a difference when I don’t take it. The lady who helped me at the health food store suffers from Endo too and also recommended Red Raspberry Leaves for when I am experiencing the occasional symptoms. I don’t take it very often but it does seem to help. Thanks for writing your blog! It is so helpful.

    • Melissa December 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      Wow! Really! I am glad you listened to your body. It is my pleasure Jessica :)

  62. tim December 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi Melissa,

    Could you please tell me what is the advised daily amount of Maca I should take?

    Thank you,
    T

    • Melissa December 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Tim,
      It really depends on what sort you bought. If you bought capsules, it varies again as they each have different dosages. It usually tells you on the bottle though :) I use about a tablespoon a day in my smoothy.

    • timi December 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

      Hi Melissa!

      Thank you for the quick reply. I have the powder form of Maca, and it says: 1-3 teaspoons a day.

      I take 1-2 teaspoons a day and has not seen any result yet.

      Anyway, I should be have more patience. :-)

      Have a nice day!
      T

    • Melissa December 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      Hi Timi,

      It does take a while to build up in the body – they say up to 6months. I notice it more instantly than that :)

  63. lana November 28, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    hello girls and melissa,

    that is very interesting. I have recently been getting more sharp pain and soreness with moving, it has been a few years now since my laparoscopy and i do not wish to have another one at all. i have been taking maca for a few months and was doing fine, maybe just felt a bit more sexual at the time. then i ran out and stopped, after a while i started to get more achey, i recently just started chinese herbs and another herb medicine (with chasteberry in it) and am experiencing the pain almost daily now. havent mixed it too much with maca (as i restocked and i was excited to be back on maca) but will probably try to stop until i stop the chinese herbs.
    I thought chinese medicine was great for endometriosis? how come i feel terrible? other factors to consider would be that i have been under work related pressures/stress and physical exhaustion as well as relationship stresses. so i dont blame maca, theres many things to consider i guess. Just feel out of balance and anxious about the pain. its hard to deal with this alone, and havent had to for a few months now. im also on the pill, as i said last time, however plan to stop that in a few days at the end of the period. Yay. hope so much i will feel better. it is really good to know not to mix them. Thanks

    • Melissa November 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

      Hi lana. I would probably wait until you go off the pill before taking anything else. You need to get the balance back inside first :) Work stress can play a role but worrying about pain is never fun either. You will feel better in a few months – just wait for the pill to work its way out of your body and then try the chinese herbs and other stuff. I also don’t really recommend Chasteberry – http://www.cureendometriosis.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-taking-red-clover-for-endometriosis/

  64. Elke November 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Hello Melissa,
    I just happened to come across your website while searching for help for a cousin. Take a look at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website. They have a lot of information about nutrition, nutrient dense foods, healing. There are many foundation chapters all over the world where people help people to regain their health. Our chapter has a lot of members, who cured themselves from various illnesses by changing their diet and following the wisdom of ancient cultures. The website allows you to search for a local chapter. And maybe you will find just a little tiny bit, which could be useful to you.

    Sincerely,
    Elke from California

    • Melissa November 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      Thanks Elke. I will look into that one for us :) I hope you were able to help your cousin :)

  65. Olga November 23, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    I can’t take it either… I have horrible pain from Maca almost like something crazy is happening in my stomach. I had bad pain and i stopped taking Maca and the pain stopped. So girls please be careful with Maca… I would listen to your body… I am currently taking Vitalyzm and I feel good I am taking 1 pill a day i use to take 3 a day and I started getting pimples and feeling lousy. So 1 a day for me right now…

    Stay safe

  66. Hannah November 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I have been taking maca for about 4 months and my pain has really reduced. This could be due to any number of things I have been doing, but it certainly hasn’t given me any problems :) I do take evening primrose oil daily, and although that hasn’t appeared to be a problem maybe I should reconsider combining maca with anything hormone-related. Tricky! But regardless, maca is a great superfood (I actually love the taste if it)!

    • Laurie December 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

      What about red raspberry leaf…would that interfere with Maca? I also love Maca and take the Evening Prim.

    • Melissa December 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

      I don’t think it would. It is not a phytoestrogen, so that should be fine :) I found Evening Primrose Oil does have phytoestrogens in it – maybe use a fish oil high in Omega 3 Instead :)

  67. Limor November 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi Melissa,

    I googled Macca Root (in Hebrew) and found some Macca products for women.

    In one of them there is a clear warning NOT to take it in cases of hormonal cancer and Endometriosis!

    It seems to me that Macca is a bit controversial…

  68. jaye November 20, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    Hi Mel.

    I started taking it about 5-6 months ago. First I heard about maca here and bought some, only taking it when I remembered. My Naturopath recommended I take it everyday. I was not taking any other supplements except fish oil and magnesium and I experienced the worst estrogen dominance ever after 2 months on it. I had terrible insomnia and PMS, and lost my sex drive. Scary stuff! I dropped it. My acupuncturist said that maca boosts the endocrine system and mine was probably doing just fine, without it.

    • Melissa November 20, 2011 at 8:27 am #

      Hi Jaye, That is really interesting. I haven’t heard of this reaction. Were you taking chinese medicine at the time? They also say those don’t combine well with Maca.

    • jaye November 21, 2011 at 7:17 am #

      No chinese medicine at the time – just maca, fish oil, and magnesium. I still take fish oil and Mg without those side effects.

  69. Annabelle November 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    well as I told you, when I started taking Maca, I took it and DIM at the same time which maybe that was wrong. Got major pain like I hadn’t had in months and that scared me so much!! I took Maca again by itself for a short time, but just didn’t feel like it was time for me to take it for some reason so I stopped again. I was thinking about trying it again and see what happens this time. :)

    • Melissa November 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

      Hi Annabelle! So cool that you are commenting again :) You were part of the reason I figured out there was something I needed to explore more about Maca. I only ever took Maca on it’s own. I did try Maca with DIM for a short time and did notice it also made me sore – good to know and I guess we have to all be Guinea Pigs at some point. Sorry you had to be one for us and that it wasn’t just me :)
      Definitely try it on it’s own! It is fabulous!

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