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 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 are adding hormone elements to 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?

 

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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Hugs,

About Melissa:

Melissa is a Writer, Speaker and Natural Medicine Consultant for Women with Endometriosis. After having suffered with Endometriosis for over 15years, she now lives a completely pain & symptom free life. 

She believes that all women with Endometriosis should be given the same opportunity and has shared her knowledge to truly Empower Women with Endometriosis.

223 Responses! Are you going to share yours?

  1. Hi Melissa:)
    Im trying to find any information about what to expect when loosing one overy and a tube with endometriosis? Im 36 years old. One child. With endo i live about 5 years or more. Had one laproscopy 4 years ago (just cleaning). After 2 years became vegan, changed my life stile. Second laproscopy had just week ago and, how i said, lost ovary with 9cm endo cyst. What side efects i should be ready for? Will there be any good from having only one ovary? Is there any chance to have normal moods and normal body function? Please, help me, any information would be appreciated:)

  2. Hello,
    I am a 30 year old mother of two, and have major issues with hormones. I just recently had a period for 7 months and saw three Dr’s that suggested birth control, iud, and surgery. I opted for birth control, which made me worse. I have done non-stop research and settled on vitamin A. I also bought vitex and maca, but I am terrified to take the maca and vitex, because I am unsure about getting my period after having it stop. I want to take them because I think they’d be beneficial, but I also want to keep taking the vitamin A. My question is will maca interfere with vitamin A? This is not for fertility as I have my tube tied, but more for an overall way to be more healthy. I cannot lose my weight or even feel better until my hormones start to straighten out. Thanks.

    • Hi Adel,

      I am not sure how you settled on Vitamin A as we can get too much of that one, so I would be careful with it.
      Maca works on the Pituitary gland, which is where the body creates the various hormones that we need. Vitex works more on stimulating progesterone. I wouldn’t be mixing the Vitex and Maca together but would rather suggest trying one or the other.
      In my personal experience, Vitex can be great for a short time – like 3 months but generally not as good for longer terms things.
      I would also focus your energies on Liver health. A good liver supplement and making sure your diet is clean will really help with this.
      Glad you are opting out of birth control. Your body will love you for it :)

  3. Hi, I have pcos and have been suffering from acne almost my whole life. The clearest I’ve ever gotten was when I was on aczone and birth control. But I was not happy that one suppressed hormones and the other killed bacteria both good and bad. So I stopped using both. Now, I’m on a paleo diet and have started taking maca and tumeric recently. Before, I took vitex, evening primrose oil, and olive leaf extract. I also took maca back then but that broke me out so I stopped. After reading your blog, I decided to give it another go. I’ve been on it about a week now, still no improvements. The previous supplements I’ve taken seemed to be more effective but I’m afraid that nothing seems to clear my stubborn hormonal acne much. Do you think I might be allergic to maca? Should I try it longer? I’m losing hope. It’s been about three months since I’ve completely stopped taking birth control. My face is covered in horrible cystic acne. I’m starting to think that maybe I should go back to the old regimine even though it’s probably the least healthiest thing for me.

    • Hey Luna,

      Sorry to hear about your rollercoaster! That happened to me once i went off the pill, but what helped me a lot was seeing a naturopath and starting on some chinese herbs to flush out excess residue in the body left over from the pill. Then i did maca for 3 months which worked well but the next time i tried maca it didnt work for me. So i guess your body knows best at any one point in time. I do think give maca a longer shot tho, like 1-3months to see improvement. Good luck 😉 you should check out the fb site for extra support! Xo lana

  4. Hi Mel
    I’m glad I came across your site and maca article. I’ve been managing my symptoms with a changes in my diet for the past few months and I notice a big decrease in the cramps I get bofore and during my period. About a week ago I found a bottle of maca that I used to take and started taking it again and I’ve noticed the past few days worsening hormonal issues. I began getting hot and cold flashes, extreme mood swings, crying, and endo pain. I was confused and couldn’t understand how I was experiencing this when my symptoms had been well controlled based on my diet. I thought about it some more and I realize that it must be the maca that is causing this. I’ve stopped taking maca and am waiting to see if this will help.

  5. Hi There! I have a medium sized fibroid, and trying for a second baby. I had my first at 41, quite easily. The second one hasn’t been so easy.

    After some self-diagnosis, I feel that my hormones were imbalanced. I started taking Maca, and Vitex, and it did not feel right, so I stopped.

    Now I take natural vitamin D supplements, a whole foods prenatal vitamin, and 2 Estrosmart tablets a day. I was wondering if I can take Maca again. I am guessing that with the Estrosmart, Maca is not a good idea?

    I just want to shrink my fibroid and get pregnant again!
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Surila,
      It might also be a case of looking at your diet and trying to work out why the body has formed a fibroid. Have you cut out sugars out of your diet?
      I personally loved Maca but it doesn’t agree with everyone. Go with what feels good to you. From the sounds of it, it doesn’t agree. I would avoid Vitex for sure. Estrosmart is a great option!

      • thanks Melissa.

        Immediately after I found out I had a fibroid, i completely changed my diet. I only ever consumed raw honey or maple syrup, never refined sugar, but still cut that down. I also removed all wheat and grain products, and added hormone and antibiotic free fish, chicken and eggs. I also cut down on all alcohol…other than one drink a week. I drink tonnes of water.

        My question was actually regarding Estrosmart and Maca together. I was wondering if they are safe together, based on this article.

        Thanks for your time.

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