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Maca Side Effects

Maca Side Effects: Brace Yourself, This Needs Your Attention

Maca, the unique root from the radish family cultivated only atop the Andes in Peru, is a known aphrodisiac and fertility booster. However, the possible adverse effects of maca may give you some hard time, if you do not adhere to the dosage of maca. There are also certain other factors related to side effects of maca that you should consider before adopting maca. Read on to find out more on Peruvian maca side effects.
HolisticZine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Believed to have a history at least five millennia old, the Incas were so smitten by the energy-boosting qualities of maca that they limited the use of maca among only the nobility. Even with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Peru circa 1533, maca became a regular among the Spanish nobility when the invaded Incas paid tribute to the Spaniards by sending them enormous quantities (approximately 15,000 - 18,000 pounds as per a written record of 1549) of this herb.

Lepidium peruvianum
or maca is a root belonging to the radish family and is found only in areas atop the continental mountain range of Andes (these herbs are grown at an altitude of 14,000 - 15,000 feet), only in the Peruvian and Bolivian sections. Called maca-maca by the Spanish, this root was also used as a form of currency during Spanish colonization in Peru. Maca was and is hailed for its powers to infuse strength and energy in people and its various other health benefits are still in the process of identification. However, ongoing researches have unearthed a few conditions under which certain maca herb side effects can be observed in an individual. Since it is of utmost importance that one finds out about all possible side effects of herbs before adopting them, here are some possible maca side effects that may affect you adversely if you are less vigilant.
Side Effects of Maca
It is advised that a stipulated dosage of maca is strictly followed in order to avoid any overdose issues.
  • Herbalists say that a dosage of 1500 - 3000 mg divided in three equal parts should be consumed on a per day basis.
  • Amazingly, research shows that the 1500 mg helping (about 3 teaspoons) displays similar results as the 3000 mg helping.
  • Also, it is helpful if you start with a dosage which is quarter of the maximum dosage that is recommended two times a day and then slowly increase the quantity.
This actually conditions the body slowly, so that it is not shocked to receive the potent herb in a high amount subsequently going into an overdrive, and can actually learn to reap the maximum benefits from this member of organic herbs.
  • Maca is actually so potent a vitalizer that it can provide nourishment to malnourished and feeble children who are over the threshold of 3 years, when a dosage of ⅓ teaspoon of maca thrice a week is administered.
Maca is also known to be a huge help for women experiencing menopausal problems and issues due to hormonal imbalance. Physicians also advise to pause the intake of maca for say two weeks in every two months to keep the body from becoming dependent on it.

A stimulant by nature, maca is known to disrupt the sleeping patterns of certain individuals.

The catch or rather the maca side effects start to show when these dosages are not stuck to, which is quite a common case since it is nor a regulated or prescribed drug other than in Norway where you cannot buy it without a prescription. Maca does boost libido and sexual activeness. So, only a stipulated dose is recommended and even then prolonged sexual activities can be enjoyed with an increase in sperm count.
  • It has been noticed that if being used as an aphrodisiac, the 3000 mg dosage derived from black maca is more effective than a 1500 mg one.
  • However, men who opt for maca to eliminate the plight of erectile dysfunction are asked to opt for the 2400 mg dosage, as studies have shown noticeable differences observed by men when taking this proportion of the medicine without any dry maca extract side effects.
Known to be an energy booster, increased amounts of maca root actually spells insomnia as it infuses the body with excessive stamina and vigor which the body then doesn't know where and how to channelize. This is often accompanied by profuse sweating, increase in the heartbeat rate, hot flashes, and a feeling of extreme anxiety.
Owing to its fibrous content (8.5%), maca has some influence over the digestive system. When consumed in excess, these fibers actually speed up the rate of digestion which then leads to gas and diarrhea, which in turn might give rise to a subsequent condition of dehydration. A sudden rise in the potassium levels in the body has also been noted in quite a few cases.
Among other maca side effects, a significant one seems to be the fact that when consumed with a low-iodine diet, maca root tuber can cause goiters given its high concentration of glucosinolates (a nitrogen-sulfur organic compound).
Even though it is not proven, maca can interfere with medicines administered to thyroid patients. This is due to the fact that maca is composed of a variety of minerals, such as calcium and iron, which prevent the optimal absorption of thyroid medications. Also, 1500 mg of dried maca has a high iodine content of 78µg. This can aggravate thyroid side effects in an individual. Maca is also believed to hinder the course of antibiotic medicines inside the body.
Also, it is better that expecting mothers keep away from maca during the gestation period, as well as the breast-feeding duration, as the effects of maca on these extremely delicate physical conditions is yet to be revealed. Maca supplements are derived from a vegetable, hence, it may contain certain ingredients or contaminants which might affect the baby and the mother adversely. If you wish to take it during these periods nevertheless, do so under the guidance of a doctor in monitored doses.
It is imperative that you follow certain guidelines before deciding to introduce maca to your system. Always take care to check with a doctor before consuming maca and intimate him if you have allergies inducing hives or itchy skin, intolerance to preservatives, colorants and specific elements, a history of chronic ailments, cirrhosis of liver, hepatitis, and kidney failure. Read the label carefully in order to know the active constituents, used in maca supplements to boost virility and fertility, that you will be taking to stall unforeseen fallouts. Use stipulated amounts of it whether your purpose is to annul depressive mood swings, menstrual problems, or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) issues. In fact, it has been noted that too much of maca consumption can actually lead to frequent and heavy menstruum in women. Also, many women have complained of stomach cramps on consuming maca the day before and/or on the first day of their periods. However, it has been noticed that the heavy flow gets harnessed on lowering or stopping the dosage of maca.
Even today, maca is consumed in various forms and has its own culinary purposes. From the beer made from it (called chicha de maca) to the preparation of huatia in a pit by layering charcoal and maca roots to mashed balls of boiled maca called atunca, Peruvians immensely enjoy the butterscotch aroma that maca emits. In Peru, ground maca herb is sprinkled on many dishes for its flavor. The cream-hued maca is relished in delicacies owing to its sweet taste. Even maca flour is growing in demand these days all over the world, given the numerous maca benefits. So, keep up and make the most of this nutritious root, replete with a high protein (10%) and carbohydrate (60%) content, which is said to have been domesticized and cultivated by the ferocious Pumpush sect back in 1200 - 100 BC. Buy maca from reliable manufacturers only and beware of fake products. Just be careful with the dosage of this Peruvian ginseng, as maca side effects resemble triphala side effects - rearing their heads only when instructions are not followed.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.