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Dangers and side effects of maca

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Discover the dangers and side effects of maca.

Maca from Peru is an excellent health food and has exceptional health benefits. However, in some cases, and like all herbal medicine, it can cause certain unwanted harmful effects, which is why it is important to know what these harmful effects are and when can they occur before consuming them.

Can maca be poisonous? Are there any dangers or side effects from consuming maca root? Let’s see this in detail.


If you are not one of the cases below, then you can buy our quality Peruvian Maca powder Lepidium peruvianum Chacon variety without hesitation!

The dangers: a question of dosage

It should be understood that everything depends on the dosage. Peruvian maca is consumed in the form of capsules, tablets, food supplements, spices, dried roots, fresh roots, and each form has a different concentration of active ingredients.

The powder, the dried and fresh roots are generally for food use, and, apart from the contraindications and possible drug interactions mentioned below, they do not present any danger.

It is especially capsules, tablets, and food supplements that can cause problems if they are highly dosed. In this method of taking, it is always necessary to refer to the instructions for use and a medical opinion.


What are the contraindications for maca?

According to the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, it would be risky to consume maca root powder, without medical consultation, in people:

• Suffering from hypertension

• Suffering from thyroid problems

• Cruciferous allergy sufferers


• Metabolic syndrome

Regarding thyroid problems, studies show that maca may be beneficial for some thyroid symptoms, but maybe harmful for others, so seeing a doctor is a must.

Metabolic syndrome is a term for the association of a series of health problems having in common a poor body metabolism, for example, obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL-cholesterol, glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, etc.

It is a so-called “emerging” syndrome, more and more frequent, which increases with age, but it is not a disease strictly speaking, but rather a grouping of risk factors.


Consult the advice of a healthcare professional before taking maca if you fall into one of these 4 categories.

What are the side effects of maca?

Maca is safe food, however, overconsumption of the Peruvian root could, in rare cases, cause some unwanted effects. It is then better to reduce, or even interrupt, its consumption.

Here are the rare known side effects of maca, linked to its overuse:

• Increase in menstrual disturbances


• Decreased libido

• Hot flashes


• Weight gain

• Skin problems


• Insomnia

• Classic detoxification symptoms: diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, headache, stomach ache

To avoid these side effects, it is advisable to start with small doses and gradually increase to assess the body’s reaction, this is called titration.

Maca during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and in children


No clinically controlled studies have been performed on the consumption of maca during pregnancy or breastfeeding, which is why health authorities advise against the consumption of maca in this case.

You should know that in Peru, pregnant women have continued to consume maca for thousands of years without any worries.

Likewise, no clinically controlled studies have been performed on the consumption of maca in children, but children in Peru consume it without any known concerns.

In this case, it is advisable to give it punctually and to reduce the doses by 2 in older children, and by 4 in smaller children.


Likely interactions between maca and drugs

To date, no drug interactions have been detected. However, if you are taking a drug treatment, consult your doctor to obtain his authorization before starting a course of maca, as a precautionary principle.

What dosage should be observed?

Studies are insufficient to give an exact dosage. Nutritionists generally recommend the following treatment: 2 to 3 g of maca (approximately 3 level teaspoons) per day divided into 3 doses (morning, noon, and evening), for a minimum 2-month treatment up to 3 months, with a week’s break at the end of the first month.

This is generally the kind of cure followed to take advantage of the aphrodisiac virtues of maca or to use maca to relieve the symptoms of menopause.


For a flash cure, in case of examination, sports competition, convalescence, moral test, etc., you can do this same cure, but for 1 week.

However, you should know that this dosage is much lower than the traditional consumption of Peruvians in the highlands, who consume up to 50 g of fresh tuber per day, 365 days per year.

Advice valid for most uses of plants for medical purposes: when you do a cure, once the cure is done, take a break for a period approximately equal to the cure before resuming. For example, you take a 2-week cure, then you take a break of 1 to 2 weeks before possibly resuming.


To conclude, it is always important to remember that just because a product is natural, it doesn’t mean you can do anything.


The effects of spices are very real and effective, which is why you must take precautions and inform yourself before embarking on a cure.

Remember that food use, except in the event of drug interaction or proven contraindication, does not pose a problem.


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Tags: contraindications disadvantages side effects

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