Jump to content
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Maca, side effects to look out for

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

Has anyone tried taking maca? I've been taking it for 3 weeks now and I'm wondering if anybody has had similar experiences ..

When I first started taking it I took the full dose (the recommended maximum dosage). This was a MISTAKE because I had the worst PMT ever which lasted for just over 2 weeks. I felt stressed all the time, my heart felt like it was beating faster, I was crying every day, had depression, insomnia, headaches and a really bad breakout of cystic acne. I thought I was just unlucky that month with stress because I'd just started a new job. And I assumed the PMT was a result of that.

BUT, I did some research on the net and went to my chinese herbalist, and I've now found out that too much maca powder too soon can exasperate your symptoms and cause too much energy and insomnia. My herbalist said it creates more male hormones and internal heat which is why I had the bad breakout. He doesn't like maca at all.

HOWEVER, for the last week, everything seems to have evened out. My skin has all of a sudden started clearing, and it's clearer than it has been in months, my mood is great, I'm happy all the time, and I'm sleeping really well and have had none of those symptoms that I had before. I counted 10 cysts on my face at christmas, now I only have a few that but they're all very small and healing now. I'm wondering if the maca is the answer for me or if it's just good timing in my cycle ... any ideas?

By the way, I've been doing all the other holistic stuff, I eat REALLY well, exercise, use natural face products, etc. I don't like BP so I don't use that. I've had the acne problem for about 9 months now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I've taken maca quite often in large quantites - but keep cycling it. I go saw palmetto -> tribulus -> maca -> break. I've tried all sorts of stuff like L-Arginine and yohimbine (never ever try yohimbe - you don't know what your getting) but yohimbine raised my body temperature too much and made me over-active.

Nothing todo with acne though - just bodybuilding - none of those substances helped or made my acne worse. Just out of curiosity where did you see that maca helps with acne?

There's plenty of other supplements to try if you believe it's a hormone/testosterone imbalance thing - although it might be easier just to get tested and try the natural methods before going on prescription for something. Good luck :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently tried taking maca capsols. I tried it twice and both times I broke out in cysts.. which i thought was strange. I had taken maca in a raw enzyme energy bar and had no problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard of maca but haven't thoroughly researched it. I always thought, being a root that it contained estrogens, like yams, but not sure. Please keep us posted on your results. Do you know definitely if it is pro-estrogen, anti-androgen, or what? I've been absorbed in research regarding hormone balance lately and I haven't figured out what my imbalance is yet, but will want natural balancing options when I do figure it out.

Regarding stress, I have very recently come to see that stress causes the body to increase output of cortisol which uses the same raw material that your hormones (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen) use, namely cholesterol and internal enzymes. If you are stressed and start producing alot of cortisol, something WILL go out of balance unless you tweak it by either introducing a new set of instructions (herbal remedies) or maybe (just a theory) increase raw material input. So what I'm wondering is....maybe during times of stress you should eat a higher cholesterol diet. I know, I know...it may sound nuts to the mainstream... but, maybe low calorie, high cholesterol is the way to go until the stress passes. Is that a possible conclusion?? (I might be crazy. :wacko: Please tell me if I am before I do something stupid as a human guinea pig! haha)

This table on wiki says it all to me. You can visually see how they compete.

What do you guys think? Anyway, I wish I knew this stuff back in the days when I was stressed. I might have avoided alot of problems with some simple adjustments. :boohoo:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually recorded a couple of videos on my progress and the 'results' of my experiment. You can go to my blog http://www.highonhealth.org and search for 'maca', or you can just go here:


Strawberries- That's so strange how it made you get cystic acne! It actually cleared up my cystic acne. I had more of a problem with it making my blackheads and whiteheads worse.

sie- Yeah, the Maca was okay. I'm still a bit confused with it ...it's supposed to be hormone balancing which is why I took it in the first place. It cleared my skin up A LOT but during PMT, it seems to make my PMT symptoms worse. My Chinese Herbalist suggested I just take it during the times when I don't have PMT, so take it in between my cycle which I'm doing, but I'm still a little iffy about it.

Your theory about stress is very interesting. That image is a little bit too sciency for me! What does it mean? Stress is definitely the culprit for me ...but it's more complicated than that. I've ALWAYS felt stress really easily but never had sensitive skin before. I used to hold all my tension in my stomach, so I'd get a lot of stomach and digestion issues, but rarely skin problems. When I got a broken heart, that's when the problem started, and I've been told (and I can even feel it) that I'm now holding all my tension in my chest, neck and head area. So I think 1) it's stress, and 2) it depends on where you 'hold' your stress. If that makes sense.

Blah, anyway - I'm trying to learn just to chill out more :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You sound just like me (clears throat) 10-15 years ago. When I was younger, if I was stressed I was either constipated or sudden b.m. (like first day of school type stuff), but no break outs. But then when I got older stress felt more...nervous and fidgety and I got these explosive feelings in my chest. I think that feeling we get in our chest and the throat is our endocrine system fight or flight (its where the adrenals, thymus and thyroid are). I don't want to scare you, but I did nothing except pack on more and more stress and I am a physiological and biological wreck right now. You really have to get a handle on this now. I recently read that in times of stress its okay to eat high fat (polyunsaturated), low calorie foods (but I think its understood to avoid high carbs), to help fuel your body through that time. And meditative or other activities of course! I didn't do any of those things. I went straight to the ice cream and all-nighters cramming for exams and...well, just imagine everything you can possibly do wrong. Anyway. The important thing is to not subject yourself to long term chronic stress or you might rewire your system to stay in this state of imbalance. But if you work through the stressful periods and get back to normal, you can then probably wean off the maca or any other normalizing supplements.

Stress mantra: don't sweat the small stuff. its all small stuff. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have broken out in cystic acne from taking Maca gold :confused: . I'm going to stop taking it and stick with my multi and fish oil. I've read that taking vitamin e, fish oil, zinc and barley grass can help clear acne? Might give this a try and see what happens. :whistle:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

anything that is overused is bad for the health. even a natural food like maca can give you bad effect if you intake it in bad manner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes