Maca is considered to be one of the most potent "superfoods" around. Many users believe these incredible little roots possess magical powers, and because of this, there must be some maca root side effects. However, the benefits of maca come not from any drug-like reaction, but instead, from the superior nutritional content of the maca root.
Maca root is simply a very nutrient-dense whole food, packed with vitamins, plant sterols, many essential minerals, amino acids and healthy fats.
See Maca Nutrients for more details.
Traditionally, maca has been used for a variety of health benefits. Both men and women have found that it significantly boosts libido and sex drive, increases energy, stamina and the feeling of general well-being. Women have found that it also helps relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause.
See the Benefits of Maca Root for more details.
Maca root has a long history of use with no toxicity issues. Unlike medicinal herbs which can have negative effects when used improperly, the maca has no known contraindications or toxicity. The fact that maca has been a part of the daily diet of Peruvian natives since before the Spanish conquistadors means that it has had a long and continual history of use. Researchers agree that it has no toxicity potential, considering this long-term use as a food product.
Although maca root has been used for centuries to increase energy and stamina, it is not a stimulant. It does not contain caffeine like guarana and coffee, so it doesn't affect the central nervous system. It is basically a very nutrient-dense food, and maca powder is sold as a nutritional supplement, or "superfood," much like spirulina, chia seeds, wheat grass, and the like.
Maca root side effects are not a problem even during pregnancy. The maca root is considered so safe that there is no restriction to using it even during pregnancy. In fact, maca keeps the levels of progesterone high and the hormones in balance, which is beneficial for a pregnant woman who is in her first trimester. The large amounts of minerals, amino acids and vitamins in the root crop also make maca powder an ideal pre-natal nutritional supplement.
Occasionally, some people experience adverse effects when they start taking maca powder; these may actually be detoxification symptoms. This sometimes happens because when you're more used to consuming processed and cooked foods, and then you start taking in such a nutritionally dense supplement, the body will absorb the superior nutrients and "throw off" the old junk it doesn't need for elimination.
If this happens, you might feel badly — but it generally lasts only a few days. You may want to consider some type of cleansing diet to help remove some of the waste your body is trying to eliminate. Doing so will help with many adverse symptoms.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using maca regularly if you have any of the following health conditions:
Maca products (especially those sold for sexual enhancement) often contain a combination of different active ingredients, some of which may not be as safe as maca. Check the label of your particular product to make sure you know exactly what you're taking.
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