Making Maca Work for You
One of the most popular supplements and natural food products in recent years is the root vegetable known as Maca. For centuries, Maca has been grown at high altitudes in the Peruvian Andes, where it’s still harvested, heated, and dried according to time-tested methods. Peruvians have long used Maca as a traditional remedy for a variety of health issues, including low libido, fertility, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, fatigue symptoms, and mood issues, among others.
I’m happy to say that more than two decades ago, I was, I believe, the first herbal healer to introduce Maca to the American market. After years of working with Maca growers and researchers, Peruvian natural health experts, and native people taking Maca, I’m convinced that there is no botanical more effective or safe1 for most hormone imbalances.
Co-Founder, Viana Muller, with Peruvian Maca Growers and the their freshly harvested Maca roots
The Problem with Most Maca Products
Now, given the current craze for Maca in the U.S., you’ll find dozens of different Maca products on the shelf—capsules, powers, smoothie mixes, even Maca lattes! But here’s the problem: the type of Maca you take — and how you take it — determine whether Maca is effective. I have a solution which involves three key steps you can take to ensure that Maca works for you.
Step 1: Choose Therapeutic-Grade Maca Over Recreational Maca
First, Maca’s effectiveness for hormonal balance and symptom relief depends in large part on how and where the Maca is grown. Most Maca root sold in the U.S. is not from Peru – it’s grown in China in pesticide-laden soil at low altitudes, and is packaged raw. This Maca – which I consider “recreational” – is so weak and lacking in potency that precise dosing isn’t necessary. You aren’t likely to notice any difference if you add more or less to a smoothie, for example.
Authentic therapeutic-grade Maca is defined as premium quality, organic, sundried precooked (gelatinized), and grown and harvested in Peru. Unlike recreational Maca, therapeutic-grade Maca is very potent, and is highly effective when dosing is precise and individualized to your specific needs.
Understand that Therapeutic-Grade Maca is Not a True Adaptogen
If you’re a fan of taking supplements for natural health, you’ve probably heard the buzz about “adaptogens.” Health-savvy consumers take adaptogens to help balance everything from hormones to the immune system. Some well-known adaptogens you may be familiar with include Ashwagandha, Siberian ginseng, and Arctic root (Rhodiola rosea). The beauty of an adaptogen is that helps your body automatically adjust to your unique needs.
Fans of Maca know that, when taken properly, this incredible Peruvian root is known for it’s ability to help balance the entire endocrinal gland system and to lift mood, as null well as energy. It also functions differently in men than it does in women, and in younger women versus older women. That’s why some people mistakenly believe that Maca is a true adaptogenic herb.
Rather, it’s more accurate to say that it’s “adaptogen-like.” The difference? With a true adaptogen, it’s almost impossible to overstimulate your body because the body will eliminate the excess of the herb it does not require. Therapeutic Maca root, however, is highly dose dependent. Maca can perform amazing feats to help your body function optimally, but unlike an adaptogen, the body will process all of the Maca, even if there is too much. If you take too much for your unique needs, you may experience an imbalance because of overstimulation. To enjoy the benefits, it’s essential to find the right dosage of Maca root for you.
Step 2: Be Like Goldilocks – Find a Dose That’s “Just Right!”
Everyone remembers the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Goldilocks sneaks into the bear’s house, and discovers that one bowl of porridge is too hot, one is too cold, and the third is just right. One chair’s too big, one too small, and the third’s just right. One bed’s too hard, the other too soft, and the third is ”just right.” Think of Maca as the “Goldilocks” of botanical supplements!
If you take too small a dose of therapeutic Maca, it won’t relieve your symptoms. You may end up prematurely jumping to the conclusion that “Maca just doesn’t work for me!”
If you take too large a dose, your body will let you know in no uncertain terms with a list of unwanted side effects. For example, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia tell you that you’re taking too much therapeutic-grade Maca. Women may also experience, breast tenderness, shorter menstrual cycles, or increased hot flashes.
It’s when you get to the dosage that’s “just right” — for you — that the real power of Maca is evident! But even then, some people wonder: If my Maca dosage is effectively relieving my symptoms, won’t taking more be even better?! The answer is an unequivocal “No!” You need to carefully and precisely find the dose of therapeutic Maca that works for you, and reduce your dosage at the first sign of side effects. Fortunately, therapeutic Maca’s side effects aren’t permanent, and if you stop taking Maca for two days, you can resume again at a smaller dosage, and side effects will resolve quickly.
Another interesting note about taking a therapeutic Maca: if you’ve found your perfect daily dosage and your symptoms return weeks, months or even years later, don’t assume that you need to increase your dosage.2 It’s often the exact opposite. Usually, you’ll need to take a smaller dose to get that perfect balance again. That’s because the positive effects of therapeutic Maca are cumulative over time. After reducing your daily Maca dosage, you’ll be surprised at how quickly symptoms disappear.
How Royal Maca® is Different
For more than 20 years, Whole World Botanicals has been working with growers to ethically source therapeutic-grade, premium quality, organic Maca from the high Andes of Peru. We are confident that our sundried, precooked (gelatinized) Royal Maca® line of products – including Royal Maca® powder and Royal Maca® capsules formulated for various women’s and men’s hormonal challenges – are unparalleled. We are also committed to providing expert guidance to help you find the right Royal Maca® product for you, and the optimal dosage to meet your unique needs.
Our trained product educators have 20 years of experience helping women use Royal Maca® to achieve healthy reproductive function, healthy libido, pain relief or management, migraine-free and mood-balanced premenstrual weeks, symptom-free menstrual periods, and a hormone-balanced, happy, healthy perimenopause and menopause. And men swear by our Royal Maca® products to help enhance their sports endurance and sexual stamina, increase mental energy, balance mood, and provide resilience to high-stress lives.
Step 3: Royal Maca® is Best Taken Alone
Finally, if you’re a fan of adaptogens and herbal supplements that affect hormones, you may wonder if it makes sense to take them along with Royal Maca® to get even better results. After more than two decades of experience helping people achieve hormone balance using Royal Maca®, I strongly recommend against it. You’ll greatly increase your chances of overstimulation and unwanted side effects. I also recommend that you avoid phytoestrogenic botanicals and other perimenopause/menopause supplements like Black Cohosh and soy isoflavones, because they can make your Royal Maca® less effective.
Let Royal Maca® work its magic on its own! If you are highly sensitive and/or are petite, try our SHE™ capsules which combine a tiny amount of Royal Maca® and vitamin-C rich Royal Camu® in a unique, synergistic formulation for hormone and mood balance. And for women with heavy or painful periods, hypothyroidism, autoimmune conditions or a family history of breast cancer, our Royal Maca® Plus for Women with DIM does double duty, because it includes anti-inflammatory diindolylmethane (DIM).
We are confident that Whole World Botanicals’ line of Royal Maca® supplements stand alone as the best way for you to experience the incredible health benefits of this powerful and potent botanical called Maca.
We invite you to visit our website for more comprehensive information about dosing for gender and life-stage, to see the botanical in its natural habitat, read testimonials, and discover additional potential uses.
1. If you have had an estrogen-related cancer or prostate cancer, it is important to consult your physician before taking a therapeutic-grade Maca, because Maca root acts to normalize your sex hormone levels. Mainstream treatments for these cancers involve using pharmaceuticals to suppress your body’s production of estrogen and testosterone.
2. One exception to this rule can be when a woman shifts from a regular menstrual period to no menstrual period.