By Marilyn Zink
I love taking maca and have found it to be an excellent benefit to my health.
Maca is an adaptogenic herb so it helps balance hormones, provides energy and can boost libido.
People often get confused about how to take adaptogenic herbs, or they mix adaptogenic herbs together.
This is not recommended. You don’t take two adaptogenic herbs at the same time. It’s completely unnecessary and can have a negative effect on the body.
I’ve heard stories of people taking maca and ginseng at the same time and experiencing side effects. Both these herbs are super foods for the endocrine system and can overstimulate the body when taken together.
So only take one adaptogenic herb at a time. Also avoid taking dong quai, black cohosh, licorice root and fertility drugs with maca.
If you are taking any drugs, make sure you consult a health professional before taking maca.
The other thing I’ve seen is that people take too much maca too soon. This is a powerful herb used by Peruvians for thousands of years.
Start with a small amount, 1/4 tsp. in the morning and the same at night, always taken with meals or just before eating.
Give it a week or two to notice any changes. Increase the dosage by another 1/4 tsp. if no changes have been noticed.
As maca has an effect on the endocrine system which balances hormones, some people will notice a difference quicker, while others may take slightly longer.
You should not exceed three teaspoons a day and don’t take it all at once. The latest it should be taken is just before dinner, as it can affect sleep.
Also, give yourself a maca ‘holiday’ once a month. If you have been on it a month, take a weekend off. If you have been taking it for 3 months or longer, take a full week off.
For myself, I take two capsules a day in the morning – that’s equivalent to 1500 mg. or about 1 tsp. That’s it. On the rare occasion I take four capsules a day and that works for me.
Ensure the brand of maca you purchase is quality and you trust the manufacturer. Are you getting a pure product?
Marilyn Zink is the publisher of The Herbal Collective magazine.