How to Take Maca
Maca powder may be mixed in any hot or cold liquid or sprinkled on food. Do not take neat, or between meals. Start with the maintenance dose of 1/4 teaspoon with breakfast and the same amount with the evening meal. In some cases it is necessary to take a teaspoon twice daily until symptoms abate, before dropping back to the maintenance dose. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers have reported major improvements after two weeks on this dose.
Remember: We are all different and people must find their own dose and stick with it until symptoms abate.
While some people notice marked improvement in energy and well-being quickly, others respond more slowly, as their endocrine systems respond to the support and balancing Maca provides. If there is not a significant improvement in the way you feel after one week on the initial dose, you may increase the amount taken by a small amount each week until an improvement is noticed. The total daily amount taken should not exceed three teaspoons, except on the advice of a health professional.
When taking Maca, it is essential to take a week off after using it for four weeks, or four weeks off after using it for three months. This is done in order to keep the body responsive to its phytonutrients.
Do not give to children under the age of three. Children who are undernourished, chronically ill, or recovering from illness may have 1/3 of a teaspoon, three times per week.
YOUNG WOMEN AND PERI-MENOPAUSAL WOMEN
YOUNG WOMEN AND PERI-MENOPAUSAL WOMEN who have their menstrual periods and are suffering from PMS, may take one quarter teaspoon per day. After three months of use, stop for one month before resuming.
If the amount taken is ineffective after one week, increase by 1/2 teaspoon for one week. If still ineffective, increase again after another week until appropriate serving is established. If symptoms such as breast tenderness occurs, reduce by 1/2 teaspoon for one week. Continue reducing until symptoms disappear.
The amount of Maca which adequately supports menopausal and post menopausal health may decrease within two to three months. Try reducing the amount you take periodically, to establish the lowest possible serving. Heavy-set women frequently have naturally high estrogen levels. Too high an estrogen level over a period if months is potentially harmful. Women who experience breast tenderness or vaginal cramping should reduce the serving until symptoms disappear. Tenderness may last up to six weeks and go away spontaneously.
MENOPAUSAL AND POST-MENOPAUSAL WOMEN
It is suggested that both use a natural progesterone supplement in addition to Maca, as women in these phases of life are often out of balance in their estrogen-progesteron ratio and, as of today, there are no studies to definitively confirm that taking Maca increases progesterone levels. There is evidence, however, to suggest that progesterone levels are being balanced as well, such as elimination of PMS symptoms and a decrease in fibroid tumour size.
An adequate level of progesterone in the body has protective value against osteoporosis, uterine cancer and possibly breast cancer, according to research. Since women in our society are exposed to numerous xenoestrogens and pseudo-estrogens in the form of petrochemicals, pesticides and meat and dairy products, and are subject to fluctuating estrogen levels due to stress and physical inactivity, this extra protection is advisable.
WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN ON HRT FOR ONE OR MORE YEARS
Several health care practitioners have adopted a protocol for helping women who have been using HRT, and who have suffered severe side effects, to get off these drugs and to use Maca to ease their menopausal symptoms. The cold turkey method does not work well, because HRT drugs cause, over time, the ovaries to atrophy, and so their hot flushes come back worse than ever.
Because Maca is not replacing hormones, it is fine to start using this product at any time and to stop at any time without danger to the body. It can be used on and off without fear of causing adrenal, ovarian or erectile disfunction. The Maca root has adaptogen qualities. That is, its effects are appropriate to the age and sex of the person using it, and it provides nutritional support for normal hormonal balance in both men and women.
Under a physician’s care, the following protocol for stopping HRT, for women who are unable tolerate it, might be as follows:
|FIRST MONTH:||One tsp of Maca taken every day along with the HRT medication. Every sixth day skip HRT.|
|SECOND MONTH:||Same as first month, but every fifth day, no HRT.|
|THIRD MONTH:||Same as second month, but every fourth day, no HRT|
|FOURTH MONTH:||1 1/4 teaspoons of Maca every day, but every other day, no HRT.|
|FIFTH MONTH:||1 1/2 teaspoons Maca every day, but every other day, no HRT|
|SIXTH MONTH:||2 teaspoons of Maca daily, but HRT is taken only once every third day.|
|SEVENTH MONTH:||Discontinue HRT. Take 2 tsp of Maca daily. If any symptoms occur, increase by 1/3 tsp the amount of Maca on a weekly basis until symptoms disappear. After a few months the amount of Maca needed will probably decrease. You can try cutting down a little on a weekly basis until you find what seems to be the most effective dose, judging by how you feel. Once a year get saliva tests to evaluate your hormone levels. They are more accurate than blood tests.|
Women on the patch should snip a tiny amount off each patch the first month, a bit more the second month and so on until after six or seven months, nothing is left. Those who have only been using the patch a month or so may simply stop. Women on estrogen implants, who wish to get off, may have them removed, go on the patch, and use the above instructions to get off the patch slowly. Those on testosterone injections may have progressively smaller injections.
The claims based on traditional usage and those made by physicians and users of Maca have not been evaluated by government agencies and are not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.
Maca is often used by men to maintain sexual desire and performance. Since the alkaloids of Maca cause the pituitary to produce more precursor hormones to the adrenal glands and the testes, the effects on energy and sexuality are notable. As above, it will be necessary for each man to discover his own dose.
Some men find that a teaspoon with the evening meal is all they need for stimulating sexual vigour. In extreme cases, an occasional tablespoon may be needed. It is important to realise, however, that there are many causes for lack of virility. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise contribute to this widespread problem, but the single biggest cause are medications which damage the nerves, the endocrine system and the vascular system. Testosterone decline is most often caused by medication. Men who take testosterone to overcome erectile dysfunction risk atrophy of the testicles. Some other drugs which cause impotence are antidepressants, tranquilizers, steroids, anti-hypertensives, cholesterol-lowering drugs, misused thyroid medication and, of course, recreational drugs.
To maintain sexual vigour into old age, embrace good diet, exercise and avoid drugs. Even Maca cannot overcome the damage done by misuse of powerful pharmaceuticals. You may want to consider consulting a health care practitioner who practices holistic medicine to begin a health regime of the right foods, herbs, exercise and stress reduction techniques, to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and stabilise your mood without drugs. Then Maca could help with the rest.
Maca is not recommended for women with breast, ovarian, uterine or other hormone-related cancers. Nor is it recommended for men with prostate or testicular cancer or with enlarged prostates. Also, consult your physician if you have high blood pressure, gall bladder or serious liver disease.
Because Peruvians have been using the Maca root for thousands of years, with excellent results, they have not seen the need to fund expensive trials to either prove or disprove Maca’s safety. In the absence of such studies, prudence requires that we not recommend Maca for the above health problems. The use of fertility drugs, ginseng, black cohosh, dong quai or licorice root along with Maca is not recommended. Be sure to have a “holiday” from Maca occasionally, as per instructions above.