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A Warning about Taking Maca Root Powder: Hormone-Specific Treatments Interfere with This Vegetable Plant’s Effectiveness

I love Maca Root and I have promoted it heaps on this blog, so I thought I better tell you what I have discovered about it recently. A few weeks back, I had a few women email me and describe that they had experienced worse pain after going on Maca Root. I found this incredibly hard because Maca Root had given me nothing but good results. I couldn’t figure it out and started to get quite concerned that I had recommended something that was perhaps not beneficial to all of us with endometriosis and that it might actually be causing some women harm—which is so not what this blog is about!

So, in my research I began to find out why this could be or if in fact there was a side effect to taking Maca Root, which I wasn’t aware of. If you are not familiar with this plant, please read this article I did on it a while ago.

What is Maca Root?

Maca Root is a vegetable plant and it essentially reduces endometriosis symptoms by regulating all our hormones. This means all of them together—not trying to reduce one or the other, depending on what our imbalances are. It will also regulate our thyroid gland, which has to do with feeling cold all the time. If we have estrogen dominance, it will work out which hormone is less and get the body to create more of the hormone we need. So, in other words, it regulates everything and lets the body determine what it needs and in what quantities.

The interfering phytoestrogens

If we then combine our treatment of endometriosis with hormone-specific treatment using phytoestrogens, it will make our pain and symptoms worse. So, if we take any phytoestrogens as a supplement, they directly interfere with Maca Root. The Chinese herbal pharmacopeia contains many such herbs and they do not generally combine well with this vegetable plant. So check this first before combining Chinese medicine with Maca Root.

You see, phytoestrogens are adding hormone elements to the body.

Basically, estrogen and progesterone work as a partnership. If one is too dominant, the other needs to step up. So, if we are estrogen-dominant, it means we are more likely to be low on progesterone. If one added more progesterone, it will lower the estrogen levels, so both are in balance again. This is what Maca Root does so well. It allows the body to work this out all on its own. The reason phytoestrogens cause such problems is that they are found in very high quantities in the body. Please read this article on more specific information on why phytoestrogens are not recommended for endometriosis. 

Solely Maca Root

In conclusion, we shouldn’t combine Maca Root with ANYTHING hormone-related. This includes any phytoestrogens, progesterone creams, DIM and even Evening Primrose Oil.

The good news is that you could essentially save yourself a whole heap of money by just sticking with Maca Root and there is no guesswork with this plant—your body can work it out. I have always been hesitant with progesterone creams/drops etc because I ask myself, how do we know when to stop? Surely we can get the balance to go the wrong way, out of balance?

So, now we understand why Maca Root and other stuff don’t mix well, we need to decide which way to go on this one. Personally, I love my Maca Root and will probably stick with that. If I decide to explore any Chinese Medicine or anything else, I will make a point of stopping the Maca Root supplements first!

Did you have an adverse reaction from Maca Root? Were you taking phytoestrogens at the time? Would love to hear your experiences.


Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 374 Comments

  1. Melissa

    Hi Stephanie,
    I would probably recommend a high dose Curcumin supplement instead. It has been shown to cause apoptosis in endometrial cells so if there are any left, then this would assist. Maca is perhaps not your best option.
    hugs for all you have gone through.

  2. Stephanie

    What are your thoughts on taking maca with a history of endo BUT I’ve had a hysterectomy with an endo clean out… The doctor believes he got all the endo out but we all know that may not be the case. I still have my ovaries so even though I am no getting a period, I still have cycles and if there is any endo hidden somewhere, it can continue to grow with my cycles.

  3. eli

    hi Melissa
    Can i take Maca if i have history of prolactinoma? prolactin levels are little high and i am 47 i think i am in perimenopause
    periods are coming normal

    thank you

  4. van oord

    Its best to take Gelatinised Maca Poeder.Then you won`t have the horrible pain.Don`t believe me,do your research.

  5. Melissa

    No. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  6. Melissa

    That sounds very strange. I have not heard this before. Did you get the Maca from a good source?

  7. Jj

    My wife suffers from endometriosis she started taking maca in pill form. I noticed after taking for just a few days she had a yeast infection and woke up with hives. We thought bug bites. After little research it was evident they were hives not extrem but only like 3-4 bug bit like hives. I read this morning that it could cause yeast infections, we thought it was from natural reason for the infection.
    I almost feel guilty for giving her the maca pills and said to stop taking them this morning.

    My ? Is has anyone been in this same place and continued to take the maca and went through this to eventually balance out and start to feel somewhat better. Pls pls respond

  8. Corrine

    This warning means if you have an existing condition like uterine cancer.. it can make it worse. If you have endometriosis you shouldn’t take it . Other than that it’s safe and natural.

  9. Kirsty

    Hi, I’ve been reading the post on Maca, I’ve been taking it for 6 weeks to help with fertility, however since starting it I’ve had pre period cramps which I’ve never had before. I’ve also been taking spirulina, multi vits, folic acid anf royal jelly. Do you think the combination of these could be to blame? Thanks.

  10. Trinaiti

    Do you think it would be safe to take it while on depo provera?

  11. Jmilan

    I have been taking Maca recently, two times with smoothies and one time with soup…
    I noticed something weird going on with me. The first couple of times i have extreme pain in my breasts couldnt even lat on my side.,, the last time i got a tachi cardia and shakiness all over my body, also difficulty breathing… i felt like i am about to die…
    Note that i have severe endometriosis but i do not take any hormone treatment. I only take iodine supplement daily because i lack iodine but a very low dose…
    Did anyone else experience this?
    I’m really devastated by the experience because i was hoping this can help me.


  12. Melissa

    Are you looking at the bovine ovary glandular therapy for thyroid health? Could you give me more of a picture as I would be hesistant to recommend something which isn’t correct.

  13. Peaches


    Is it safe to take bovine ovary glandular therapy capsules with maca root?

    Also, I’ve heard gelatinous maca is more absorbable in the body than non-gelatinous maca. Is this true? Which type in gelatinous form is best if this is the case (red, black, etc)?


  14. Melissa

    Hi Ashley,

    So sorry to hear that you are struggling. I would welcome you to check out our new presentation that might give you a bigger picture. Taking supplements can only help to some extent but there is more to endo and more to addressing this fully, than just supplements. You can watch the replay instantly on https://www.endoempowered.com/pain_preso

  15. Ashley Mann

    Hello ????… I’ve been battling endo since giving birth to my last little one . After several attempts to try and battle this with meds and surgeries I ended up having Bi-Oop .. and woke up in surgical menopause (I’ll be 34 today ) I still battle it from time .. but that’s mainly during intercourse or a fibromyalgia flair ????‍♀️…so I’ve been battling this for about 2 years now and as of lately the menopause has caused me to go into rages and have crazy hot flashes etc. So that’s being said Incase huge on natural meds (love maca) we’ll ive only been back on it for a few days and Incase noticing its making it worse !!! The only other natural medicine I take are turmeric b12 and apple cider vinegar. So while it’s helping me in some good ways it’s hurting me in the endo dept! So … I’m stuck once again !!! ????

  16. Doris

    I took Maca for 3 three weeks and Royal Jelly last month and now my period is 12 days late. I went to the doctor and after an ultrasound, she also determined that I probably didn’t ovulate. Before this, I had regular periods and was able to ovulate. I also had two recent IUIs, but was off of those drugs when I started taking the Maca.
    Not sure why the missed period and when it might return?? But I actually read about others who had the same issue after taking Maca.

  17. Melissa

    I dont’ recommend isoflavones for women with endo. I would try and figure out why you have low estrogen, rather than focusing on the symptom of it. Maybe look at your liver health and your gut?

  18. Melissa

    Maca doesn’t stimulate oestrogen and isn’t estrogenic. I don’t recommend evening primrose oil as it has estrogenic compounds in it. I personally don’t think this is the right approach for women with endo.
    I would avoid EPO with endo for sure. Maca can help regulate hormones but there is generally more to it than that.

  19. Judy

    Thanku Melissa! I was scared to try Macca because thinking more estrogen would make endo grow. This helps! Thanku! Do u know if it’s safe if I have ulcerative colitis?

  20. Lauren

    Interesting info, thanks for sharing. Could you explain the difference between maca and evening promise oil? I’m in my early 40s and have hormonal issues starting (acne, irregular cycles, etc…). Doctor wants to put me on the pill but I refuse. I bought EPO to start but now I’m wondering if maca is more effective? I appreciate your insight. Thanks!

  21. Melissa

    Definitely stop the pill before going on the maca. Maybe a month or two.

  22. Melissa

    Maca isn’t right for everyone and one does need to be careful with it. You can increase your libido with other herbs. Maybe try Damiana?

  23. Melissa

    Hi Rocky,

    How did you get the idea to use this combination to raise progesterone? If you have endometriosis, then I would certainly not recommend this combination, particularly with the evening primrose oil. My recommended treatment would be to look outside of just supplements as it is likely you have other things going on. Let me know if you have other symptoms or if you want to book a consult.

  24. rocky


    I am currently taking maca 3mg a day to raise progesterone levels delay ovulation and increase cervical mucus I also take it with evening primrose oil a prenatal and iron. so far I have seen absolutely no results besides for ovulating earlier than normal. could you advise?

    could you also advise which is the best brand maca powder – I guess its the red one for women?


  25. Courtney

    So far I started maca for the first time when my cycle started and let me tell you this is the best period i have had in my life. I have had little to no pain at all. Since I am TTC I will take it from day 1 of my cycle and stop at ovulation. Then break until my bfp or my next cycle. So far. Miracle.

  26. Anonymous

    Is that normal ? I was taking it for permenopause . No period for 10 months then maca 11 days and it’s back?

  27. Jackie

    I haven’t had a period in 10 months took maca now I have one Bam! Dizzy

  28. TaraH

    I am glad to have stumbled upon this. I was beginning to question if I should be taking Macs Root at all. I noticed that maybe I should increase on some days, decrease on others, and not take it at all for times when I’m on my cycle. One day I hope to be normal again and not experience endo pain, so I can take this supplement for the real reason I got it and that was to increase my libido.

  29. Safina


    I want to try maca root because i cannot stand being on the pill for my acne. I was just wondering should i stop the pill first and then start the maca root? like how long after stopping the pill should i go on maca? or should i start it whilst on the pill?

    Thank you

  30. Karen

    I’ve been taking natural progesterone cream for a couple of years now for severe pms and endometriosis (also perimenopausal) and started maca root powder a few weeks now. I’m not sure how to stop the progesterone cream. I’m afraid of how my body will react. I remember how it took my body a few cycles to adjust to the cream.

  31. Anonymous

    About 2 years before my surgery to remove an endometrioma mass in my groin, I tried to take Maca root upon the urging of a friend who had been diagnosed with endometriosis. However, I began spotting and having longer periods after this. As soon as I stopped taking it, the spotting stopped immediately.

  32. Tanisha

    Should I take maca root just had partial hysterectomy I kept my ovaries and cervix

  33. Marzena

    Hello my name is Marzena and I want to share with you my experience . I had a few weeks ago laparoscopic surgery , remove right ovary . I research about Maca roots Supposed to be good for the hormones level . I start to take three weeks ago after my surgery And I experience burning pain on the one right side some side-when ovaries was removed . I was Taking the Maca every morning . But I stop a few days ago and I will see how I feel . Can you email me some recommendation what I should to do .

  34. Michelle Sakatian

    Can I take maca with vitex? Since I use them both syngergystically.

  35. Becky

    Will Maca block estrogen receptors? I was taking it with my HRT (estrogen and testosterone pellets), oral progesterone and DHEA. I also take thyroid meds. I heard that Maca would work well with these because it’ll help them be used more efficiently. Well, I broke out in horrible acne and had insomnia. I stopped take the Maca after a month. Now my breasts are really starting to shrink and I am having hot flashes. I’m wondering if I block my estrogen receptors. I had a total hysterectomy and ovaries out 12 years ago. I’m 43 years old.

  36. Melissa

    You can do for sure.