Maca for Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Fatigue, PMS, Fibroids, and Menopause

by Ann Marie Michaels on September 17, 2008

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Maca Root

I’ve written about maca before but I just can’t say enough about it. I already wrote about what it’s done for my PMS symptoms (eradicated them!).

I reported a while back that my temperature has been chronically low. Since April, I’ve been taking Iodoral and adrenal gland to help my thyroid and adrenal glands.

I started taking maca about 6 weeks ago. I took my temperature for a few days before I left for vacation and guess what? It’s gone up from a daily average of 97.5 to 98.3.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to know that my temperature is finally getting close to normal!

I found a very informative interview thyroid expert Mary Shomon did with Dr. Viana Muller, PhD, President of Whole World Botanicals, a company that is involved in research, growing, harvesting, and distribution of certified organic South American medicinal herbs.

Whole World Botanicals also happens to be the maker of Royal Maca® which is the brand I take.

A few excerpts from Dr. Viana Muller:

“…when I began to study the impact of taking maca on several women who were having moderate to severe menopausal symptoms they began — without my asking them — to report that they had been able to reduce their thyroid medication or in a few cases even to stop it entirely after using maca for two or three months. And they all reported feeling so much better, much more energetic.

What we have found is that when women start taking maca for their PMS or their hot flashes, vaginal dryness or mood swings, they begin to report very positive collateral effects on their energy levels (adrenal function and thyroid function), a cessation of sugar cravings and reduced fluctuation in blood sugar levels (they don’t get light headed or irritable so easily), an improvement in their sleep pattern (perhaps pineal gland function), as well as cessation of heart palpitations (estrogen receptors in heart are filled) and improvement in bladder function (estrogen receptors in bladder are filled).

I have spoken with a number of women who have suffered from uterine fibroids for years who have taken progesterone cream or oral micronized progesterone for this condition which they believed had helped some but they still had the fibroids. Once they started on organic maca root powder or capsules the fibroids dissolved in two or three months.

Maca can be very helpful in reducing the fluctuations of insulin levels and therefore help reduce eating binges and overindulgence in sweets. It actually helps reduce the desire for sweets, which is the most important thing. That’s because maca helps to balance all of the endocrine glands, including the pancreas. With improved pancreatic function, hypoglycemia is reduced or virtually eliminated, enabling people who have suffered from this condition to go for much longer time between meals without feeling hungry, much less than “starving” feeling.” Source

Read the whole article here.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah September 17, 2008 at 2:06 PM

That is amazing. I’ve never heard of maca – is it safe for women with endometriosis?

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kelly August 27, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I have low temperature and really low thyroid as well, how much maca did you take? Any other recommendations? You probably know how frustrating it is…

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cheeseslave September 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM

From what I have read it is but I am not a doctor. Try googling it. I did and I found lots of links including this one:

http://www.therootofthematter.ca/cgi-bin/itsmy/go.exe?page=9&domain=12&webdir=therootofthematter

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Anna September 17, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Maca is awesome! Can you list some options for “hiding” the powder? I use it in plain yogurt with a little honey, but the earthy taste is still there. Can you heat in with a bowl of oatmeal or stir into a serving size of hot food?

I’m on 1/2 tsp/daily, plus 1x Iodoral. Its a good start. I didn’t want to go into a full tsp of maca and stress out my thyroid.

Also, how long should one take maca? Two months? Three?

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cheeseslave September 17, 2008 at 5:19 PM

Hi, Anna!

I don’t know — I haven’t tried hiding it yet. I usually just stir it in a little water or kefir or milk. I’m sure you could stir it into some oatmeal. Why not?

I don’t know how long to take maca. I do know that it takes a long time for your adrenals and thyroid to recover — months or years.

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maria September 17, 2008 at 11:13 PM

This is very interesting….I want to get some maca, the Cod liver oil has also really helped me with pms, esp cramps. Have you done any research on neurotransmitters, I am learning a little bit about the importance of having those working well, they play a big roll in ADHD recovery, depression, fatigue, etc….. I’m thinking about getting a urine analysis from this place http://www.ovitaminpro.com/article1.html and working on this piece of the puzzle as well.

Here’s another link that might interest you:
http://asktom-naturally.com/neurotransmitters.html

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Jessica September 18, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Do you use NFP? What time of day are you taking your temperature? I was just thinking that if you were taking your morning waking temperature that a shift like that could just be reflecting ovulation.

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cheeseslave September 18, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Hi, Jessica, yes we do natural family planning.

I follow Dr. Rind’s (a doctor who is an expert on metabolic and hormonal health) protocol of taking my temperature 3 hours after waking, and then 3 hours after that, then once again 3 hours later. He recommends the Lumiscope thermometer — I have found it to be much more accurate than the thermometer I was using before.

http://drrind.com/

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maria September 18, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Ann Marie-
I think my comment got deleated, sorry if it looked like I was advertising something, I totally wasn’t just wanted to get your take on that info since you seem to be such a researcher when it comes to all this health stuff!
Maria

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cheeseslave September 18, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Hmm I did not see it. Lemme check the spam folder. It does this automatically…

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cheeseslave September 18, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Hi, Maria, not sure why it threw that in the spam folder. I better check my settings.

Neurotransmitters are very interesting. Julia Ross writes about them in her books; she is going to be speaking at the WAPF conference this fall.

Do you have digestive issues? They call the gut the second brain… they say you have to fix that as well. Serotonin is actually created in the gut.

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maria September 18, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Ann Marie-
I will have to get Julia’s books, really excited to learn more about neurotransmitters. I did have some major digestive issues but fortunately those have pretty much been resolved by eliminating almost all gluten, (except for occasional treat). I got muscle tested for lots of things and have been on loads of supports from standard process for the past five months, I’ve also been doing acupuncture and chiropractor and or course eating a completely NT diet leaving out some foods that my body just can’t digest right now. Unfortunately I haven’t had any shift at all in energy, I still have terrible fatigue which is very depressing, my doc just emailed me about the neurotransmitters and so I just started doing a bit of reading on those, i’m hoping it’s the piece of the puzzle that might make a big difference for me!

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cheeseslave September 18, 2008 at 4:18 PM

I am reading “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” right now by Elaine Gottschall. I’m going to post about it soon.

In the book she says that giving up gluten is not enough. She says that as long as you keep eating disaccharides and polysaccharides, your gut can not really heal and you will continue to have symptoms.

This means you have to give up all grains and starches (even potatoes) and dairy for a period of time. Until your gut lining heals and seals.

This is essentially the SCD (Specific Carbohydrates Diet). GAPS diet is the same thing only she recommends a slower reintroduction of dairy and I think there are a few other differences as well.

Ann Marie

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maria September 18, 2008 at 4:34 PM

well, i have no prob giving up carb, starches, etc….i don’t even really eat those kinda things now but oh my raw milk, that’s a tough one, I did give it up for about three-four month and drank a little raw goats milk(not so great), I got muscle tested and told i could go back on it so i did although i will be taking a break from all dairy products starting Oct and trying that for about 6wks at least. Ugg, there’s so many options.

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cheeseslave September 18, 2008 at 4:39 PM

You only have to give it up for about 3-4 weeks on GAPS. Until the stool is normalized (in other words, no constipation or diarrhea). Then you introduce ghee, see how you do. Then butter. Then kefir. Waiting a few days at least (or even a week) between each thing.

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Jacqueline September 28, 2008 at 2:25 PM

I’ve actually had good luck mixing a bit of maca in with honey and taking it that way. I recommend not taking it on an empty stomach because it made me have an acid stomach the first few times I took it. What’s weird is that I keep hearing an ad on the radio here in New England that Mass General Hospital will be undertaking a research study looking at whether maca can reverse sexual side effects in people who take anti-depressants (the ad seeks people to participate in the study). so it seems the medical community is really taking note of maca! Also, do you ever read the articles at womentowomen.com? It’s the clinic co-founded by Dr. Christiane Northrup. I’ve found the holistic health advice there to be wonderful and very much in keeping with Wisdom of Menopause and other Dr. Northrup books.

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Carey December 31, 2008 at 5:28 AM

Hi, I was wondering how you are feeling now that you’ve been taking the Maca for awhile. Energy, sex drive, thyroid symptoms. Do you think it was actually the Maca that normalized your temps?
Thanks,
Carey

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cheeseslave January 2, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Honestly Carey, I have been off the maca for a while for a couple of reasons. One, I was on the GAPS diet in November and early December — I stopped taking it because I wasn’t sure if it was legal. And after I went off GAPS in December, I was too busy to remember to take it. I took it a couple of times but not regularly.

I’m pretty impressed by the fact that even though I haven’t been taking it, I am still experiencing benefits. My energy is still up (although not as much as it was when I was taking it regularly). My sex drive is improving, albeit slowly. I think my hormones are slowly regulating.

Best of all, I still have almost no pain/cramping and other PMS symptoms. This is so amazing to me, because I used to have very bad PMS and cramping. I think it’s partly the maca and I think it’s also everything else I’m doing to help balance my hormones.

Eating lots of good fats (butter, cream, coconut oil, eggs) is the most important thing. I’ve also been avoiding caffeine, sugar and white flour (although I’ve had more of all of those lately during the holidays). And I think taking iodine helps too.

I also haven’t been getting as much rest lately — due to crazy hours working. But I’ll get back to that soon.

And yes, I think my temperature was regulated/normalized by everything I did to help balance my hormones (all of the above). Again, I can’t stress the good fats enough. Hormones are built on cholesterol. When we eat a low fat diet, it really messes up our hormonal balance.

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jo November 19, 2011 at 7:46 AM

hello, i came across this site whilst trying to find out if macca is legal or not on gaps diet.. did you work that one out?
i have been on gaps diet for few months now, and wow has my life changed for the better.. hormones are balancing too. i dont really want to interfere too much with this natural process, as i know the high cholestoral diet i am now eating will do it for me eventually. i used to take agnus castus, but i am still intrested in taking macca.. as i have quite a bit in my cupboard.

thanks

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sarah February 8, 2009 at 12:57 PM

hi, when you were taking it, how much and how often? thanks so much

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cheeseslave February 8, 2009 at 2:50 PM

I haven’t been taking it lately (laziness/forgetfulness/busyness — pick one) but I was taking it every day for a couple of months.

I’m going to get back to taking it again. It really does help me.

I try to take it every day — just 1/2-1 tsp per day.

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Wayne February 25, 2009 at 9:02 AM

It is very difficult to completely mask the taste of Maca. It is better to find foods that it naturally complements.

Here is what I found to work the best.

- Add it to almond butter with a touch of honey.

- Add it to hemp seed milk (hemp seed milk has an earthy nutty flavor that it works very well with).

- Add it to any nut or seed milk (maple syrup complements maca and works very well as a sweetener).

- Add it to Smoothies (the flavor will not be masked unless you use chocolate)

My personal favorite – acai berry juice, green and blacks chocolate powder, coconut milk, frozen blueberries, banana, honey to taste and maca.

Secondary one – make yogi morroccan spiced tea with coconut milk or coconut water as base, frozen peaches, banana, honey to taste and maca. Use two tea bags if needed to increas the flavor.

- Works very, very, well with chocolate

- It can be used in cereal, in milk, in smoothies, etc…..however, the taste will be present . I personally have come to love the taste. I have to admit though that at first I thought it tasted like feet and doing the above was the only way I would consume it.

I have been using Maca for over a year and love it. I intentionally took Maca out of the diet for about three months to gauge its affects.

Here is what I noticed. I take about 2 tsp a day.

- Excellent, excellent, excellent for workout recovery (I workout heavy in the gym and it is the first thing I consume in a smoothie after my workout. I sorely missed it when I removed it from the diet).

- Increased sex drive (try it with with raw cacao!)

- Increased immunity (I work 12 hours a day and also workout heavy. I barely get sick at all. I used to get 3-4 viral infections a year) (This is also due to a much better diet too)

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Rawkin' April 6, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Hi there,

I’ve only read this article, about masking the taste of Maca :) and I found a way that works great, at least for smoothies… use frozen bananas! It completely masks the taste! Yay! I personally never did get used to the taste, but love the benefits, and this has made Maca completely wonderful for me!

Enjoy,
Rawkin’

Rawkin’’s last blog post..Seriously the BEST Spinach Lasagna

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sally May 12, 2009 at 6:42 AM

I did take maca awhile back but for some reason stopped taking it. I did notice a rise in temps then, i’m hypothyroid btw. I mentioned this on a thyroidism forum and got blanked so they obviously didn’t know much about it and probably thought i was selling it. Which i’m not btw. Anyway

I’m also post menopausal, but in the last few weeks my hot flushes have returned. I’ve not been eating particular well recently, comfort eating, but only ten pounds overweight. I’m sure unhealthy eating does have an impact on hormone balance, so i wondered if my hormones were out whack.

Anyway decided to try the maca again, as got reminded it can help hot flushes. Yesterday and today i’ve got nearly normal temps by mid afternoon. I have been taking them less than a week. One 800mg organic maca. Today i took 2, because i felt it wasn’t going to reach normal, as still quite low lunchtime, but it got there. It does have iodine in it apparently, so if you do have hashis it might not be suitable. I was still taking one dose of armour first thing, but even with second dose it never used to get normal, hardly ever anyway.

If this carries on i will gradually start to reduce my morning dose, and i might still have to increase the maca. It builds up, so it is recommended to take time off from it, 3 months on, 1 month off.

Anyway thought i’d share my experience with it.

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sally May 12, 2009 at 7:05 AM

Maria,

Alot of people take it for CFS, and Fibromyalgia. I read some testimonials, although you can’t believe everything you read, these sounded pretty genuine. I’ve been searching the net for information as i’ve had such good results, and i read because of its high nutrients it is good for making neurotransmitters. I love the fact it encourages the body to make its own hormones, and nourishes the entire endocrine system, so you don’t have that guessing game, and worry of taking too much of a particular hormone. I think i’m also noticing a difference in my hot flashes, which is why i decided to take it again. I think i was put off originally by negative comments about it, but they give it to 3 year old girls in peru to ensure healthy reproductive organs, and they don’t get menopausal symptoms, or so i’ve been told. It is a food, so better than taking neurotransmitters, especially for those that self prescribe and don’t know what they are doing.

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Katie @ Menopause natural remedies March 30, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Great article! I always search for a natural solution to any health issue for my family.

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Julia April 7, 2010 at 12:08 AM

I do not where I can find that maca, but it will not help my thyroid. In 1999 I had my thyroid gland removed due to being diagnosed with follicular cancer. It was caught just before it would have penetrated the inner lining of the gland to exit out of the gland. Having both my sons in life threatening situations , I was in no position to argue about another Dr. to examine me. I almost lost my oldest son to kidney failure, he came within less than 24 hours of dying. The Dr. that finally diagnosed him, asked him how he was still walking around. His blood work numbers were off the chart. He was immediately hospitalized and placed on hemodialysis. He was on dialysis for one year before he received a kidney transplant on Sept. 2, 2000. His younger brother was in a car wreck in early Jan, 2000 when the southeast was hit with a terrible ice storm. He hit black ice on I 95 at rocky Mount, North Carolina..
His car left the road , went airborne and landed nose first and started tumbling down the mountain.The trooper who was the responding officer, counted 14 depressions so it was flipping 7 times down that mountain. When the car stopped moving, he tried to crawl out, but couldn’t because his boot string was caught in a crack in the dash. He said that he could smell gas, thought it would start burning and he panicked. He jerked his leg so hard that he tore the leather of the boot, tore the eyelet and laces completely off the boot. He also broke both bones in the lower leg when he did that. He also had internal injuries and other cuts and bruises. It took him a year to recover from all of his injuries. These three life threatening situations all happened in a short 6 month period. The oldes t son was dignosed with kidney failure in June 1999, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Oct. 1999 and the youngest son’s car wreck in early Jan 2000.

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Elizabeth @nourishingcreations August 19, 2010 at 8:53 PM

I’m looking forward to trying Maca, sounds like the ultimate help for what I need right now! I’m hoping it will help with low temps!

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Julia August 21, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I am not sure that would help me. I do not have my thyroid gland anymore. It was removed in Oct 1999 due to thyroid cancer in one lobe of it. It had sent out feelers preparing to exit the gland but not penetrated the inner wall on its exit attempt. Since then I take medicine to replace the thyroid.

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Evan Nelson September 12, 2010 at 9:04 AM

menopause symptoms can be remedied by hormone replacement therapy`–

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LeahS July 11, 2011 at 9:38 PM

This is great info, something I’ve been wanting to try

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jojo July 31, 2011 at 6:19 AM

I hope this helps someone as much as it has helped me with hot flashes at around 30 times a day, and post menopausal hormone levels at the age of 44. I started taking maca after reading Mary Shomon’s book. The hot flashes decreased right away after one dose, but then came back. I upped the dosage to 3x a day, taking one with each meal. After 4 months of this, I rarely get a hot flash, and now have gotten my period 2 months in a row. It really works if you are consistent.

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doreen September 7, 2011 at 8:34 PM

if i have several small firboid that cause irregular period. can maca powder reduce fibroid grow or increase fibroid grow?

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Adrenal Burnout December 16, 2011 at 5:48 AM

Thanks for posting information about maca. It seems that from what you wrote, there may be some benefits in incorporating this to your diet to combat adrenal burnout. Good post.

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Patricia September 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Does anyone know if it’s OK for someone without a tyroid (or ovaries & uterus) to take Maca? I’m trying to treat fatigue, vitamin D deficiency, depression, and all those other symptoms that come from not having these organs/glands.

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Merle October 2, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I’ve been taking Navitas Naturals or Healthworks Maca for years now — someone told me the Whole World Botanicals Royal Maca is prepared differently and it’s much better. I was told that the other brands have it raw and that it’s highly goiterogenic.

Have you heard anything of this?

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