Welcome to our debunking of all the myths we regularly hear and read about relating to Maca!
This powerful root has become so popular in recent years that many bloggers and health practitioners frequently write their opinions and experiences about it. Unfortunately, they may not fully understand the details of how it works and the importance of which Maca you buy in terms of varieties, growing conditions and processing methods.
We have researched and studied Maca root for over 11 years, and during this period we have also received thousands of customer testimonials on its effects - we now have Bursters spanning the world, across 144 different countries!
It’s no wonder these myths spring up since the majority of Maca products on the market are not sourced directly from growers but are bought through a handful of middlemen (wholesalers and resellers). Direct trade is a very time consuming, costly and labour-intensive process, so many just choose their products from a “menu” provided by the wholesalers without knowing anything about where their product is grown, who grows it and how, the processing and storage methods, and more.
We have a direct relationship with our amazing indigenous growers in Huancavelica region of Peruvian Andes. Having visited them, spent time in the fields, eaten meals with them, we feel our knowledge and personal experience is rather unique! We have a direct understanding about how proper, authentic Maca should be.
So, let’s dive into the myths and explain the facts that disprove them!
MYTH 1: “Maca tastes awful”
High quality, properly prepared Maca tastes mellow and malty – when mixed with warm plant mylk, it’s a lot like having a mug of Horlicks! However, many Maca products do taste very bitter and are completely unpalatable because they’re made with inferior Maca roots that are processed poorly, or even contain additives that would also affect flavor.
Our Maca grows high in the Peruvian Andes, where few other plants can survive. Our indigenous community of harvesters prepare these powerfully nutritious roots in a traditional, time-honored method that helps to develop a delicious malty, caramel flavor!
Our Maca roots are sun-dried for 10 days, then fermented for 30 days in special solar tents where the starches begin to break down, making the resulting Maca far tastier. We use heat to kill any bacteria, which also contributes to the mellow flavor, and finally the roots are milled to a fine powder.
Skipping these steps, whether through lack of knowledge about proper preparation or to deliver a cheaper product, will lead to an unpleasant tasting, difficult to digest Maca that doesn’t deliver on benefits.
“I use Maca daily, in my morning porridge, smoothies, but mostly just with warm water (as I love the taste) or almond milk + cacao = Maca Mocha. Delicious”
“Absolutely love Maca…tastes delicious and balancing my hormones like a wonder ingredient.”
“I add a ‘big spoon’ of it to my smoothies and protein shakes once or twice daily… The taste is very mild (I can’t taste it).”
“The Maca from this brand has a better taste than others that I have tried. I usually get the capsules but mix the powder with my protein smoothies.”
MYTH 2: “Maca shouldn’t be taken with endometriosis or estrogen dominant conditions”
This is not true, and we have many testimonials about it helping these conditions. Maca works by nourishing our master gland, the pituitary, to stimulate the entire endocrine system to produce hormones at the correct levels for each person and their needs. This means it doesn't work in just one direction, driving a certain hormone like estrogen up or down in unwanted ways. Instead, it supports your body to produce hormones as needed to achieve and maintain a state of balance.
In a study from 2008 on menopausal women, significant improvements were noted in the wellbeing of the studied women without any increases in their testosterone or oestrogen levels (Journal of Menopause). This demonstrates that Maca works in a much more subtle (but still very effective way) rather than directly increasing certain hormones.
“I have very bad endometriosis and I started taking Maca each day in order to alleviate the symptoms I was having during my periods. The first period I had after starting Maca was completely different! Very light, less cramps, virtually no leg pain and I didn’t feel sick.”
“I used to have excessive bleeding on my period and I always have iron deficiency. Even the doctor had prescribed contraceptive to manage the issue. Of course, I didn't take them and I opted for Maca. I am now using it for 3 months now, last months I have started to have tremendous results. Now I use smaller and less pads. I bleed moderately. Maca has eliminated PMS symptoms as well”
MYTH 3: “Maca raises testosterone”
Nope. Maca simply does not work like this, it cannot drive a single hormone up to an unwanted level. Instead, Maca nourishes our own hormonal mastermind – the pituitary gland – to make the endocrine system work better. If your hormones are awry, Maca supports your body in getting back on track rather than shooting up one specific hormone (this is how drugs work, not nature).
We have many examples of when Bursters have used Maca to overcome PCOS – a condition involving elevated testosterone that is very common in women. In these instances, Maca helps regain hormonal balance, eradicating the associated symptoms such as body and facial hair, skin breakouts, irregular or absent menstrual cycles. These results simply would not happen if Maca raised testosterone in these women!
“Helped me with my PCOS and after taking it nonstop for a couple of months it helped me get pregnant... amazing for those who suffer hormonal issues.”
“I suffer from PCOS and since taking Maca I have gotten my period for the second time in a row on time. Also I have less mood swings and my energy level has gone up! I crave less sugar and feel so much better.”
“Maca has definitely helped me with my PCOS symptoms for the past few years. I even conceived naturally and had a healthy baby😬.”
MYTH 4: “Maca messes up the thyroid”
Maca supports the thyroid and the production of thyroid hormones. Because Maca works by nourishing the pituitary, helping our bodies produce hormones at the correct levels, it can support the thyroid gland whether it is underactive (hypothyroid) or overactive (hyperthyroid).
Maca also works on other hormones that can affect the thyroid, e.g. it can help reduce cortisol - a known thyroid suppressant - where it is too high.
“I have hypothyroidism and my hair is not falling out anymore my hormones are not all over the place and I have more energy.”
“I use many of your products and the Maca has helped me so much. Periods are less painful - I’ve had 60% of my thyroid removed & this has helped level my hormones. Thank you for such fine products!!”
“I always use Maca to give me the energy I need due to my underworking thyroid🌿 1000 percent helps me feel alive 🌿🌿🌿🌿”
MYTH 5: “Maca is a stimulant and puts pressure on the adrenals”
Maca is not a stimulant and does not contain caffeine. Unlike caffeine and other stimulants, Maca gives strength and nourishment, rather than depleting the body. Maca works as an adaptogen - defined as a class of plants that strengthen the body - physiologically and emotionally - bringing it to a higher state of resistance in the face of stress. It actually takes a load OFF your adrenals rather than taxing them.
A 2006 study in the International Journal of Biomedical Science stated that the effects of Maca led to “a significant decrease in blood cortisol levels in a short and long term trials”. This is a big part of why our Maca harvesters (who eat the roots as a staple in their diet) can thrive with masses of energy despite the tough mountainous conditions they live and work in.
“Taking this awesome product to reduce anxiety and stress, my first bag I have tried and have had positive results”
“I’m a nurse and am under a lot of stress at times and the Maca was the one thing (in my opinion) that helped to keep me calm & focused”
“Maca is my boo. It helps with stress and overwhelm and of course hormone regulation. Ladies, this is a must, daily.”
MYTH 6: “Maca shouldn’t be taken in the evening”
The idea that Maca could keep you up at night stems from the fact that it can increase energy and stamina. However, Maca only gives energy and stamina where it is needed, so when you’re winding down in the evenings, it can help your body reduce stress hormones where they are elevated.
By working with the body, not against it (an example of this would be caffeine, that depletes nutrients and disrupts hormones), Maca is actually a really supportive and grounding superfood to have at night.
“Well the Maca has been life changing for my daughter. My daughter has suffered sleep problems since covid, we have tried so many options and I mean she has gone through so many pills but with taking the Maca before bed from the second night she was sleeping it’s just amazing.”
MYTH 7: “Maca shouldn’t be taken by children and teenagers as it’s an aphrodisiac”
Maca is perfectly safe for teens, children and adults. This is confirmed by the European Food Safety Authority that after studying all existing evidence on Maca states that it does not have any limitations on the ages and groups of people that take it.
In Peru, where Maca originates, it is consumed by all family members including children as a porridge first thing in the morning and mixed into milk on a daily basis. In fact, in 2012, it was reported in the journal Evidence Based Complemetary and Alternative Medicine that “natives in the Peruvian Andes ascribe to the use of maca in children to improve school performance.”
Maca has been shown to correct low libido and sexual dysfunction in adults caused either by stress hormones or hormonal imbalances. This can naturally boost sex drive where it’s lacking, but will not raise or lower any hormone levels beyond what is normal and appropriate for the individual taking it.
“My teenage daughter’s skin is looking amazing since taking your Maca”
“I give my son half a serving of Maca daily and it’s helped his acne massively within a few weeks”
“Maca has helped my teenage daughter and I with our hormone balance extremely!!!”
MYTH 8: “Maca gives stomach cramps”
Top quality, correctly fermented and prepared Maca is perfectly digestible, effective and enjoyable! Those products made from raw Maca are full of compounds that may cause stomach aches and digestive upset.
Our indigenous harvesting community use a traditional Peruvian preparation that involves 10 days of sun drying, and 30 days of fermentation in special solar tents where the starches get pre-digested and develop yummy malty caramel flavours.
TIP: If you have had trouble digesting other Macas, ours is unlikely to have the same effect thanks to our traditional processing, but we recommend having it with meals to make it easier on your stomach.
“I just want to tell u how great ur Maca powder is. I finished a whole packet over the course of a month. I would add a teaspoon to milk and boil in the microwave with oats or weetabix. It really helped with PMS. Amazing, no side effects.
Then I brought some Maca powder from the high street.. the UKs most famous health food shop (u know the one!). The powder was vastly different, I would say an inferior blend. It tasted different.. didn’t have the same fruity smell or taste as organicburst and a number of times it gave me the worst stomach pain ever...despite using it in the exact same way I had used the organicburst. In addition it did nothing for my PMS...
I’m writing this as I suffer from the physical pain from the inferior Maca. Will be binning it tomorrow! Anyway I’ll be sticking with organicburst Maca from now on.”
MYTH 9: “Maca should be gelatinized only”
Gelatinized Maca (industrially processed) is actually a poor substitute for a properly prepared, fermented Maca like ours. Gelatinized Maca is boiled in a factory to breakdown starches and remove taste. Poorer quality Maca has a bitter taste, so gelatinization fixes this.
Unfortunately, the process destroys glucosinolates, which are special compounds (also found in broccoli and kale) linked to Maca’s hormone balancing benefits. We would definitely not recommend gelatinized Maca, instead choose one like ours which is fermented for maximum benefits, digestibility and flavor (see the previous point for more details on this traditional processing method).
MYTH 10: “One type of Maca is better for men and one for women”
No maca variety is only for women or only for men. All the Maca varieties can be used by all. The 4 main varieties of Maca – black, red, purple and yellow all have slightly different properties and effects which is why our Maca is the perfect blend of all 4 varieties to maximize the benefits.
There is currently no research on which variety is better for which benefit or person taking it. Although there’s a common understanding that black Maca tends more towards the benefits of mental clarity, memory improvement, increasing athletic performance and increasing libido. It was also shown to increase sperm production in men which is likely the reason why some started thinking it is only for men - but this just a false marketing trick! Women benefit greatly from it too.
Our family farmers in Peru, who are direct decedents of the Inca, have perfected their unique blend over many generations to generate the best results – it’s a 300 year old secret! This is also why we constantly hear all the time how our Maca really gives amazing results, and if switching to another maca, the benefits go away.
MYTH 11: “Maca makes you gain weight”
Our Maca does not cause unwanted weight gain. It is known to strengthen and invigorate the entire endocrine system, encouraging the body to manufacture its own natural hormones (including growth hormones) in the correct balance.
Having balanced growth hormones in adults then supports a healthy body shape, growing muscle mass and managing fat distribution. Some women find their breasts and buttocks increase slightly, which is a likely result of addressing their previous dominance of androgen (‘male’) hormones. Maca is simply returning your body to its natural shape!
“I am finally starting to see a difference in my belly fat caused by extreme stress and I believe hormonal imbalance. I swear by my Maca! Thank you @OrganicBurst!”
“I've been using this for a little over two months now and I think it's really helping to balance my hormones. I have been happier, more energetic, and have lost weight around my lower belly.”
We hope this deep-dive into Maca has helped you uncover some truths and busted the myths about Maca that are commonly pedalled around the internet. It may even have convinced you to start afresh with our Maca, if you haven’t already tried it.
For any questions that we haven’t managed to cover off, please drop us a line!