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What are Hormones?

Hormones are powerful chemical messengers that travel in our bloodstream to tissues and organs. They coordinate our growth, metabolism, fertility, and can alter behavior. For instance testosterone and estrogen, two common hormones, produce muscle mass, facial hair, and help orchestrate sperm production, menstruation, and pregnancy.

By the time a baby is near the third trimester, it’s already producing hormones that help develop the brain and reproductive system.

Endocrine Glands Produce Hormones

Our bodies have specific glands that produce and store hormones. These glands (e.g. pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, testes, and ovaries) make up the endocrine system. When the brain sends a signal to the endocrine glands, they secrete hormones into the blood.

The hormones then travel through the body to do their assigned jobs. It only takes a tiny amount of hormones to cause big changes. Too much or too little can easily rock the boat we call health and result in hormonal imbalance.

Peruvian maca root regulates the organs of internal secretion, such as the pituitary, the adrenal glands, and the pancreas. I have had perhaps 200 female patients whose menopause symptoms are alleviated by taking maca.” – Dr. Hugo Malaspina, M.D., Lima, Peru.

The Endocrine System and Hormonal Imbalance

As a whole, the glands in the endocrine system regulate the body, but each gland also controls specific functions. Chemicals that interfere with these functions are called endocrine disruptors. Because the glands are all ‘connected’, what disrupts one gland disrupts another, causing a domino effect.

As each gland breaks down and hormone secretion is interrupted, subtle symptoms appear. The adrenals are usually the first to breakdown which is why adrenal fatigue (commonly related to stress) is so often an issue. As time goes by, and as the body goes further into hormone deficit, the symptoms increase and worsen.

What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?


When most of us think of someone with a hormonal imbalance we picture a woman during ‘that time of month’ who cries over spilt milk, becomes angry at nobody-knows-what, and generally becomes a raving lunatic whose body’s been invaded by aliens. But the truth is, both men and women can have hormonal imbalance for a variety of reasons.

While age and stress can be a factor, other common factors include:

  • medication such as birth control pills that can throw off your body’s chemistry
  • pregnancy which can cause a shift in hormones
  • inconsistent sleep patterns
  • lack of exercise
  • poor diet
  • eating trans fats instead of saturated fats
  • high insulin levels
  • painkillers
  • environmental chemicals (pesticides and hormones) in our food, water, and air
  • plastics and other harmful substances found in common household items (These mimic estrogen upon entering the body.)
  • HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
  • candida – the waste products produce false estrogen. This tricks the body into reducing its own production of estrogen. The same can happen to the thyroid, creating or worsening a hypothyroid problem.

“What I see in Peruvian maca root is a means of normalizing our steroid hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. Therefore it has facility to forestall the hormonal changes of aging.” – Dr. Garry F, Gordon, M.D., Chicago, Illinois.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Common symptoms of hormone imbalance are:

  • poor memory, foggy thinking, lack of concentration
  • headaches
  • anxiety, irritability, and depression
  • nervousness
  • fatigue, insomnia, and poor sleep patterns
  • heart palpitations
  • cold extremities
  • loss of appetite
  • cravings
  • persistent weight gain
  • belly fat and loss of muscle mass
  • digestion problems
  • glucose intolerance
  • low libido
  • sweating (night sweats and hot flashes)
  • irregular or heavy bleeding in women
  • recurrent infections

Sadly, women are led to believe that it’s normal to experience PMS, menopause symptoms, depression, decreased libido, fibrocystic breasts, food and sugar cravings, uterine fibroids, irregular or excessive uterine bleeding and endometriosis. And unbelievably, if their symptoms persist, they’re often prescribed hormonal replacement therapy with synthetic hormones or given a hysterectomy – which now out-numbers almost all types of surgery performed in the U.S.

“I give my patients a choice; either natural hormones which are made to be biodentical to human estrogen and progesterone or Peruvian maca root. The ones who have chosen to go with Peruvian maca root are doing phenomenally well.” – Dr. Cynthia Watson, M.D., Santa Monica, California.

Treating Hormonal Imbalance with Maca


Lifestyle changes like a healthy, whole food diet, regular exercise, and a consistant good night’s sleep are ways to keep your body’s chemistry balanced. But sometimes it’s easier said than done. 😉

Travis and I have found that red maca is a simple and effective way to regulate our hormones. Maca doesn’t provide more hormones to your body – instead it regulates hormone production. Whether you’re producing too much or too little, maca is there to make sure the delicate balance is right on target.

Maca stimulates and nourishes the the two ‘master’ endocrine glands, i.e. hypothalamus and pituitary, which regulate the other glands.It is beneficial for PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. It’s also a fertility enhancer and is well known for improving libido as well as:

  • energy
  • strength
  • stamina
  • muscle building
  • focus
  • memory
  • circulation
  • healthy teeth and bones
  • hair growth
  • immune system functions
  • psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression and reducing stress
  • chronic fatigue

“I am writing to tell you what a difference Maca has made in my life! I am 52 and in menopause. I began having interrupted sleep every night, every time I would roll over, with hot sweats. I was tired all the time! Within a couple weeks of taking your product, I began noticing relief. I am now sleeping peacefully every night without any night sweats.” ~ Gwendolyn P. (read more testimonials)

If you suspect hormonal imbalance is an issue for you, consider the benefits of slowing life down, improving your eating habits, incorporating exercise into your week, and balancing your body with red maca root.

Have you taken quality maca for hormonal issues? What changes did you notice?

Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Hi, I'm Paula - wife and homeschooling mom of six. Several family health issues involving candida, food allergies, and Lyme Disease have created a passion to better understand our God-created bodies. Today I share that enthusiasm by bringing you information on ways to improve your gut health. You can follow me on Facebook, and Pinterest.
Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant
Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

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    14 replies to "Maca: The Superfood for Hormone Imbalance"

    • […] Maca: The Superfood for Hormone Imbalance from Whole Intentions […]

    • jenni

      We spoke yesterday. Thank you for your reply. So off balance i am. I think if i can just get my diet intake straightened out i presume i should start feeling better. i goofed last eve and had a bowl of pintos, that i crock potted for my daughter with lots of garlic and onions, peppers. And having been following the stage 1 for a few days, and the apple cider in water cleanse for a week. I woke up feeling like the yeast was crawling allover and inside, bloated and swollen…. i am new to this strict but what an example of whats happening, to feel this heightened!!! so i am back on the wagon and following to the T. I will miss my apples for a while….
      It looks like this could take more then just a few months… to get a balance again. And yes after revisiting your sight today i see info on maca, never heard of it before. Can you give me your experience with it? How best to use?
      Thanks J

      • Paula Miller


        I’m so glad you ‘cheated’. LOL Sometimes we don’t realize how much better we’re feeling, or don’t realize how well something is working until we ‘fall off the wagon’ and see/feel it first hand. Knowing that it’s working this well is an encouragement to keep going strong. 🙂

        We take our maca mixed with almond or raw milk (depending on our stage of candida). I add a bit of stevia and a dash of real vanilla sometimes too. 🙂 The kids have sprinkled it over oatmeal (again – they can eat oatmeal because of the stage of the candida diet they’re on).

        We follow the package directions. Taking up to 3 tsp. a day. We take both red and black maca so we take a total of 3 tsp. between the two.

        Like your experience with the diet and pinto beans, when we started taking maca we took it every morning. I wasn’t paying attention to things and before I knew it I was forgetting to take it.

        One day Travis asked me if I’d been diligent in taking it. Turns out he could tell! Then it dawned on me that I’d been less energetic, less interested in certain aspects of our married life, and feeling more stressful though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

        I ordered more right away, and now I make sure we don’t run out. 🙂

    • […] Maca is rich in magnesium and incredibly essential for your hormonal balance. […]

    • Melissa

      I came across your blog while searching for maca and candida. I realize it’s a older entry, but… I have been diagnosed with lupus, among other things, and have a self-diagnosed systemic yeast overgrowth. I started taking a tsp daily of raw maca powder last week, and am now having a flare-up of yeast-related symptoms. I know maca helps with hormone imbalance…what I’m wondering is if this would be considered a “healing crisis” of sorts and I should try to tough it out, or if maca is just another one of those things my body cannot tolerate. Any thoughts?

      • Paula

        Maca is a root vegetable so it could be that you’re reacting to the starches. However, there’s only 3g of carbs per tsp. so I really doubt that little bit is causing the yeast to get worse.

        The guys over at The Maca Team say that folks just need to start out with smaller amounts to let their bodies adjust to it – and that is honestly what I’d *guess* (because I’m not a doctor ;)). I’d suggest cutting back to 1/2 tsp. a day or every other day if needed and gradually increase it as your body can handle it.

        Are you currently on a candida diet or taking herbs or probiotics to help with the candida?

        • Melissa Cawood

          Thanks for the reply! I agree with the suggestion to cut back…my body has a hard time adjusting to new things. I’m not currently taking probiotics or herbs. I’ve tried several probiotics before but couldn’t tolerate them. I’ve used other things in the past like turmeric and coconut oil and had negative experiences, which I’m assuming was a die off reaction. I have lots of allergies and intolerances so it’s hard to tell sometimes. At any rate, the effects were so bad I couldn’t continue. I was recently under the care of a naturopath but that didn’t work out so now I’m trying to tackle this on my own. 🙂

    • Lisa

      I was wondering if only the red maca will work for hormone imbalance? I have black maca will this work the same?
      Thanks so much

      • Paula

        From what I’ve read/understood, black maca is more beneficial for: fertility in men, libido in men and women,
        athletes, both men and women, looking for extra stamina and strength, anyone looking to improve memory, concentration and focus skills. It’s also shown to improve bone strength and density (Red Maca has also been shown to do this).

    • Angela

      Will maca work for estrogen dominance? I’m taking Dim but wonder if this would help too! Thank you!

      • Paula

        I couldn’t say for sure. I’d suggest contacting The Maca Team (www.themacateam.com) and asking there. I wouldn’t want to give you the wrong info. 🙂

    • Sher Lynn Hudak

      Using yellow maca for hormone balance in menopause….seems like a non medical way after five years of hormones for heavy menorhagia……let you know what I think, have migraines, which are now seeming to mitigate……still have reactive depression and anxiety. Sherlynn

      • Paula

        Thank you for sharing your experience – I would love an update if you don’t mind sharing. 🙂

    • […] Maca: The Superfood for Hormone Imbalance from Whole Intentions […]

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