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Severe Stomach Pain When Taking Maca Root

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Severe Stomach Pain When Taking Maca Root
Maca root powder sits on a white counter. Photo Credit kjekol/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re currently taking maca and you notice that you develop stomach pain every time, you should stop using the herbal supplement and call your doctor. Maca has been used for centuries for its fertility-enhancing properties and is considered by Drugs.com relatively safe for most healthy adults. Stomach pain may be an indication of an allergic reaction. Any time you introduce a new substance into your body, you are at risk of developing an allergy. Do not use maca without first talking with your doctor.


Maca has been studied and documented in scientific literature as providing aphrodisiac and fertility actions, according to Drugs.com. The herbal supplement is available in tablet, capsule, powder and liquid form. There is no recommended dosing for this product, but common doses include 450 mg, taken three times a day with food. Maca has not been evaluated by the Federal Drug Administration and has not been proven to be effective or safe. Use caution when using any herbal supplement to treat a medical condition.

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Stomach Pain

Stomach pain may be related to a common side effect of taking the supplement on an empty stomach, according to Wellness.com. Taking this supplement without food can cause irritation to the lining of the stomach. Common symptoms of an upset stomach include nausea, queasiness, stomach cramping and discomfort. Although rare, stomach pain may be a sign of an allergic reaction. If you’re allergic to the substance, you will develop other symptoms aside from just stomach pain. Consult an allergist to confirm an allergic reaction.

Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction can occur anytime you ingest a new substance, such as maca. An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system doesn’t recognize the maca as safe for the body. Instead of allowing your digestive system to absorb the substance, the immune system attacks it with antibodies, histamine and other chemicals. Histamine is a chemical released from soft tissues that causes inflammation. Inflammation in your stomach will cause pressure and swelling, which can result in pain. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction include diarrhea, vomiting, asthma, wheezing, coughing, hives, skin rashes and sinus congestion, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.


If you suspect you are experiencing an allergic reaction, call your doctor. Allergy testing can confirm whether or not you have an allergy to maca. If you are diagnosed with a maca allergy, you will need to avoid the use of this product. Allergic reactions can lead to serious complications, such as the inability to breathe, a drop in blood pressure and an increase in heart rate.

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