Can I Use Maca Root With Antidepressants

IntroductionCan I Take Maca With Antidepressants?

Depression affects millions of people at any given time worldwide.  When it comes to managing the condition, there are a couple of main approaches.   Traditional school medicine often encourages individuals turn to antidepressant medications to treat depression.   While others seek out natural herbal or plant remedies such as St. John’s Wort, Valerian or Maca Root.   

If you belong to the first group and are considering using maca alongside antidepressants, it's essential to understand the potential interactions and ensure your overall wellness remains your top priority. In this article, we will explore the topic in-depth so that you and your trusted health care professional can make an informed decision.

What Are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed medications that may help alleviate some symptoms of depression and related conditions. They work by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Different classes of antidepressants, including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), are available, each with its own mechanisms of action.   The downside of some of these medications are potential side effects which range from insomnia to anxiety, to indigestion to dizziness, weight gain, heart problems and more.   It is these types of side effects that lead many people to seek alternatives such as therapy, lifestyle changes and remedies like maca.

What Is Maca Root?

Maca root, scientifically known as Lepidium meyenii, is a plant native to the Andes Mountains in Peru and Bolivia.  It has been used for centuries as a food source and as a natural form of medicine.    Over the recent decades, maca root  has gained popularity outside of Peru as a natural functional food that can offer various health benefits.   These include increased energy, enhanced libido, improved mood, fertility, skin health and more.    Maca works on the endocrine system to help balance hormones and also contains a wide variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, along with bioactive compounds that contribute to its potential therapeutic effects.

Are There Contraindications For Taking Maca Root?

Black Maca For DepressionMaca root has been used safely for a very long time and it has no known contraindications.   A contraindication is defined as “a condition or circumstance that suggests or indicates that a particular technique or drug should not be used in the case in question because it may be harmful to the person.”   It’s important to understand that maca is a food and not a drug or even a supplement.  As such it simply does not cause harm.   The worst that happens to people who take maca is temporary indigestion if they take too much raw maca or temporary “jitters” if they take too much maca at one time.  And these resolve quickly when discontinuing use.   

The only well-known case in which people are advised to proceed with caution when taking maca is when an individual also takes blood pressure medicine.    People taking blood pressure medicines shoud watch their blood pressure readings and consult with their healthcare professional when taking maca since it has been shown to support lower blood pressure.  

Potential Interactions With Antidepressants

Although maca root is generally considered safe, it's important to consider potential interactions when used alongside antidepressants. The primary concern is the potential for maca to affect neurotransmitter levels, which could potentially interfere with the intended effects of antidepressant medications.  This may not be a concern since recent research suggests that maca actually has “neuroprotective” effects  but more research is necessary to make any definitive conclusions.   

Beyond published research, our experience in selling maca for over 2 decades suggests that most people on antidepressant medications tolerate maca without any issue.    That said, it’s still important to check with a competent and knowledgeable health care professional for any specific questions you may have in this regard.  

Can You Use Maca Instead of Antidepressants?

Maca indeed has been associated with having mood uplifting characteristics.   We have published an extensive article on maca for depression that outlines how maca works for this condition and which maca is most indicated for it.    We’ve also had some customers say that their use of antidepressants decreased or even ended after they started taking maca.   In our opinion, maca is certainly worth a try for most people who suffer with low levels of depression.  

ConclusionMaca Root And Antidepressants

Since maca root works on the endocrine system it can indeed help to balance energy and uplift mood, both of which are related to hormone levels.   As a superfood maca is generally considered quite safe and has no known contraindications.   Results do vary from person to person as do specific reactions.    So, in the end, “is it safe to take maca with antidepressants?”  Generally, there is no evidence to suggest any danger in combining the two.  However, it is important to seek out the advice of a knowledgeable and trustworthy health care professional to give more personal advice if you have more specific questions.  

We hope this helps answer your question.  Please let us know if you need further support.

Enjoy the day!



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