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on January 30, 2012
Maca powder = maca flour. I have cooked with maca flour ten years, as a baking and cooking ingredient/flavoring. In Peru, maca flour, or "harina de maca" is a relatively cheap regional culinary flour. Raw Reform is a great specimen of this culinary flour; ideal for cooking, an excellent nutty flavor, it's bitterness subsiding with heat. A decade ago I could buy 'harina de maca' for $8/kg (and in Peru, it's a mere $2-4/kg) - now I see this same inexpensive Peruvian cooking flour sold as a "raw superfood" at an inflated price. It's very odd to have witnessed this metamorphosis.

The reason I gave this ONE star is simple - this company (among several others) suggests that you to eat this flour raw. Like other cruciferous roots, maca can be particularly difficult to digest when raw. Not only is it fiber-dense, it contains lots of goitrogenic compounds (a term which means 'thyroid-interfering,' not "goiter causing") - that's why the raw root and it's flour is so bitter - it's no wonder people have digestive issues and occasional hormonal (thyroid) complaints with raw maca. The one time I ate it raw, I experienced the stomachache too. Maca is dense in fiber and thyroid inhibiting/goitrogenic compounds (glucosinolates and isothyocyanates), both of which are lessened greatly or deactivated by heat. Among the people who grow it, maca is not considered healthy unless cooked. It is therefore a great paradox that the "raw food" crowd has gotten hold of this vegetable that has always been, and by all accounts always should be cooked. This supplement is being backed by people whose basic food philosophy avoids the plant's very identity in human use. It would be like eating turnip flour, raw (except maca can even more bitter than this, in fact most of the lepidiums are). Back into antiquity, maca has had to be cooked in order to be gentle on digestion, on metabolism, and it has been cooked traditionally for this purpose.

I have used the raw maca flour in cooking since 2002 where I first read about it in Chris Kilham's book "Tales from the Medicine Trail" and began following an interest in this ancient food. I do use raw maca flour for cooking, baking, in pancakes, confections, etc. Where you can get it inexpensively, it is excellent for such uses. For therapeutic effects and everyday drink mix usage, presently I employ a 'black gelatinized' maca - it seems to be the strongest type energetically and for sexual effects, and 'black root' is my personal preference. 'Gelatinized' means that it's soluble fibers have been neutralized (broken down), and it's goitrogens denatured - it is a little more concentrated over the powder / flour. Naturally, it is less bitter than any uncooked flour product. The gelatinized processing was developed specifically to address the digestion/goitrogen issue inherent with the root. That's the process' entire purpose - that's why it even exists. Several different companies employ a starch gelatinization processing method for maca.

The trend in "health food" circles says to eat maca raw, in order to glean the mood, stamina, and sexual benefits which Andean people have known for thousands of years. These merchants never mention how the plant has always been prepared - cooked - perhaps the most crucial aspect of it's identity. Why argue from antiquity about all the health benefits, while ignoring the food's ethnobotany? It's a mix of mistaken understanding, and because there's profit in re-selling a highly marked up culinary flour. I see $20.00 - $25.00 a pound slapped on maca flour in health food stores -- on a product which can be found $2-4 a kilogram in Peru ($1.36 - $1.81/lb!). This is precisely why some regional foods / surpluses suddenly become "superfoods." In maca's case there is a genuine positive effect being felt... so, like the mood boost one feels with coffee, maca is an easy sell.

Pay a price of $20/lb only for the gelatinized product, which has actually been processed for immediate consumption. Do not pay this for a re-packed culinary flour.
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on May 6, 2010
I have never written a review before but I always consult Amazon.com reviews before buying a product so thought I would give back at least once. I bought this product BEFORE I thoroughly researched it due to lifelong problems related to a hormonal imbalance and was soooo excited I just bought what I thought would be good; raw and organic. I took this product for 3 days until I broke out in hives. I only took 1/2 tsp day one and 1/4 tsp days 2 and 3. I got the hives day 2 but was hoping they were not related to the Maca (they were). So.... I researched more and there is one very informative forum I found on google (hard to find and not sure if I'm allowed to refer it or not but here it is but FINISH reading to the bottom or you will not try this product ever): [...]. There are a bunch of websites and some scientific reviews, but long story short, it appears that Maca MUST be eaten pre-cooked (gelatinized) to obtain therapeutic benefits and to alleviate potential problems related to digestion (when eaten raw) and possible toxicity (raw) the way the native Puruvians have done for thousands of years to the present (cooked). There are studies that show ingesting raw Maca is worse than not adding it to the diet at all. Based on what I've read you need to start SLOWLY with the dosage and adjust it according to your body's needs, then take a break from it occasionally or it appears to lose potency. If improper dosages are taken it exacerbates the imbalance/symptoms. There are (reportedly) many benefits of Maca on the entire Endocrine system and I still have high hopes so ordered from another company who doesn't sell raw Maca due to the reasons above. I believe Navitas also has a gelatinized version of the Maca but I bought one with DIM to prevent the overproduction of bad estrogen which can cause cancer in people with a family history. Hope this helps!
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on January 12, 2013
I accidentally purchased this product because I didn't carefully read the reviews discussing raw vs. gelatinized first. If you want to avoid 2 days of pain (even post cessation) then avoid this product unless you plan to cook it.
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on April 14, 2013
Tried this raw in my protein shakes. Stomach ache every single time. I rarely have stomach issues and can digest pretty much anything. I should have read more reviews as there are quite a few complaining about the same issue.
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on August 29, 2010
I have used other brands of Maca with no problem. This one made me very, very sick to my stomach with pain and nausea. It took me a few weeks to isolate what was making me sick - had a full gastro work-up and everything - that's how sick I was! Today, after being healthy again for 2 months I tried 1/2 tsp of maca to test and am sick and nauseous.

I know many people take maca with no problems. I only post this so those who get sick will hopefully not struggle as long as I did to figure out what is causing it.
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on January 22, 2009
If you happen to be hypothyroid, give this a shot. I read about it on several thyroid patient advocacy sites and in Brendan Brazier's Thrive book and gave it a chance. It has changed my life. I was suffering from extreme reactions to cold, a common symptom of thyroid disease, and I was going to have to move out of New York. One hit of cold air and I was exhausted for the rest of the day. Maca changed this. Now I stand outside and enjoy the snow. It's shocking the improvement. Be patient. It took about two weeks and 2 tbsp a day to feel a difference. I am an evangelist for this stuff now.
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on November 28, 2012
I am so pleased to be writing this review. Really, it sounds crazy but it really works wonders. A few years ago my obgyn diagnosed me with PCOS based on a blood test and ovarian cysts. I tried many different supplements and went back the following year and yep still had the cysts. I had just about given up when I found this. I had taken it for about 2 months along with 10 mg of b6 and FINALLY I got a regular cycle. It was strange too because I started seeing a new doctor right before and she told me my hormonal tests came back normal. Since I hadn't yet had a regular cycle I didn't think anything of it. Anyway, I thought it was a fluke so I wasn't too hopeful. I decided to keep up the regimen just to see what happened. The next month it arrived right on schedule. It's been 3 years and my cycle is regular. I even had an ultrasound last year just for a checkup and was told I have no cysts. I really could not believe it. Perhaps I was misdiagnosed to begin with, I am not sure. All i know is that it's what I prayed for. This supplement changed my life. I didn't want to take birth control like the doctor suggested or any other drug and this has prevented me from needing to. I take 1 Tbsp in juice at night 2 days in a row with a day break in between. I take 10 mg b6 everyday. I think in the beginning I was taking the maca everyday, I cannot remember. It does not taste good however. You have to know that. I usually drink it with a straw and just try not to taste it. I don't mind the taste though, it's worth it for me. One pouch lasts me 6 months.

Hope this helps someone out there. :)
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on March 28, 2012
Navitas Naturals Maca Powder is an effective, inexpensive answer to hot flashes and low lobido of menopause. Just one teaspoon per day. It mixes easily into a beverage, hot cereal, or use your imagination, perhaps as sprinkles on ice cream. Some people like the flavor. I'm one who prefers to hide it - and easily do so in peanut butter fudge. No side effects. After suffering for over a year with flashes anywhere from 12 to 30 plus time per day/night, the maca straightened things out. I gained improvement in 2 weeks, stopped flashing all together after 6 weeks. Stayed on it for about 4 months and have only had to do maintenance doses in spring and fall ( light changes) for about a month to be fine all year round. Even if I had to take it everyday it would be well worth it and easy enough. As it aids in balancing/regulating hormones, men with low libido can take it too.
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on February 5, 2009
Started taking a tablespoon, SlimFast, 8oz 1% milk for breakfast for the past two weeks.

Very diminished appetite, lost a surprising amount of weight. Sleep well, wake up sleepy but the weird thing is that once I get out of bed I'm ready to go with energy which feels really odd to me.

Have a better mental attitude but I'm also taking phytoplankton so I need to eliminate one of them to figure out the "magic".

I'm not saying this is the greatest stuff ever - I honestly don't know. I do know how I feel and it's much better then before I started taking it. I have a demanding stressful job and I feel more balanced then ever.

The taste is bitter and you'll need to mask it in something, especially if you grew up on "Americana" High Fructose Corn Syrup.

I think it's worth a try - give it a couple of weeks - judge for yourself.

One last thing about these reviews.

It REALLY seems like a bunch of these reviews are phony and/or "paid to review" which I find more distasteful then the bitterness of the product.

This "fakiness" review stuff is rampant on the internet - especially for health foods - and it's also blatantly dishonest.

So if Nativas is propagating this type of thing you should stop - all it does is give you short term gains and minimize your brand - if you have a good product them it should stand on it's own merits.

Not all people on the internet are sheep...
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on April 20, 2015
Quick intro about me:
~I am 29
~I have a hormonal imbalance. I was on Progesterone pills (taking 1 a day for 5 days) to aid me in having a menstrual, not anymore though
~I have always had irregular periods meaning I can go 4-6 months with out one
~ Preparing my body for a baby. My husband and I are trying to conceive

Purpose for taking this:
~To regulate my hormones
~increase energy

Pros:
~Package arrived very QUICK and was sealed properly
~The color is CONSISTENT with no strange variations. It's a creamy off white color
~ The smell is FRESH with no foul smell. It aroma is like nutty in nature
~ Maca has meshed well with my system. I have not felt any discomfort
~ The powder is fine like flour

Cons:
~ It's just my preference by I don't like the fact that it comes in a plastic bag. I personally would have prefer a glass jar

Expectations:
~ this batch is meeting my expectations so far

*I will give an update once I am finish with the bag to note whether or not it has regulated my hormones, however I can say that I do feel more energy

** Just in case if you are wondering how I consume it. I use 1 tsp a day. I use a real measuring spoon and mix it with either oatmeal (I make plain oatmeal and add fruits and honey and a dash of milk) a homemade green smoothie ( natural smoothie with veggies and berries and purified water) or a homemade fruit smoothie ( ex. 1 cup if milk and 2 cups of mangoes) The first time i took it I mix 1 tsp with bout a cup of milk.

*** Just to note about the warning label, go to their site and they will further explain it to you. Also read the prop if you are really nervous. But please understand that they are required to and i am sure a host of other food companies are required to as well to put this label on their products, but they don't. Just to further put this warning label in perspective (because I have always and only lived in California) even Disney Land has a warning sign up on their property as well as apartments/ condos, dishes and other items. You will even see this label in certain stores... I know I have seen this warning quite a bit.

I am not dumbing down this important prop just want you to be aware of it in its totality. So check out the links to further your knowledge.

Hope this review helped a little. I'll give an update soon.

Navitas site: http://navitasnaturals.com/prop65.html
CA Gov site: http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/background/p65plain.html
Wiki prop65: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_65_%281986%29#Warning_label
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