I recently came across organic Peruvian Maca powder in my local health food grocery store and started to read up on it.

It is derived from a root prevalent in the region and is very high in protein. It is said to increase stamina, boost libido, combat fatigue, increase fertility and help ward off depression. I found no evidence of known side affects (or at least not printed evidence). It has a caramel-ish taste and I thought it would be a great addition to smoothies. Recommended daily dosage for women is 1 tsp per day.

It's kind of pricey, but I decided to try it for a couple of weeks in my morning smoothies. I found it tasted best when a banana was added to the mix. Banana seemed to neutralize the strong, although not unpleasant, flavor that over powers berries and mango.

I don't know if this has anything to do with the Maca powder but after using for about 2 weeks, I began to get intense abdominal pain (top to bottom) after every meal, lasting hours and sometimes followed by vomiting and/or lengthy episodes of diarrhea and bloating.

After about a week of this, I stopped using it, but the pain after meals continued for another 10 days or so. I contacted my doctor and had several tests run and all came back normal.

After another 10 days the pain has stopped and all systems are running normal. However, I'm reluctant to try the Maca powder again.

Has anyone used it and/or had any side affects?