Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Pfaffia paniculata

Botanical Name : Pfaffia paniculata
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Hebanthe
Species:H. eriantha

Common Names:  Suma or Pfaffia paniculata,  Brazilian ginseng

Habitat : Pfaffia paniculata is native to the rain forests of the Amazon and other tropical regions of Latin America, including Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Suma is a large, rambling, shrubby ground vine with an intricate, deep, and extensive root system……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Constituents: (amino acids, electrolytes, trace minerals, pfaffic acid, germanium, sitosterol, stigmasterol, beta-ecdysone, saponins)

Suma root contains 19 different amino acids, a large number of electrolytes, trace minerals, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, E, K, and pantothenic acid. Its high germanium content probably accounts for its properties as an oxygenator at the cellular level; its high iron content may account for its traditional use for anemia. The root also contains novel phytochemicals including saponins (pfaffosides), pfaffic acid, beta-ecdysterone, glycosides, and nortriterpenes.

Medicinal Uses:
It increases energy, strengthens the immune system, fortified hormones (especially estrogen), reduces tumors and cancers, regulates blood sugar. It is considered a near panacea in Brazil, which it is called  Brazilian ginseng.  In herbal medicine in Ecuador today, Suma is considered a tonic for the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, the reproductive system, and the digestive system and is used to treat hormonal disorders, sexual dysfunction and sterility, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, circulatory and digestive disorders, rheumatism, and bronchitis. In European herbal medicine Suma is used as to restore nerve and glandular functions, to balance the endocrine system, to strengthen the immune system, for infertility, menopausal and menstrual symptoms, to minimize the side-effect of birth control medications, for high cholesterol, to neutralize toxins and as a general restorative tonic after illness. In North and South American herbal medicine Suma root is used as an adaptogenic and regenerative tonic regulating many systems of the body, as an immunostimulant, and is used to treat exhaustion resulting from Epstein-Barr disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypoglycemia, impotency, arthritis, anemia, diabetes, cancer, tumors, mononucleosis, high blood pressure, PMS, menopause and hormonal disorders and many types of stress. Suma has also been called “The Russian Secret” because it is taken by Russian Olympic athletes to increase muscle-building and endurance without the side effects associated with steroids. This action is attributed to the anabolic agent, beta-ecdysterone as well as three novel ecdysteroid glycosides which are found in high amounts in Suma. Suma is such a rich source of beta-ecdysterone, that it is the subject of a Japanese patent for the extraction methods employed to obtain it from this root. Two other plant hormones found in Suma, sitosterol and stigmasterol, are believed to encourage estrogen production and may account for it’s use for menopausal symptoms.

Although suma is claimed as an ancient Brazilian folk remedy, no confirmation of that statement is found in the modern literature on medicinal plants. Advocates have claimed suma is an immune enhancer, an adaptogen (helps combat stress), and that it possesses anticancer activities. Test tube studies do indicate possible anti-tumor activity of suma constituents called pfaffosides. Suma has been marketed as Brazilian ginseng, though it is not an adaptogen (a substance that invigorates or strengthens the system) and is not related to Asian ginseng or American ginseng. In light of the lack of known traditional use, and of modern research confirming health benefits, use of suma is not recommended for any condition at this time.

The root of this rambling ground vine found in South America is used traditionally as a medicine and tonic. Nicknamed “para tudo” which means “for all,” suma is a traditional herbal medicine.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.