Health Benefits and Uses of Suma (Brazilian Ginseng)

Suma - Brazilian Ginseng (Pfaffia paniculata) | Health Benefits of Suma - Brazilian Ginseng / 

Suma root belongs to genus Pfaffia and widely found in Brazilian territory. Suma root is also known as Brazilian Ginseng as it has morphological similarity with Panax ginseng. Some of the medicinal properties of Suma root are also matched with Panax ginseng. However, both the herbs belong to different families. Suma root belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. Apart from Brazil, Suma root also naturally occurs in America and Africa. Suma has historically been used in the Amazon rainforest region by indigenous tribes to treat a variety of conditions, including a tonic for energy, to boost sexuality, treat anxiety and ulcers, and more. Today, in areas such as Equador, suma continues to be used as a tribal folk medicine for the treatment of a variety of health maladies.

The Suma Root is the most potent part of this herb, with its nickname “para toda” translating to “for all things”. In modern day herbalism, Suma Root is classed as an adaptogen and is hugely popular as a testosterone booster for athletes and bodybuilders. Suma is a plant with deep roots that pull nutrients from the soil. For this reason, suma’s roots are the richest source of its bioactive compounds. Suma has acquired different scientific names since its discovery, such as Pfaffia paniculata. This can lead to confusion as different sources may refer to the same plant by different names. Suma is often referred to as Brazilian Ginseng, although this name is a bit misleading, as the plant is not related to what most people commonly known as ginseng.

Bioactive substances found in plants are very interesting because of their importance in medicine and foods. Species of Pfaffia genre is common in Brazil, the largest center of collection of this species. Statistics report that 11,000 tons of roots and other plants were exported in 2011. 21 of the 33 species of Pfaffia is found in Central and South Americas. Brazil is the largest center for collecting this species, mainly Pfaffia glomerata and Pfaffia paniculata.

Traditionally Suma root is used for its stimulating properties and potent anticancer effect. In Brazil, Suma root is well known herbal medicinal substance due to its medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic purposes. In Brazilian Folk medicine, Suma root has different therapeutic aspects including aphrodisiac, health tonic, diabetes, and rheumatism treatment. Many documents mentioned the several medicinal applications of this plant species including disease preventive, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and hypoglycemic. Traditionally this Suma root is also used for cholesterol-lowering effect.

Pfaffic acid and pfaffosides have tumor cell inhibiting effects. Oxidative stress leads to cancers, cardiovascular disorders, inflammatory arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have reported that plants belongs to Amaranthaceae family contain phenolic substances, which have antioxidant activity, free radicals scavenging property, lipid peroxidation protection effect, and quenching effect against reactive oxygen species. Suma root follows all these mechanisms to provide antioxidant effect. The antioxidant activity is effective to exert hepatoprotective activities.

Suma is rich in a large variety of nutrients, minerals, and other compounds. The potent antioxidants in suma root play a key role in protecting the brain and other organ damage and are critical for preventing disease and fighting the long-term effects of aging. The electrolytes, amino acids, minerals (magnesium, iron, and zinc), and vitamins (A, B1, B2, E, K1, and K2) in suma’s root are crucial metabolic “building-blocks” for the body as a whole. Suma’s nutritional profile helps provide the body with the essential compounds to maintain optimal health. Germanium is important in maintaining and boosting immune system function.

It is considered one of the richest sources of ß-Ecdysterone, a plant hormone that can help maintain your youth and strength. ß-Ecdysterone can also accelerate wound healing , along with allantoin (comfrey also contains allantoin), a known cellular rebuilder that is present in this plant. Research in Brazil, Japan and the United States has found unique natural substances in Suma called pfaffosides which are believed to regulate blood sugar levels. Suma helps regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, hormones (especially estrogen) and acid-base balance. You can benefit by using Suma root as a healing agent, tonic or aphrodisiac. Suma also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate chronic and acute pain. Not recommended if pregnant or nursing mothers.

Saponins from Suma roots are pfaffic acids or pfaffosides. Pfaffosides play a role in hormone synthesis, glucose and cholesterol metabolism, cellular oxygenation, and even inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Suma is also rich in ecdysteroids, a family of hormones found in several plants and insects. The ways in which ecdysteroids affect the health of mammals and humans remains unknown. Nonetheless, a large number of beneficial effects of ecdysteroids have been scientifically confirmed.

Much of the interest in suma root as a nutritional supplement have arisen from the properties it contains which effect the body in terms of hormone balancing & fortifying, stamina and endurance, and muscle gain in conjunction with strength-building workouts. It can even help the body heal from muscle injury or atrophy. Though not technically a stimulant, the high nutritional profile makes suma an energy booster, also helping to regulate blood sugar, and it is commonly used to enhance sexual and athletic energy and performance. Suma is profoundly effective in this regard, and also has a multitude of other benefits. 

Full of antioxidants, electrolytes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, suma is effective in protecting the body from many kinds of damage and disease, as it fortifies the immune system. As a potent adaptogen and longevity herb, Suma supports the body’s adaptation to its environment and diminishes some of the effects of aging. It is also shown to be effective in slowing down tumor growth in some kinds of cancers, and in cancer prevention, including melanomas. Suma may also promote both estrogen and testosterone increases in males and females, enhancing fertility.

Among all of these many benefits, there is still more that Suma supports for healing and regeneration within the body. It is shown to reduce melanin production, which creates unwanted excess or uneven skin pigmentation such as under-eye circles and age spots, and also helps the skin heal more swiftly from other types of damage and disorder. Suma may protect the brain from damage due to accumulated free radicals, helping heal from alcohol damage and memory loss. It may also support other aspects of cognition such as learning and age-related memory loss. Suma can help fight pain, protect the liver and kidneys, help with digestion and heartburn, support the healing of symptoms of diabetes, and more.

Physical Health:

Muscular Health:

Suma root contains ecdysterone which helps to support healthy hormone levels in men. When hormone levels are in check, the body is able to repair itself and grow more quickly. Suma has been popular with athletes as an alternative to steroids, even earning the name the “Russian Secret” due to allegations that Russian olympians have used it to enhance performance.

Research out of Russia has found that ecdysterone, combined with a high protein diet, promotes moderate gains in lean muscle mass and reductions in body fat up to 10%.

Some research has shown that ecdysterone has a wider anabolic action than Methandrostenolone and Dianabol, two powerful anabolic steroids. It sounds like a tall order but in 2003, Japanese researchers also reported that phytosteroids were found to boost sex hormones, including testosterone, in animal models.

Muscle Growth:

Ecdysteroids from the Suma plant act like anabolic steroids, the hormones involved in building muscle. In animal and cell-based studies, they enhanced muscle growth and strength. Ecdysteroids may enhance physical strength and athletic performance without the side effects associated with traditional steroids, but the research is still young. Interestingly, some researchers have cautioned that suma could be considered a “doping” agent in athletic competitions. However, the only study of ecdysteroids in humans did not find significant effects on muscle growth.

Endurance and Stamina:

Suma root has been used by South American Indians to increase energy levels, treat sexual impotence, and to regulate certain body systems. Suma root contains many active constituents including β-ecdysterone.

Body Building:

The benefits of Suma Root to sports performance appear to be derived from the phytochemical β-ecdysterone, a powerful phytosteroid that helps to build muscle without negative side effects. Suma Root is packed with amino acids, electrolytes, minerals and the phytochemical germanium, a powerful cell oxygenator, as well as B vitamins, saponins and steroidal glycosides which are the building blocks/enhancers of testosterone synthesis. Adding this herb to you pre workout smoothie is a great way to give you that competitive edge.

Among the components isolated from the root stands out an anabolic agent called β-ecdysterone (β-ecdysone) which also appears to have a positive effect on lean mass building and maintaining high levels of sports performance. The β-ecdisterone is used to increase testosterone levels, hormone associated with the increase in strength and muscle mass: its intake could help promote the synthesis of proteins and glycogen (the supply of sugars in the body), liver activity, good lipid metabolism, bone tissue production and bone calcification, and would positively regulate the functioning of the immune system.

Suma Root was credited with the Russian’s dominance in the Olympics in the 1970’s. They had been secretly studying herbs and discovered that Suma Root enhanced testosterone production, promoting the development of muscle mass and increasing stamina. Additionally, its adaptogenic qualities help the body to recover faster from intense exercise. Suma also has a nickname of “The Russian Secret”, and that’s because back in 1976 a Russian scientist called V.N. Syrov extracted an ergogenic compound called ecdysterone from the plant, and found out that it exerted more of an anabolic effect in-vitro than Dianabol and Methandrostenolone, which are both anabolic steroids. After that Syrov introduced Suma and ecdysterone extracts to the Russian olympic team, and conducted several trials on the herb and extracts. After that Syrov introduced Suma and ecdysterone extracts to the Russian Olympic team and conducted several trials on the herb and extracts.

Experiment participants first noted a “sense of well-being” within 3-5 days, and a new increased desire to get to their next training session. Weight lifters experienced much less pain during heavy lifts when they took Suma. These researchers recommended 500 mg. for every 40 lbs. of body weight, spread out evenly in two divided doses, for the maximum gain in muscle strength and size. During a 54-day period (almost 8 weeks), the dosage was only taken on days 1-10, 16-25, and days 31-40. Despite the 24 days off the herb, researchers reported that Suma’s effects were still felt by the athletes on the off days.

This all happened during the cold war, and as suma gave a competitive edge to the Russian athletes who participated in the Olympics against U.S, it’s pretty clear that the knowledge and research conducted by V.N Syrov was kept as a secret. This can mean protecting the body from stress as well as injury. The product is designed to help normalize the body so that it is better able to cope with external pressures.

The product is also a great one for those who are exercising as it can help the body to recover and repair itself afterwards. A body which is regularly exercised needs the right amount of protein to recover quickly so that it is ready for the next workout and this product can help to provide that. Those who find it takes a long while to recover between workouts will notice that they do not see the results that they are looking for as quickly as they had hoped. The Suma root bodybuilding is also beneficial for the health in a number of other ways. These include providing the body with a healthier immune system and a healthier digestive system, both essential for those who want to get fit and healthy.

The Suma root is known as "para todo" in its native Brazil and this translates as "for everything". And for everything, it seems to be, as research has shown that Suma supports the endocrine system, improves strength and exercise performance, is an adaptogen, oxygenates cells, and improves libido. With the extra energy supplied by this supplement, the Brutal Force workouts will be so much easier and results will be seen more quickly. No matter which of the Blackwolf programs and supplements that you choose you to need to be sure that you have the right support. The online support system at Brutal Force is second to none. The first advantage is that you get to make new friends. The online forums are filled with people who are following the programs and seeing results. Some of them are trying to lose weight, some are trying to bulk up and some are simply seeking to improve their fitness levels. For bodybuilding Brutal Force offers programs such as Testogen which can help you to build the muscle that you want. This is a carefully devised 90-day program that can help to build up to 10 lbs of muscle by following a series of 12 workouts.

If you want to build bigger muscles, increasing testosterone can help a great deal. This is because testosterone is the hormone that controls muscle growth in your body. It also has an amazing fat burning potential and can help you gain fat-free muscle. Here are some effective and simple ways to boost testosterone production in your body:

  1. Eat Red Meat: Red meat is awesome for increasing testosterone in your body. First of all, it is rich in zinc. Secondly, it is an abundant source of natural cholesterol and saturated fats. It is also rich in nutrients like conenzyme Q10 and carnitine that your body needs to produce testosterone. However, don’t go overboard with it since too much of red meat can increase saturated fats in your body that can be counter productive.
  2. Avoid Sugar: Avoiding sugar can also help increase your testosterone levels. This is because sugar can lower testosterone in your body, According to a study, a meal containing sugar can reduce testosterone by as much as 25%. What is worse is that it can keep your testosterone levels low for hours after you have added a sugar-rich meal.
  3. Use Tongat Ali: Tongat Ali is a herb that is native to Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. It is also known as long jack. It is a powerful testosterone booster. So It can help increase your testosterone levels by an amazing 46%. Another interesting fact is that it can help lower estrogen in your body.
  4. Usey Suma Root: Suma root is also known as the Brazilian Ginseng. It contains a compound called ecdysterone. This compound is even more powerful than steroids such as methandrostenolone and Dianabol. What is even more interesting is that it is 100% natural and free of all kinds of negative side effects.
  5. Increase Garlic Intake: There are not many foods that can increase testosterone instantly. However, garlic is an exception. It can boost your testosterone levels almost immediately on consumption. Garlic is great for increasing blood circulation too. It can help raise your libido or sex-drive too.
  6. Try a Natural Testosterone Supplement: Natural testosterone supplements are also quite popular among bodybuilders. Some of the best testosterone supplements contain ingredients like tribulus terrestris, l-arginine, ginseng, zinc etc. Some of the top-notch supplements come with a double dose of tribulus terresteris. Suma Root bodybuilding Supplement 2021.

The support from the trainers and customer service staff is also top quality. The trainers regularly take part in online forums and chats which is a great way of supplementing the information that you receive with the program that you are following. After looking at those nutrients, we can make a few conclusions about the herb:

  • Suma is packed with amino’s, electrolytes, minerals that evaporate through sweat, and germanium which acts as a cell oxygenator, making it one hell of an amazing natural sports drink ingredient.
  • The B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin K2, zinc, magnesium, ecdysteroids, saponins, and steroidal glycosides are all building blocks/enhancers of testosterone synthesis.

Psychological Benefits:

Natural Adaptogen:

Suma root is considered an adaptogen, which can be defined as an herbal pharmaceutical that boosts your body’s ability to adapt to and avoid damage caused by physical, chemical, or biological stressors. Suma Root is rich in β-ecdysterone and ecdysteroid glycosides, natural compounds that are partly responsible for its adaptogenic action. A herbal adaptogen increases the body’s resistance to stress, balances the endocrine system and has a normalising, harmonising effect on the body as a whole. Suma helps to balance cortisol levels, the stress hormone, in the body. If they are too high it can bring it down and if they are too low it can bring them up, this is the power of an adaptogen. It helps to repair exhausted and burnt out adrenals, making this herb highly effective to combat stress, fatigue, anxiety and worry.

To maintain the energy level and prevent the fatigue condition health-conscious people using different natural adaptogen instead of using a synthetic stimulant to obtain prolong effect. Researchers reported that Soma root acts as a endocrine, nervous, musculoskeletal, and digestive systems regulator without causing any stimulation or inhibitory action. Thus it is a promising adaptogen herb.

Examples of stressors include environmental pollution, climate change, radiation, and infectious diseases. Adaptogens are believed to better equip your body to deal with these stressors without harming any of its normal functions. Adaptogens are thought to do so by acting on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, also known as your central stress response system, thereby regulating the stress response of your body’s cells. As such, researchers believe that adaptogens could potentially be used to control or prevent a wide range of diseases in which stress plays a major role, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and irritable bowel disease. However, as promising as this may sound, more research is needed to confirm the adaptogenic properties and purported disease-fighting benefits of Suma root.

Researchers report that it has the ability to strengthen the immune system and reduce tumors. Other researchers have found that Suma root acts primarily as a regulator of the endocrine, nervous, musculoskeletal and digestive systems without stimulating or inhibiting effects, thus classifying it as a true adaptogen.

Neurological Health:

Increases Energy:

Suma root contains potent levels of many essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, E, and K. In addition, Suma root also contains minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and electrolytes, all of which provide many of the root’s energizing effects. B vitamins and electrolytes, two nutrients that are plentiful in the plant’s raw material, are heralded for their energizing effects. Even though Suma is not a stimulant, it might enhance physical energy because of its rich nutritional profile. It contains different electrolytes, essential amino acids, and minerals, which are lost through sweating and physical exertion. Germanium, found in Suma roots, helps distribute oxygen to the body, a particularly important factor in athletic performance. Vitamin B in Suma plays a vital role in many of the energy-producing metabolic pathways in the body. However, no studies have investigated the effects of suma root on energy levels and physical performance.

Brain Alcohol Damage:

The anti-oxidizing effects of ecdysteroids in Suma root may play an important role in protecting the brain from accumulated damage from free radicals.

A study found that pretreating rats with ecdysteroids prevented memory loss caused by acute alcohol intoxication. However, Suma root may not have the same effect, and its potential ability to shield the brain has yet to be studied.

Boosts Immune System:

As an adrenal adaptogen, Suma helps the body to deal with stress by modulating the immune system which is easily depleted by stress. It also provides resistance against diseases and various other harmful biological and environmental factors. Suma has one of the highest concentrations of germanium of any plant in existence. This compound is highly effective in maintaining and boosting immune function. It stimulates production of interferon gamma, while at the same time activating cytotoxic natural killer cells and macrophages. An interesting fact is that the “holy waters” at Lourdes, known for their healing miracles, contain large amounts of germanium.

Suma root has demonstrated an ability to increase immune cell production and overall immune system activity. Macrophages are large immune cells that act like garbage collectors in your body, and several studies have shown that macrophagic activity can increase when exposed to Brazilian Ginseng. Another type of molecule called a Natural Killer cell were produced in greater amounts in mice when given Ginseng extract.

Reduces Inflammation:

The roots of Brazilian Ginseng have been indicated for the treatment of several diseases and as an analgesic and antiinflamatory drug. The aim of this study was to investigate experimentally the effects of the methanolic extract of P. paniculata roots on macrophage activity. The raise of spreading index possibly induced the higher phagocytic activity observed in the experimental situation. Increased macrophage activity may be one of the effects contributing to inhibition of the Ehrlich ascitic tumor growth in mice. Suma root has shown potent anti-inflammatory effects in animal and cell-based research. The anti-inflammatory effect of Suma root has also evaluated through in-vitro tests.

In rats with intestinal inflammation, suma root extract reduced intestinal inflammation (pro-inflammatory cytokines and CRP) and lesioning. Suma root extract reduced swelling (edema) for up to 6 hours post-injection in another study on rats. It reduced histamine, a major pro-inflammatory component, in human skin cells.

The phytochemicals like tiliroside and patuletin 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside are glycoside flavonoids, which inhibits iNOX and COX-2 expression as well as MAPK/JNK/p38-mediated inflammation in LPS-stimulated macrophages. The biological activity of Patuletin and its derivatives also show the anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic activities. Patuletin inhibits human lymphocyte proliferative activity. Tiliroside also inhibits TRAF-6-mdiated activation of the NF-κB and p38 MAPK signaling pathways, thus it suppresses microglia during neuro-inflammation. An animal research study reported that the Suma root extract increases sexual hormones like estradiol, progesterone and testosterone levels without adverse effects.

Chronic Inflammation:

Suma is supported in the treatment of inflammatory disorders and chronic inflammation. Two compounds derived from Suma exhibited anti-inflammatory activity against colorectal adenocarcinoma cells. Suma root shows promise in fighting inflammatory disorders in studies of edema, partially through boosting nitric oxide production.

Relieves Pain and Cramps:

In studies on rats mice, researchers noticed that the ingestion of Suma root extract inhibited painful responses and reduced the frequency of behavioral signs of pain.

Cancer - Treatment and Prevention:

Native Americans have traditionally used suma root for cancer prevention, among others. However, the clinical trials on its purported anticancer effects are lacking. Suma root extract ingestion helps to stimulates and potentially inactivates immunocompetent cells like macrophages, natural killer cells, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes activity. Thus, it stimulates the immune response against the tumor and exerts antineoplastic effect. Suma root reduces cellular proliferation and increases apoptosis which prevent chronic inflammatory condition. In an animal trial, Suma root showed chemo-preventive role.

It has shown to fight liver and breast cancers without causing communication problems between the cells. Also, in the liver, Suma is able to reduce the amount of scarring during cancer. It can also help against lymphoma. Suma improves red blood cell deformability in sickle cell disease, or the ability of cells to warp under stress without breaking. It increases the size of red blood cells in sickle cell disease and improves their hydration status. Moreover, the root’s adaptogenic properties suggest that this herbal remedy may help activate immune cells in the body. In turn, this may prevent the growth of cancerous cells, as well as promote their removal from the body. Suma root may kill cancer cells by triggering apoptosis, without damaging healthy cells. It may also help the immune system to target and eliminate cancer cells early in tumor formation.

Test-tube and animal research suggests that the pfaffic acid and saponin pfaffosides from Suma root may help kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. Some lab tests have observed it to induce breast cancer cell death. Research continues to examine its protective properties. A few studies further suggest that adaptogens may complement cancer drugs. It’s speculated that they can enhance the cancer-killing effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy while reducing common cancer treatment side-effects like fatigue.

Cancerous mice treated with Suma root extract survived significantly longer than untreated mice. Suma root extract decreased the size of breast and liver cancers and prevented leukemia in studies on mice. For instance, research in mice suggests that adaptogens may help prevent the development of resistance to cancer drug treatments, thus prolonging the animal’s life.

In test tubes, Suma root killed human breast cancer cells, but this doesn’t imply the same effect in the human body. Animal research suggests that Suma root may help kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading.

However, in most of the studies, suma generally appeared to slow down the rate of tumor growth, but not reverse or cure it altogether. The complete lack of clinical data is another major limitation. Suma’s potential anti-cancer effects are believed to come from pfaffic acid in roots. However, human studies are currently lacking. Therefore, more research is needed to confirm suma root’s anti-cancer benefits in humans. The specific mechanisms by which these compounds may affect the development and progression of cancer are still being researched.

A 2010 study "Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian Ginseng) roots decrease proliferation and increase apoptosis but do not affect cell communication in murine hepatocarcinogenesis" published in Exp Toxicol Pathol. by Tereza Cristina da Silva, Bruno Cogliati, Ana Paula da Silva, Heidge Fukumasu, Gokithi Akisue, Márcia Kazumi Nagamine, Patrícia Matsuzaki, Mitsue Haraguchi, Silvana Lima Górniak, Maria Lúcia Zaidan Dagli have shown anti-neoplastic, chemopreventive, and anti-angiogenic properties. The aim of this work was to investigate the chemopreventive mechanisms of this root in mice submitted to the infant model of hepatocarcinogenesis, evaluating the effects on cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and intercellular communication.

Another 2003 study "Effect of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on the Ehrlich tumor in its ascitic form" published in Life Sci. by Patrícia Matsuzaki, Gokithi Akisue, Sílvia Catarina Salgado Oloris, Silvana Lima Górniak, Maria Lúcia Zaidan Dagli have been indicated for the treatment of several diseases, among which the cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate experimentally the possible antineoplastic effect of this root. Firstly, a toxicity study was performed in which the doses of 400 and 200 mg/Kg of the powdered root were administered by gavage for 10 days to BALB/cICB mice. The mice did not lose weight during the treatment. No increase in serum alanine-aminotransferase neither histopathological alteration (liver, kidney and spleen) was observed in mice treated with Pfaffia paniculata.

Cancerous Tumours:

Suma inhibits formation of new blood vessels in tumors, which are necessary for tumors to receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow. Suma was described as having “weak to moderate” tumor-killing activity against neuroblastoma cells in vitro.

A research result reported that Suma root has cytogenotoxicity, as it interferes with mitotic spindle formation. The cytogenotoxicity effect may effective to treat Suma root. The purpose of this study was to investigate experimentally the possible antineoplastic effect of this root.

A toxicity study was performed in which the doses of 400 and 200 mg/kg of the powdered root were administered by gavage for 10 days to BALB/cICB mice.

A 2006 animal study examined the effects of Suma supplementation on inflammation and tumor control in several diseases in 200 mice. The study concluded that Suma root reduced fluid accumulation and increased the cell’s ability to engulf tumor cells (macrophage activity), a common means of controlling a specific type of tumor growth (called Ehrlich tumor) in mice. "Increased macrophage activity may be one of the effects contributing to inhibition of the Ehrlich ascitic tumor growth in mice" explained the study authors.

These results may indicate that Pfaffia paniculata anti-inflammatory effects were responsible by the decrease in the total ascitic fluid. In addition, the presence of tumor-cell inhibitory factors in Suma roots is in agreement with other in vitro studies.


This study has been performed in a human breast tumor cell line, the MCF-7 cells. They were able to create a Butanolic extract of the roots of Pfaffia paniculata showed and this showed cytotoxic effect MCF-7 cell lines. The results show that this butanolic extract indeed presents cytotoxic substances, and its fractions merit further investigations.

A 2009 study "Cytotoxic effects of butanolic extract from Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on cultured human breast cancer cell line MCF-7" published in Exp Toxicol Pathol. by Marcia Kazumi Nagamine, Tereza Cristina da Silva, Patrícia Matsuzaki, Kátia Cristina Pinello, Bruno Cogliati, Célia Regina Pizzo, Gokithi Akisue, Mitsue Haraguchi, Silvana Lima Górniak, Idércio Luiz Sinhorini, Kurapati Venkata Kesava Rao, José Alexandre Marzagão Barbuto, Maria Lúcia Zaidan Dagli have been well documented for multifarious therapeutic values and have also been used for cancer therapy in folk medicine. This study has been performed in a human breast tumor cell line, the MCF-7 cells. These are the most commonly used model of estrogen-positive breast cancer, and it has been originally established in 1973 at the Michigan Cancer Foundation from a pleural effusion taken from a woman with metastatic breast cancer. Butanolic extract of the roots of Pfaffia paniculata showed cytotoxic effect MCF-7 cell line, as determined with crystal violet assay, cellular death with acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining, and cell proliferation with immunocytochemistry of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). Subcellular alterations were evaluated by electron microscopy. Cells treated with butanolic extract showed degeneration of cytoplasmic components and profound morphological and nuclear alterations. The results show that this butanolic extract indeed presents cytotoxic substances, and its fractions merit further investigations.


Studies have been demonstrating Pfaffia paniculata root anticarcinogenic activities. We evaluated its chemopreventive effects on preneoplastic hepatic lesions. BALB/c aged, 5 days received 10 μg/g of diethylnitrosamine carcinogen. The treatment reduced the incidence, mean area and number of lesions, indicating an inhibitory effect of these roots on hepatocarcinogenesis promotion or progression steps.

A 2005 study "Inhibitory effects of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions in a mouse hepatocarcinogenesis model" published in Cancer Lett. by Tereza Cristina da Silva, Ana Paula da Silva, Gokithi Akisue, José Luis Avanzo, Márcia Kazumi Nagamine, Heidge Fukumasu, Patrícia Matsuzaki, Paulo César Raspantini, Mitsue Haraguchi, Silvana Lima Górniak, Maria Lúcia Zaidan Dagli have been demonstrating Pfaffia paniculata root (Brazilian Ginseng) anticarcinogenic activities. We evaluated its chemopreventive effects on preneoplastic hepatic lesions. BALB/c aged-15 days received 10mug/g of diethylnitrosamine carcinogen, i.p. They were fed with the powdered root added to the diet: 0.5, 2 or 10% during 27 weeks.


Studies have shown that Pfaffia paniculata roots present antineoplastic effects and cancer chemopreventive activity in a mouse hepatocarcinogenesis model. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the Brazilian Ginseng on corneal angiogenesis in mice. A smaller total area of neovascularization in the mouse cornea was observed in animals treated with 1000 mg/kg of the methanolic extract of Pfaffia paniculata. These results indicate an antiangiogenic effect of this extract.

A 2007 study "Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) methanolic extract reduces angiogenesis in mice" published in Exp Toxicol Pathol. by Carolina Scarpa Carneiro, Frederico Azevedo Costa-Pinto, Ana Paula da Silva, Kátia Cristina Pinello, Tereza Cristina da Silva, Patrícia Matsuzaki, Márcia Kazumi Nagamine, Silvana Lima Górniak, Mitsue Haraguchi, Gokithi Akisue, Maria Lúcia Zaidan Dagli have been indicated for the treatment of several diseases. Our studies have shown that Pfaffia paniculata roots present antineoplastic effects and cancer chemopreventive activity in a mouse hepatocarcinogenesis model. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the Brazilian Ginseng on corneal angiogenesis in mice.


The aim of this work was to investigate the chemopreventive mechanisms of this root in mice submitted to the infant model of hepatocarcinogenesis, evaluating the effects on cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and intercellular communication. Animals were separated into three groups at weaning and were given different concentrations of powdered Pfaffia paniculata root (0%, 2%, or 10%) added to commercial food for 27 weeks. Animals in the 10% group had an increase in apoptosis with chronic inflammatory process. Intercellular communication showed no alterations in any of the groups analyzed. These results indicate that chemopreventive effects of Pfaffia paniculata are related to the control of cellular proliferation and apoptosis, but not to cell communication and/or connexin expression, and are directly influenced by the root concentration.


A 2000 study "Effects of oral administration of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on incidence of spontaneous leukemia in AKR/J mice" published in Cancer Detect Prev. by T Watanabe, M Watanabe, Y Watanabe, C Hotta administered subcutaneously and intraperitoneally inhibits growth of allogeneic cancer cells in mice. The goal of this study was to determine whether oral administration of Pfaffia paniculata inhibits development of spontaneous leukemia. Four-week-old female AKR/J mice were given oral doses of powdered roots from Pfaffia paniculata three times weekly for 8 weeks; controls received phosphate-buffered saline. Enlargement of thymic lymphoma in the mice treated with Pfaffia paniculata was significantly suppressed, as compared with controls (128 +/- 67.3 mg versus 219.9 +/- 84.2 mg, respectively; P < .01); proliferation of endogenous recombinant murine leukemia viruses (MuLV) in the thymus was markedly inhibited after the first oral treatment as compared with untreated controls (final age, 28 weeks; P < .05).

Supports Cardiovascular Health - Heart Health:

Sickle-Cell Disease:

Traditional healers have used powdered suma root to treat sickle-cell disease, a condition in which red blood cells are misshapen, which can reduce their function and lead to blood clots. Suma root extract has been found to improve the shape and flexibility (deformability) of red blood cells in the samples from sickle-cell disease patients.

Blood Disorder:

Suma root may effective to treat blood disorders, especially in case of haemolytic disorders due to its saponins content.

Test-tube research suggests that Suma root extract may improve the shape of red blood cells, which are commonly misshapen in people with sickle cell disease.

Cholesterol Levels:

Saponins in suma, sitosterol and stigmasterol, reduced high levels of cholesterol in preclinical research. The cholesterol-reducing effects of ecdysteroids are particularly prominent in the liver, where they help transform cholesterol into bile acids.

A study in rats found that daily treatment with ecdysterone reduced cholesterol by nearly 30% after only a few weeks.

Sexual Health:

Sexual Performance:

Suma root significantly increases sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone). Suma root increased sexual behavior in animals by raising blood levels of testosterone and activating the central dopaminergic system, which synthesizes and releases dopamine. Consumption of Brazilian Ginseng raised levels of the sex hormones progesterone and estradiol-17 ß in animals. Suma root improved sexual function in impotent and sexually sluggish animals.

Increases Libido:

Researchers at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy found that Suma root lives up to its folk reputation as a sexual stimulant. They gave male rats Suma root and reported observing significant improvements in sexual performance. What’s more, rats given the highest amounts ejaculated more and faster.

An animal research conducted in 2003, reported that Suma root ingestion enhances sex hormonal levels in blood. The test result reported that Suma preparation intake increase progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone levels in both male and female gender within 30 days treatment period without providing any side effect. Sex hormonal enhancement can improve libido and sex drive. The study authors concluded that consumption of Pfaffia paniculata for long periods of time appears safe.

Increases Male and Female Fertility:

For centuries, Suma root has been used as an herbal aphrodisiac. However, little scientific evidence backs this use. Sex hormones play an important role in libido, ovulation, sperm production, and erectile function. As such, increased levels of these hormones may be linked to improved fertility. However, no studies confirm these effects in humans, and more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.

A study notes that these extracts may increase levels of sex hormones, such as estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, in male and female mice.

Women's Health:

Increases Fertility:

When conventional medicine fails, many people often look to traditional healing therapies, such as Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A variety of herbs and plants are used in traditional medicine modalities, usually in the form of an extract. Suma root, a therapeutic herb originating from the jungles and rainforests of Central and South America, is one of the many herbal remedies used for women’s health.

Fertility requires hormonal balance, something that can be incredibly difficult in today’s world. With hormone disruptors and environmental toxins pervading our environment at an ever-increasing rate, fertility hormones are bound to become inefficient. Estradiol-17 ß is the primary estrogen hormone produced in women during reproductive years, and the stimulation of this hormone may possibly improve reproductive health and overall fertility. Research supports Suma as a natural application helpful for encouraging estradiol-17 ß, an action that may improve hormone balance.

Suma is rich in ecdysteroids which boost the production of prostaglandins, which in turn boosts ovulation and the menstrual cycle. It also contains two compounds (sitosterol and stigmasterol) that significantly increase oestrogen levels. The estradiol present in Suma is an oestrogen-based hormone that boosts female fertility. Impaired fertility is a growing issue in modern environments, with everyday contact with a wide range of hormone-disrupting chemicals and toxins. Sitosterol and stigmasterol, two of the saponins contained in Suma root, increase estrogen levels.

Mice fed with powdered Suma root for one month showed significant increases of estradiol and progesterone compared to the control group. Estradiol is one of the main estrogen-based hormones involved in female fertility, and progesterone plays a key role in reproductive and sexual function in women.

According to preliminary research, ecdysteroids stimulate the production of prostaglandins, which are involved in ovulation and the menstrual cycle.

Men's Health:

Men are interested in balancing their hormone levels for a variety of reasons. Some are experiencing symptoms associated with andropause, some strive for optimum physical fitness, and some are just after all-around good health. Regardless of the reason, evidence suggests that natural plants like suma may have something to offer. There are no known safety issues associated with suma root. However, anyone who competes in a tested competition should avoid suma root. Both the World Anti-Doping Association and the National Football League have banned ecdysteroids like Suma root, despite being all natural, plant compounds.

Male Sexual Health:

Suma root is particularly effective at increasing the overall testosterone levels of the body. It contains ecdysterone, an anabolic agent similar to testosterone, that can help support the healthy hormonal levels in men. Suma also boosts sexual performance in men, ecdysterone has shown positive results in maintaining high-performance levels. Suma is also a sexual stimulant that can help with erectile dysfunction and pre-mature ejaculation. It contains saponins, which normalize the secretion of hormones and can help with sexual dysfunction.

Suma extract improved sexual performance in impotent rats, increasing the rates at which they engage in sex, as well as prolonging their ejaculation times. However, it had no effect on rats whose sexual performance was already normal. While it remains unknown to what extent these findings might apply to humans, they would be analogous to increasing libido and preventing premature ejaculation. Interestingly, improving sexual performance in this way has been one of the main uses of Suma in traditional medicine.

Increases Testosterone:

Mice fed with Suma-infused water for 30 days showed significantly higher levels of testosterone compared to a control group. However, the only existing human study on ecdysteroids, active components from Suma roots, did not find significantly increased levels of testosterone.

Improves Cognitive Function:

Adaptogens are also said to help boost the immune system and may promote healthy brain aging. Suma root also impaired cognitive function. Ecdysteroids appear to impact the synthesis and action of neurotransmitters such as glutamate, GABA, and acetylcholine.

A study found that after 150 days of treatment with Suma root extract, mice displayed enhanced learning rates, as well as a reversal of age-related memory deficits.

Improves Digestive Health:

Healthy Gut:

Suma reduces intestinal inflammation through beneficially modulating cellular signaling, genetic expression, and mucus production. Suma root protected against stress- and alcohol-induced ulcers, apparently through reducing histamine-stimulated acid secretion and increasing nitric oxide production in the stomach.


In a study on rats, suma extract reduced the production of stomach acid and prevented the development of stomach ulcers and heartburn.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

Bowel syndrome is a long-term inflammatory condition of the gastro-intestinal tract may associated with immune system disorder. Increase stress level aggravated the condition. Suma root has a stress-relieving effect and also modulate inflammation and immune functioning.

An animal research report concluded a positive result after using Suma root preparation in the animal with inflamed colonic condition. Both immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect helps to control IBS.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):

IBD is a long-term condition involving inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD may include conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The condition is caused by many factors, including, genetics, immune system, and environmental factors (like diet and stress). In a model of IBD, Suma broadly reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the inflammatory marker CRP and oxidative damage while preserving levels of the master antioxidant glutathione.

Animal studies suggest that the root may help reduce gut damage and markers of inflammation in rats with inflammation of the colon. As is the case with many of the health claims surrounding the root, more research is needed to confirm these benefits in humans.

Clinical studies suggest that the initiation of IBD is multifactorial, involving genetics, the immune system and environmental factors, such as diet, drugs and stress. Pfaffia paniculata is an adaptogenic medicinal plant used in Brazilian folk medicine as an “anti-stress” agent. Thus, we hypothesised that the Pfaffia paniculata enhances the response of animals subjected to colonic inflammation. Our aim was to investigate the intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of Pfaffia paniculata in rats before or after induction of intestinal inflammation using trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS). The animals were divided into groups that received the vehicle, prednisolone or Pfaffia paniculata extract daily starting 14 days before or 7 days after TNBS induction. At the end of the procedure, the animals were killed and their colons were assessed for the macroscopic damage score (MDS), extent of the lesion (EL) and weight/length ratio, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and glutathione (GSH), cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Histological evaluation and ultrastructural analysis of the colonic samples were performed. Treatment with the 200 mg/kg dose on the curative schedule was able to reduce the MDS and the EL. In addition, MPO activity was reduced, GSH levels were maintained, and the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and CRP were decreased. In conclusion, the protective effect of P. paniculata was related to reduced oxidative stress and CRP colonic levels, and due to immunomodulatory activity as evidenced by reduced levels of IL-1β, INF-γ, TNF-α and IL-6.

A 2018 study "Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) extract modulates Mapk and mucin pathways in intestinal inflammation" published in Ethnopharmacol. by CARA Costa, AEV Quaglio, LC Di Stasi showed Pfaffia paniculata at 200mg/kg significantly decreased macroscopic damage score, extension of lesion and colonic MPO activity. Besides, P. paniculata at a dose of 25mg/kg was also able to significantly decrease Hsp70, while treatment with 50mg/kg reduced Mapk3 and increased Muc4. At dose of 100mg/kg P. paniculata increased Mapk1, Muc3, Muc4, and decreased Mapk3. Finally, at the 200mg/kg Pfaffia paniculata reduced Mapk3. The heparanase, NF-κB, Mapk6, Mapk9, Muc1 and Muc2 mRNA abundances were not altered after Pfaffia paniculata treatments. 

Because Suma is considered an adaptogen, to treat stress, it was studied for its impact on IBD in a 2015 animal study. The study discovered that the administration of 200 milligrams per kilograms (mg/kg) of Brazilian Ginseng reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines (involved in the inflammation process). The study authors concluded that Pfaffia paniculata was linked with a reduction in oxidative stress, due to its immunomodulatory activity.


Blood Sugar:

Complementary and alternative therapies, including the use of medicinal plants, have become almost standard among the world’s population. Suma root is widely used as a restorer of vital functions and for the treatment of diabetes. One of the historical uses of Suma root in traditional medicine has been to alleviate the symptoms of diabetes. Suma contains pfaffic acids, which reduced elevated blood glucose levels in some preliminary research.

According to the observations in liver cells (hepatocytes), mice, and rats, ecdysteroids may reduce glucose production. Additionally, ecdysteroids increased the rate at which the liver consumes blood glucose by 44-77% in test tubes.

Fat Burning:

Treating animals with ecdysterone reduces body fat by up to 10%. Similarly, another study found that mice given ecdysteroid extracts showed lowered insulin levels, improved processing of blood glucose, and a loss of body fat.

Skin Care:

Skin Appearance:

Dark circles around the eyes (periorbital hyperchromia) occur as an after-effect of inflammatory activity, which causes blood to become congested around the eyes and form bruises. Ecdysteroids from the suma plant can make skin heal at a faster rate. They may reduce the visible symptoms of psoriasis, likely due to their ability to enhance the skin’s healing process. Suma inhibits melanin production in human skin cells, without causing toxic or disruptive side effects. Melanin is the primary compound responsible for making skin dark.

Topical administration of suma root extract improves the appearance of dark circles in 19/21 users and significantly reduced inflammation. However, the study lacked a control group.

Enriches Skin:

The nutrient density and potent antioxidants contained within the root of this plant may protect skin cells from UV damage, thus reducing the visible signs of the aging process. Research further suggests that Suma may even help heal the skin after the damage has already taken place.

One study examined Suma's effects on under eye dark circles. Study participants who had dark circles applied a topical application of Suma root, along with other herbal extracts, in the area of discoloration. Topical application of Suma root helped participants reduce dark circles, a finding that led researchers to suggest the herb may offer an excellent protective option for skin care.

No clinical evidence supports the use of Suma root for any of the conditions listed in this section. They should guide further investigational efforts but should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.


Suma root contains polyphenols and alkaloids, two compounds renowned for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are beneficial compounds that help neutralize unstable free radicals. If allowed to build up in your body, free radicals can cause cell damage and ultimately contribute to a variety of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Suma can help the body maintain its natural antioxidant levels of glutathione when stressed. It can also reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus decreasing inflammation. Suma can reduce inflammation-based pain as well. These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are why Suma root is commonly thought to boost overall health and reduce disease risk. However, despite these promising benefits, more research linking its regular consumption to reduced disease risk is needed.

The antioxidant activities of Brazilian Ginseng extracts were determined by the coupled reaction of linolenic acid and β-carotene. The antioxidant activity analysis detected that LPSE extracts had higher activity than supercritical fluid extraction SFE extracts.

Oxidation and Cell Growth:

A number of studies conducted with mice demonstrated an ability for Suma root (Pfaffia paniculata) to inhibit unhealthy cell growth in the liver. Most of these studies were conducted at The University of Sao Paolo between 2004-2009 and the results were fairly consistent: in vitro, mouse cells treated with brazilian ginseng extract showed slower cell growth and an increased rate of apoptosis “cell death”. However, the mechanism for how this works is still largely unknown. When discussing the results, the authors were always careful to make a particular message clear:

These results indicate an antiangiogenic effect of this extract. The mechanisms of this antiangiogenic activity of Pfaffia paniculata should be further investigated.

In another study the same authors suggest that Brazilian Ginseng demonstrates an ability to slow cell-growth, but it does not demonstrate any ability to mediate cell-signaling, suggesting a future path of research for Brazilian Ginseng’s chemopreventive mechanism. Another study treated human breast cells with a Pfaffia paniculata extract which resulted in a reduction in cell growth.

These studies are encouraging, but in the long run they are far from conclusive. Most of them were conducted with mice, and focused on a particular type of cell in a very controlled situation.

Kills Bacterial Infections:


Suma can break down biofilms in bacteria. It also has shown to have antibiotic and anti-fungal properties to E. Coli and K. Pneumoniae. It may even help against antibiotic resistant pathogenic bacteria.


Presence of saponins content in Suma root has antimicrobial properties, which helps to prevent infectious disease.

Kidney Health:

Kidney Damage:

Studies in rats with acute kidney damage found that dietary supplementation with Suma improved kidney function. Once again, these effects are believed to be due to ecdysteroids.

Liver Health:

Liver Protection:

Ecdysteroids from suma root may have a strong antioxidant effect, especially prominent in the blood and liver. Ecdysteroids stimulated protein and RNA synthesis, thereby boosting the natural function of the liver, in a couple of animal trials.

Bone Health:

Bone and Joint Health:

Ecdysteroids increased the production of collagen and relieved the symptoms of osteoporosis in one study on mice.

Traditional Uses of Suma - Brazilian Ginseng:

  • Suma was used as a sort of "cure all", its common name in the region is "para toda" which translates to "for all things".
  • Supplementation has shown significant weight gain and muscular growth on test subjects.
  • Ecdysterone is classified as a testosterone booster and use of it must be considered at the same level of other such substances. It is also recommended to take it on a cycle format to prevent its effects from waning.
  • Suma is utilized for a variety of purposes, including boosting energy levels and reducing stress, pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
  • Herbalists consider Suma an adaptogen, which means it improves the body’s ability to cope with stress and provides resistance against diseases and various other harmful biological and environmental factors.
  • Ecdysterone has an antioxidant effect on lipid peroxidation which, if left unchecked, could produce reactive aldehydes. These reactive aldehydes can increase the risk for atherosclerosis, cardiac ischemia reperfusion injury, schizophrenia, and other inflammatory diseases.
  • ​​Preliminary tests involving animal subjects show that ecdysterone has the ability to increase bile secretion and liver regeneration from damage borne of toxins.
  • It has been shown to have a wide range of activities on the immune system, metabolism, the production of new blood cells, and hormonal regulation.
  • It significantly increased the sexual performance and drive, and libido of test subjects.
  • The root is also believed to be a potent aphrodisiac.
  • Commonly praised for its ability to help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
  • Germanium is important in maintaining and boosting immune system function.
  • Suma is also rich in ecdysteroids, a family of hormones which may impact reproductive health.
  • This root has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • It can lower the estrogen level in the blood due to its anti-estrogenic effects.
  • Suma Root contains a significant amount of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These substances give Suma root the benefit of being able to supplement your body’s nutritional needs.

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Comments :

  • user
    arnold 08/08/2022 at 23:09
    I’ve used … Suma root for at least the past 3-4 years, and it is enormously strengthening with no side effects.
  • user
    my 20/04/2022 at 21:45
    I like this stuff – very subtle effects, but seems to be useful.”
  • user
    bb 01/04/2022 at 23:27
    Suma is supposed to be a good immunity booster. I have only taken this a couple of months, so that is too soon to know. But it has no side effects.

    The ‘Russian Secret’ – the nickname says it all. It really boosts my gym sessions … Good stuff!