Pffafia paniculata

Origin: Brazil

Part of the plant used: Roots

Description: Suma is one of the most highly regarded herbs from South America and is native to the mid-Atlantic rain forest region of Brazil. The plant consists of a ground covering vine with an intricate and deep root structure. Suma is considered to be a true adaptogen and has been used by indigenous people for centuries.

Pharmacology: Suma is used mostly as an adaptogen. Adaptogens exert a normalizing influence on the body, increasing resistance to stress. Studies have shown anabolic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. It is a tonic and a nutrient and has been traditionally used topically for regenerative effects.

Physiology: The root of Pfaffia paniculata has been used by native Brazilians for three centuries as a tonic, and as a remedy for diabetes, ulcers, cancer and general wound healing. Recently, suma extracts have been used for muscle building and the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Suma is known as an adaptogen because of its ability to promote endurance and increased vitality throughout with overall physiological effects. Adaptogens such as suma and ginseng help the body achieve balance, resulting in improved resistance to infections and increased resistance to stress.

Active Properties: Among the many ingredients found in suma, the most notable is ecdysterone. Also known as B-ecdysterone, this phytosterol or plant hormone is very similar in use to alpha-ecdysone, an insect molting hormone. Suma in considered to be one of the richest sources of B-ecdysterone. Ecdysones and plant sterols in general, have been the focus of a great deal of research all over the world for their anabolic effects and a variety of applications. Other phytosterols found in suma include beta-sitosterol, polypodine B, and stigmasterol. There are many other nutrients found in this plant, including a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Allantoin, a cell-building compound, and trace amounts of germanium are also found. Other active constituents include six unique saponins called pfaffosides, as well as pfaffic acid. As much as 30 percent (by weight) of the whole root consists of dietary fiber.

Indications - Traditional native uses and contemporary research studies have shown that the use of suma can result in increased endurance, stress resistance, enhanced immune function, decreased inflammation, accelerated wound and fracture healing, decreased cholesterol levels and increased levels of protein. Scientists have discovered several anticancer and anabolic effects of the constituents of the root.

Toxicity, Cautions & Contraindications - Suma shows very low toxicity and does not appear to cause adverse reactions. Because of suma’s natural hormones, it should not be taken during pregnancy.

Historical Uses:

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