HEALING HERB: SUMA
Suma, Pfaffia paniculata, is a large ground vine with a deep root system, found in the Amazon basin area. In South America, Suma is known as Para Toda, which means “for all things.” Native peoples of the Amazon region have used Suma for over 300 years for a wide variety of health purposes. It is an adaptogen, which means it has a generally healing effect on the entire body. It has also been called, "Brazilian ginseng". Although it is not related to ginseng, how it is used and its adaptogeneic properties are similar to ginseng.
In North American herbal medicine, Suma root is used as an adaptogenic and regenerative tonic, as well as an immunostimulant, to treat exhaustion and chronic fatigue, impotence, arthritis, anemia, diabetes, cancer, tumors, mononucleosis, high blood pressure, PMS, menopause, and hormonal disorders, and many types of stress. In his book, The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Thomas Bartram states that Suma is used in Europe to restore nerve and glandular function, to balance the endocrine system, to strengthen the immune system, for infertility, female issues, high cholesterol, to neutralize toxins, and as a general restorative tonic after illness.
In South America, Suma root is used to heal wounds, strengthen muscles, relieve chronic pain and inflammation, balance blood sugar levels, improve sex drive, and help reduce tumors. In fact, it is used for so many healing purposes that no one really knows everything it’s used for.
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 our body. Several studies have shown that macrophagic activity can increase when exposed to Suma. It has even been used to increase hemoglobin levels in patients with sickle cell disease.
Suma root is high in antioxidants, has at least 19 different amino acids, a large number of electrolytes, trace minerals, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, E, K, Pantothenic acid. It is also high in germanium, a chemical element that reacts and produces oxygen at the cellular level. This could account for why it is said to help prevent cancer and kill invading bacteria. Another interesting factor is that it is composed of up to 11% saponins. The saponins found in Suma root have newly discovered chemicals, which have been clinically demonstrated to inhibit tumor cell melanomas and lymphomas. Suma's main plant chemicals are: allantoin, beta-ecdysterone, beta-sitosterol, daucosterol, germanium, iron, magnesium nortriterpenoids, pantothenic aceid, pfaffic acides, pfaffosides A-F, polypodine B, saponins, silica, stigmasterol, stigmasterol-3-o-beta-d-glucoside.
At Herbs4You we have a top-quality Suma root extract called Pfaffia, after its Latin name.
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Amy Willis, Your Local Herbalist