Brazilian Ginseng (Suma) - Pfaffia paniculata Kuntze
Brazilian Ginseng (Suma) - Pfaffia paniculata Kuntze
Brazilian Ginseng (Suma) - Pfaffia paniculata Kuntze

Brazilian Ginseng (Suma) - Pfaffia paniculata Kuntze

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Boost your immune system with Brazilian Ginseng

Brazilian Ginseng - Pfaffia paniculata Kuntze

Origin: Brazil

Used part: Root


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.

Health benefits:

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.

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.

Good Herbal Remedy:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Reducing pain
  • Alleviating digestive issues
  • Boosting physical energy
  • As an aphrodisiac
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ulcers
  • Stress

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.


  1. Put 2 tbsp to a quart of water
  2. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes from the moment it starts to boil
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes
  4. Strain and is ready for use

How to Drink:

Take 2 to 3 cups a day.


Suma’s ability to affect hormone production means that it should be avoided by anyone with a known history of diseases involving hormonal dysregulation, as suma supplementation could potentially worsen these conditions or otherwise have unpredictable effects on health. Additionally, yet-unknown drug interactions remain a possibility, and you should consult with a physician or other specialist before embarking on any new supplementation regimen.

Finally, while many studies have evaluated suma’s safety in the general population, we don’t know what effects it might have on fetal development. Therefore, suma should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding.