Suma Root Benefits

Suma Root
Latin Name

Pfaffia paniculata

Also Known As

Brazilian Ginseng, Para Tudo, Ginseng Brasilero


South America

Parts Used

Root of the Vine

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Native to South America, Suma is a rambling ground vine that boasts a long and esteemed history of traditional use as a herbal remedy. The Suma Root is the most potent part of this herb, with its nickname “para toda” translating to “for all things”.

The indigenous tribes of the Amazon have long used this root as a general cure-all, a rejuvenating tonic, an aphrodisiac, analgesic, immune booster and to combat stress and anxiety.

In modern day herbalism, Suma Root is classed as an adaptogen and is hugely popular as a testosterone booster for athletes and bodybuilders.

Suma Root Benefits


Also known as “Brazilian Ginseng”, 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.

Sports Performance/Body Building

Dubbed “the Russian Secret”, 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.

The benefits of Suma Root to sports performance appear to be derived from the phytochemical beta-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.

Immune Boosting

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.

Female Sexual Health

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.

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.

Typical Use

Suma Root Powder
1 - 4g of powder per day, or as recommended by a Herbal Practitioner.

Folklore and History

The ancient tribes of South America have high regard for Suma Root. It is used to treat fatigue, loss of weight, stress, low immune system functioning and many other illnesses. The indigenous people would consume it daily to increase their physical strength, energy and stamina.

Suma Root was recently introduced in North America where it was marketed as Brazilian Ginseng. The herb's introduction under that name has caused some confusion, considering it is not a member of the ginseng family, and the resemblance of this herb to ginseng is merely in appearance alone.

Suma Root

Suma is made up of pfaffic acid, phytosterols (mainly beta-ecdysone), and pfaffosides (saponins). Beta-ecdysterone is a plant phytosteroid hormone found to enhance protein biosynthesis and other anabolic (rebuilding) activities in animals. Beta-ecdysterone has been linked with muscle gain. In addition beta-Ecdysone has shown analgesic and anti-diabetic activities in human studies. Researches also found tther trace elements such as germanium, allantoin, and various vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.


Not suitable for people with oestrogen-positive cancers.