Habitat & Cultivation : Suma is native to rainforests of South America, from Venezuela to southern Brazil.
Parts Used : Root.
Constituents : Suma contains triterpene saponins (pfaffosides), sterols (including beta-ecdysone) and minerals (including significant levels of germanium).
History & Folklore : The inhabitants of the Amazon rainforest have employed Suma since ancient times to address diverse health issues, ranging from wound healing and diabetes to cancer. Additionally, Suma is sought after for its aphrodisiac properties, gaining popularity as an herbal remedy in Brazil. Referred to as para todo, meaning “for all,” or Brazilian ginseng, Suma holds a significant place in traditional medicine in the region.
Medicinal Actions & Uses : Suma exhibits a myriad of medicinal uses, primarily concentrated in three key areas: serving as a tonic for hormones and glands, acting as an immune stimulant and detoxifier, and playing a role in both the prevention and treatment of cancer. While Suma is often recognized as a male sexual tonic, its efficacy extends equally to women, proving valuable in addressing menstrual and menopausal issues. Notably, Suma root enhances non-specific immunity and contributes to the treatment of chronic infections and compromised immune resistance.
Research : Studies on suma indicate its potential utility in both cancer prevention and treatment, with certain pfaffosides demonstrating the ability to impede tumor growth in laboratory settings. Chemically akin to the ginsenosides present in ginseng, pfaffosides contribute to suma’s acclaimed aphrodisiac properties, aligning with scientific evidence. In experiments involving male rats experiencing diminished sexual function, administration of a suma extract resulted in increased sexual activity, providing empirical support for its aphrodisiac reputation.