Suma root benefits

Suma root benefits | HealthSoul

How Suma root benefits were found?

Suma root belongs to genus Pfaffia and widely found in Brazilian territory. Suma root is also known as Brazilian ginseng as it has morphological similarity with Panax ginseng. Some of the medicinal properties of Suma root are also matched with Panax ginseng.  However, both the herbs belong to different families. Suma root belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. Apart from Brazil, Suma root also naturally occurs in America and Africa. [1] Traditionally Suma root is used for its stimulating properties and potent anticancer effect. [2] In Brazil, Suma root is well known herbal medicinal substance due to its medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic purposes. In Brazilian Folk medicine, Suma root has different therapeutic aspects including aphrodisiac, health tonic, diabetes, and rheumatism treatment. Many documents mentioned the several medicinal applications of this plant species including disease preventive, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and hypoglycemic. [1] Traditionally this Suma root is also used for cholesterol-lowering effect. [2]

What are the phytochemicals present in Suma root?

Phytochemicals present in Suma root

Suma root contains some specific phytochemicals like alantoin, triterpenic saponins, stigmasterol, and sitosterol. It also contains some nortriterpenoid compounds, such as pfaffic acid and pfaffosides. [2]

What is the Mode of action of Suma root health benefits?

Pfaffic acid and pfaffosides have tumor cell inhibiting effects. [2] Oxidative stress leads to cancers, cardiovascular disorders, inflammatory arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have reported that plants belongs to Amaranthaceae family contain phenolic substances, which have antioxidant activity, free radicals scavenging property, lipid peroxidation protection effect, and quenching effect against reactive oxygen species. Suma root follows all these mechanisms to provide antioxidant effect. The antioxidant activity is effective to exert hepatoprotective activities.

The anti-inflammatory effect of Suma root has evaluated through in-vitro tests. The phytochemicals like tiliroside and patuletin 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside are glycoside flavonoids, which inhibits iNOX and COX-2 expression as well as MAPK/JNK/p38-mediated inflammation in LPS-stimulated macrophages. The biological activity of Patuletin and its derivatives also show the anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic activities. Patuletin inhibits human lymphocyte proliferative activity.  Tiliroside also inhibits TRAF-6-mdiated activation of the NF-κB and p38 MAPK signaling pathways, thus it suppresses microglia during neuro-inflammation. [3] An animal research study reported that the Suma root extract increases sexual hormones like estradiol, progesterone and testosterone levels without adverse effects. [2]

What are the different forms of Suma root?

Different forms of Suma root

There is no detail safety information available in research documentation. According to traditional application approaches Suma root tea preparation is a common dosage form of this herbal ingredient. The recommended dose of Suma tea is one cup twice daily. Suma root powder capsules are also available and recommended dose is 500mg capsule need to take twice a day. Experts also recommended adherence of level instruction is very important before you intake such medications. It is also important to discuss with your physician for dose recommendation. [4]

Suma root uses

The clinical uses of Suma root is very less evidential. Some documents stated that Suma root can be used as immunity booster to improve the immune system. It is effective to prevent cancer, tumor, diabetes. It helps to heal up wound and other skin problems. It controls sexual problems also. [5]

Suma root Uses

Antitumor activity

A research result reported that Suma root has cytogenotoxicity, as it interferes with mitotic spindle formation. The cytogenotoxicity effect may effective to treat Suma root. [1]

Cancer treatment

Suma root extract ingestion helps to stimulates and potentially inactivates immunocompetent cells like macrophages, natural killer cells, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes activity. Thus, it stimulates the immune response against the tumor and exerts antineoplastic effect. [6]

Suma root reduces cellular proliferation and increases apoptosis which prevent chronic inflammatory condition. In an animal trial,  Suma root showed chemo-preventive role. [7]


To maintain the energy level and prevent the fatigue condition health-conscious people using different natural adaptogen instead of using a synthetic stimulant to obtain prolong effect. Researchers reported that Soma root acts as a endocrine, nervous, musculoskeletal, and digestive systems regulator without causing any stimulation or inhibitory action. Thus it is a promising adaptogen herb. [6]

Blood disorder

Suma root may effective to treat blood disorders, especially in case of haemolytic disorders due to its saponins content.

Infection prevention

Presence of saponins content in Suma root has antimicrobial properties, which helps to prevent infectious disease.  [1]

To improve libido

An animal research conducted in 2003, reported that Suma root ingestion enhances sex hormonal levels in blood. The test result reported that Suma preparation intake increase progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone levels in both male and female gender within 30 days treatment period without providing any side effect. [8] Sex hormonal enhancement can improve libido and sex drive.

Inflammatory Bowel syndrome

Suma root has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property. [4] Inflammatory Bowel syndrome is a long-term inflammatory condition of the gastro-intestinal tract may associated with immune system disorder. Increase stress level aggravated the condition. Suma root has a stress-relieving effect and also modulate inflammation and immune functioning. An animal research report concluded a positive result after using Suma root preparation in the animal with inflamed colonic condition. Both immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect helps to control IBS. [9]

Suma root Side effects

Suma root Side effects

There is very limited evidence found to check the side effect of Suma root in human use, however, no significant adverse reaction has found from laboratory research and animal studies. It is considered that oral intake of Suma is safe for limited treatment period. There is no data on topical application of Suma root preparation.  Inhalation of Suma root powder can cause breathing difficulty or aggravated asthma attack. Yet now no detail drug interaction evidence is obtained. [5]

When should I avoid Suma root?

It is always better to avoid Suma root preparation during pregnancy and breast-feeding, as there is no research discuss the safety parameters of this herb during pregnancy and lactation. [5]

Kidney and liver disease patients also avoid intake of Suma root preparation because of lack of safety data. [4]


  1. Brazilian ginseng” (Pfaffia glomerata Spreng. Pedersen, Amaranthaceae) methanolic extract: cytogenotoxicity in animal and plant assays.
  2. Agronomical and phytochemical aspects of fafia.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties of the Extract, Tiliroside, and Patuletin 3-O-β-D-Glucopyranoside from Pfaffia townsendii (Amaranthaceae).
  4.  The Health Benefits of Suma.
  5.  SUMA.
  6. Effects of oral administration of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on incidence of spontaneous leukemia in AKR/J mice.
  7. Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) roots decrease proliferation and increase apoptosis but do not affect cell communication in murine hepatocarcinogenesis.
  8. Pfaffia paniculata-induced changes in plasma estradiol-17beta, progesterone and testosterone levels in mice.
  9. Anti-inflammatory effects of Brazilian ginseng (Pfaffia paniculata) on TNBS-induced intestinal inflammation: Experimental evidence.