Botanical name: Pfaffia paniculata
Other names: Brazilian Ginseng
Suma, also known as Brazilian ginseng, is a South American root known by the Amazon Indians as ‘para todo’ – meaning ‘for everything’. Its uses over the last 300 years have ranged from aphrodisiac to calming agent, tonic and ulcer treatment.
While not related to panax ginseng in any way, it is called Brazilian ginseng due to its adaptogenic quality. Adaptogens are a diverse group of herbs that help the body adapt to a wide range of internal and external stress factors, including sickness, lack of sleep and overworking, while enhancing physical and mental performance, endurance and overall vitality.
Suma stimulates the immune response and can assist healing and recovery from chronic illness, including cancer and diabetes. Suma is a healthier way to stimulate, providing energy without taxing the adrenal glands.
“We love Suma’s exuberant and buzzy energy, and prefer this so-called ginseng over all the others. You can feel its vital energy…we always include it in our energy drinks at home for stamina and ongoing vitality. Enjoy a level teaspoon of Suma powder for work and a heaped teaspoon to party! Suma is ideal for dancers and sports people due to its antispasmodic effect and ability to overcome hangovers. It has been called a cellular regenerator. Unfortunately Suma is not always available in Australia owing to over-harvesting by foreign ginseng and pharmaceutical corporations.” – Ray Thorpe
Preparation: 1-2 tsp/cup, simmer for 10 minutes, or add powder to smoothies.
Reference: Michael Tierra (1998), The Way of Herbs, p198, Medicine Garden Australia (1998), Legendary Power of the South American Jungles.
Suma Common Uses
It may have oestrogen-like effects. Do not use with oestrogen-positive cancers.