Brazilian Ginseng, Brazilien Ginseng, Ginseng Brasileiro, Ginseng Brésilien, Ginseng du Brésil, Gomphrena paniculata, Hebanthe eriantha, Hebanthe paniculata, Pfaffia, Pfaffia paniculata.


Overview Information

Suma is a plant. It is sometimes called Brazilian ginseng, but it's not related to ginseng. The root of suma is used to make medicine.

Suma is most commonly used as an "adaptogen." An adaptogen is thought to boosts the body's ability to resist "stressors" such as bacteria, toxins, or mental stress. Suma is also used for cancer, diabetes, male sexual performance problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work?

Some researchers think that the chemicals in suma may stop some cancers from developing, decrease swelling, and relieve pain.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of suma for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Suma is considered POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when it is taken by mouth for a short period of time.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if suma is safe to apply to the skin or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if suma is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for SUMA Interactions.



The appropriate dose of suma depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for suma. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Ballas, S. K. Hydration of sickle erythrocytes using a herbal extract (Pfaffia paniculata) in vitro. Br J Haematol. 2000;111(1):359-362. View abstract.
  • Carneiro, C. S., Costa-Pinto, F. A., da Silva, A. P., Pinello, K. C., da Silva, T. C., Matsuzaki, P., Nagamine, M. K., Gorniak, S. L., Haraguchi, M., Akisue, G., and Dagli, M. L. Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) methanolic extract reduces angiogenesis in mice. Exp Toxicol Pathol 2007;58(6):427-431. View abstract.
  • da Silva, T. C., Paula, da Silva, Akisue, G., Luis, Avanzo J., Kazumi, Nagamine M., Fukumasu, H., Matsuzaki, P., Cesar, Raspantini P., Haraguchi, M., Lima, Gorniak S., and Dagli, M. L. Inhibitory effects of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions in a mouse hepatocarcinogenesis model. Cancer Lett. 8-26-2005;226(2):107-113. View abstract.
  • Matsuzaki, P., Akisue, G., Salgado Oloris, S. C., Gorniak, S. L., and Zaidan Dagli, M. L. Effect of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on the Ehrlich tumor in its ascitic form. Life Sci 12-19-2003;74(5):573-579. View abstract.
  • Nagamine, M. K., da Silva, T. C., Matsuzaki, P., Pinello, K. C., Cogliati, B., Pizzo, C. R., Akisue, G., Haraguchi, M., Gorniak, S. L., Sinhorini, I. L., Rao, K. V., Barbuto, J. A., and Dagli, M. L. Cytotoxic effects of butanolic extract from Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian Ginseng) on cultured human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Exp Toxicol Pathol 5-15-2008; View abstract.
  • Oshima, M. and Gu, Y. Pfaffia paniculata-induced changes in plasma estradiol-17beta, progesterone and testosterone levels in mice. J Reprod.Dev. 2003;49(2):175-180. View abstract.
  • Subiza, J., Subiza, J. L., Escribano, P. M., Hinojosa, M., Garcia, R., Jerez, M., and Subiza, E. Occupational asthma caused by Brazil ginseng dust. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1991;88(5):731-736. View abstract.
  • Watanabe, T., Watanabe, M., Watanabe, Y., and Hotta, C. Effects of oral administration of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on incidence of spontaneous leukemia in AKR/J mice. Cancer Detect.Prev. 2000;24(2):173-178. View abstract.
  • Arletti R, Benelli A, Cavazzuti E, et al. Stimulating property of Turnera diffusa and Pfaffia paniculata extracts on the sexual-behavior of male rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1999;143:15-9. View abstract.
  • Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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