|Did You Know?
Although completely safe, use of supplements made from suma root are strictly prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) as they emulate the action of illegal steroids in the body. So athletes and bodybuilders taking part in competitive events are advised to avoid using suma root supplements.
Also referred to as Brazilian ginseng, suma plant is a large ground vine native to the rainforests of Brazil. The indigenous tribes of South America consider the root of the vine to be a remedy "for all ailments". The root has been held in high regard by the Amazonian rainforest tribes, and they have been using it for at least 300 years. Found abundantly in the Amazon basin area, the vine has a deep and a complex root system that allows it to absorb nutrients in greater amounts from the soil. No wonder, the root is said to provide plenty of health benefits. They are discussed below:
Supports Wound Healing
The tribes inhabiting in the rainforests of Brazil have long been using the suma root as a wound healer. Allantoin, a natural chemical compound present in suma root, encourages growth of new skin cells, which may work to facilitate wound healing. So, applying a paste of suma root on the affected area may promote cell proliferation, which can speed up its healing.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The root contains pfaffosides that are said to balance blood sugar levels. Its ability to regulate blood sugar may help treat diabetes―a condition that is marked by abnormal blood glucose levels.
Packed with Nutrition
Here's another reason why you should include suma root in your diet. Suma root has such a high nutritional profile that you may wonder why this plant is not as popular as it deserves to be. The root has at least 19 dissimilar amino acids―the building blocks of proteins. It is also packed with minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, and trace minerals. Vitamins A, E, K, and B are also present in high amounts. The root is also a good source of quite a few phytochemicals that are known for their high antioxidant capacity.
Remedy for Anemia
Owing to the high concentration of iron, consumption of suma root is traditional considered to be a remedy for anemia. The condition that causes inadequate production of RBCs due to iron deficiency, can be treated by taking extracts of suma root.
Germanium, a trace mineral present in suma root, is reportedly an immune booster. In fact, there is documented evidence that germanium positively affects the immune system. It improves immunity by increasing the synthesis of natural killer cells, macrophages, interferon, and T-suppressor cells.
Promotes Hormonal Balance
Suma root is said to increases synthesis of estrogen and progesterone, and correct imbalance of hormones. Hence, herbal practitioners have been prescribing suma root to treat hormonal disturbances such as menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Looking for a way to build muscles quickly without using steroids? Well, the root of suma plant has a strong reputation as a muscle-building aid. This is because suma root contains beta-ecdysterone―a naturally occurring steroid that may assist to build muscle mass. Studies have also shown that adding beta-ecdysterone supplements to your diet and exercise routine has the potential to increase muscle size. Suma root extracts act like natural anabolic agents that increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscles. This can help stimulate muscle growth, increase stamina, and endurance. So, if you want to increase muscle mass quickly, taking suma root supplements can be a better option as they do not produce side effects commonly associated with the use of commercial steroids.
As an Aphrodisiac
Historically, suma root has been used as an aphrodisiac by the natives of South America. Its traditional use as a potent sexual tonic has the backing of few studies. For instance, a 1999 study conducted on rats indicated that the root has sex boosting potential. The study conducted at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy observed that male rats did show a remarkable improvement in sexual function. So, people with poor libido and those suffering from erectile dysfunction may benefit by taking suma root supplements.
Beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol, the two substances found in suma root have been found to be effective in lowering high cholesterol levels. Although suma root does not increase good cholesterol, its usage is likely to be effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels.
Roughly 11% of the suma root is made up of saponins―a class of chemical compounds that are known to combat cancer. Saponins have shown to display anti-tumorigenic effects, which may help prevent cancer growth. Suma root also exhibits antibacterial properties, which can also be attributed to the presence of saponins.
Traditionally, the Amazonian tribes of South America have been using it as an energy tonic for centuries. This is because, suma root contains a host of nutrients, so taking it in supplemental form such as tablet is considered a natural way to boost flagging energy levels.
The root of suma is ground to powder, which is used to make a steaming cup of tea. It can also be taken as a decoction that is made by boiling the root in water. Suma root is also available as a tincture and in the form of capsules and tablets.
The purported health benefits of suma root, though validated by a few studies, are not substantiated by the FDA. Yes, the FDA does ensure that quality standards of processing are followed when making the herbal product, but it does not scrutinize the claims, for which the product is marketed. In such a case, it is necessary that you discuss with your health care provider before using the product.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.