Suma or Brazilian ginseng: use for the immune system

The root of suma or Brazilian ginseng is also known as ‘para tudo’, or ‘for everything’. This is a reference to the plant’s reputation in South America, where it is used for health-promoting purposes. Because the suma root contains a high content of organic germanium, it is mainly believed to have a positive influence on the immune system. Organic germanium is known to stimulate the production of red and white blood cells. The use of a suma-based supplement is therefore especially recommended when you want to support the immune system.

Suma (Brazilian ginseng)

  • About suma or Brazilian ginseng
  • Use of suma for the immune system
  • Other complaints where suma is used
  • How do you use suma?
  • Availability of suma


About suma or Brazilian ginseng

Suma or Brazilian ginseng is a plant from the amaranth family. The plant is known by various names, including suma root, pfaffia and Hebanthe eriantha . The name Brazilian ginseng is somewhat misleading because suma is not a member of the ginseng family. Other plants you might be familiar with from the amaranth family include spinach, sugar beet, Swiss chard, grape weed, broomwort, good hendrik and red goosefoot. Suma grows exclusively in South America and is used there as a traditional medicine. In Brazil, the suma root is also referred to as ‘ para tudo ‘, or ‘for everything’ or ‘for all purposes’, which reflects that the plant is used to combat various ailments and has a considerable reputation in this field.

Use of suma for the immune system

Suma may be used ‘for everything’ as the name suggests, but this should of course be taken with a grain of salt. However, it can be argued that the basis of good health lies in the immune system and this is exactly what suma is used for. Although little scientific research has been done into the effectiveness of suma in 2020, it is thought that the use of suma can protect cells in the human body. The main reason for this is the presence of organic germanium in suma. Germanium is also found in garlic, aloe vera and ginseng, but the amount found in suma is unparalleled in that area.Organic germanium compounds are known to stimulate the production of red and white blood cells . There are various patents on germanium-rich substances that are used to more quickly recover from the adverse effects of chemotherapy – which destroys cells. Germanium compounds also have an inhibitory effect on neurotransmitters, so it can also act as a painkiller. It is mainly the positive influence on the production of red and white blood cells that makes suma a popular ingredient in various immune system supporting supplements.In addition to germanium, suma root also contains electrolytes, amino acids, minerals (magnesium, iron and zinc) and vitamins A, B1, B2, E, K1 and K2. Suma is also known as an adaptogen. This is a group of substances that contribute to the stabilization of physiological processes and the promotion of homeostasis, or the balancing of processes such as blood sugar levels, acidity, blood pressure and osmoregulation ( Carulo, MF, 2012 ).

Other complaints where suma is used

In addition to problems with the immune system, suma is also used in traditional medicine for other complaints. It is used, among other things, to combat the following complaints:

  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Stress and overstimulation
  • Fear
  • Pain complaints
  • Digestive problems
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Erection problems


How do you use suma?

Suma root is not eaten raw. The root is ground and processed into powder. This can be used as is, but those who want to use suma as a supplement can also take it in capsule form. The dosage per capsule varies per brand. It is important to always follow the instructions on the packaging. It is usually recommended to take the capsules with a meal to ensure optimal absorption.

Availability of suma

If you want to buy suma in the Netherlands, you have to look carefully. In 2020, it is not widely available at drugstores and health food stores. You can find Brazilian ginseng in various online shops. Suma in capsule form is available from the brands Nature’s Way, Swanson, and Paradise Herbs, among others.It is also possible to buy suma in powder form so that you can use it in drinks, smoothies and yogurt. Suma in powder form is available from the brands Super Foodies and Anima Mundi, among others. Nature’s Way also sells Brazilian ginseng in tincture form.