Pfaffia paniculata

 

Pfaffia paniculata 

Synonyms

No documentation

Vernacular Name

Suma, Brazilian ginseng, Pfaffia, Para Toda

Description

Pfaffia paniculata, or Suma, is a shrub-like vine growing in Central and South America. The use of P. paniculata in these areas goes back several hundred years with various Central and South American tribes using it “para toda” or for all things.  It remains an important remedy in these areas today and is widely used by several existing tribes.  In addition to its medicinal properties, it contains iron and magnesium.

P. paniculata is a creeping, shrub like vine that has an extensive and complex root system with leaves that are 2-8cm long and 1-4cm wide.

Origin / Habitat

P. paniculata vine is indigenous to the tropical areas of Brazil, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and in general to the Amazon basin.   It requires the climate of the tropics in order to thrive and grows best in soil that is mineral-rich particularly rich in iron.

Chemical Constituents

allantoin, beta-ecdysterone, beta-sitosterol, daucosterol, germanium, iron, magnesium, nortriterpenoids, pantothenic acid, pfaffic acids, pfaffosides A-F, polypodine B, saponins, silica, stigmasterol, stigmasterol-3-o-beta-d-glucoside, vitamins A, B1, B2, E, K, and zinc.[1],[2]

Plant Part Used

Replace.

Medicinal Uses

General

Immune system balance

Sexual health 

Adaptogen/tonic

Cancer

 

Most Frequently Reported Uses

Immune system balance 

Sexual health 

Dosage

Dosage Range  

Dried root: 1-3g daily in divided dosages.

Most Common Dosage

Standardized extract containing 5mg of Beta-Ecdysterone daily.

Standardized to

Standardized to beta-ecdysterone

Pharmacology

Pre-clinical

Laboratory studies have found that constituents in P. paniculata, pfaffic acid and pfaffocides, act as cancer-inhibiting compounds.[3] P. paniculata root extracts have antineoplastic effects and cancer chemopreventive activity, reducing cellular proliferation and increasing apoptosis of various cancer cell lines.[4],[5]

Laboratory studies have also reported an increase in immunity, as shown by increased macrophage activity[6]

 

Laboratory studies have found that extracts of P. paniculata can increases levels of sex hormones, like estrogen (estradiol), progesterone and testosterone.[7]  P. paniculata extracts improve the copulatory performance of sexually sluggish/impotent rats, increased the percentage of rats achieving ejaculation and significantly reduced mount, intromission and ejaculation latencies, post-ejaculatory interval and intercopulatory interval.[8]

Clinical

No clinical data available to support the common uses of P. paniculata.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, use with caution in individuals taking medications that alter sex hormonal activity, such as testosterone, oral contraceptives or HRT (hormonal replacement therapy, including estrogen and progesterone).[7]

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

P. paniculata has been reported safe in recommended doses. P. paniculata is reported to have hormonal-like effects, so caution is recommended in individuals with estrogen-positive cancers or prostate cancer.[9]

Discontinue if allergy occurs.

Pregnancy

Do not use in pregnancy or lactation

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

No documentation

Read More

  1)  South Central American Herbs

References

  1. Ishimoto N. et al. Pfaffosides and nortriterpenoid saponins from Pfaffia paniculata. Phytochemistry. 1984; 23(1):139–142.
  2. Nishimoto N. et al. Three ecdysteroid glycosides from Pfaffia. Phytochemistry. 1988;27(6):1665–1668.
  3. Nagamine MK, da Silva TC, Matsuzaki P, et al. Cytotoxic effects of butanolic extract from Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on cultured human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Exp Toxicol Pathol. Jan2009;61(1):75-82.
  4. Carneiro CS, Costa-Pinto FA, da Silva AP, et al. Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) methanolic extract reduces angiogenesis in mice. Exp Toxicol Pathol. Aug2007;58(6):427-431.
  5. da Silva TC, Cogliati B, da Silva AP, et al. Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) roots decrease proliferation and increase apoptosis but do not affect cell communication in murine hepatocarcinogenesis. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 8May2009.
  6. Pinello KC, Fonseca Ede S, Akisue G, et al. Effects of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) extract on macrophage activity. Life Sci. 16Feb2006;78(12):1287-1292.
  7. Oshima M, Gu Y. Pfaffia paniculata-induced changes in plasma estradiol-17beta, progesterone and testosterone levels in mice. J Reprod Dev. Apr2003;49(2):175-180.
  8. Arletti R, Benelli A, Cavazzuti E, Scarpetta G, Bertolini A. Stimulating property of Turnera diffusa and Pfaffia paniculata extracts on the sexual-behavior of male rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). Mar1999;143(1):15-19.
  9. de Oliveira FG, et al. Contribution to the pharmacognostic study of Brazilian ginseng Pfaffia paniculata. An. Farm. Quim. 1980;20(1–2):277–361.