Compilation of herbal plants (description, geographical distribution, taxonomy, line drawings), biodiversity and herbarium.

Read More
Research & Publication

Description of herbal and T&CM research, searchable publication and process from medicinal plant discovery to clinical trial in producing a high-quality registered herbal drug.

Read More
Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM)


Definition and description of therapies, policy, training and education, research in the practise of (T&CM) and integrated medicine system.           

Read More


News Update

Announcement & Advertisement

Forthcoming Events

Annual Congress on Traditional Medicine

From Wed, 12. May 2021 Until Thu, 13. May 2021

5th International Conference on Medical and Health Informatics (ICMHI 2021

From Fri, 14. May 2021 Until Sun, 16. May 2021

International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Phytochemistry 2021

From Mon, 12. July 2021 Until Wed, 14. July 2021

Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants and Spices XVII (2020)

From Tue, 17. August 2021 Until Thu, 19. August 2021

Pfaffia paniculata


Pfaffia paniculata 


No documentation

Vernacular Name

Suma, Brazilian ginseng, Pfaffia, Para Toda


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


Medicinal Uses


Immune system balance

Sexual health 




Most Frequently Reported Uses

Immune system balance 

Sexual health 


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



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]


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.


Do not use in pregnancy or lactation

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

No documentation

Read More

  1)  South Central American Herbs


  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.

Explore Further

Consumer Data

Consumer data including medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs and interactions and depletions.                                    

Read More
Professional Data

Professional data organized into medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs, T&CM herbs, formulas, health conditions, interactions and depletions.

Read More
International Data

We offer International linkages to provide extensive content pertaining to many facets of T&CM as well as Integrated Medicine. Please register for access.    

Read More