Posted: 08 Jul 2014 08:00 AM PDT
When conventional medicine fails, many people often look to traditional healing therapies, such as Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A variety of herbs and plants are used in traditional medicine modalities, usually in the form of an extract. Suma root, a therapeutic herb originating from the jungles and rainforests of Central and South America, is one of the many herbal remedies used for women's health.
Benefits for Women
While there's quite a bit of information available online in regards to Suma root and athletic performance, the root may also have other important applications, especially for women. Research indicates that Suma root may offer the following 4 benefits:
1. Supports Energy Levels
Suma root contains potent levels of many essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, E, and K. In addition, Suma root also contains minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and electrolytes, all of which provide many of the root's energizing effects. B vitamins and electrolytes, two nutrients that are plentiful in the plant's raw material, are heralded for their energizing effects. 
2. Promotes Fertility
Fertility requires hormonal balance, something that can be incredibly difficult in today's world. With hormone disruptors and environmental toxins pervading our environment at an ever-increasing rate, fertility hormones are bound to become inefficient.  Estradiol-17 beta is the primary estrogen hormone produced in women during reproductive years, and the stimulation of this hormone may possibly improve reproductive health and overall fertility. Research supports Suma as a natural application helpful for encouraging estradiol-17 beta, an action that may improve hormone balance. 
3. Enriches the Skin
The nutrient density and potent antioxidants contained within the root of this plant may protect skin cells from UV damage, thus reducing the visible signs of the aging process. Research further suggests that Suma may even help heal the skin after damage has already taken place. One study examined Suma’s effects on under eye dark circles. Study participants who had dark circles applied a topical application of Suma root, along with other herbal extracts, in the area of discoloration. Topical application of Suma root helped participants reduce dark circles, a finding that led researchers to suggest the herb may offer an excellent protective option for skin care. 
4. Nutritional Support for Cancer?
It's premature to say Suma root protects against cancer, but there has been some interesting results from preliminary research. Some lab tests have observed it to induce breast cancer cell death (apoptosis).  Research continues to examine its disease-protective properties.
The benefits listed above only note a few therapeutic properties attributed to Suma root. While little research exists on further health benefits, traditional use for the root includes supporting a healthy body weight, blood sugar support, and cardiovascular health. If Suma root sounds like something you may be interested in, make sure to do your research and find a high-quality source!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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