Shaman Women Healers
Bring Hormonal Balance

By Chitra Gunderson


While growing up during the 1950’s, pharmaceutical drugs were the only means to “cure” illness, at least in our house. I was given antibiotics by mouth or hypodermic every time I got sick. Amazingly, my mother, a nurse, even taught me, at 12 years old, how to boil the syringe and needles and give my own shots!

As I grew into the ‘60’s my consciousness expanded to include the use of herbs along with the majority of Southern California youth. Thus, being intrigued by esoteric and ancient healing traditions, I quickly embraced natural remedies, for the most part renouncing modern medicine and my mother’s nursing-home business.

Over the years while raising my family, the natural cures I bought from healthfood stores took care of most everything, until more recently when menopause symptoms became a major cause of distress for me and many of my friends and acquaintances. Now, my interest in natural health and my curiosity have led me to explore the practice of Peruvian women healers (Curanderas), specifically the intuitive healing powers of Shaman women, and their use of botanical rainforest plants to bring hormonal balance to women’s health.

Modern Curandera, Bonnie Glass-Coffin, Ph.D. in Anthropology, practices shamanism by first healing the spiritual realm and emotional health. She explained, “Sometimes spirit and emotions are behind illness and health. Once they are in balance, the spirit energy of the plants help clean out the system and create an environment for the physical body to heal.”

Deanna Rose-Kauffman, Curandera apprentice to Don Oscar Miro-Quesada Lince into the southeastern Andean paqokuna shamanic practice, explained more about shamanism and the practical use of herbs within the indigenous healing tradition.

“My teacher, Don Oscar Miro-Quesada Lince, explains shamanism nicely as ‘an intuitive “science” and creative discovery of interconnections between material objects and energy-field entities, which are produced by resonances in our consciousness when in sacred alignment with the beauty and majesty of Creation,’ ” says Deanna.  “So, the body’s innate healing ability is the direct result of the manifestation of divine spirit within it.”

Deanna explained, “Plants have a spiritual healing energy. Some of the ceremonies and prayers performed request plant spirits to release their healing powers. So, after completing a spiritual ceremony and prayer, I use Amazon herb formulas to further enhance the healing process by first massaging the patients’ feet with herb-infused oils, then giving herbs orally.”

Using the Amazonian formulas Sumacazon™ and Lunazon™, which contain Suma, Maca, Abuta, and Muira Puama, Deanna helps women achieve emotional and physical balance when going through monthly cycles and to alleviate menopause symptoms such as low energy, irritability and mood swings, as well as increasing energy and muscle tone in women and men. Curious to learn more about some of the plants in Sumacazon™, and Lunazon™, I dove into reference books and found that the plant properties in these formulas have the potential to make a significant difference in women’s mental and emotional health, specifically hormonal health.

For instance, Suma acts as an adaptogen for facilitating hormonal balance and helping the body adjust to stress, improving women’s health and happiness during our “change-of-life” cycle. This plant contains several natural hormone-like compounds that help balance the female hormonal system.

Another compound in Suma, beta-ecdysterone, has anabolic properties, which means it helps build muscles.

Suma root also contains saponins which have shown benefit off-setting abnormal cell growth, as well as helping regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. The benefits of Suma are so extensive that the indigenous people of the jungle call Suma “para todo,” which in Spanish means “for all things.” 

Indigenous people believe that Suma also enhances the effect of other herbs, so they have included Suma as part of their regular diet for centuries.

They have used Suma as a food to increase physical stamina and endurance, to treat wounds, skin rashes, to increase energy and enhance sexual energy.

Backing up ancient shaman uses, Western scientific studies show that Suma is used as a tonic for the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, the reproductive system, the digestive system and to alleviate certain hormonal problems and the symptoms of menopause.

In addition, researchers have found that Suma root has almost all the amino acids, many trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, cobalt, silica and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E. It also contains high amounts of the trace element germanium, which stimulates the immune system. What an amazing plant!

Another ingredient in Sumacazon™, Maca, grows high in the Andes in mineral-rich soil. Maca root is an important staple in the diets of native Peruvians and is eaten fresh or dried because it has the highest nutritional value of any local crop. Maca is rich in sugars, protein, starches, and essential minerals, especially iodine and iron.

In Peruvian herbal medicine, Maca is used to increase energy and stamina, enhance fertility, alleviate menstrual disorders and menopause symptoms, increase libido, improve mental clarity and memory, as well as to improve muscle tone, and endurance in athletes. In addition, other traditional uses for Maca include treating male impotence, menstrual irregularities, hormonal imbalance, menopause symptoms, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Reinforcing the other herbs in Sumacazon™, Muira Puama, a Brazilian shrub, is historically used as a tonic for the nervous system, to nutritionally support healthy sexual function, as an antirheumatic, and for gastrointestinal disorders. It is popular in the United States with herbalists who use it for treating impotence, menstrual cramps, PMS, and central nervous system disorders.

Indigenous cultures of South America have used Muira Puama as an aphrodisiac, for sexual debility, impotence, neuromuscular problems, rheumatism, gastrointestinal disorders, and amazingly… to prevent baldness.

Abuta, commonly referred to in South America as the “midwives’ herb”, has been used for centuries for all types of women’s ailments. Natural health practitioners in North and South America still use Abuta to help relieve menstrual symptoms, balance hormones, and help reduce high blood pressure.

Traditionally, “Abuta roots, (Cissampelos pareira) are used in tropical countries to prevent threatened miscarriages and to stop uterine hemorrhages.” (Medical Botany, Walter and Memory Lewis) “Amazonian midwives still carry abuta with them for menstrual cramps, pre- and postnatal pain and uterine hemorrhaging.” (Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest by Leslie Taylor) 

For centuries indigenous shaman women healers and midwives have used the Amazonian plants in support of women’s health. Their knowledge of the rainforest’s medicinal plants have been carefully passed from shaman to shaman, to carry on the healing tradition in its most effective form.

Using indigenous knowledge and western research, a group of alternative doctors worked together for five years to formulate a combination of powerful Amazonian plants that specifically address women’s health issues. The resulting formulas, Sumacazon™ and Lunazon™, emerged as the natural health industry’s foremost wild-crafted, bio-energetic products that safely bring balance to menstrual and menopausal health.

For more information about Amazonian Herbs call Chitra at (888) 310-2570 or visit To receive a package of product samples ($15 value), send a $10 money order along with your name, address, and phone # to Rainforest Canopy, P.O. Box 712, Silver Spring, MD 20918. To receive samples that address your specific needs and interests, call (888) 310-2570 for a personal consultation.

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