Amazon Adrenal Support for healthy adrenal function

This product is no longer sold by Raintree Nutrition, Inc. See the main product page for more information why. Try doing a google search or see the rainforest products page to find other companies selling rainforest herbal supplements or rainforest plants if you want to make this rainforest formula yourself.

Amazon Adrenal Support is a combination of rainforest plants which have been traditionally used to support adrenal function.* For more information on the individual ingredients in Amazon Adrenal Support, follow the links provided below to the plant database files in the Tropical Plant Database.

Ingredients: A herbal blend of chuchuhuasi, erva tostão, tayuya, maca, jatoba, espinheira santa, and suma. To prepare this natural remedy yourself: use 2 parts chuchuhuasi, 2 parts erva tostão, 2 parts tayuya, and one part each of maca, jatoba, espinheira santa, and suma. To make a small amount... "1 part" could be one tablespoon (you'd have 10 tablespoon of the blended herbal formula). For larger amounts, use "1 part" as one ounce or one cup or one pound. Combine all the herbs together well. The herbal mixture can then be stuffed into capsules or brewed into tea, stirred into juice or other liquid, or taken however you'd like.

Suggested Use: Take 1-2 grams by weight (or about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon by volume) twice daily or as directed by a health professional.


  • Not to be used during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.
  • Do not use in estrogen-positive cancers.
Drug Interactions: None known.

Third-Party Published Research*

This actual rainforest formula has not been the subject of any clinical research. A partial listing of third-party published research on each herbal ingredient in the formula is shown below. Please refer to the plant database files by clicking on the plant names below to see all available documentation and research on each plant ingredient.

Chuchuhuasi (Maytenus krukovii, laevis, ebenfolia)
Chuchuhuasi is traditionally used as a muscle relaxant, aphrodisiac, and analgesic; for adrenal support, as an immune stimulant, and for menstrual balance and regulation. In Peruvian herbal medicine systems, chuchuhuasi is used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bronchitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, adrenal disorders, menstrual irregularities, and pain. Research has reported that chuchuhuasi has aldose reductase inhibitor, analgesic, anticancerous, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumorous, immune stimulant, and protein kinase C inhibitor actions.*
Bradshaw, D., et al. “Therapeutic potential of protein kinase C inhibitors.” Agents and Actions 1993; 38: 135-47.
Bruni, R., et al. “Antimutagenic, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of Maytenus krukovii bark.” Fitoterapia. 2006 Dec; 77(7-8):538-45.
Sosa, S., et al. "Anti-inflammatory activity of Maytenus senegalensis root extracts and of maytenoic acid." Phytomedicine. 2007; 14(2-3): 109-14.
Nakagawa, H., et al. “Chemical constituents from the Colombian medicinal plant Maytenus laevis.” J. Nat. Prod. 2004; 67(11): 1919-24.
Moreira, R. R., et al. “Release of intermediate reactive hydrogen peroxide by macrophage cells activated by natural products.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2001; 24(2): 201-4.
Itokawa, H., et al. “Isolation, structural elucidation and conformational analysis of sesquiterpene pyridine alkaloids from Maytenus ebenifolia Reiss. X-ray molecular structure of ebenifoline W-1.” J. Chem. Soc. Perkin. Trans. I 1993; 11: 1247-54.
Gonzalez, J. G., et al. “Chuchuhuasha—a drug used in folk medicine in the Amazonian and Andean areas. A chemical study of Maytenus laevis.” J. Ethnopharm. 1982; 5: 73–7.
Moya, S., et al. “Phytochemical and pharmacological studies on the antiarthritics of plant origin.” Rev. Colomb. Cienc. Quim. Farm. 1977; 3(2): 5.

Erva Tostão (Boerhaavia difusa)
Erva tostão contains novel alkaloids which have been documented with immunomodulating effects. In one study, the alkaloid extract evidenced a dramatic effect in reducing an elevation of cortisol levels under stressful conditions. Simultaneously, the alkaloids (and a whole root extract) also prevented a drop in immune system performance indicating an adaptogenic immune modulation activity, which might suggest it could be helpful in preventing adrenal exhaustion.*
Pareta, S., et al. "Aqueous extract of Boerhaavia diffusa root ameliorates ethylene glycol-induced hyperoxaluric oxidative stress and renal injury in rat kidney." Pharm Biol. 2011 Dec;49(12):1224-33.
Vineetha, V., et al. "Arsenic Trioxide Toxicity in H9c2 Myoblasts-Damage to Cell Organelles and Possible Amelioration with Boerhavia diffusa." Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2012 Nov 19
Gulati, V., et al. "Enzyme inhibitory and antioxidant activities of traditional medicinal plants: Potential application in the management of hyperglycemia." BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jun 19;12:77.
Aviello, G., et al. "Potent antioxidant and genoprotective effects of boeravinone G, a rotenoid isolated from Boerhaavia diffusa." PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19628.
Olaleye, M., et al. "Antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective property of leaf extracts of Boerhaavia diffusa Linn against acetaminophen-induced liver damage in rats." Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2200-5
Manu, K., et al. "Immunomodulatory activities of Punarnavine, an alkaloid from Boerhaavia diffusa." Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009;31(3):377-87.
Manu, K., et al. "Boerhaavia diffusa stimulates cell-mediated immune response by upregulating IL-2 and downregulating the pro-inflammatory cytokines and GM-CSF in B16F-10 metastatic melanoma bearing mice." J Exp Ther Oncol. 2008;7(1):17-29.
Gholap, S., et al. “Hypoglycaemic effects of some plant extracts are possibly mediated through inhibition in corticosteroid concentration.” Pharmazie. 2004; 59(11): 876-8.
Jagetia, G. C., et al. “The evaluation of nitric oxide scavenging activity of certain Indian medicinal plants in vitro: a preliminary study.” J. Med. Food. 2004 Fall; 7(3): 343-8.
Mehrotra, S., et al. “Immunomodulation by ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa roots." Int. Immunopharmacol. 2002; 7: 987-96.
Kaur, M., et al. "Anti-Convulsant Activity of Boerhaavia diffusa: Plausible Role of Calcium Channel Antagonism." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:310420.
Manu, K., et al. "Studies on the protective effects of Boerhaavia diffusa L. against gamma radiation induced damage in mice." Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Dec;6(4):381-8.
Mungantiwarn, A. A., et al. “Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Boerhaavia diffusa alkaloidal fraction.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999 May; 65(2): 125-31.

Tayuya (Cayaponia tayuya)
Tayuya contains a cucurbitacin chemical (cucurbitacin R) which has been studied extensively in Russia. There it is cited as a powerful adaptogen, preventing stress-induced alterations in the body, as well as supporting adrenal function. It was found to have an effect on the production of corticosteroids and the biosynthesis of eicosanoids in the adrenal cortex, isolated adrenocortical cells, blood plasma, and leukocytes under stress and stress-free conditions in vitro and in vivo. Researchers reported it stimulated the adrenal cortex to adapt organisms to stress by moderately increasing corticosteroid secretion and protected the defense system from becoming hyperactive.*
Panosian, A. G., et al. “Action of adaptogens: cucurbitacin R diglucoside as a stimulator of arachidonic acid metabolism in the rat adrenal gland.” Probl. Endokrinol. 1989 Mar-Apr; 35(2): 70-4.
Panosian, A. G., et al. “Effect of stress and the adaptogen cucurbitacin R diglycoside on arachidonic acid metabolism.” Probl. Endokrinol. 1989 Jan-Feb; 35(1): 58-61.
Panosian, A. G., et al. “Cucurbitacin R glycoside—a regulator of steroidogenesis and of the formation of prostaglandin E2—a specific modulator of the hypothalamus-hypophysis-adrenal cortex system.” Biull. Eksp. Biol. Med. 1987; 104(10): 456-7.
Dadaian, M. A., et al. “Prostaglandin E2 and F2 alpha and 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid levels in the blood of immobilized rats: effect of dihydrocucurbitacin D diglucoside.” Vopr. Med. Khim. 1985 Nov-Dec; 31(6): 98-100.
Escandell, J. M., et al. "Dihydrocucurbitacin B inhibits delayed type hypersensitivity reactions by suppressing lymphocyte proliferation." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Sep;322(3):1261-8.
Escandell, J. M., et al. "Bcl-2 is a negative regulator of interleukin-1beta secretion in murine macrophages in pharmacological-induced apoptosis." Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Aug;160(7):1844-56.
Escandell, J. M., et al. "Inhibition of delayed-type hypersensitivity by Cucurbitacin R through the curbing of lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine expression by means of nuclear factor AT translocation to the nucleus." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Feb;332(2):352-63.
Escandell, J. M., et al. "Cucurbitacin R reduces the inflammation and bone damage associated with adjuvant arthritis in Lewis rats by suppression of TNF-{alpha} in T lymphocytes and macrophages." J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 2006 Feb; 532(1-2): 145-54.
Aquila, S., et al. "Anti-inflammatory activity of flavonoids from Cayaponia tayuya roots." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 21;121(2):333-7.

Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca is widely used for its tonic and adaptogenic qualities and thought to nutritionally support adrenal function.* Maca is a rich source of amino acids which are the building blocks needed to naturally support the endocrine system and adrenals.*
Zhang, Y., et al. "Effect of ethanol extract of Lepidium meyenii Walp. on osteoporosis in ovariectomized rat." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Apr; 105(1-2): 274-9.
Lopez-Fando, A., et al. “Lepidium peruvianum Chacon restores homeostasis impaired by restraint stress.” Phytother. Res. 2004; 18(6): 471-4.
Rubio, J., et al. "Dose-response effect of black maca (Lepidium meyenii) in mice with memory impairment induced by ethanol." Toxicol Mech Methods. 2011 Oct;21(8):628-34.
Pino-Figueroa, A., et al. "Neuroprotective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca)." Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Jun;1199:77-85.
Ranilla, L., et al. "Phenolic compounds, antioxidant activity and in vitro inhibitory potential against key enzymes relevant for hyperglycemia and hypertension of commonly used medicinal plants, herbs and spices in Latin America." Bioresour Technol. 2010 Jun;101(12):4676-89.
Rubio, J., et al. "Aqueous Extract of Black Maca (Lepidium meyenii) on Memory Impairment Induced by Ovariectomy in Mice." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:253958.
Brooks, N., et al. "Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content." Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62
Rubio, J., et al. "Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice." BMC Complement. Altern. Med. 2006 Jun 23; 6:23.
Stone, M., et al. "A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Dec 10;126(3):574-6.
Cicero, A. F., et al. “Lepidium meyenii Walp. improves sexual behaviour in male rats independently from its action on spontaneous locomotor activity.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2001; 75(2–3): 225–29.

Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril)
Jatoba is highly regarded in Brazil as an energy tonic and traditionally used to combat adrenal fatigue. It does not contain any caffeine, xanthenes, or other overt stimulants to over-tax the adrenals.*
Cecilio, A., et al. "Screening of Brazilian medicinal plants for antiviral activity against rotavirus." J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jun 14;141(3):975-81.
 de Alcantara, P. H., et al. “Purification of a beta-galactosidase from cotyledons of Hymenaea courbaril L. (Leguminosae). Enzyme properties and biological function.” Plant Physiol. Biochem. 2006 Oct 27;
Sasaki, K., et al. "High-performance liquid chromatographic purification of oligomeric procyanidins, trimers up to nonamers, derived from the bark of Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril)." Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Jun;73(6):1274-9.
Abdel-Kader, M., et al. “Isolation and absolute configuration of ent-Halimane diterpenoids from Hymenaea courbaril from the Suriname rain forest.” J. Nat. Prod. 2002; 65(1): 11-5.
Closa, D., et al. “Prostanoids and free radicals in CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats: effect of astilbin.” Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids. 1997; 56(4): 331–34.
Lopez, J. A. “Isolation of astilbin and sitosterol from Hymenaea courbaril.” Phytochemistry 1976; 15: 2027F.

Espinheira Santa (Maytenus ilicifolia)
Espinheira santa is traditionally used to support adrenal, kidney, and digestive functions, as well as, for ulcers, as an antacid, laxative, colic remedy, detoxifier, and as an adjunctive therapy for cancer. Independent research indicates that espinheira santa has antacid, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerogenic, antileukemic, and antitumorous actions.*
Yadav, V., et al. "Targeting inflammatory pathways by triterpenoids for prevention and treatment of cancer." Toxins (Basel). 2010 Oct;2(10):2428-66.
dos Santos, V., et al. "Evaluation of antioxidant capacity and synergistic associations of quinonemethide triterpenes and phenolic substances from Maytenus ilicifolia (Celastraceae)." Molecules. 2010 Oct 11;15(10):6956-73.
Tiedemann, R., et al. "Identification of a potent natural triterpenoid inhibitor of proteosome chymotrypsin-like activity and NF-kappaB with antimyeloma activity in vitro and in vivo." Blood. 2009 Apr 23;113(17):4027-37.
Baggio, C., et al. "In vivo/in vitro studies of the effects of the type II arabinogalactan isolated from Maytenus ilicifolia Mart. ex Reissek on the gastrointestinal tract of rats." Z Naturforsch C. 2012 Jul-Aug;67(7-8):405-10.
Baggio, C., et al. "Muscarinic-dependent inhibition of gastric emptying and intestinal motility by fractions of Maytenus ilicifolia Mart ex. Reissek." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jun 25;123(3):385-91.
Vellosa, J. C., et al. “Antioxidant activity of Maytenus ilicifolia root bark.” Fitoterapia. 2006 Apr; 77(3): 243-4.
Rattmann, Y. D., et al. “Nitric oxide-dependent vasorelaxation induced by extractive solutions and fractions of Maytenus ilicifolia Mart ex Reissek (Celastraceae) leaves.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Apr; 104(3): 328-35.
Crestani, S., et al. "A potent and nitric oxide-dependent hypotensive effect induced in rats by semi-purified fractions from Maytenus ilicifolia." Vascul Pharmacol. 2009 Jul;51(1):57-63.
Jorge, R. M., et al. “Evaluation of antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities of Maytenus ilicifolia.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Sep; 94(1): 93-100.
Hnatyszyn, O., et al. “Argentinian plant extracts with relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the corpus cavernosum of guinea pig.” Phytomedicine. 2003 Nov; 10(8): 669-74.

Suma (Pfaffia paniculata)
Suma is used in North American herbal medicine as an adaptogenic and regenerative tonic regulating many systems of the body, for adrenal exhaustion and chronic fatigue, as an immunostimulant; and as a natural remedy for impotence, arthritis, anemia, diabetes, cancer, tumors, mononucleosis, high blood pressure, PMS, menopause, hormonal disorders, and many types of stress.*
Calgaroto, N., et al. "Antioxidant system activation by mercury in Pfaffia glomerata plantlets." Biometals. 2010 Apr;23(2):295-305.
Gao, L., et al. "Beta-ecdysterone induces osteogenic differentiation in mouse mesenchymal stem cells and relieves osteoporosis." Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Dec;31(12):2245-9.
Mendes, F. R., et al. “Brazilian plants as possible adaptogens: An ethnopharmacological survey of books edited in Brazil.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Feb 12;109(3):493-500.
da Silva, T., et al. "Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) roots decrease proliferation and increase apoptosis but do not affect cell communication in murine hepatocarcinogenesis." Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2010 Mar;62(2):145-55.
Oshima, M., et al. “Pfaffia paniculata-induced changes in plasma estradiol-17beta, progesterone and testosterone levels in mice.” J. Reprod. Dev. 2003 Apr; 49(2): 175-80.
Freitas, C., et al. "Involvement of glutamate and cytokine pathways on antinociceptive effect of Pfaffia glomerata in mice." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Apr 21;122(3):468-72.
Carneiro, C., et al. "Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) methanolic extract reduces angiogenesis in mice." Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2007 Aug;58(6):427-31.
Calgaroto, N., et al. "Antioxidant system activation by mercury in Pfaffia glomerata plantlets." Biometals. 2010 Apr;23(2):295-305.
Gao, L., et al. "Beta-ecdysterone induces osteogenic differentiation in mouse mesenchymal stem cells and relieves osteoporosis." Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Dec;31(12):2245-9.
Pinello, K. C., et al. “Effects of Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) extract on macrophage activity.” Life Sci. 2006 Feb; 78(12): 1287-92.
Mazzanti, G., et al. “Analgesic and anti-inflammatory action of Pfaffia paniculata (Martius) Kuntze." Phytother. Res. 1994; 8(7): 413-16.
Mazzanti, G., et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of Pfaffia paniculata (Martius) Kuntze and Pfaffia stenophylla (Sprengel) Stuchl." Pharmacol. Res. 1993; 27(1): 91–92.
Nakamura, S., et al. "Brazilian natural medicines. IV. New noroleanane-type triterpene and ecdysterone-type sterol glycosides and melanogenesis inhibitors from the roots of Pfaffia glomerata." Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2010 May;58(5):690-5.
da Silva, T., et al. "Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) roots decrease proliferation and increase apoptosis but do not affect cell communication in murine hepatocarcinogenesis." Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2010 Mar;62(2):145-55.
Nagamine, M., et al. "Cytotoxic effects of butanolic extract from Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng) on cultured human breast cancer cell line MCF-7." Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2009 Jan;61(1):75-82

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Last updated 12-29-2012