Tongkat Ali: A Natural Remedy for Male Sexual Health & More
Tongkat Ali, also known as longjack or Eurycoma longifolia, is a flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various conditions, such as malaria, infections, fevers, and erectile dysfunction. Tongkat Ali is rich in phytochemicals, such as quassinoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and bioactive steroids, that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In this article, we will explore the benefits, side effects, and dosage of Tongkat Ali, a natural remedy for male sexual health and more.
What are the benefits of Tongkat Ali?
Tongkat Ali is most popular for its potential to enhance male sexual health and performance. Several studies have shown that Tongkat Ali can increase testosterone levels, improve libido, erectile function, sperm quality, and fertility in men with low testosterone or sexual dysfunction. Tongkat Ali may also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by modulating the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Additionally, Tongkat Ali may improve muscle strength, endurance, and body composition by stimulating the synthesis of muscle proteins and reducing body fat.
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men that regulates sexual development, function, and behavior. It also plays a role in maintaining muscle mass, bone density, mood, energy, and overall health. However, testosterone levels tend to decline with age or due to various factors, such as illness, medication, injury, or lifestyle habits. Low testosterone can cause symptoms such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depression, reduced muscle mass and strength, increased body fat, and osteoporosis.
Tongkat Ali may help increase testosterone levels naturally by stimulating the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), which signals the testes to produce more testosterone. It may also prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogen or dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which are hormones that can lower testosterone levels or cause unwanted effects. Furthermore, Tongkat Ali may increase the availability of free testosterone in the blood by binding to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that reduces the activity of testosterone.
Several clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of Tongkat Ali in increasing testosterone levels in men with low or normal levels. For example:
- A 2012 study involving 76 men with late-onset hypogonadism (low testosterone due to aging) found that taking 200 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for one month significantly increased serum testosterone levels from 35.5% to 90.8% of normal values. The treatment also improved the Aging Male Symptoms (AMS) score, which measures physical and psychological symptoms related to aging.
- A 2013 study involving 109 healthy men aged 30–55 years found that taking 300 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for 12 weeks increased serum testosterone levels by 15.1% compared with placebo. The treatment also improved various indicators of sexual health and well-being, such as libido, erectile function, sexual satisfaction, sperm motility and concentration.
- A 2014 study involving 32 men and 31 women aged 57–72 years found that taking 400 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for five weeks increased serum testosterone levels by 46% in men and 48% in women compared with baseline. The treatment also improved mood states, stress hormone profile, and anabolic hormone ratio.
Libido is the desire or drive for sexual activity. It can be influenced by various factors, such as hormones, emotions, health conditions, medications, relationship issues, or lifestyle habits. Low libido can affect both men and women and can cause distress or dissatisfaction in oneself or one's partner.
Tongkat Ali may help enhance libido by increasing testosterone levels and improving mood and energy. Testosterone is not only important for sexual function but also for sexual motivation and arousal. Mood and energy are also essential for maintaining a healthy sex drive and overcoming stress or fatigue that can interfere with sexual interest.
Several studies have reported that Tongkat Ali can improve libido in both men and women with low or normal libido. For example:
- A 2015 study involving 26 men aged 40–65 years with mild erectile dysfunction found that taking 200 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for 12 weeks increased libido scores by 14% compared with placebo. The treatment also improved erectile function scores by 21%.
- A 2016 study involving 63 men aged 40–70 years with late-onset hypogonadism found that taking either 200 mg or 400 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for four weeks increased libido scores by 14% or 28%, respectively compared with placebo.
- A 2019 study involving 34 women aged 45–60 years with low sexual desire found that taking either 200 mg or 400 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for four weeks increased sexual desire scores by 16% or 34%, respectively compared with placebo.
Erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. It can be caused by various factors, such as vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, psychological issues and low testosterone levels.
A 2018 study found that taking 400 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for three months improved erectile function in men with ED. The results showed an increase in the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) score from 11.2 to 15.8, which is considered a clinically important difference.
Tongkat Ali may help boost testosterone levels, which declines gradually with age in both men and women. Testosterone plays important roles in libido, bone health, muscle mass and strength, fat distribution and red blood cells production.
A 2015 study involving healthy elderly men aged 65–80 years found that taking 200 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for five weeks significantly increased their testosterone levels.
In addition to its ability to raise testosterone, Tongkat Ali has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in men — a hormone linked to stress that can decrease testosterone production when present at high levels.
A 2012 study found that consuming 200–400 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day for four weeks resulted in significant decreases in cortisol concentrations and increases in the ratio of free testosterone to cortisol. This suggests that taking Tongkat Ali may help improve testosterone availability by reducing the effect of stress hormones on its production.
Finally, studies suggest that Tongkat Ali might have anti-inflammatory properties and help fight oxidative damage, which is linked to chronic health conditions and aging. In one study, rats with induced arthritis were treated with Tongkat Ali over a 16-day period. The results showed that it reduced inflammation and oxidative damage caused by arthritis.
Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Tongkat Ali on testosterone levels, there is evidence that suggests it may help increase testosterone availability in the body, reduce stress hormones and have anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially lead to improved health outcomes. As always, be sure to talk to your doctor about any supplements you are thinking about taking and if they are right for you.
Decoctions of the Tongkat ali root have been used for centuries in Malaysia and Southeast Asia as an aphrodisiac to treat loss of sexual desire and impotence. Its benefits for male sexual health and performance are attributed to its effects on testosterone levels. This herb has also been used to reduce fatigue, malaria, high blood pressure, and fevers. Its roots contain bioactive compounds such as quassinoids, alkaloids, squalene derivatives, and biphenylneolignans. Some of these have been shown to exhibit cytotoxic, antitumour, antischistosomal, and plant growth inhibition activities.
A month-long study of 63 moderately stressed participants showed that daily supplementation with tongkat ali improved mood, with reduced anger and tension. The researchers observed that the extract reduced the level of the stress hormone cortisol. It also increased testosterone, resulting in greater libido. The results of this study suggest that tongkat ali may be an effective remedy against modern-day chronic stress, sleep deprivation, and exercise training.
Tongkat ali is also known to increase bone strength and prevent osteoporosis, a condition that occurs when bones lose density and become weaker. It increases testosterone levels, which stimulates bone-forming cells to build stronger bones. It also activates the death of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bones and lead to bone loss. In addition, Tongkat ali reduces the toxicity of calcium and magnesium in the body.
Another benefit of Tongkat ali is that it promotes healthy sleep. It has been found to alleviate insomnia and improve sleep quality by lowering core body temperature. It also boosts muscle mass and enhances athletic performance. A 2022 four-week study of physically active people found that Tongkat ali lowered core body temperature, promoting better sleep quality and recovery.
This supplement is safe for most people, but should be avoided by those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. It can cause low blood glucose, and people with these conditions should monitor their blood sugar closely when taking tongkat ali. It can also interfere with certain medications, so people should discuss any new supplements with their doctor before beginning them.
Eurycoma longifolia, also known as Tongkat ali, is a plant native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Traditionally, the water decoction of its roots were consumed as a general tonic for a wide variety of discomforts. Modern dietary supplements often incorporate its extract as an ingredient for male sexual health and performance. Its active components are known as quassinoids, which are believed to have potent libido-enhancing properties. In a clinical study, men who took tongkat ali experienced increased semen volume and sperm motility. The study participants also reported improved erectile function and more intense orgasms.
The plant has also been used in traditional medicine to treat lethargy and depression. One human study found that the herb has a potential to restore hormone balance (cortisol/testosterone levels) and improve psychological mood state in people exposed to modern-day stressors, such as sleep deprivation and exercise training. A month-long trial involving 63 moderately stressed people showed that supplementation with tongkat ali and multivitamins led to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as less anger and tension and enhanced vigor and emotional state.
Several other studies have shown that tongkat ali can increase testosterone and enhance muscle strength in physically active people. A placebo-controlled pilot study of 25 physically active seniors over a five-week period showed that tongkat ali increased hand-grip strength, while a separate, larger trial with 76 men suffering from hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels, found that tongkat ali supplementation significantly enhanced testosterone and improved sperm motility and semen volume.
Other research indicates that the plant has antioxidant properties, and it may also help prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels. It has also been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects, and it may help prevent cancer by inhibiting the growth of tumors.
When taken as directed, tongkat ali is generally safe and free of side effects. However, it may cause a slight increase in blood pressure in some people. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before adding this herb to your regimen. It may also decrease blood sugar levels, so it should be avoided by people who have diabetes or who take medications to control their blood sugar.
Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is an ancient plant with a rich history of use and a growing body of serious scientific research to support its efficacy. The plant is native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Its roots have been used in traditional medicine to treat high blood pressure, malaria, fevers and loss of libido. The herb is also believed to enhance physical strength and endurance, and has an ergogenic effect on exercise performance.
Studies show that Tongkat Ali may increase testosterone levels in healthy men, improve erectile dysfunction and boost fertility. It may also help to reduce symptoms of hypogonadism, a condition in which low testosterone is the cause of decreased sexual desire and performance. It has also been shown to increase energy and reduce cellular stress.
It is thought to work as a powerful antioxidant and has antiviral activity, reducing the risk of viral infections such as dengue fever. One study found that extracts from the Tongkat ali root had profound antibiotic action against bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is due to the presence of fatty acids, flavonoids and polyphenols, as well as the beta-carboline alkaloids.
The plant contains a number of chemical compounds with potential health benefits, including coumarins, terpenoids and phytosterols. It is also a source of gamma-linolenic acid, which helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels. It also has a low toxicity profile and is considered to be safe for regular consumption.
Some research has shown that Tongkat Ali can help to increase sperm motility and libido in men. A study of healthy males taking 300 mg a day of a freeze-dried Tongkat Ali water extract over 12 weeks saw improved libido and testosterone levels and an increase in semen volume.
In another placebo-controlled study, participants who took Tongkat Ali for five weeks saw a significant increase in muscle mass. This was in addition to a decrease in body fat percentage.
Other studies have shown that Tongkat Ali may also reduce stress and anxiety. It has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which is an important benefit for those suffering from chronic stress and sleep deprivation. It is also known to improve the effectiveness of other supplements, such as l-arginine, by helping to increase nitric oxide levels.
Tongkat Ali is a powerful herbal supplement, but it's not without its side effects. In some cases, taking Tongkat Ali can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This side effect is usually mild and goes away on its own, but if it persists, you should consult your doctor. Some people may also experience a headache or increased heart rate when taking Tongkat Ali. This is because the herb can increase energy levels and cause sleeplessness. It's best to take Tongkat Ali in the morning or afternoon to avoid these side effects.
In addition to its libido-boosting properties, Tongkat Ali has been found to help alleviate stress and anxiety. In a study involving 63 moderately stressed volunteers, Tongkat Ali was shown to decrease cortisol levels and increase feelings of relaxation. Furthermore, the root extract can also improve mental alertness. In fact, Tongkat Ali has been used as a natural alternative to stimulants to treat anxiety and depression.
Moreover, Tongkat Ali has been shown to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. This means that the plant can protect against a variety of illnesses, including malaria, high blood pressure, fevers and fatigue. It also has a number of health-benefiting chemicals, such as tetrahydroxycinnamic acid, tetracyclic cinnamic acid, hydroxycinnamic acids, alkaloids and flavonoids.
However, it's important to note that Tongkat Ali has not been proven to be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Additionally, it's not recommended for people with a suppressed immune system, or those who are taking hypoglycemic or blood pressure medications. It's also advised to avoid Tongkat Ali if you have hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast or prostate cancer.
It's also advisable to seek medical attention if you have a history of stroke or heart disease. In some cases, Tongkat Ali can cause increased estrogen levels in men, which can result in gynecomastia. This condition can be uncomfortable and affect a man's quality of life. Moreover, it can interfere with certain medications, so you should always talk to your doctor before starting Tongkat Ali. He or she can advise you on the proper dosage and dosage frequency.