Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is a tree native to Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. The root of the tree contains compounds called quassinoids and alkaloids and is the part of the tree used in medicine. Tongkat Ali is commonly consumed in the form of dietary supplements, teas, energy drinks, or coffee drinks.
Other names for Tongkat Ali include Eurycoma longifolia, Jack, Ali’s umbrella, longjack, longjack, Ali’s umbrella, Malaysian ginseng, Tung pila, umpudumimadu, and wonod mondu.
Benefits of tongkat Ali
In alternative medicine, tongkat Ali is said to increase testosterone levels, promote muscle strength, and reverse a number of conditions such as erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, fatigue, and stress.
Erectile dysfunction and low libido
Tongkat Ali is often advertised as a remedy for erectile dysfunction. There is some preliminary evidence that this may help.
In a small, double-blind study published in Complementary Medicines and Alternative Medicine , researchers found that 12 weeks of taking a product containing Eurycoma Longifolia extract and Polygonum minus (an antioxidant) helped increase sexual performance and erectile function.
Another study, also published in Complementary Medical and Alternative Medicine, suggests that Tongkat Ali extract may help reduce libido and erectile function. The study involved 109 men aged 30 to 55 and found that the extract can help improve erectile function, sexual libido, sperm motility, and semen volume. There was also a loss of body fat in those men who were overweight.
Tongkat Ali may increase muscle mass and strength due to its supposed effect on testosterone levels. As a result, it is sometimes used to enhance athletic performance and physical strength, as well as to burn fat.
In an earlier preliminary study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that 100mg per day of Eurycoma Longifolia Extract for five weeks increased muscle mass and strength in men participating in an intense strength training program compared to those who participated only in a programme.
Tongkat Ali reviews may also help increase muscle strength in the elderly, according to a 2014 pilot study published in Herbal Medicine Research 2014. In the study, 13 men and 12 women aged 57 to 72 took 400 mg of Tongkat Ali extract daily for five weeks. At the end of the study, Tongkat Ali was found to increase free and total testosterone levels and muscle strength.
However, a 2010 study of recreational athletes found that taking 150 mg per day for seven days before an endurance run (plus an hour before running) did not increase endurance compared to a placebo.
Some research suggests that tongkat ali can help relieve stress. Available research includes a small study published in the Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition.
Researchers assessed stress hormones and mood in 63 people before and after taking the Tongkat Ali supplement for four weeks and found significant improvements in stress, anger, and confusion, as well as decreased salivary cortisol and increased testosterone levels in those who took Tongkat Ali ali extract.