Latin Name: Eurycoma longifolia
Also Known As: Longjack, Tongkat Baginda, Muntah Bumi, Petala Bumi
Origin: Malaysia, Indonesia
Parts Used: Root
Traditional Use and Health Benefits:
The name Tongkat Ali means “Ali’s walking stick” – it is native to Malaysia, lower Burma, Thailand, and Indonesia. The root is employed as a traditional remedy for the treatment of malaria, high blood pressure, fevers, fatigue, loss of sexual desire, and impotence. Tongkat Ali enjoys both a long history of traditional use, and a growing body of serious science corroborating its efficacy.
Tongkat Ali Benefits | Natural treatment for Andropause
Male Sexual Health
Tongkat Ali is a powerful herb that has been traditionally used for centuries as a remedy for age-related male disorders. Testosterone and other male hormones are known to decrease with age which can result in a condition known as “andropause” (also known as the male menopause). Symptoms can include lack of energy, a decrease in libido, increased body fat and mental lethargy.
Many studies show that this root contains compounds that stimulate libido, promote sperm motility and semen quality and support muscle growth – all effects that are attributed to an increase in testosterone. The hormonal support provided by Tongkat Ali can also increase male fertility by promoting normal sperm quality. This effect is backed up by a 2012 study of 76 men, only 35 percent of whom had normal testosterone levels. After one month of supplementation with Tongkat Ali, the number of men with normal testosterone levels had risen significantly to 90 percent.
A pleasant side effect of this increase in testosterone is a boost in sex drive, with it long being used in South East Asia as an aphrodisiac.
Female Sexual Health
Tongkat Ali’s main benefits for women come from its ability to balance hormones, with common symptoms of hormone imbalance including; low sex drive, brain fog, fatigue and slow metabolism. With hormones playing a significant role in metabolism, Tongkat Ali’s stabilising effect can help to maintain healthy metabolism, also preventing age-related weight gain.
When hormones are out of kilter this can play havoc with many bodily systems, especially in women – low energy levels being a common complaint along with fatigue. Tongkat Ali is a natural energy booster, with Asian communities using this herb for centuries for just this effect, alongside it being used to ramp up sex drive and boost testosterone levels (necessary for both male and female sexual health). It is also said to be helpful in increasing the sensitivity of women’s erogenous zones, further adding to its libido boosting qualities.
Another side-effect of low hormone levels (especially testosterone), is an increased risk of osteoporosis – common in women over a certain age. As long as levels of magnesium, calcium and vitamin D are normal, Tongkat Ali’s ablility to encourage serum levels of testosterone make this herb extremely useful for improving and maintaining superior bone health.
A natural side effect of the increase in testosterone provided by Tongkat Ali is that it can aid in the loss of body fat whilst boosting the ability to gain lean body mass. This will have an even greater effect if exercise is taken regularly.
A promising Malaysian study published in 2002 demonstrated that Tongkat Ali had the potential to improve lean body mass. In this double blind study, 7 men were given 100 mgs of Tongkat Ali extract each day with the other 7 participants being given a placebo for a 5 week period. The men in the Tongkat Ali group experienced a 5% increase in their lean body mass and a significant reduction in body fat.
Folklore and History
Recognised in Malaysia as a national treasure, Tongkat Ali has a long history as a medicinal herb and has been used for centuries in Asia, especially Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Also referred to as Malaysian Ginseng, it is a small evergreen tree found in the jungles of Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
H. Burkill in his 1935 Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula notes that “Bedara laut,” (another name for Tongkat Ali), was used in an infusion as a gargle for bleeding gums, a draught for dropsy (broadly, fluid retention) and ascites (excess fluid in the peritoneal cavity, a complication of liver cirrhosis, or possible spontaneous life-threatening bacterial infection). The Medical Book of Malaya
n Medicine suggests a deep respect for the herb as an ingredient in polyherbal prescriptions as a “neutraliser of poison” and “bitter antidote.” The infusion is used for coughs, fever, and as an application for “caterpillar itch”—wounds caused by the bristles of the poisonous sea creature known as hairy sea-caterpillar or fireworm.
Alkaloids, -carboline alkaloids, squalene derivatives and biphenylneolignans.
Some of these constituents were shown to possess cytotoxic, antitumour, antimalarial, antischistosomal, anxiolytic and plant growth inhibition activities.
Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not take if under 18 yrs.