Is Tongkat Ali or Ashwagandha Better for Women?

With so many popular supplements out there, it can be challenging to find the right one for you. Women need to be especially cautious as their bodies tend to be more sensitive to things like hormonal changes and stress. It is important to take into consideration their unique and changeable hormone profiles that influence their physiology and nutritional needs across different stages of their life. Both Tongkat Ali and ashwagandha have been extensively clinically studied for their health benefits in humans, including for women. But which is better overall for women’s health? 

In this article, we’ll go into several specific use cases specific to women to compare and contrast how both these herbs measure up!

1. Which is better for menopausal women?

Tongkat Ali has shown promise in supporting hormone balance in both men and women. For menopausal women, it has been shown to help maintain healthy hormonal balance, which can contribute to reduced disruptive symptoms. Clinical studies show that regular supplementation with standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract can significantly ease symptoms like hot-flashes, joint pain, and high cholesterol, while reducing stress, enhancing libido, as well as physical, functional, and metabolic performance.

Ashwagandha is also known for its adaptogenic properties, which can help manage stress and, to a lesser extent, promote hormonal balance. It may offer support for menopausal symptoms like anxiety, sleep disturbances, and mood fluctuations. Clinical studies show that supplementation with ashwagandha can have a mild to moderate benefits for reducing peri-menopausal symptoms, improving quality of life, and promoting hormonal balance. These benefits can contribute to a smoother transition through the early stages of menopause and support enhanced overall well-being. 

Verdict:
Tongkat Ali is better for overall hormonal balance, providing women with effective support during menopause itself. Its proven efficacy in supporting healthy hormone levels, coupled with its ability to alleviate disruptive symptoms like hot flashes, joint pain, and high cholesterol, makes it an invaluable supplement during the various menopausal stages. By enhancing physical performance and reducing stress, Tongkat Ali also helps improve symptoms of mental and physical fatigue, which is common during menopause.

2. Which is better for mood?

Tongkat Ali is a potent adaptogen that helps reduce the impact of stress and improves mood by reducing cortisol levels, boosting testosterone levels, and enhancing dopamine levels. This combination synergizes well to not only improve mood, but also enhances motivation levels, confidence, cognitive function, and even the appreciation and sensation of pleasure. Clinical studies show that regular supplementation improves several mood parameters, including Tension (−11%), Anger (−12%), and Confusion (−15%). This is accompanied by reduced cortisol levels (-16%) and increased testosterone (-37%). Other studies have found that combing Tongkat Ali with key micronutrients (like multivitamins) can enhance these properties and increase parameters for quality of life, mood, stress, and even immunity.

Ashwagandha is famed for its ability to help manage stress. Several studies show that it reduces cortisol levels very effectively and influences the activity of key neurotransmitters like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This effectively reduces the impact of stress, improves feelings of wellbeing, calms the nervous system, and supports better sleep quality. Synergistically, these benefits not only improve mood and promote calm, but also boosts cognitive performance by supporting selected measures of executive function by helping sustain attention and increase short-term/working memory in healthy adults.

Verdict:
Ashwagandha wins out at improving mood in women. Its powerful adaptogenic properties and significant impact on reducing cortisol levels make it highly effective in managing stress and promoting a sense of well-being. Ashwagandha's influence on key neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA helps to calm the nervous system, improve sleep quality, and enhance overall feelings of tranquillity. These benefits synergistically boost cognitive performance, sustain attention, and enhance short-term memory, contributing to an improved mood and overall emotional stability.

3. Which one is better for aging women to restore overall hormonal balance?

Tongkat Ali offers significant benefits for aging women by restoring overall hormonal balance. A 2021 study revealed that daily consumption of 600mg of Tongkat Ali can elevate testosterone levels by 34% and oestradiol (a potent form of oestrogen) by 30%. These increases are crucial as they help counteract the natural decline of these hormones with age, thereby enhancing libido, energy levels, and alleviating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. Additionally, Tongkat Ali’s adaptogenic properties aid in reducing cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can be particularly problematic during times of high stress or excessive alcohol consumption. By balancing these key hormones, Tongkat Ali supports improved overall health, stress resilience, and quality of life for aging women.

Ashwagandha may have mild to moderate benefits for testosterone (+15%) levels and DHEA-S (+18%). However, according to the same clinical study, despite the hormonal changes, the study found no significant clinical advantage of ashwagandha over placebo in the measured aspects on mood, anxiety, stress, energy, and fatigue. However, other studies suggest that regular supplementation with ashwagandha can improve quality of life in healthy adults experiencing high stress and fatigue. Meanwhile other studies suggest that ashwagandha supplementation is effective for improving QoL, sleep quality, and mental alertness in elderly test subjects.

Verdict:
Tongkat Ali proves to be more beneficial for aging women's overall hormonal balance compared to ashwagandha. A 2021 study underscored that Tongkat Ali can elevate testosterone levels by 34% and oestradiol (a potent form of oestrogen) by 30%. These hormonal benefits are ideal for counteracting the natural decline that comes with age, thereby enhancing libido, energy levels, and alleviating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. Meanwhile, Tongkat Ali's adaptogenic properties help reduces cortisol levels, mitigating stress-related issues. This comprehensive hormonal balancing results in improved overall health, stress resilience, and quality of life for aging women.

4. Which herb is better for anti-aging?

Tongkat Ali is an effective and direct anti-aging remedy for women due to its comprehensive benefits on hormonal balance, physical performance, and overall well-being. It significantly reduces menopausal symptoms, including a 65% decrease in hot flushes after 12 weeks and a 73% reduction after 24 weeks. It also alleviates joint pain by 68% and increases overall vitality by 21%. Regular supplementation enhances physical performance by improving strength, balance, and flexibility, with notable increases in total testosterone (48.6%), free testosterone (122%), and muscular hand-grip force (13.7%) within five weeks. Additionally, it supports immune health by boosting T-cell and CD4+ cell production and improves stress hormone profiles by increasing testosterone by 37% and lowering cortisol by 16%. Combining Tongkat Ali with key micronutrients (multivitamins) enhances these properties and increase parameters for quality of life, mood, stress, as well as immunity. 

Ashwagandha shows promise as a supportive anti-aging remedy for certain aspects of aging-related issues. Some studies show that it can potentially slow down the aging process by preserving telomere length. This means that cells may retain their functionality and vitality for a longer period, contributing to some anti-aging effects. In human clinical studies, overweight middle-to-older age adults experiencing high stress and fatigue, Ashwagandha didn’t significantly impact perceived stress levels compared to the placebo but did demonstrate potential anti-fatigue effects, possibly through its influence on the autonomic nervous system. This suggests a nuanced role for Ashwagandha in managing fatigue and stress-related symptoms associated with aging. Additionally, in elderly participants, Ashwagandha root extract was found to improve quality of life, sleep quality, and mental alertness. Other studies suggest a potential as a safe and effective option for addressing mild to moderate climacteric symptoms during perimenopause in women.

Verdict:
Tongkat Ali emerges as the more direct and beneficial anti-aging remedy for women when compared to ashwagandha. Its comprehensive effects on hormonal balance, physical health, and overall well-being are notable, with significant reductions in menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and joint pain, coupled with a substantial increase in vitality. Tongkat Ali also demonstrates impressive improvements in physical performance, immune health, and stress management, making it a potent and multipronged solution for enhancing quality of life, mood, libido, and physical prowess in women.

5. Which herb is better for weight loss?

Tongkat Ali offers comprehensive support for healthy weight loss through various mechanisms. Primarily, it works by boosting metabolism and thermogenesis, leading to increased calorie burning and accelerated weight loss, as evidenced by reduced Body Mass Index (BMI) in obese individuals after prolonged supplementation. Tongkat Ali also prevents metabolic adaptation, ensuring a sustained metabolic rate conducive to weight management. At the same time, it raises testosterone levels, promoting lean muscle mass development and fat loss, thus enhancing metabolic activity and calorie utilization. Tongkat Ali’s ability to lower cortisol levels may help curb stress eating and emotional overeating, which are common hindrances to weight loss progress. Lastly, there is evidence that Tongkat Ali regulates blood sugar levels, reducing insulin resistance and fat storage, crucial factors in maintaining a healthy weight. 

Ashwagandha presents itself as a potentially useful aid for weight loss, particularly in individuals experiencing chronic stress. Chronic stress is known to elevate stress hormones such as cortisol, contributing to weight gain and obesity. Moreover, stress can lead to changes in eating behaviour, including increased food intake and cravings for energy-dense foods. Ashwagandha’s adaptogenic and antistress properties have been extensively studied, with findings indicating significant reductions in stress markers, improved mental well-being, and reduced serum cortisol levels. In one study involving individuals with chronic stress, treatment with ashwagandha root extract resulted in marked improvements in psychological and physiological markers of stress, along with reductions in food cravings and improved eating behaviours. These positive changes were accompanied by a statistically significant reduction in body weight and body mass index compared to placebo. 

Verdict:
Tongkat Ali emerges as a better option for healthy weight loss due to its multifaceted approach and comprehensive support mechanisms. Its ability to boost metabolism and thermogenesis accelerates calorie burning, while preventing metabolic adaptation ensures a sustained metabolic rate for long-term weight maintenance. Meanwhile, Tongkat Ali's impact on testosterone levels promotes lean muscle development and fat loss, further enhancing metabolic activity and calorie utilization. By lowering cortisol levels, Tongkat Ali also addresses stress-induced eating behaviours, contributing to better control over emotional eating. Tongkat Ali's regulation of blood sugar levels may also play a vital role in reducing insulin resistance and fat storage, essential factors in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Parting words

Both Tongkat Ali and ashwagandha are very useful for supporting women’s health, but overall Tongkat Ali wins out due to its extensive benefits and synergy with regard to hormonal balance, physical performance, and mental wellbeing. Ashwagandha wins out at improving overall mood and reducing stress over the short term and may be a potentially useful long-term anti-aging remedy due to its potential effects on telomeres, which may support longevity and maintain youthful cellular function. However, these benefits are hampered by the fact that long-term high dose ashwagandha supplementation potentially comes with severe side effects like anhedonia and liver damage. 

If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of Malaysian single-origin standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract for yourself, you can get your hands on our dose-optimized signature capsules, pure powder extract, or potent coffee here, available worldwide with international delivery via DHL express.

Learn More or Contact Us

Learn more about the best Tongkat Ali in the world here, or reach out to us at any of our international offices if you have any queries or concerns.

Author

Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a researcher and investigative journalist, Naressa is all about creating, deconstructing, and reassembling meaningful content through words and facts. With this approach always in mind, she eagerly explores the nuances in life via the aspects of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and wellness in Malaysia .

Our articles are third party reviewed by our panel of experts and medical advisors to ensure the facts are accurate and credible. These are validated against multiple source references which include but not limited to research studies, peer-reviewed journals, pre-clinical studies, clinical tests and other credible publications.

Our panel of medical advisors and experts are highly experienced in their individual fields. However, they do not provide any medical advice or recommendations arising from content published in this article.

Disclaimer: 

The content published on this website is for educational purposes and should not be viewed, read, or seen as a prescription or constitute any form of medical advice. We recommend you consult your nearest GP or doctors before consuming Tongkat Ali or any products which contain Tongkat Ali. For further information, kindly refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.

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