Tongkat Ali Benefits

12 Tongkat Ali Health Benefits: Explained

Last Updated: 26th March 2023

Millions have consumed Tongkat Ali without knowing its wide range of health benefits.  Understanding each health benefit of Tongkat Ali is vital to achieving your health goals.

Tongkat Ali benefits both men and women – with primary focus on the core endocrine system and sub-systems such as the reproductive system, our hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands.

This article explains the potential health benefits of Tongkat Ali from decades of research studies and clinical trials.

Here is a quick summary.

Summary of Tongkat Ali health benefits

1. Increases Testosterone Production

Credibility & Trust Score
4.5/5

2. Improves Sexual Health & Libido

Credibility & Trust Score
4.5/5

3. Improve Strength, Muscle & Physical Activities

Credibility & Trust Score
4/5

4. Stimulate Loss of Weight & Body Fat

Credibility & Trust Score
4/5

5. Potential Treatment for Osteoporosis

Credibility & Trust Score
2.5/5

6. Anti-Cancer properties to aid Cancer Treatment

Credibility & Trust Score
3.5/5

7. Reduces Stress, Anger, & Improve Mood

Credibility & Trust Score
4.5/5

8. Enhances the Immune System

Credibility & Trust Score
4/5

9. Promotes Better Sleep

Credibility & Trust Score
4/5

10. Reduction in Blood Pressure

Credibility & Trust Score
1/5

11. Anti Inflammatory, Anti Bacterial and Parasitic Agent

Credibility & Trust Score
4/5

12. Exhibits Anti-Ulcer Properties

Credibility & Trust Score
4/5

Note:  Our Credibility & Trust Score provides a summary rating on the Tongkat Ali benefits based on clinical trials and research studies from 1990-2023. The assessment was performed by a group of independent health experts, nutritionists, and researchers, and assisted by our medical advisors.

Introduction

Tongkat Ali delivers a wide range of health benefits that span across our endocrine system; a messenger system containing more than 30 hormones that control our body functions.

Tongkat Ali’s benefit is driven by the hypothalamus in the brain; sending signals to the adrenal and pituitary glands to produce the required hormones for our body to function.

With growing clinical tests to validate Tongkat Ali’s health benefits,  clinically tested Tongkat Ali is pioneering the new growth of discerning consumers who seek more benefits from Tongkat Ali supplements.

 Clinically-tested Tongkat Ali is known for its proven health benefits due to rigorous tests by certified scientists. (Credit: AKARALI Physta Laboratory)

To date, more than 1,000 men and women have participated in research and clinical trials to validate Tongkat Ali’s health benefits.

In this article, we shall cover 12 key benefits of Tongkat Ali supplements; taken from published clinical tests and research studies.

Out of 12, there are 6 frequently-mentioned benefits of Tongkat Ali that you may have came across on the Reddit forums, or in sponsored articles such as Discover Magazine, or Outlook India.

🔎 Tongkat Ali benefits to women

Tongkat Ali benefits women in a similar way but with different focus areas. Find out how Tongkat Ali may benefit women in 5 different core areas.

What is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali also known as Akar Ali in the Malay language is a rare medicinal adaptogen plant found in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. The scientific name for Tongkat Ali is Eurycoma Longifolia.

How Tongkat Ali looks like

TONGKAT ALI ROOT IS THE MOST BENEFICIAL TO HEALTH

The most potent of the Tongkat Ali plant is the root. Researchers and scientists reported that the root contains the highest bioactive ingredients that are needed to produce pharmacological responses (i.e efficacy) to our health.

Most research and clinical studies in recent years are conducted using Tongkat Ali root extract to validate its health benefits.

BIOACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Tongkat Ali benefits are derived from the following bioactive ingredients that produce pharmacological effects to our health:

  1. Eurycomalactone,
  2. Eurycomaoside,
  3. Eurycolactone, and
  4. Eurycomanone
  5. Eurypeptides
  6. Glycosaponin
  7. Polysaccharides 

Tongkat Ali Benefits

1. Increases Testosterone Production

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali raises testosterone levels, both total testosterone, free testosteorne and DHEA  in both men and women. The mechanism of action of Tongkat Ali works by activating our adrenal gland, pituitary gland, testes and ovaries to produce more testosterone.

There is growing scientific evidence from clinical trials on testosterone in the last 20 years to support the benefit of Tongkat Ali on testosterone.

According to Dr. Andrew Huberman (Huberman Lab, Stanford University), clinical trials and research studies showed that Tongkat Ali raises free testosterone. 

Some recent studies showed an increase in testosterone between 15% to 600% in both men and women. Although in reality, testosterone gains depend on dosage, age, exercise, BMI, and existing medical conditions.

A placebo-controlled clinical trial on test participants between 20 – 60 years (n= 19 males, n= 28 females) consuming 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali extract (Eurycoma Longifolia) with Multivitamins showed a significant increase in free testosterone. Clinical trial registration NCT02865863.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You are diagnosed with hypogonadism or low testosterone
  • You have low testosterone symptoms 
  • You are in your 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s and seeking to boost your testosterone.
  • You are exercising regularly, sleeping well, and keeping a healthy diet.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali Benefits on Testosterone
  • A recent 2022 meta-analysis study on various Tongkat Ali randomized clinical trials supports the use of Tongkat Ali supplementation for enhancing testosterone production. The study further concluded that Tongkat Ali is a safe and promising therapeutic option, particularly for hypogonadal men.
  • A 24-week randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial on 50mg Tongkat Ali with 47 test participants showed a 600% increase in free testosterone in women and 580% increase in men.
  • A recent study by Chan et al in 2021 with 32 males with an average age of 24 years showed that 600mg daily consumption of Tongkat Ali over a two-week period resulted in 34% increase in free testosterone.
  • A randomized controlled study conducted in 2020 by a group of researchers from the University of Santarina, Brazil showed that middle-aged men consuming 200mg Tongkat Ali daily with a 3-day exercise per week showed the most increase in testosterone during the 6-month period.
  • 76 patients were given 200 mg of water-soluble Tongkat Ali extract and results showed improvement in Ageing Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scores and improvement in the serum testosterone concentration [3]. 
  • In another research, at the University of Western Cape, South Africa, both men and women (ranging from the age of 57-72 years) were given 400-mg of Tongkat Ali daily for 5 weeks. It was observed that Tongkat Ali enhanced the levels of testosterone and promoted muscle strength development in men and women. Results showed that the increase of free testosterone in women was due to the reduction of Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG) [4].

Increased testosterone from Tongkat Ali translates to improved libido, lean muscle mass, reduction of body fat, and increased mental performance and overall stamina.

2. Improves Sexual Health & Libido

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali benefits the libido of both men and women by restoring hormonal balance (i.e testosterone in men and estrogen in women) in our reproductive system.

There is sufficient scientific evidence of Tongkat Ali’s effects on increasing libido in recent years due to growing clinical trials on men.

Tongkat Ali benefits men’s health by supporting a healthy male reproductive function and fertility – including sperm motility, semen production, libido, and erectile function.

As for women, Tongkat Ali benefits the female reproductive system and libido, particularly for pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Tongkat Ali Benefits on ED and Men’s Fertility

Multiple Tongkat Ali studies on men’s health showed improvement in ED-related symptoms and fertility.

  • Sperm motility: +11% to 44.4%
  • Sperm concentration: +18.2% to 65%
  • Sperm morphology: +94%
  • Erection hardness: +39.3%
  • Erection time: +102% to +162%

Most libido benefits are associated with higher production of testosterone after consuming Tongkat Ali. The mechanism works by regulating the testosterone hormone that is responsible for sexual organs’ functions and libido in both men and women.

According to medical experts, using Tongkat Ali may improve libido, especially in men.

The increasing number of research and clinical studies on Tongkat Ali’s benefits on men’s sexual health sparked growing interest by medical experts, including andrologists and urologists such as Dr. Rena Malik (USA), Dr. Andrea Millitelo (Italy) and Dr. Ismail Thamby (Malaysia).

More doctors are recommending Tongkat Ali in recent years to patients seeking natural supplementation to boost libido, sperm motility, and fertility.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You have a low sperm count
  • You have mild ED
  • You low libido, or sexual desire

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

 Tongkat Ali Benefits Men’s Libido and Fertility
  • A 12-week placebo-controlled study by the University of Science Malaysia on 109 men between the 30 to 55 showed Tongkat Ali’s positive results on sexual health and libido. The study showed increased sperm motility, increased semen volume, enhanced libido and improved erectile function [6].
  • A 9-month clinical trial on 75 men was conducted at Wellmen Clinic, Damai Service Hospital by Dr. Tambi, an andrologist specialist . The result of the study showed that Tongkat Ali supplementation improved the rate of fertility with an increased rate of semen volume, sperm concentration, increased sperm motility, and sperm quality [7].
  • In a 12-week study by Medicus Research LLC, Northridge, California on 26 men,  Tongkat Ali, Physta®, was examined for its effect on sexual performance, fulfillment, and well-being in samples. It was observed that when compared to placebo groups, not only was the sexual performance improved but subjective libido scores were also increased resulting in increased hardness and erection time [8].
  • A similar study by the  University of Science Malaysia, showed evidence to suggest that the estrogen’s inhibitory release more testosterone production with a significant increase in sperm production, amount, vitality, concentration, and motility owing to the effects of Tongkat Ali [10].
  • Another study published by PhytoMedicine reported that Tongkat Ali showed improvement in sexual libido, sexual stimulation, and performance  [11].

3. Improves Strength, Muscle & Physical Activities

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali is widely used as a pre-workout by athletes and sports professionals to increase performance output; notable improvements in stamina, anaerobic performance, post-muscle recovery, lean muscle growth, and overall strength.

Tongkat Ali is a versatile herb and can be mixed with Fadogio Agrestis, Ashwagandha and many other herbs to enhance sports performance. That makes Tongkat Ali more popular than other herbs in the fitness and sports community.

The benefit of adding Tongkat Ali to your existing health stack gives a performance edge to your stamina, endurance, strength, and muscle growth.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You are already active and exercising regularly
  • You seek for higher gains (eg: increased stamina or strength)
  • You seek faster lean muscle growth from your existing exercise plan.
  • You are into competitive or professional sports.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali Benefits Strength and Muscle Growth
  • In a study of 32 men published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 11g daily of Tongkat Ali supplements were given for 4 weeks and resulted in increased total strength based on squats, bench and deadlift exercise [12]
  • Similarly, in another 5 week study by Department of Medical Bioscience in the University of Western Cape, South Africa where 13 men and 12 women were given 400 mg each of Tongkat Ali daily revealed an increase of 16.6% of the muscular force hand-grip test in men and 13.7% in women. This study also confirms Tongkat Ali’s ergogenic benefit through improved muscle strength [13].
  • Tongkat Ali had a great impact on the improved muscle strength of middle-aged women too. This effect was found in a study conducted by the University of MARA Technology Malaysia on 31 women between 45 to 59 years. It was revealed that in a duration of 12 weeks, 200mg of Tongkat Ali daily resulted in 67% improvement on the bench press, 21% improvement on upper body power and significant improvement in handgrip strength [14].
  • In a similar 5-week study on 14 men published on the British Journal Sports of Medicine in 2003, showed an improvement in the strength and size of muscle. This is over and above significant improvement in athletic performance based on daily intake of Tongkat Ali [15]

4. Promotes Weight Loss and Reduces Body Fat

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali helps burn body fat and promotes weight loss by increasing metabolism in order to burn more calories, increasing testosterone levels to convert energy more efficiently and curbing stress eating or overeating habits.

Tongkat Ali raises metabolism by stimulating thermogenesis, a process of heat production that burns calories in your body, ultimately accelerating weight loss and BMI.

A clinical study on Tongkat Ali showed a reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) in obese adults after consuming 200 mg of Tongkat Ali daily.

Tongkat Ali burns calories more efficiently from thermogenesis which helps weight loss in men and women.

If you are taking Tongkat Ali as a weight loss supplement, you can gain the most benefit from Tongkat Ali by incorporating the basics fundamentals, i.e your exercise plan and your diet into your overall weight loss plan.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You are already active and exercising regularly
  • You are obese, or overweight
  • You are seeking to trim down excess body fat.
  • You are incorporating Tongkat Ali with other supplements.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali Benefits on Body Fat and Weight Loss
  • A recent 2021 randomized placebo-controlled study published in Phytotherapy Research showed that 400mg of Tongkat Ali and Bergamot orange led to a significant reduction in the Body Mass Index (BMI) of 97 obese adults after 112 days. This study suggests that Tongkat Ali supplementation may reduce body fat and helps obesity.
  • In a 12-week study conducted by a group of scientists at the School of Medical Science at the University of Science Malaysia on 109 men, the group consuming 300mg of Tongkat Ali daily showed a decrease in hip size, fat mass, and waist circumference! [6].
  • In a research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Tongkat Ali supplementation increases muscle strength and reduces body fat in 14 healthy men for 5 weeks. [15].
  • A study by the University of South Africa showed that Tongkat Ali decreases body weight and belly fat with no change in the internal organ’s weight [5].

5. Potential Treatment for Osteoporosis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali was recently discovered by scientists to be a potential treatment for osteoporosis. Although promising, it requires more research to validate Tongkat Ali’s benefits to osteoporosis patients.

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body “loses too much bone” and as the bones become weak, it may be susceptible to break/ crack – usually from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You are showing early symptoms of osteoporosis
  • You are seeking preventive measures at early stages of your adulthood.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali Effects and Benefits on Bones Cells
  • Tongkat Ali was found to strengthen bones and ultimately treat male osteoporosis by a group of researchers at the Faculty of Medicine, the National University of Malaysia . This finding was due to Tongkat Ali’s major role in increasing testosterone levels, which not only stimulates the production of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts), but also activates the death of bone break down cells (osteoclasts), which eventually leads to bone mass preservation [16].
  • There is evidence in other studies to suggest that the consumption of Tongkat Ali stimulated bone formation as it triggers the manufacture of proteins which are bone-building in nature (such as OCN, RUNX-2, and BMP-2) [17].
  • In a similar study, calcium loss was prevented by Tongkat Ali in the impotent male rats suffering from osteoporosis in their bones [18].

6. Anti-Cancer properties to aid Cancer Treatment

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali exhibits anti-cancer properties on lung carcinoma (A-549 cancer cells), breast cancer (MCF-7 cancer cells), gastric (MGC-803 cells), and intestinal cancer (HT-29 cells). 

The wide range of anti-cancer properties of Tongkat Ali was reported in various in-vitro studies from 2002 to 2020. 

Despite the promising discoveries and ongoing research, more clinical studies should be conducted on humans to evaluate Tongkat Ali’s anti-cancer properties. 

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You are using Tongkat Ali as a preventive measure to reduce long-term cancer risks.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali Effects on Cancer Cells
  • As mentioned before, eurycomanone and eurycomanol are two of the major quassinoids present in Tongkat Ali, showed that there was evidence to suggest that these components decrease the growth and progression of cancer cells [2].
  • Recent molecular / cell-based research conducted by scientists at the Nagasaki International University Japan and Vietnam National University suggested that even though Tongkat Ali was operative against a variety of cancers such as, leukemia, lung and breast cancer; however, gut cancer had moderate effectiveness against Tongkat Ali [20].

7. Reduce Stress, Anger and Improve Mood

Reduces Stress & Anger

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali may reduce physical, behavioral, and cognitive stress, and improve your anxiety, anger and confusion. This is achieved by regulating your cortisol (i.e stress hormones) when you are in stressful situations.

Tongkat Ali is shown to reduce cortisol (i.e stress hormones). The cortisol in our body will rise when we are stressed, angry, or depressed.

Tongkat Ali is shown to increase dopamine, a feel-good hormone, acting as a neurotransmitter that controls emotional responses and makes you happy.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You are having mild anxiety or mild depression.
  • You are working in a highly stressful environment.
  • You are sleeping well at least 6 to 8 hours a day.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali effects on Stress

A 24-week randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial on 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali with multivitamins showed a significant improvement in cognitive stress, physical stress, behavioral stress and overall stress after the 12th week.

The assessment was done using Multi-Modal Stress Questionnaire (MMSQ) on 47 test participants, both men and women

Here is the result of the study.

A placebo-controlled clinical trial test results based on 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali extract (Eurycoma Longifolia) with Multivitamins. Clinical trial registration NCT02865863.

Improves Overall Mood

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali improves mood by reducing mood profile parameters such as anger, tension and confusion. 

The mechanism of action of Tongkat Ali works by reducing your cortisol hormones (stress hormone) and increasing dopamine (happy hormone), which translates to better improvement in the overall mood.

Expect the benefit to work effectively within four to 12 weeks.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You have trouble focusing at work due to anxiety and work deadline pressures.
  • You feel unmotivated to start your day
  • You constantly experiencing burst of anger, sadness or despair.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali effects on Mood Paramaters

A clinical study conducted by a well-known psychonutritionist Dr Shawn Talbot published at The Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition showed significant improvement in the overall mood on test participants consuming Tongkat Ali for 4 weeks.

The study on 63 men and women who were in a reasonably stressed state, showed significant mood improvement after consuming 200mg daily of Tongkat Ali for 4 weeks.

The mood profile improvements were resulted from reduction in cortisol (i.e stress hormones).

  • Reduction in Tension by 11%
  • Reduction in Anger by 12%
  • Reduction in Confusion by 15%
  • Reduced cortisol exposure by 16% [21]

8. Enhances the Immune System

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali promotes a healthier and stronger immune system by increasing the production of immune cells in our body. A healthy immune system protects our body from virus attacks, which may include COVID19 viruses, malaria, dengue and others.

Building a healthy immune system is based on a healthy count of your immune cells, i.e T-cells, CD4+ cells and others. The higher the count of these cells, the higher likelihood to win the battle against virus attacks.

Tongkat Ali is amongst the top herbs that may benefit COVID-19 patients’ recovery phase due to its strong immunological properties from its bioactive ingredients.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You have a low immune system or immune deficiencies.
  • You are susceptible to regular flu, or cold during adulthood.
  • You seek to use Tongkat Ali as a preventive measure to build a stronger immune system.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali benefits the immune system
  • A clinical test conducted by Tokyo Medical University and Institute of Life Sciences in Japan in 2016 analyzes the effect of Tongkat Ali on the immune system.
  • Results showed an increase of T-cells, naïve T-cell, and CD4+ cells based on a 200mg daily consumption of Tongkat Ali after 4-weeks. Tests were randomized and placebo-controlled and performed on 84 human subjects (both middle-aged men and women) [22].
  • An in vitro study published by the American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy in 2022 suggests that quassinoids in Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) contain anti-coronavirus properties, which may serve as potential treatment candidates for COVID-19. Other similar studies also suggest Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal remedy to manage COVID-19 symptoms.

This Tongkat Ali breakthrough by a group of Japanese scientists reaffirms new benefits of Tongkat Ali supplementation to improve the immune system. 

Learn more on Tongkat Ali’s effects on raising our immunity cells (i.e T-cells, CD4+ and Naive T-Cells) here.

🔎 How does Tongkat Ali improve immune system?

Tongkat Ali supplementation produces more Naïve T-Cells by 28%, CD4+ T-Cell by 12% and increase the T-Cell count by 6.5%. Tongkat Ali contains eurycomanone which supplies nutrients to the bone marrow and our adrenal glands. Most of the T-Cells are produced in the bone marrow, with the help of hormones that flow in our bloodstream.

9. Improves Sleep Quality

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali promotes better sleep and circadian rhythm by lowering your core body temperature, thus increasing your REM and NREM sleep duration.

Studies found that Tongkat Ali supplementation did not cause any significant alteration during sleep duration, thus overall improving sleep quality. Tongkat Ali supplementation may benefit those who are suffering from sleep disorders.

Tongkat Ali is used as a sleep-improving agent in novel foods and dietary supplements. A patent application was filed by a group of Japanese scientists in 2019 on use of Tongkat Ali as an effective sleep-improving bioactive ingredient. (Patent No: WO2020040216A1)

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You have a sleeping disorder.
  • You have trouble sleeping well at night.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali effects on sleep quality
  • A 2022 four-week study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science & Vitaminology suggested that Tongkat Ali alleviates sleep problems and improves sleep quality.
  • The same study showed that Tongkat Ali has an effect on lowering Core Body Temperature (CBT) during sleep. A separate study in 2012 showed that lower core body temperature is associated with better sleep quality.
  • Tongkat Ali has a mild affect on sleep duration and quality, unlike other sleeping drugs that result in intermittent sleep during the day.

10. Reduces Blood Pressure

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Stress, anxiety, anger and your mood are some of the factors that are closely associated with high blood pressure. Studies show stress causes a steep rise in blood pressure.

There are many studies showing how Tongkat Ali reduces anxiety, stress, anger and improves overall mood. 

Tongkat Ali may benefit if you are having early symptoms related to high blood pressure (or hypertension).  Supplementation of Tongkat Ali may promote the widening of the blood vessels to reduce blood pressure.

You may benefit more from Tongkat Ali as it balances cortisol (i.e stress hormones) and dopamine (feel-good hormone) in your body, thus managing your emotional responses that contribute to your high blood pressure.

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You have mild high blood pressure 
  • You exhibit early symptoms related to high blood pressure.
  • You have anger management issues that cause the rise of blood pressure in certain situations.
  • You have high blood pressure caused by aging or unhealthy eating habits (poor diet).

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali Effects on Blood Pressure, Mood & Stress

11. Anti Inflammatory, Anti Bacterial and Parasitic Agent

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties. Tongkat Ali is also used to treat malaria and dengue, two of the most common diseases in South East Asia, for centuries. 

Recent research studies including clinical trials on humans present a promising future in preventing gout, and bacteria-induced diseases. 

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You have malaria, dengue or general mosquito bites or allergy.
  • You have gout, or diagnosed with high uric acid.
  • You are using Tongkat Ali as a preventive measure against common bacteria and parasitic attacks.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

 Tongkat Ali Studies on Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Bacteria and Anti-Parasitic.
  • A latest 2021 placebo-controlled clinical study on 103 men with 100mg Tongkat Ali daily showed a reduction of uric acid from 5.69 mg / dL to 5.03 mg / dL after 12 weeks. This indicates that Tongkat Ali may prevent the risk of gout and flares.

  • A recent study in 2019 by a group of collaborative researchers from Kangwon National University in Korea and Hanoi University of Pharmacy found that Tongkat Ali contains anti-inflammatory properties. You may find their findings from the journal paper here.
  • In a study by Taif University published in the Saudi Medical Journal showed that the growth of harmful bacteria was inhibited by Tongkat Ali [25].
  • Owing to the presence of quassinoids, Tongkat Ali contains anti-parasitic properties which not only inhibit the growth of parasites, but also their movement and reproduction [2].
  • In another study conducted in the laboratory by a group of researchers at the University of Malaya in 2015, Tongkat Ali was seen to constrain the growth and production of a parasite (Blastocystis sp) which causes intestinal problems in our human body. Tongkat Ali exhibited the highest anti-protozoal activity at 1.0 mg/ml [26].
  • Moreover, the growth of Toxoplasma gondii (toxoplasmosis causing parasite) was also seen to be inhibited by Tongkat Ali in another in-vivo study [27].

12. Exhibits Anti-Ulcer Properties

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Tongkat Ali exhibits anti-ulcer properties and anti-tumor properties that may benefit mild abdominal or stomach-related injuries.

Further explanation here on abdominal injury by the Oregon Health and Science University.

Besides anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties, further research on Tongkat Ali revealed anti-ulcer properties which paved new discoveries to potentially combat stomach-related injuries. 

IT MAY BENEFIT YOU IF...

  • You are experiencing minor stomach discomfort from a poor diet or food poisoning.
  • You are using Tongkat Ali as a preventive measure to reduce the risks of ulcers, or reoccurrence of ulcers.

RELATED STUDIES & CLINICAL TRIALS

Tongkat Ali Research on Anti-Ulcers
  • A group of scientists in Shionogi Research Laboratories in Japan found evidence that the quassinoids (eurycomanone and pasakbumin-B) in Tongkat Ali may prevent the formation of ulcers by decreasing the surplus amount of acid in the stomach. The study was published in 2004 in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and you can access the paper here. [29].
  • Similarly, in a separate study by the National University of Malaysia, the severity of alcohol-induced stomach injuries was also decreased owing to the stimulation by Tongkat Ali [30].

Conclusions

With decades of scientifically proven health benefits from 300+ research studies, Tongkat Ali is set as one of the best herbal supplements that is comparable to Ashwagandha, Panax Ginseng and others.

Tongkat Ali’s clinically proven health benefits are derived from the rapid growth of clinical human studies in the last decade, along with high-quality industry standards set by manufacturers and countries such as Malaysia.

For instance, AKARALI Physta® Tongkat Ali hot water standardized extract is clinically tested to benefit men and women from 26 clinical trials, backed by Tongkat Ali standards that conform to the Malaysian Standard MS2409.

Whilst research studies on Tongkat Ali are still ongoing, the benefits far outweigh the mild side effects due to impurities from low-quality extract.  Notwithstanding bad actors in the unregulated herbal supplement industry, premium clinically tested Tongkat Ali products have been well established as the go-to dietary supplement for sports professionals, active adults, busy working professionals, lonely housewives, and even nightshift workers.

FAQs

Get more answers on Tongkat Ali benefits with our user guide.

1. Does Tongkat Ali have negative or side effects?

There are no observed adverse side effects from Tongkat Ali up to 400 mg per day; which is the recommended dosage to produce the desired health benefits.

However, you may experience side effects of Tongkat Ali if you are a first-time user. Common side effects reported by Examine and Healthline include mild nausea, stomach cramps, irritability, restlessness and mild digestive upsets.

Please refer our complete list of Tongkat Ali side effects and how to mitigate those risks. Additionally, we encourage you to report any adverse side effects to your nearest doctor or healthcare professional.

2. Is it safe to take Tongkat Ali everyday?

Clinically tested Tongkat Ali supplements are safe to be taken daily within the daily recommended dosage of 100mg to 400mg. This will enable you to gain long-term benefits as outlined by the above studies.

However, it is highly recommended to cycle Tongkat Ali if you are taking it every day over a longer duration of more than 3 months.

3. Does Tongkat Ali affect my kidneys or liver?

There are rare cases on kidney failures (known as Drug-induced Kidney Injury) published in the Journal of Hepatalogy. The 62-year-old patient was reported with a kidney injury after consuming Swanson Tongkat Ali, Swanson DHEA and Swanson Oyster extract for 33 days. Although rare, please consult your doctor before taking Tongkat Ali and to ensure if you have pre-medical conditions or early symptoms related to kidneys or liver functions.

4. Which Tongkat Ali supplement delivers the most benefits?

Tongkat Ali supplements or brands that use clinically tested pure root extract generally have higher efficacy and potency to induce any pharmacological health benefits compared to generic non-standardized 200:1 extract. Our analysis showed that standardized hot water Tongkat Ali extract outperforms 200:1 Tongkat Ali ethanol-based extract. Since not all Tongkat Ali supplements will yield similar health benefits, please use our guide to find the best Tongkat Ali supplements that are best suited to your health goals and budget.

5. Does Tongkat Ali benefit women?

Yes, Tongkat Ali may benefit women in general when taken in low or at recommended dosage. According to multiple pre-clinical human studies and in-vitro studies showed potential health benefits on restoring aging-hormones in women across 35 to 65, notably on elevated testosterone and estrogen, promoting muscle strength, fat-loss, mood and overall vaginal health due to its antifungal, thermogenic and adaptogenic properties. Young active female may reap mild to moderate benefits from Tongkat Ali, especially on muscle strength and fat loos, depending on their baseline testosterone levels.

6. Does Tongkat Ali benefit older men, or those above 60?

Most Tongkat Ali studies on aging men up to 75 years of age showed statistically significant increases in free and total testosterone based on 200mg daily dosage for up to 12 to 24 weeks. In addition to testosterone gains, men may experience mild to moderate libido effects, with increase in sperm count and motility as reported in some studies. Our analysis showed that the on-going studies recorded significant benefits of Tongkat Ali on men with low testosterones, compared to men who have higher than average testosterone levels. However, men may still reap some benefits from taking Tongkat Ali for fat-loss, stamina, energy and muscle growth due to its anabolic properties.

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Warnings

Tongkat Ali supplement may benefit and revitalize your health. However, the health benefits are largely dependent on various factors such as diet, exercise, and other underlying medical conditions. We recommend consulting your nearest doctor or healthcare professional before consuming Tongkat Ali. Tongkat Ali should not be consumed by pregnant women, or children below 18 years of age and those who are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases.

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Author

Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a researcher and investigative journalist specializing in nutrition, supplements and natural wellness, Naressa specializes in fact-based health topics backed by scientific evidence. She explores the nuances of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and wellness.

Dr. Annie George is the Head scientist specializing in herbal research and clinical trials of Tongkat Ali since 2003.

She is part of 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.

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REFERENCES

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  8. Udani, J. K., George, A. A., Musthapa, M., Pakdaman, M. N., & Abas, A. (2014). Effects of a Proprietary Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia (Physta) and Polygonum minus on Sexual Performance and Well-Being in Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2014, 179529. doi:10.1155/2014/179529
  9. Tambi MI, Imran MK, Henkel RR. Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat Ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism. Andrologia 2012; 44(Suppl 1): 226–30. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2011.01168.x
  10. Ang H. H., Sim M. K. Eurycoma longifolia Jack enhances libido in sexually experienced male rats. Journal of Experimental Animal Science. 1997;46(4):287–290. doi: 10.1538/expanim.46.287
  11. Ang H.H, Ngai T.H, Tan T.H. Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on sexual qualities in middle aged male rats. Phytomedicine. 2003;10:590–593
  12. Kreipke, Vince & Allman, Brittany & Kinsey, Amber & Moffatt, Robert & Hickner, Robert & Ormsbee, Michael. (2015). THE IMPACT OF FOUR WEEKS OF A MULTI-INGREDIENT PERFORMANCE SUPPLEMENT ON MUSCULAR STRENGTH, BODY COMPOSITION, AND ANABOLIC HORMONES IN RESISTANCE-TRAINED YOUNG MEN. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 29. 1. 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000995.
  13. Henkel RR, Wang R, Bassett SH, Chen T, Liu N, Zhu Y, et al. Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal supplement for physically active male and female seniors—A pilot study. Phyther Res. 2014;28(4):544–550. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5017
  14. Md Yusof, Sarina & Zakaria, Zaiton & Abd. Hamid Karim, Aminuddin & Aiman, Suhana & Kadir, Zulkifli. (2016). Enhancement Effects of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) Supplementation on Performance Functions Following Strength Training in Middle-Aged Women. 10.1007/978-981-287-691-1_1.
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16 Responses

  1. Can I use Ashwaganda or other natural products a week and Tongkat ali the next so as to not have to put back the use of other products for a prolonged period of time? Will this reach the synergy of both supplements? Thanks for your great insights.

  2. I blog often and I truly appreciate your information. The
    article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details
    about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

  3. Which country in West Africa do you have tongkat Ali
    And how do you use tongkat Ali powder or fresh root and leaves?

  4. I am a 56 year old woman with typical menopause weight gain (15 lbs over my comfort zone) and low libido. Would you agree this will likely be a good choice to add to my daily supplements?

    1. Tongkat Ali is suitable for women too. The decline in androgen levels among ageing women is typically sharp and rapid. As such, it may play a critical part in the functional limitations commonly associated with ageing. The testosterone loss in women can also increase their general morbidity (or chance of developing diseases).

      It is no wonder why women, too, should optimise their testosterone levels. It may not be as high as the male body would require, but in healthy amounts, they help maintain crucial bodily mechanisms but also ensure their sexual health and wellbeing.

      So we can see why Tongkat Ali would be beneficial for women. The energy activation that Tongkat Ali supplements provide would help raise women’s testosterone amounts to their original levels

  5. Can Tongkat Ali treat pancreatitis? I have learned that blood sugar is controlled by insulin produced by the pancreas. When the pancreas has got some damage will Tongkat Ali repair the injury?

    1. Tongkat Ali is a herbal supplement that provides many health benefits and used to manage symptoms related to ED, low testosterone or androgen deficiencies. It should not be used to treat any medically diagnosed health conditions or diseases. You may consult your nearest doctor before consuming Tongkat Ali, or to understand better how it affects your pancreatitis.

  6. I took Double Wood Tongkat Ali for few months but didnt notice any health benefits. Tongkat Ali benefits are always hit-and-miss, but I realized the importance of buying clinically tested Tongkat Ali products that comes with guaranteed benefits. I heard AKARALI Tongkat Ali is clinically tested and better than DoubeWood Tongkat Ali. Is this true? I am avoiding cheap Tongkat Ali supplements like Solaray, its an absolute crap with no benefits to my testosterone or libido.

  7. Amazing and insightful article! My colleague reported that he truly enjoyed the benefits of Tongkat Ali. Gave him a morning wood and he wakes up smiling everyday! He said the improvement in mood was significant too. He took Tongkat Ali for 4 weeks now, and it performs better than Maca or Ashwagandha. Nothing beats Tongkat Ali’s all-rounded health benefits TBH. IMHO, any herbal supplements will work wonders if taken with frequent exercises. I did try once before, but gave me moderate gains. Maybe i should try reputable Tongkat ali brands, or at least clinically tested Tongkat ali supplements to notice a significant difference. Thats just my two cents.

  8. HOW CAN I GET THIS PRODUCT? AM IN UGANDA. When I take it mixed with coffee it makes my heart a bit faster

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