Does Tongkat Ali Boost Testosterone? Scientific Studies & Clinical Trials

Tongkat Ali is an active ingredient found in 90% of testosterone supplements in the market today due to its potential effect on increasing testosterone.

A recent 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) showed compelling evidence of the effects of Tongkat Ali in increasing total testosterone, free usable testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

In this article, we shall deep dive into research studies on Tongkat Ali’s effects on testosterone to investigate whether Tongkat Ali does increase testosterone levels.

  1. Multiple testosterone-related studies on Tongkat Ali between 2000-2021 showed an increase in total testosterone and free testosterone between 5%, 16.9%, 30%, 61.2%, 122%, 588% and 600%
  2. Testosterone increase from Tongkat Ali supplementation is dosage-dependent. 
  3. It takes 2 weeks to 24 weeks for Tongkat Ali to have effect on testosterone.
  4. Tongkat Ali showed testosterone improvements in young adults (24 years), middle-aged men (40s) and senior citizens (50 – 75 years).
  5. Tongkat Ali showed an increase in dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High DHT is correlated to lower prostate cancer death.

Does Tongkat Ali increase testosterone?

Tongkat Ali increases usable testosterone (i.e free testosterone) by potentially reducing Sex Hormone Globulin (SHBG). This action frees up more usable testosterone whilst activating the adrenal gland to produce more total testosterone.

Clinical studies and research showed that Tongkat Ali raises the following testosterone in our body:

total testosterone

free testosterone (i.e the most “usable” testosterone)

dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

dihydrotestosterone (DHT)


The effects of Tongkat Ali in raising testosterone depends largely on age, health conditions and lifestyle. You may gain higher testosterone increase when pairing Tongkat Ali with multivitamins, zinc and other herbs.

Here is a quick summary on the average increase of total testosterone based on various Tongkat Ali studies and pre-clinical trials:

Age (years)


Testosterone increase



15% -30%



30% – 60%



61% – 122%



582 – 600%*

*Note: Test results using 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali with multivitamins


Clinical trials and research studies showed that Tongkat Ali raises free testosterone between 15% to 600% in both men and women. 

A placebo-controlled clinical trial on 50mg Physta® Tongkat Ali with multivitamins showed a 582% increase  (from 1.67 ng/dL to 11.4 ng/dL) and a 600% increase (from 0.15 ng/dL to 1.05 ng/dL) of free testosterone in men and women respectively. 

Whilst this clinical study published by Food & Nutrition Research journal showed evidence of Tongkat Ali’s effect in increasing testosterone for males and females aged 25 to 65, Tongkat Ali may not work if it contains eurycomanone content less than 0.5%. Users are advised to buy potent Tongkat Ali root extract to increase the likelihood of testosterone gains.

Note: 19 male participants between 20 – 60 years consuming 50mg Physta® Tongkat Ali extract (Eurycoma Longifolia) with multivitamins showed 581% increase in free testosterone after the 24th week. Clinical trial registration NCT02865863.

Note: 28 female participants between 20 – 60 years consuming 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali extract (Eurycoma Longifolia) with multivitamins showed 600% increase in free testosterone after the 24th week. Clinical trial registration NCT02865863.


Tongkat Ali raises testosterone production from its bioactive ingredient known as eurycomanone. It works by activating the adrenal and pituitary glands via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

The mechanism of action of Tongkat Ali produces Free Testosterone (FT) from its binding hormone, the Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG).

Tongkat Ali reduces SHBG to produce more usable (i.e free testosterone), and activates Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in the adrenal gland to produce more testosterone.

There are two studies that confirm this mechanism of action.

  1. A recent 2021 study confirms that the increase in free testosterone levels from Tongkat Ali supplementation is due to greater hormone production via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
  2. In a separate clinical trial involving 105 men between 50-70 years, test results reported an increase in Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) after 12 weeks based on daily consumption of 200mg of Tongkat Ali root extract.

DHEA is a vital hormone in the adrenal gland that helps to produce testosterone. Here is the DHEA test result after taking Tongkat Ali for 12 weeks, with the largest increase observed from the 2nd week to the 8th week based on 200mg Tongkat Ali dosage.

Note: Test results of DHEA on 105 male participants between 50 – 70 years after consuming 200mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali extract (Eurycoma Longifolia) daily. Clinical trial registration (CTRI/2019/03/017959)

🌐 Is Tongkat Ali clinically tested to boost testosterone?
  • Clinically tested Tongkat Ali extracts are scientifically proven to boost testosterone, verified by medical professionals and certified scientists
  • Cheap Tongkat Ali extracts sourced from China (which are sold in the US) are not clinically-tested and may not increase testosterone.


Whilst Tongkat Ali studies are focused on raising total testosterone, free testosterone (i.e unattached testosterone) is considered the most usable. 

Free testosterone controls most of our body functions which include libido, our mood, muscle growth and others. 

Testosterone hormone composition

The first human clinical study on testosterone was published in 2012 and subsequently, more research studies were performed involving hundreds of test subjects to reaffirm its effect on testosterone.

Based on 300+ research studies on Tongkat Ali in the last two decades, the consensus among scientists showed that Tongkat Ali has the most evidence on testosterone.

Tongkat Ali has the strongest evidence to boost testosterone

However, does Tongkat Ali work to boost testosterone if you are 25, 50 or even 70?

Let’s investigate how effective is Tongkat Ali across a wide range of age groups.

Does Tongkat Ali boost testosterone in young adults ?


If you are in your 20s and active, consuming Tongkat Ali may increase your testosterone levels. You may benefit from accelerated muscle growth and strength.

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 15% higher levels of testosterone and 34% increase in free testosterone. The level of estrogen (estradiol) was reported to increase by 30% too.

For active young adults, Tongkat Ali is used in sports to enhance anaerobic performance, and also as a steroid replacement.

The same study also reported that:

“The raised testosterone following Eurycoma longifolia supplementations could benefit muscle and strength gain in young adults”


Age of the test subjects

24 yrs

Total Test subjects

32 males

Daily dosage

600 mg daily

Dosage duration

2 weeks (14 days)

Medical condition of the test subjects


Placebo test group (Yes/ No)


Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)


Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Kai Quin Chan, Claire Stewart Neil ChesterSareena H HamzahAshril Yusof

Published date

February 2021


Does Tongkat Ali boost testosterone for men over 40?


Studies showed that Tongkat Ali raises testosterone for those above 40. If you are in your mid 40s and experiencing some level of androgen deficiency, then Tongkat Ali supplementation may work for you.

A randomized controlled study conducted in 2020 by a group of researchers from the University of Santarina, Brazil reported 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.

This 6-month-long study provides concrete evidence of Tongkat Ali’s effectiveness to boost testosterone if you are in your 40s.

Group consuming Tongkat Ali with 3 days per week exercise gained the most improvement

Here is the summary of Tongkat Ali testosterone study conducted on middle-aged men between 40 to 47 years.


Age of the test subjects

47 years

Total test subjects

45 men

Daily dosage

200 mg

Dosage duration & observation period

6 months (180+ days)

Medical condition of the test subjects

Androgen Deficiency

Placebo test group (Yes/ No)


Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)


Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Alice Erwig Leitão 1Melissa Carvalho de Souza Vieira 2Andreia Pelegrini 2Edson Luiz da Silva 3Adriana Coutinho de Azevedo Guimarães 2

Published date

May 2020


Does Tongkat Ali increase testosterone for older men and women over 50?


Two independent clinical studies conducted in 2021 and 2014 showed that Tongkat Ali increased testosterone in senior men and women above 50 years.

The first study involved a group of 105 male between 50 to 70 years of age with a placebo- controlled group with results showing significant improvement in testosterone.

A second study with 13 males and 12 females between 57 to 72 years over a 5 week period showed improvement in testosterone between 61% for male, and 122% for females when subjected to 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily.

Summary: Study 1

Age of the test subjects

50 – 70 years

Total test subjects

105 male

Daily dosage

200 mg

Dosage duration

12 weeks

Medical condition of the test subjects


Placebo test group (Yes/ No)


Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)


Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Pragya Pandey, Annie George, Govinda Narke,  Yogendra Kumar Choudhary, Sasikala M. Chinnappan

Date of study

May 2021


Summary: Study 2

Age of the test subjects

57-72 years

Total test subjects

13 males & 12 females

Daily dosage

400 mg

Dosage duration

5 weeks (35 days)

Medical condition of the test subjects

Not reported

Placebo test group (Yes/ No)


Testosterone increase (Yes/ No)


Name of scientists & researchers involved in the study

Ralf R. Henkel, Ruxiang Wang, Susan H. Bassett, Tao Chen, Na Liu, Ying Zhu and Mohd Ismail Tambi

Date of study



Medical Experts Views

Award-winning professor Dr. Huberman at Stanford University once said that consuming 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily has the effect of increasing testosterone levels between 100 to 200 points.

The reality is, the amount of testosterone increase that you may gain depends largely on Tongkat Ali’s potency. and this largely depends on the extraction technology used to extract the bioactive ingredients.

A potent Tongkat Ali with a lower dosage works more effectively than a less potent Tongkat Ali with a higher dosage to increase testosterone.

🌐 Does Tongkat Ali increase DHT?
  • Most DHEA supplementation may increase DHT (dihydrotestosterone) levels. This is due to both its conversion to testosterone and the fact that DHEA upregulates the activity of 5AR (5-alpha-reductase) enzyme, which further converts testosterone to DHT.
  • In a 2010 study, urologists found that DHT treatment has no effect on prostate growth.

Meanwhile, US-based urologist Dr. Rena Malik from the University of Maryland shared encouraged users and patients to use hot water Tongkat Ali extract to deliver the most optimal health benefits, and that includes getting the best testosterone boost.

If you want the best Tongkat Ali, watch out for hot water root extract

In fact, clinically tested Tongkat Ali performs better to raise testosterone compared to generic lab-tested Tongkat Ali supplements.

For instance, MIT-formulated Physta® Tongkat Ali extract has undergone more than 26 clinical trials and some of the clinical trials showed a 500% to 600% increase in free testosterone when combined with multivitamins. However, these large increases are most notable in aging males and females and those who have lower baseline testosterone levels prior to Tongkat Ali supplementation.

Regardless of its effectiveness, Tongkat Ali’s effects on testosterone have sparked global discussions among medical experts, including Dr. Andrew Huberman and many others.

Some experts and users commented that Tongkat Ali is the best natural testosterone booster, next to TRT.

Tongkat Ali is natural alternative to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and shown to restore serum testosterone levels

Closing Thoughts

With decades of scientifically proven health benefits to our endocrine system, Tongkat Ali is a proven herbal supplement to boost testosterone.

In comparison to other herbs, Fadogia Agrestis, Turkesterone and Ashwangdha have limited studies to prove their testosterone-boosting abilities.

Forget about Tongkat Ali-Fadogia combo. Single ingredient Tongkat Ali supplement works best.

If Tongkat Ali did not raise your testosterone after your blood test, perhaps you should consider how you can gain more from a potent or stronger Tongkat Ali

Do check out 10 tips before buying Tongkat Ali supplements to ensure you are getting the best results.

You may also refer to our FAQ on Tongkat Ali for a comprehensive list of questions and answers.



  1. Efficacy and safety of Eurycoma longifolia (Physta®) water extract plus multivitamins on quality of life, mood and stress: a randomized placebo-controlled and parallel study. George A, Udani J, Abidin NZ, Yusof A. Food Nutr Res. 2018 Oct 16;62. doi: 10.29219/fnr.v62.1374. PMID: 30574050; PMCID: PMC6294837.
  2. Testosterone Boosting’ Supplements Composition and Claims Are not Supported by the Academic LiteratureChase G. Clemesha, Hatim Thaker, Mary K. Samplask – Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Institute of Urology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA – The World Journal of Men’s Health (January 2019)
  1. Testosterone Boosters Intake in Athletes: Current Evidence and Further Directions – Artemii Lazarev, and Eduard Bezuglov, High Performance Sports Laboratory, Moscow Witte University, Moscow, Russia, Department of Sports Medicine and Medical Rehabilitation, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), Moscow, Russia (May 2021)
  1. Exercise Associated Or Not To The Intake Of Eurycoma Longifolia Improves Strength And Cardiorespiratory Fitness In Men With Androgen DeficiencyAlice Erwig Leitão , Melissa de Carvalho Souza Vieira, Diogo Almeida Gomes, Leonessa Boing , Andreia Pelegrini, Edson Luiz, Adriana Coutinho de Azevedo Guimarães, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (February 2021)
  2. The Effect Of Eurycoma Longifolia On The Regulation Of Reproductive Hormones In Young Males – Kai Quin Chan, C. Stewart – First International Journal of Andrology, Andrologia (February 2021)
  1. A 6-Month, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Trial To Evaluate The Effect Of Eurycoma Longifolia (Tongkat Ali) And Concurrent Training On Erectile Function And Testosterone Levels In Androgen Deficiency Of Aging Males (ADAM) – Alice Erwig Leitão, Melissa Carvalho de Souza Vieira, Andreia Pelegrini, Edson Luiz da Silva, Adriana Coutinho de Azevedo Guimarães, International Journal of Midlife Health, Maturitas (March 2021)
  1. Effect Of Eurycoma Longifolia Standardised Aqueous Root Extract– Physta® On Testosterone Levels And Quality Of Life In Ageing Male Subjects: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Multicentre Study – Sasikala M. Chinnappan, Annie George, Pragya Pandey, Govinda Narke, Yogendra Kumar Choudhary (April 2021)
  1. Tongkat Ali as a Potential Herbal Supplement for Physically Active Male and Female Seniors-A Pilot Study – Ralf Henkel, Susan Bassett, Ruxiang Wang, Tao Chen, Mohd Tambi, Ying Zhu, Na Liu – Journal of Phyotherapy Research (April 2014)
  1. Phytoandrogenic Properties Of Eurycoma Longifolia As Natural Alternative To Testosterone Replacement Therapy – A George, R Henkel – First International Journal of Andrology, Andrologia (January 2014)
  1. Standardised Water-Soluble Extract Of Eurycoma Longifolia, Tongkat Ali, As Testosterone Booster For Managing Men With Late-Onset Hypogonadism? – M I B M Tambi, M K Imran, R R Henkel – First International Journal of Andrology, Andrologia (Dec 2012)

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.

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