The Dopamine Effect of Tongkat Ali: A Pathway of Pleasure

Do you feel good or liberated after taking Tongkat Ali? Or do you feel less angry lately?

If the answer is yes to most, if not all of the above questions, it may have to do with the increase of dopamine and reduction of cortisol hormone in your central nervous system.

In this article, we shall focus on the effects of Tongkat Ali on dopamine; the pleasure neurotransmitter that controls your brain, your feelings and your emotional responses.

In fact, Tongkat Ali is clinically tested to improve mood by reducing cognitive stress, tension whilst reducing the level of cortisol. It is the best supplement when you are feeling depressed, anxious or even stressed.

Yes, Tongkat Ali makes you feel good. A good sense of pleasure.

The fact is, two in three users reported feeling good after consuming Tongkat Ali. This feel-good can be best described as feeling motivated and accomplished, with an air of tranquility that fills the mind and scented by an aroma of calmness.

Whilst it is not used to treat chronic depression, ADHD or OCD, there are more insights behind this mystical ancient herb.

Let’s find out more about the effects of Tongkat Ali on dopamine; the pathway to a better mood and pleasure – and how you can benefit from it.

What is dopamine?
  • Dopamine is a “pleasure” hormone that also act as a neurotransmitter in your brain. It controls mental and emotional responses.

  • Higher dopamine levels are associated with better mood and cognition; making you feel motivated, fulfilled, enriched, optimistic, less depressed, calmer and better cognitive abilities.

    In fact, too little dopamine is bad for you. Low levels of dopamine are closely associated with Parkinson’s Disease.

Is Tongkat Ali the best dopamine pill ?

Tongkat Ali may be one of the best-underrated dopamine supplements in the 21st century. In fact, Tongkat Ali affects more than just dopamine, but also key hormones in your endocrine system.

Firstly, Tongkat Ali does not work like other known psychoactive substances. For instance, caffeine. So you don’t have to worry about crashing, or having to deal with horrible withdrawal symptoms.

Secondly, it works magically without a sudden surge in dopamine, and it does not come with any adverse known side effects for most people.

Thirdly, Tongkat Ali can be mixed with coffee for those seeking a significant boost in dopamine from caffeine.

And in case you did not know, Tongkat Ali coffee or tea is widely consumed in Asia for centuries and it is considered safe.

Tongkat Ali remains the best dopamine herbal supplement in modern times, with two decades of clinical trials and research studies on its wide range of health benefits.

Does Tongkat Ali affect dopamine release?

Tongkat Ali was found to release more dopamine when consumed in doses of between 200mg to 800mg daily in 10 days. A recent study showed that Tongkat Ali affects two main dopamine types that are pathways to pleasure:

  • Brain cortical dopamine
  • Hippocampus dopamine

The recent study on 50, 100, 200, 400, or 800 mg consumption of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) for 10 consecutive days showed an increase in dopamine. The findings of the study showed that the brain cortical and hippocampal dopamine content was significantly elevated (by almost 100%) with no significant effects on serotonin or noradrenaline content.

Here are some results from the study.

Test results showed a significant increase in cortical dopamine and hippocampus dopamine after 10 days. The highest increase of dopamine was based on 800mg daily consumption of Tongkat Ali. (Source

How long does it take to work?
  • The dopamine effect from Tongkat Ali can happen immediately within hours of consuming Tongkat Ali (if you are sensitive enough to notice the changes).
  • Most people will notice better mood (i.e less anger, reduced stress) within 1-2 weeks if taken continuously at 200mg daily.

In short, Tongkat Ali does elevate cortical dopamine, which explains why you feel better after taking it. The importance of cortical dopamine system is related to memory and cognition.

You may feel more self-motivated, highly optimistic at all times, and agility to navigate through stressful situations or complex life challenges better after consuming Tongkat Ali.

And that’s due to the dopamine effects from Tongkat Ali. You may experience better mental clarity, focus and ability to solve complex problems (or puzzles).

Researchers in Netherlands found that optimum amount of dopamine improves cognitive ability

Optimum Amount of Dopamine Improves Cognitive Ability

Leiden University Netherlands

To some, the idea of taking Tongkat Ali is to help sustain positive feel-good feeling through the release of dopamine (and balancing cortisol levels) due to work-related deadlines and others.

However, dopamine can be released naturally without relying on supplements.

There are people who seek healthier dopamine highs through meditation and moving away from the dependency on caffeine.

When is dopamine released?

  • Dopamine is usually released when your brain is expecting a reward. Most “dopamine rush” can also be triggered by activities such as sex, shopping, indulging on good food, exercises, engaging in exciting activities and many others.
  • “Dopamine rush” (i.e feel good) doesn’t usually last very long, usually in milliseconds to minutes (eg: after orgasm, or after buying a new expensive item)
  • Posting on social media have an effect on dopamine albeit in smaller quantities.
  • Dopamine can be released when consuming supplements such as Tongkat Ali.

Can I use Tongkat Ali daily to boost dopamine?

Yes, Tongkat Ali may be used as a daily herbal supplement to promote release of dopamine, prolonging the pleasure and improving your mood.

You may use with a recommended daily dosage of between 100mg-200mg daily, and can be taken continuously with, or without OFF / ON cycle.

Supplements to boost levels of vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3 essential fatty acids may also help to raise dopamine levels, but there needs to be more research into whether this is effective.

If you are currently taking Tongkat Ali continuously, stopping Tongkat Ali does not cause a “crash”, or any withdrawal side effects associated with caffeine, or other feel-good psychoactive substances.

Can I get addicted to Tongkat Ali?

No, Tongkat Ali does not contain addictive substances or ingredients, nor it is classified as a psychoactive drug.

Dopamine-inducing drugs works differently compared to Tongkat Ali. Some plants may have a similar family of alkaloids. For instance,  Tongkat Ali (canthine-6-one alkaloids) vs. Coca (tropane alkaloids)

However, cocaine’s mechanism of action of increasing dopamine transmission and producing pleasure by manipulating the neurotransmitter in the brain is detrimental to health.

You may experience a substantial drop in testosterone and sexual stamina too.

Scientists have discovered that cocaine acts by blocking the removal of dopamine from the synapse, which results in an accumulation of dopamine and an amplified signal to the receiving neurons

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Technically you cannot get addicted to dopamine. It is the activity that increase dopamine that cause the addiction (eg: sex acts, drug abuse, etc)

When To Use Tongkat Ali?
  • Tongkat Ali may be used before sex to enhance the pleasure during orgasm, or post orgasm
  • Tongkat Ali is an ideal pre-workout supplement to promote the release of more dopamine (and testosterone) during workout, leaving you feeling ecstatic throughout the day.
  • Tongkat Ali may be used if you feel less motivated, feeling depressed due to work stress, or when you need to feel that “dopamine rush” to get things done during a busy day.
  • Tongkat Ali may be used before a night out to enhance your mood, or to sustain that positive good vibe throughout the night.
When Not To Use Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali is used as herbal supplement and should never be used to treat any diseases related to dopamine deficiency, serotonin deficiency or if you are diagnosed with any of the following medical conditions:

  • Parkison’s Disease
  • Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
  • Panic attacks
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
  • Spectrum Autism Disorder (SAD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Motor Disorders
  • Any neurodevelopmental disorder.

Note: Medicinal drugs such as Zoloft is used to improve serotonin in the brain and prescribed by doctors to reduce symptoms related to the above medical conditions. Please consult your nearest doctor before consuming Tongkat Ali as an alternative remedy.

Tongkat Ali: Effects on Dopamine and Testosterone

By taking Tongkat Ali, you may benefit more from the increase of dopamine and testosterone simultaneously. This is beneficial when are involved or engaged in an activity (eg: sports) where your body requires an optimal level of testosterone to fuel your daily activities.

Studies have shown that testosterone changes throughout the day with a huge drop in testosterone after 1700 hours. And that may explain why you are moody, less cheerful, and possibly knackered after a long hard day.

Researchers found the relationship between testosterone and dopamine mostly bidirectional – it means testosterone may influence dopamine, and vice-versa. A study has shown that testosterone can induce molecular changes in dopamine.

Does Tongkat Ali elevate testosterone and dopamine at the same time?

There are at least 20 studies and clinical trials to validate testosterone improvements from consuming Tongkat Ali, with results showing significant free testosterone increase between 122% to 600% in both men and women.

At this juncture, there is only one study that measured the increase of testosterone and dopamine from Tongkat Ali. The same study on 50, 100, 200, 400, or 800 mg consumption of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) showed increase in both testosterone and dopamine levels after 10 days.

Test results show a significant increase in total testosterone and free testosterone after 10 days. The highest increase is based on 800mg daily consumption of Tongkat Ali. (Source)

Enhancing Dopamine Rush

There are natural ways to increase your dopamine without going to the doctor.

  • “dopamine rush” can be enhanced by natural activities such as sex, shopping, exercise and many others.
  • Tongkat Ali is the only known herbal supplement that is scientifically proven to release more dopamine. 
  • Caffeine is known to increase dopamine signals in the brain.
  • Tongkat Ali coffee is known to amplify dopamine, making you feel better instantly.
Does Tongkat Ali increase serotonin?
  • Studies have found no effect on serotonin levels from consuming Tongkat Ali.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs such as Zoloft are effective to boost serotonin in the brain.
  • Tongkat Ali should not be used as an alternative or taken together Zoloft to avoid any adverse reactions, or side-effects.

Parting Thoughts

There are many other dopamine supplements that have the ability to boost dopamine and there are natural ways to boost your dopamine too.

But Tongkat Ali is one of the few dopamine supplements that is plant-based, organic and with minimal side-effects.

Tongkat Ali remains an underrated supplement that brings you endless joy and smiles.

If you have not experienced the good-feeling after Tongkat Ali, chances are it has to do with quality ingredient issues, dosage or lower potency.

There is a small chance that your body may react negatively to Tongkat Ali too.

Lastly, be assured to choose clinically-tested Tongkat Ali products and check for potency for maximum gains.

That’s the only way to enjoy a healthy dose of dopamine rush.


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 .

Disclaimer: The content published in this article is for educational purposes and not intended to promote any brands nor to provide any form of recommendations to purchase or consume medication, drugs or herbal supplement brands directly or indirectly. By reading this, the sole responsibility and decision lies on the reader to perform their own assessment and / or to arrive at an informed decision based on publicly available information. By reading the content published on this website means you are aware on the risks involved in purchasing any of the products or brands mentioned in this article. We highly recommend you and the readers to consult your nearest doctor before making any purchase from this website or any other websites or social platforms after reading this article.

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