The Dopamine Effect of Tongkat Ali: A Pathway of Pleasure

Tongkat Ali contains a bioactive ingredient known as eurycomanone that has a profound impact to your Central Nervous System (CNS).

Several studies showed that Tongkat Ali improves mood profile, and this is largely due to a reduction in cortisol and increase of dopamine.

In this article, we investigate the effects of Tongkat Ali on dopamine; i.e the pleasure neurotransmitter that controls your brain, your feelings, and emotional responses to various situations.

Let’s find out more about the effects of Tongkat Ali on dopamine; the pathway to a better mood and pleasure – and if Tongkat Ali is a dopamine supplement that can benefit you.

💡 What is dopamine?
  • According to WebMD, dopamine is a “pleasure” hormone that acts 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.

  • Too little dopamine is bad for you. Low levels of dopamine are closely associated with Parkinson’s Disease.

Is Tongkat Ali a dopamine supplement?

Tongkat Ali is a dietary natural supplement that may improve your mood including dopamine whilst benefitting other key hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, DHEA in your endocrine system.

Initial animal studies showed that Tongkat Ali does increase dopamine when consumed daily between 100 mg to 200 mg over a 2-week period.

The versatility of Tongkat Ali enables consumption with other ingredients such as coffee for additional dopamine boost (i.e from caffeine).

🔎 Does Tongkat Ali affects dopamine?

Consuming Tongkat Ali releases dopamine based on an animal study when consumed at 200mg to 800mg daily in 10 days.

Tongkat Ali affects two types of dopamine in our body:

  • 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 2019 study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine showed that the brain cortical and hippocampal dopamine content was significantly increased by almost 100%.

However, Tongkat Ali showed no significant effects on serotonin or noradrenaline content.

Here are the 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

🔎 Usage: Tongkat Ali as a dopamine supplement

You may use Tongkat Ali as dopamine supplement if you are experiencing any of the following:

moderate stress or depression

moderate temper or anger

postnatal depression

a bad day at work

a brain fog (slight daze)

lethargic, lazy or less motivated

restlessness or agitation

lack of mental calmness at work

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.

In addition, you may experience better mental clarity, focus and ability to solve complex problems (or puzzles). This is due to the direction relationship between dopamine and cognitive ability.

Researchers in the Netherlands found that the optimal amount of dopamine improves cognitive ability

Optimum Amount of Dopamine Improves Cognitive Ability

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)

FAQ: User Guide

Get more answers on Tongkat Ali’s effects on dopamine.

How long does it take for Tongkat Ali to work to boost dopamine?

You may notice better mood (i.e less anger, reduced stress) within 1-2 weeks if taken continuously at 200mg daily.

How much Tongkat Ali should I take to increase dopamine?

200 mg to 400 mg daily may improve your overall mood with optimal dopamine levels after four weeks. However, please consult your nearest healthcare professional or doctor for further advice before consuming Tongkat Ali to improve low dopamine symptoms or low dopamine disorders.

Does Tongkat Ali work if I have low dopamine?

Tongkat Ali has a potential to manage symptoms associated with low dopamine such as feeling moody, unmotivated. Limited studies suggest potential use of Tongkat Ali to manage Parkinsons, restless legs syndrome and depression, which are closely linked to low dopamine.

When is the best time to take Tongkat Ali to boost dopamine?

For maximum dopamine gains and better mood, take 200 mg of Tongkat Ali in the afternoon, or 30 minutes before you go to sleep. 

Does Tongkat Ali cause dopamine rush?

The effects of Tongkat Ali on dopamine are incremental and may not cause any dopamine spikes in your system. Expect a gradual increase of dopamine between 24 to 48 hours after taking Tongkat Ali.

Does Tongkat Ali cause excessive dopamine production?

Tongkat Ali supplementation restores dopamine to its optimal levels, and may not cause excessive dopamine production that is harmful to your health. There is no study to date to demonstrate excessive dopamine production caused by Tongkat Ali supplementation in the human body.

Which type of Tongkat Ali works best to boost dopamine?

Clinically tested Tongkat Ali supplements with standardized hot water root extract performs better as it is clinically tested on humans, particularly on mood parameters. It is recommended to take yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) from reputable manufacturers or trusted brands.

Can I use Tongkat Ali daily to boost dopamine?

Yes, you may use Tongkat Ali supplements daily between 100 mg to 200 mg or Tongkat Ali coffee drink to support healthy dopamine levels. 

Tongkat Ali coffee is consumed as a dopamine booster by face-paced executives and nightshift workers; to restore mental strength, cognitive capacity and to improve overall mood under stressful conditions.

Many Tongkat Ali users reported feeling better, more positive and joyful. This may attributed to the indirect effects of dopamine.

Will I experience withdrawal if I stop taking Tongkat Ali?

Stopping Tongkat Ali does not cause a “crash”, or any withdrawal associated with withdrawal symptoms when you stop consuming caffeine, or other psychoactive substances.

However, there is no study as to how long the dopamine effects will last when taking Tongkat Ali. The effect may wear off after 24 hours, or longer depending on your tolerance to Tongkat Ali.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Tongkat Ali include mild nausea and stomach cramps. Users are advised to monitor for severe or recurring side-effects. Adulterants, contaminants and impurities are major causes of Tongkat Ali side effects that you should be aware of.

Is Tongkat Ali a psychoactive drug?

Tongkat Ali is a dietary supplement and not classified as a psychoactive drug by FDA or any health authorities.

Is Tongkat Ali a SSRI drug?

Unlike Ashwagandha, Tongkat Ali is not classified as a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) drug, as it does not induce any effects on serotonin.

Can I get addicted to Tongkat Ali?

No, you will not get addicted to Tongkat Ali. Tongkat Ali does not contain addictive substances or ingredients, and it is not classified as a psychoactive drug.

The fact is, dopamine-inducing or psychoactive drugs work differently. However, Tongkat Ali contains a similar family of alkaloids which may be responsible for the dopamine surge. For instance:

📍 Warnings

Tongkat Ali 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.
  • Chronic depression
  • Bi-polar 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

Tongkat Ali have significant effect on both testosterone, cortisol and dopamine, three major hormones that controls your stress response and mood. As your level of testosterone changes throughout the day, Tongkat Ali supplementation may benefit your mood by restoring the hormonal balance that your body and mind need.

Researchers found the relationship between testosterone and dopamine mostly bidirectional – it means testosterone may influence dopamine, and vice-versa. Another study showed 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)

🔎 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 top dopamine supplements on the market but consumers are gradually changing to natural remedies to boost dopamine with minimal risks.

Tongkat Ali is seen as one of the few dopamine supplements that are plant-based, organic, and with minimal side effects. Tongkat Ali could be on its way to being the best alternative next to caffeine.

Yes, consuming Tongkat Ali brings you endless joy and smiles. However, please make a wise decision by choosing clinically-tested Tongkat Ali products for maximum dopamine gains.

And don’t forget to check out our Tongkat Ali dosage guide to get the best results.

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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