The Tongkat Ali: Experts Review and Opinion 2021

Much has been said about Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia).

It was first dubbed as the “Asian Viagra” by The New Sunday Times in 1999 due to its common use by local Malaysians and indigenous to increase libido. 

In fact, a group of MIT scientists first discovered technology for identifying potent Tongkat Ali plants to ease biotech operations back in 2003. And that was the beginning of the world’s first Tongkat Ali patented extract.

Fast forward, Tongkat Ali is now back on the center stage – inviting more discussions, reviews and opinions on its health benefits from decades of clinical trials and hundreds of research studies.

But what do top neurobiologist, urologist, psychonutrionist, andrologist and global herbal experts have to say about Tongkat Ali?

Besides research findings and studies that validate Tongkat Ali’s array of health benefits, reviews from health experts may bring valuable insights to increasingly curious consumers.

Summary of experts on Tongkat Ali

We have listed down top five individuals who are considered specialists and experts in their respective fields.

  • Dr. Andrew Huberman – Neurobiologist from Stanford University, USA
  • Dr. Rena Malik – Urologist at University of Maryland, USA
  • Dr. Shawn Talbott – Psychonutrionist from American College of Sports Medicine, USA
  • Dr. Ismail Tambi – Andrologist, National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia
  • Chris Kilham – Herbal Specialist a.k.a Medicine Hunter, USA

Dr. Andrew Huberman

Tongkat Ali has the effect of increasing testosterone levels

Dr. Andrew Huberman, University of Stanford, USA

Dr. Andrew Huberman is one of the most respected American neuroscientists. He gave his opinion on the effectiveness of Tongkat Ali recently in 2021.

As an award-winning professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University, as well as the founder of the Huberman Lab, most of Dr. Andrew’s work focuses on brain function and brain regeneration which include the relationship between hormones, body function, behaviour and brain.

Dr. Andrew Huberman runs his own lab known as Huberman lab, where is also a professor at the Stanford University. Source: Stanford University

In a series of interviews between June – Sept 2021 which recorded more than 1.5 million views on Youtube, Huberman talked passionately about testosterone optimization and proven natural supplements to increase testosterone such as Tongkat Ali and Fadogia Agrestis.

During the interview with Joe Rogan, Dr. Andrew said that consuming 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily has the effect of increasing testosterone levels between 100 to 200 points.

But how far is the truth?

There are many research studies and clinical tests have supported his statement – notably an increase of testosterone between 20% to 122% depending on the daily dosage of 200mg to 400mg of Tongkat Ali.

In a recent food & nutrition study conducted in 2020 with 105 men showed significant increase of testosterone and muscle strength after 12 weeks using 200mg of Tongkat Ali.

Another study published in 2014 conducted on a group of ageing men and women showed increase of free testosterone of up to 60% to 120%, coupled with increased in muscle strength after five weeks.

Dr. Andrew Huberman is regarded as the go-to person on hormones such as testosterone and estrogen and how it can affect your behaviour and cognitive functions

Commenting on sports performance and testosterone augmentation, Dr. Andrew further explained that Tongkat Ali helps increase more free testosterone (i.e the “good” testosterone), which optimizes the hormone levels that your body requires.

He commented on the same effect of consuming Fadogia Agrestis. However recent clinical evidence suggests that Fadogia Agrestis Tongkat Ali combo may not deliver the intended health benefits.

As a result, consumers remained loyal to the single-ingredient supplement containing 100% Tongkat Ali root extract.

This explains why Tongkat Ali is suitable and safe for sports amateurs and professionals who are seeking to improve their performance or as a replacement to anabolic steroids.

However, here is a word of caution by Huberman on Tongkat Ali.

There are “loads of garbage” out there in the supplement market.

While Dr. Andrew Huberman reported that some of his audience claimed a 100 to 200 point increase in testosterone after consuming Tongkat Ali, he cautioned that there are “loads of garbage” out there in the supplement market.

As the herbal industry is not regulated, there are plenty of poor quality Tongkat Ali brands sold on Amazon today. Some if not most are not derived from Tongkat Ali root, making it less potent.

So please beware of overhyped Tongkat Ali brands if you are buying Tongkat Ali in the United States.

There is a greater chance of it being a placebo effect.

Instead, look out for reputable brands with proprietary extraction technology and produced by credible turn-key manufacturer / suppliers.

Dr. Rena Malik

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

Dr. Rena Malik, University of Maryland, USA

Dr. Rena Malik is a Urologist at University of Maryland Medical Center and was named a “Top Doctor” in the specialty of Urogynecology and Urology by Baltimore magazine in 2020. As the co-founder of South Asian Wellness, she and other professionals cover extensively on topics related to South Asian wellness and health.

In her video, she reported scientific evidence of Tongkat Ali in 3 notable areas: Erectile Dysfunction, Testosterone and Stress.  

Her data-driven approach on Tongkat Ali was highly regarded and recorded more than 1 million views on Youtube.

Tongkat Ali with hot water root extract delivers higher potency

Dr. Rena’s reviews on Tongkat Ali were based on credible research/journal publications – mostly involving clinical trials using human test subjects (including placebo controlled groups) with 200mg to 300mg daily consumption.

She concluded that Tongkat Ali offers 3-in-1 benefits and advised the public to search for Tongkat Ali with hot water root extract – which delivers the highest potency/efficacy and is extremely safe in high doses.

Hot-water freeze-dried Tongkat Ali extract such as Physta® has undergone more than 26 clinical trials to date and is recently available on Amazon.

But before you consume high doses, there is one thing you should know.

If you are overweight or not exercising enough, Tongkat Ali may not work

She further cautioned that if you are overweight or not exercising enough, Tongkat Ali may not work as intended, or you may see little to benefit.

This is evidenced by a 6-month study by the researchers from the University of Santa Catarina Brazil in 2021 that showed that daily consumption of Tongkat Ali with a 60-minute exercise 3 times a week brought the most improvement in ED, sexual satisfaction and desire.

A similar observation was found in the real world – where healthy people reported gains on increased stamina, muscle strength, and better mood after six weeks.

Aside from good exercise, eating habit and adequate rest, could Tongkat Ali be the holy grail for ED, low testosterone and infertility?

Dr. Shawn Talbott

Tongkat Ali is used to restore strength, energy, mood and libido

Dr. Shawn Talbott, American College of Sports Medicine, USA

Dr. Shawn Talbott is no stranger in the field of nutrition and biochemistry in the United States. He is one of the few experts who integrates physiology, biochemistry, and psychology to help people improve mental fitness and physical performance.

His discovery on Tongkat Ali was in the last 8 years was in a collaboration with a group of scientists to examine the effectiveness of Tongkat Ali on muscle strength from increased testosterone levels.

As a veteran who participated in dozens of Iron Man triathlons, trail ultramarathons, national rowing and cycling events, Dr. Shawn’s background in Sports Medicine and Fitness Management had attracted him into studying Tongkat Ali’s effect on mental health and sports performance.

Besides writing books and papers, most of his work has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, the TED stage, and the White House since 2014.

Dr. Shawn Talbott is an established author and expert on mental fitness, where he provides health tips and guide to achieve a better well-being by integrating various disciplines, including nutrition, supplements and exercises.

In a 2014 study to investigate the effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and mood profile in moderately stressed subjects, Dr. Shawn discovered significant improvements in the mood profiles of the test subjects – Tension (-11%), Anger (-12%), and Confusion (-15%).

Stress hormone profile, which is controlled by cortisol and testosterone was significantly improved by Tongkat Ali supplementation over a four-week period, with reduced cortisol exposure by 16% and increased testosterone status by up to +37%.

A separate study that did not involve Dr. Shawn Talbott was the fact that Tongkat Ali has a profound effect on dopamine, i.e the pleasure hormone that makes you smile with joy.

Could Tongkat Ali be the best natural supplement to combat stress and reduce anxiety by regulating the right hormones?

Dr. Ismail Tambi

We found that the testosterone level in men consuming Tongkat Ali was elevated

Dr. Ismail Tambi, National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia

Dr. Ismail Tambi may be one of the earliest experts who validated Tongkat Ali’s effectiveness on men’s fertility. As an expert on men’s fertility for more than 20 years, he spends more than a decade studying natural supplements such as Tongkat Ali since the early 2000s

He is a well-known Malaysia’s Clinical Andrologist and he is the head specialist at the National Population and Family Development Board in Malaysia.

He has published 48 papers in the field of reproductive health and andrology. He now serves as an editorial board for the Asian Journal of Andrology.

Operating his own men’s clinic in Damai Hospital in Malaysia, his first research publication on Tongkat Ali was in 2010. The paper published on Asian Journal of Andrology did not gain much attention amongst his peers or other global scientists and doctors.

What was deemed as a breakthrough in the late 2000s is the following.

Dr Ismail Tambi conducted one of the most extensive human study on Tongkat Ali during his era – that lasted for 3 years from 2004-2007, where a total of 350 men were identified as having idiopathic infertility (i.e low sperm concentration, decreased motility and abnormal sperm morphology) were given 200 mg of Tongkat Ali extract daily.

According to Dr Ismail, Tongkat Ali’s testosterone-enhancing effect and antioxidant properties may have contributed to its ability to improve fertility

Of these 350 patients, 75 patients (with an average age of 32.7 years and a history of infertility of 5.3 years) completed one full cycle of 3 months. And follow-up semen analyses were performed every 3 months for 9 months.

Follow-up semen analyses in these patients showed significant improvement in all semen parameters. Tongkat Ali extract significantly improved the sperm quality in these patients.

Could Tongkat Ali be the answer to combat Erectile Dsyfunction and improve men’s fertility?

There is plenty of scientific evidence to prove the effect of Tongkat Ali on libido for your reading pleasure.

Chris Kilham

When you give people Tongkat Ali, it is Chinese New Year in their pants

Chris Kilham, The Medicine Hunter

Chris Kilham may not be a professional doctor or a scientist, but it is worth noting that this passionate individual is a Tongkat Ali expert in his own right.

His years of extraordinary enthusiasm on plant-based remedies and natural wellness have earned him the title of the “Medicine Hunter”.

In fact, Chris is one of the few Americans who made early discoveries of Tongkat Ali before it was even popular or sold on Amazon!

He gave his first-ever public presentation on Tongkat Ali during a conference in Nevada, Las Vegas in 2003 – after having returned only weeks earlier from the deep rainforests of Malaysia to study the effectiveness of Tongkat Ali as a natural aphrodisiac.

But his first presentation didn’t quite pique the public interest or the research community.

Seven-year later, his story on Tongkat Ali was given wide coverage in a 43-minute documentary by Fox News, featuring Chris’s adventure into the 100 million-year-old rainforest of Malaysia and interview by experts.

Now, not everyone knew that Malaysia’s Tongkat Ali is highly sought after.

Chris Kilham ventured into the deep rainforests of Malaysia in search for the next natural viagra known as Tongkat Ali in 2003. He came back later to Malaysia in 2014 to continue his research.

In his blog, he wrote extensively about Tongkat Ali from his years of investigative research and interviews with scientists, doctors and experts in Malaysia.

“Tongkat Ali is a scientifically studied plant which holds up brilliantly under close scrutiny. The root contains a plethora of beneficial compounds, including potent protective antioxidants which inhibit cellular aging. Other phytochemicals in Tongkat Ali are anti-viral, anti-malarial, and anti-cancerous. Others combat high blood pressure, and quell dysentery. Quassinoids in the root prove twice as potent as aspirin against fevers.” Chris said.

Even with its other serious medical applications, what excites most people about Tongkat Ali is this.

The root significantly boosts sex drive and function in both men and women, by building testosterone.

Chris Kilham at Tongkat Ali collection center where Tongkat Ali roots are handpicked, cut and dried before sending to the factory for further processing.

Due to his passion on Tongkat Ali, Chris Kilham made another trip to Malaysia in 2014 to understand better the development of Tongkat Ali since his last visit in 2003.

Well, we can’t name every individual, but Chris is one of many herbal experts that have visited Malaysia in search for quality Tongkat Ali in recent years.

Closing Thoughts

From Chris the Medicine Hunter to highly acclaimed neurobiologist, urologists, psychonutrionist, andrologists and host of other experts who are not named here, Tongkat Ali have touched millions of lives.

To those who deemed as experts and those who have experienced it, Tongkat Ali is receiving more stellar reviews each year.

Yes, things have changed.

And that includes improvement in extraction technology, the number of clinical trials and research studies, safety standards and harvesting techniques as consumer demands higher quality Tongkat Ali.

It is an evolution that we all seek for.

Because our health deserves the best.


The doctors, specialists, experts and individuals named in this article have no association, partnership or any form of commercial engagement with AKARALI™ brand or products. Whilst these individuals have spoken, mentioned or published the merits and benefits of Tongkat Ali, the content in this article should not be used as a form of recommendation, or as a medical advice.

Naressa contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a writer and journalist, Naressa is all about creating, deconstructing, and reassembling meanings through words. With this approach always in mind, she eagerly explores the nuances in life via the aspects of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and natural wellness.

Disclaimer: Content published in this article is 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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3 Responses

  1. Hi, have you done any tests with tongkat ali to research the effects it has on increasing DHEA???

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