Tongkat Ali: Medical & Experts Reviews

Tongkat Ali made its mainstream foray into the Western world through its first shocking headline, dubbed as the “Asian Viagra” by The New Sunday Times in 1999.

And that news was driven by a breakthrough discovery in Tongkat Ali’s study by a group of MIT scientists.  

But before, that it was long known as the “The Tree That Cures Hundreds Diseases” due to its wide range of health benefits.

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

In this article, we shall share reviews and opinions from medical professionals, scientists, and experts on Tongkat Ali based on 20 years of research studies.

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

Summary: Experts Review on Tongkat Ali

We have listed down medical professionals and experts that talked positively about Tongkat Ali.

  • 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
  • Dr. Andrea Militello – Urologist & Andrologist, Rome, Italy
  • Chris Kilham – Herbal Specialist a.k.a Medicine Hunter, USA
MIT Scientists’ Discovery of Tongkat Ali 

A group of MIT scientists discovered and developed a new technology for extracting the highest bioactive ingredients from Tongkat Ali in 2000.

The development was a joint research development with the Government of Malaysia. Since then, continuous research gave birth to many opportunities in clinical tests to accelerate the development of Tongkat Ali as a medicinal drug.

And this discovery was the milestone of the world’s first Tongkat Ali patented extract.

Dr. Rena Malik

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

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 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 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 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 to purchase Tongkat Ali on this website, and it is not intended to serve as medical advice.


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.

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.

Disclaimer: 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 lie 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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