Much has been said about Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia).
It was first dubbed as the “Asian Viagra” by The New Sunday Times in 1999 as it was commonly used for centuries to increase libido, other than its wide-range of health benefits.
Strangely, it did not receive further reviews from experts or scientists after it made the headlines in the 90s.
Fast forward 20 years, Tongkat Ali has now sparked public curiosity compared to decades ago.
The advancement of extraction technology, global safety standards, research, increasing consumption and acceptance have resulted in more discussions and opinions.
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, perhaps reviews from experts will 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.
- Andrew Huberman – Neurobiologist from Stanford University, USA
- Rena Malik — Urologist at University of Maryland, USA
- Shawn Talbott – Psychonutrionist from American College of Sports Medicine, USA
- Ismail Tambi – Andrologist, National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia
- Chris Kilham – Herbal Specialist a.k.a Medicine Hunter, USA
Dr. Andrew Huberman
Dr. Andrew Huberman is one of the most respected health and wellness personalities in the United States. 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 series of interviews between June — Sept 2021 which recorded more than 1.5 million views on Youtube, he talked passionately about testosterone optimization and proven natural supplements to increase testosterone.
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.
This explains why Tongkat Ali is suitable 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.
While Dr. Andrew 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
Dr. Rena Malik is an 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 explained 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 600,000 views on Youtube.
In fact, Dr. Rena’s reviews on Tongkat Ali was based on credible research / journal publications that were performed on human test subjects (including with placebo controlled groups) with 200mg to 300mg daily consumption.
Whilst Dr. Rena concluded that Tongkat Ali offers 3-in-1 benefits, she advised the public to search for Tongkat Ali using hot water root extract — which delivers the highest potency / efficacy and extremely safe in high doses.
But before you consume high doses, there is one thing you should know.
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.
The shocking truth is, this is valid for most dietary or natural supplements.
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
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%.
Could Tongkat Ali be the best natural supplement to combat stress and reduce anxiety by regulating the right hormones?
Dr. Ismail Tambi
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 where 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 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.
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?
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 the 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 that didn’t quiet pique the public interest or the research community.
In 2010, the story on Tongkat Ali was covered extensively 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.
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.
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.