Tongkat Ali Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali is a natural herbal root from the plant Eurycoma Longifolia which is found in Malaysian and Indonesian rainfrorests. The herb is also known with other common names such as Long Jack, Pasak Bumi and Malaysian Ginseng.

What are the potential health benefits of Tongkat Ali?

Multiple human clinical studies over the last 20 years have resulted in the following benefits: 

  • Increases physical and mental energy
  • Boosts sports performance
  • Helps maintain a healthy anabolic/catabolic balance
  • Helps reduce fatigue and improves sleep quality
  • Encourages hormonal balance and healthy cortisol levels
  • Helps maintain normal high free testosterone levels in men
  • Encourages overall well-being and hormonal health
  • Enhances libido and sexual function
  • Assists in sustaining healthy weight levels and BMI
  • Promotes androgen biosynthesis

There are 12 potential benefits from scientifically-backed evidence on Tongkat Ali. Access to scientific and research studies can be found here.

What is Tongkat Ali in English or in other language?

Tongkat Ali in English is known as Longjack. In fact, it is one of the few herbs which has multiple household names in different languages, depending on which country you live in.

Tongkat Ali is also commonly known as ‘Pasak Bumi’ in Indonesia, Cay Ba Binh in Vietnam, Pin Yin: 东革阿里 or Dōng gé ālǐ in China, ‘Longjack’ in United States or Europe and ‘Malaysian Ginseng’ or `Akar Ali’ by some locals.  Interestingly the Russians and Arabs refer to it as “Tongat Ali”.

The word “Tongkat Ali” root comes from a direct translation from the Malay language that means Ali’s root. It is also common for locals to refer Tongkat Ali as Akar Ali, and easily pronounced as aka-rali in short.

What is Eurycoma Longifolia?

Eurycoma Longifolia is the scientific name of the Tongkat Ali plant. 

This plant is often referred to as Eurycoma Longifolia in research studies and amongst the scientist’s community, but it is not used or referred to widely amongst general consumers.

In Greek, the word “eurys” originally means broad while “come” means a tufted bush, which describes the plant’s physical attributes.

The word Eurycoma refers to the growth habit of its compound leaves that spirals out at the tip of its slender trunk in a large dense rosette.

In Latin, “Longus” means long and Folia refers to the leaves, so the word Longifolia describes the compound leaflets that are often long and slender. 

 

What are the main ingredients of Tongkat Ali?

In general, Tongkat Ali root contains quassinoids and alkaloids. The bio-active compounds in Tongkat Ali root contains eurycomanone, glycosaponin, polysaccharide and protein. The root is the only portion of the plant that is potent and widely used in various wellness applications.

How is Tongkat Ali used in daily life?

Tongkat Ali is one of the most functional and versatile herbs that is used in many applications. From functional food, supplements and performance ingredients used in pre-workout drinks, Tongkat Ali is the leading herbal ingredient in the market since its commercialization in early 2000.

Here are three common applications of Tongkat Ali:

  1. Functional Ingredient – as an active ingredient or additive in coffee or tea. Widely available and consumed daily in Asia for centuries. 
  2. Performance Ingredient – as pre-workout drinks or supplements used by fitness professionals and sports amateurs to deliver a competitive edge. Often mix with other herbs to maximize muscle growth and recovery, energy and stamina.
  3. Dietary Supplement – mainly available in capsule form and consumed as part of daily dietary supplements to revitalize general health and vitality.

Yellow, Red, and Black Tongkat Ali. Are they the same?

There are three types of Tongkat Ali roots coming from different plants:

  • Yellow Tongkat Ali – Eurycoma Longifolia
  • Black Tongkat Ali – Polyalthia Bullata
  • Red Tongkat Ali – Stema Tuberosa

 

The most popular and widely researched is the yellow Tongkat Ali (i.e Eurycoma Longifolia) due to its bio-active compounds that are beneficial and safe for your health. These are sourced from Malaysia within tight Government regulations to meet the Malaysian Standard (MS 2409:2011) for Tongkat Ali.

Black and Red Tongkat Ali have mixed-reviews on its efficacy and safety, but still sold in the market in smaller quantities. Most of black and red Tongkat Ali are from sourced from Indonesia with high lead and mercury content that can be harmful to health.

What is the difference between Tongkat Ali and Panax Ginseng?

The fact is both Ginsengs are root-based but each comes from a different family of trees. Here is a quick explanation:

  • Tongkat Ali (or Malaysian Ginseng) comes from a plant Eurycoma Longifolia belonging to family tree known as Simaroubaceae
  • Panax Ginseng comes from a family tree known as Araliaceae

Both of these plants are native to different parts of the world.

  • Tongkat Ali are found and harvested in Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Panax Ginseng are cultivated in Northeast of China and Korean Peninsula

Can Tongkat Ali benefit women?

The most misconception of Tongkat Ali is that it can only benefit men. This is due to traditional beliefs that Tongkat Ali is consumed to revitalize men’s health and libido.

However, modern science and research on Tongkat Ali showed that the hormone-inducing mechanism promotes wellness for women too.  In fact, Tongkat Ali is widely used as sports supplements by athletes and sports professionals to increase workout performance. And that benefits both men and women without any downsides to women.

Multiple clinical trials have shown that Tongkat Ali can regulate hormones in women, supports weight loss by reducing fat and increasing muscle strength, and reduce stress and confusion.

Read more about it here.

Are Tongkat Ali safe for vegetarians?

Most Tongkat Ali grows naturally in wild rainforests and consumes natural nutrients from the earth. If you are already on a plant-based diet, Tongkat Ali can supplement nutrients that your body needs to promote better vitality and general health.

Brands such as AKARALI contains 100% Tongkat Ali extract from Eurycoma Longifolia (natural plant) in vegetarian-friendly capsules.

Are Tongkat Ali's benefits validated by science?

There are more than 100 research papers on Tongkat Ali and growing patented formulation across the globe. The health benefits of Tongkat Ali has fueled interests by research communities, both in public and private sectors. Human and clinical trials have both provided sufficient evidence on its effectiveness. Scientists such as Dr. Annie George, Dr. Shawn Talbott, Professor Dr. Anthony Sinskey, Professor Hirokawa and others have long dedicated their research to Tongkat Ali.

Read more about scientific evidence on Tongkat Ali benefits here.

Where can I buy the best Tongkat Ali?

80 to 90% of the Tongkat Ali sold in the market today are supplied from Malaysia or Indonesia. The raw Tongkat Ali are processed from the Eurycoma Longifolia plants which are harvested deep in the rainforests. It is prohibited by the Malaysian law to export Tongkat Ali in it’s natural (i.e unprocessed) form.

The best Tongkat Ali is found in Malaysia due to its authenticity, technology extraction that has been perfected based on years of research. So if you are finding the best or the finest Tongkat Ali, look no further. Just make sure you Google the right keyword such as “Best Tongkat Ali Malaysia”,  “Akar Ali Malaysia”, or “Finest Tongkat Ali”. 

Which Tongkat Ali brand is the best?

There are more than 200 Tongkat Ali brands that you can purchase from Amazon today. However, do exercise some caution and please do your research before buying. Here is a quick guide if you plan to purchase Tongkat Ali on Amazon.

Not every Tongkat Ali brand carries the same quality despite US-made marketing hype. As the bulk of the source ingredients of Tongkat Ali come from suppliers in Malaysia, it makes more sense to purchase directly in the home country where Tongkat Ali is naturally from.

We analyze top Tongkat Ali brands so that you can make an informed decision. Check out our review here.

 

What is the recommended Tongkat Ali dosage?

Typical dosage recommendations, based on traditional use and on the available scientific evidence in humans, are 50 mg to 100 mg a day for dieters, and 100 mg to 200 mg for sexual function, healthy aging and sport nutrition. Studies for testosterone enhancement typically use 200 mg a day. The upper limit is no more than 600 mg per day.

The best is to consume Tongkat Ali on a regular or periodical ON / OFF cycle. A typical cycle means consumption of daily recommended dosage on 5 consecutive days followed by 2 days off. Then repeat the cycle to ensure maximum effectiveness.

When is the best time to take Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali is consumed for centuries as part of daily diet to promote health and wellness. In modern times, Tongkat Ali is available as a functional food ingredient found in coffee and tea – most of which are consumed throughout the day in Asia.

As a herbal supplement and those who are religiously wanting the best health benefits from Tongkat Ali, it is recommended to consume after morning meal or early dinner. For athletes and sports professionals, Tongkat Ali is taken as a pre-workout drink ideally an hour before hitting the gym or performing workout / sports activities.

How long does it take for Tongkat Ali to take effect?

Depending on your age and health conditions, past scientific studies showed that Tongkat Ali will take into effect between several hours to several days. However, in most cases, you can feel the difference in energy levels after 12 to 24 hours.

Significant measurable improvements on Tongkat Ali effects carried out by scientists and researches are usually performed on a longer time scale, i.e 4 weeks to 12 weeks. For young active adults below 40, we receive feedback on immediate reaction in sexual libido a couple of hours after the first dosage of Tongkat Ali.

Read more on scientific validation studies on Tongkat Ali here.

How can I gain maximum health benefits from Tongkat Ali?

Depending on your health objectives and how committed you are, getting the maximum result from any plant-based supplement requires discipline. Here are some tips:

  1. Adopt a plant-based diet or paleo diet
  2. Perform intermittent-fasting regularly, or a 24-hour fast once every week.
  3. Exercise (cardio) at least three times a week, and resistance or weight training twice a week.

What is the difference between boiling Tongkat Ali root and drink as a herbal tea vs. consuming in capsule form?

The key difference is the effectiveness to your body (and health). 

The boiling method is a traditional method used for centuries. By boiling, you extract all the good, the bad and the ugly ingredients which are not visible to your naked eye. This in the long term, can be detrimental to your health (and kidneys) due to unwanted bio-active compounds that are absorbed into your body. Besides that, the boiling approach can accidentally destroy the best nutrients from Tongkat Ali. 

AKARALI™ capsules contain pure Tongkat Ali powder which is produced through a patented extraction process known as Physta®. This process uses freeze-dried approach where only the best nutrients are extracted to deliver the best that your body deserves. In short, it delivers the highest potency with a higher rate of absorption into your cells.

The difference can be felt instantly when comparing between these two methods. 

Can you consume Tongkat Ali with coffee?

Yes, you can. There are more than 100 Tongkat Ali coffee brands sold in the market today and most of it are in pre-mixed 3-in-1 instant coffee packets.  

Unfortunately, the common 3-in-1 Tongkat Ali coffee brands do not deliver the best taste, nor the best health benefits as it contains more processed sugar than coffee or Tongkat Ali extract.

Now, since Tongkat Ali is also available in capsule form, you can make your own Tongkat Ali coffee with these following simple steps:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the coffee, milk, honey and Tongkat Ali (200 mg extract from 1 capsule)
  2. Cook and stir with low heat for 5 minutes. (Please do not let it boil.)
  3. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour into cups or mugs and serve immediately.

 

With the right dosage, you can tailor-made your Tongkat Ali coffee to suit your taste and health objectives.

 

What does it feel like after consuming Tongkat Ali?

In the first hour after your first dosage, you will feel more mentally awake with greater clarity as your neurotransmitters are being produced in your brain (e.g.: dopamine, a feel-good hormone). Some reported increased in sexual desire with improved mood and reduction in anxiety.

After about two weeks of consumption, Tongkat Ali begins to have an effect on the endocrine system by increasing (freeing up more) testosterone levels and decreasing the stress hormone known as cortisol.

After four weeks, you will feel more energetic and less “sluggish” or lethargic. If you are into competitive sports, muscle-building or even planning to lose weight, you will notice a significant increase in muscle strength, muscle growth and less body fat. 

Read our customer review and experience after 30 days here

What happens if I stop consuming Tongkat Ali?

Once you stop consuming Tongkat Ali temporarily or for good, you will not experience any withdrawal symptoms or side-effects.

In fact, it does not make you addicted compared to caffeine-addiction. There are no “crash-and-burn” or “downtime” if you stop consuming Tongkat Ali. But you will feel a gradual increase of past sluggishness creeping on you after a few weeks.

If you are consuming Tongkat Ali like most general consumers, you can adopt 1 week “ON” and 1 week “OFF” cycle to maximize the benefits of Tongkat Ali. So during the “OFF” cycle, you can stop consuming Tongkat Ali temporarily without any drop in strength or energy level. Nor it has any downside to your sexual health or libido.

However, if you are a serious bodybuilder or in sports competition and decide to stop consuming Tongkat Ali, you may notice a sudden or a gradual drop in performance – either in energy conservation, utilization or strength. This is because your body is more sensitive to any changes in nutrients during the workout or training.

What are the side-effects of Tongkat Ali?

There are mild side-effects associated with Tongkat Ali consumption. For some, this includes insomnia, mild jittery and mild nausea. These side-effects depend largely on a person’s reaction or allergy towards alkaloids and quassinoids.

However, almost 97% of consumers who have consumed Tongkat Ali posted a positive experience without experiencing any form of side-effects.

However, there have been no severe cases related to Tongkat Ali or reported deaths in publically available information. However, if you are in doubt, kindly consult your doctor or if you encounter any severe side-effects after consuming Tongkat Ali.

Can I take Tongkat Ali if I have diabetes?

If you are diabetic, you can consume Tongkat Ali without any side-effects. In fact, Tongkat Ali is a plant-based adaptogen herb that contains proteins, alkaloids and quassinoids that are found to lower blood sugar levels.

A study published at the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Research published in 2019 showed that Tongkat Ali lowers the blood sugar levels.

Although there have been no reported cases associated with complications due to Tongkat Ali amongst diabetic patients, we strongly recommend consulting your nearest doctor.

Can I take Tongkat Ali if I have high-blood pressure?

Tongkat Ali has a mild anti-hypertensive vasodilatory effect and it will not aggravate high blood pressure. A study has shown that Tongkat Ali may present an alternative treatment for hypertension that would complement the conventional therapies.

If you have high blood pressure (or hypertension as it is commonly known), you can still consume Tongkat Ali without any side-effects. This is beneficial to patients who experience side-effects or if you are intolerant or not responsive to conventional treatments.

Although there have been no reported cases associated with complications due to Tongkat Ali amongst high blood pressure patients, we strongly recommend consulting your nearest doctor.

Can I take Tongkat Ali with alcohol?

Yes, Tongkat Ali can be taken with alcohol and other non-alcoholic beverages such as coffee with no side-effect or any reported harmful effects to your body or mental state of health. On the contrary, taking Tongkat Ali after a long night out can reduce your hangover.

Tongkat Ali has been used as a functional food ingredient in coffee by Nestle Malaysia and Tongkat Ali infused red wine (known as Domain Laurent) was sold in the market in 2015. 

Is Tongkat Ali safe to be used in Olympics or competitive sports?

Tongkat Ali is used by many athletes and sports professionals as a performance ingredient supplement for years. And it is safe to be used in the Olympics or in other tightly regulated sports events based on the current doping policies.

A study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine showed the effect of  Testosterone vs. Epitestosterone ratio (i.e T:E ratio) between 0.63:1 and 0.74:1, from both placebo group and a test group consuming 400mg daily of Tongkat Ali for six weeks.

The study concluded due to the low T/E ratio, Tongkat Ali was regarded as safe as long as the doping policy of the Olympics Committee remains the same.

Read more about how Tongkat Ali is used in sports and fitness here

Is Tongkat Ali good for bodybuilders or to gain muscle?

Tongkat Ali is one of the proven herbal supplements to achieve higher anaerobic performance, muscle growth, reduction of body fat and, strength. This ideal if you are into bodybuilding, getting lean fast, gaining more muscle strength to boost your anaerobic performance during HIIT.

There is a scientific reason why Tongkat Ali is commonly used as a pre-workout or post-workout drink by athletes or sports professionals.

In fact, Tongkat Ali is used as a performance ingredient in major bodybuilder supplements out there. Next time check out the ingredient when you purchase one from your local GNC stores.

Research findings published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed the use of Tongkat Ali extract resulted in a 5 % increase in lean body mass in 5 weeks. In addition,  increase of the arm-circumference by 1.8 cm, taken from the test subjects, whilst their body fat was greatly reduced when subject to Tongkat Ali consumption.

For competitive bodybuilders, a five percent increase in the body mass is considered significant.

What is the best age to consume Tongkat Ali?

A word of advice. Tongkat Ali is a dietary supplement for overall health and wellness. On that note, there is no such thing as finding the best age to keep good health.

Tongkat Ali is a hormone-inducing herb that restores your testosterone and supports a better immune system. Depending on your lifestyle and diet, one could say your on average, your energy level drops significantly after you hit 40 years.

This “energy level” is primarily driven by your testosterone and host of other hormones and how well your body copes with inflammatory or immune-related attacks.

We have seen men as young as 30 consuming Tongkat Ali as part of their healthy diet and keeping fit. On the other end of the spectrum, we have witnessed 75-year-olds benefitted tremendously from the spike in energy after consuming Tongkat Ali in one week.

So best on our experience – the best age to consume Tongkat Ali and gain maximum benefit out of it will be in the range of 30 – 75 years.

Can children consume Tongkat Ali?

It is strictly prohibited for children or young adults below 14 years of age to consume Tongkat Ali, although there are no reported cases on medical complications or side-effects from consumption of Tongkat Ali.

Herbal supplements such as Tongkat Ali are designed to support daily diet for healthy adults and if consumed as a functional food (eg: Tongkat Ali coffee), there is little to no evidence that it can be detrimental to the health for young children.

However, our recommendation is to avoid children consuming any form of Tongkat Ali to be safe.

Will Tongkat Ali encourage male characteristics for women?

Tongkat Ali is completely safe and widely used for women to achieve greater well-being, energy and vigor. Because Tongkat Ali is not medically classified as a steroid, it’s mechanism of action in restoring testosterone levels will not encourage nor promote any form of male characteristics in women. Past studies have shown significant improvement in restoring free testosterone levels in women.

Read more on scientific studies on tests on women and testosterone here

Is Tongkat Ali destroying the forest?

Tongkat Ali grows only in the wild rainforests and often harvested without the need for deforestation. 

The replanting program has been carried out through a systematic approach by Tongkat Ali manufacturers and suppliers. For instance, indigenous people are taught to plant 5 Tongkat Ali trees for each tree harvested from the rainforest.

Tongkat Ali in Malaysia follows strict regulations and sustainability practices. Harvesting and replantation is carried out by indigenous people who are well-trained by the public and private sector to ensure the natural reserves are protected at all costs.

Does Tongkat Ali benefit the indigenous people?

There few Tongkat Ali brands such as AKARALI that supports sustainable fair trade and socially responsible practices for the indigenous population in Malaysia.

We invest a portion of our profit to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes in Malaysia which include but not limited to education, charity programmes and eco-friendly projects that benefit the indigenous community.

Yellow, Black or Red Tongkat Ali.

There are three types of Tongkat Ali sold in the market today – yellow, black and red. Find out differences in quality, potency, health risks and how it affects your health. We help you guide to choose the best Tongkat Ali.

Make the right choice. And protect your health.