Tongkat Ali extract supplement, side effects, benefits, dosage safety, research studies and honest review, Malaysia or Indonesia, works in women and men
Influence on testosterone levels, testimonials, by Ray Sahelian, M.D. , author of Natural Sex Boosters, a review of aphrodisiac herbs from around the globe
September 12 2016
Tongkat Ali is a tree native to the jungles of Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. It is commonly known as tongkat ali in Malaysia and Singapore, Tung Saw in Thailand, and Pasak Bumi in Indonesia. Natives consider every part of the tree as medicine. The root has been used as traditional medicine and promoted as a tonic, energy enhancer, and as an aphrodisiac. There is a great deal of misinformation on the internet regarding the ideal dosage of this root and its extracts. I have done my best to provide you with reliable and honest information based on scientific evidence and my personal experiences as a medical doctor who has had extensive feedback from patients.
Some people call tongkat ali Malaysia's herbal Viagra, or even female Viagra although its effect on the human body, influence on neurotransmitters and chemicals, and sexual enhancement is very different than the prescription erectile dysfunction medication.
Do not trust some of the claims made on certain internet sites, for instance:
Indonesian tongkat ali is superior to Malaysian or vice versa. Lead content is higher in one country than the other.
I have spoken to various scientists from these regions who claim people making such claims are misleading the public in order to sell their products. I have not seen convincing evidence that lead content is different when the tree grows is one country versus the other. Lead content is checked by manufacturers before releasing the product to the public. The actual active and inactive substances within the root can vary based on elevation, microenvironment, soil content, humidity, rainfall and other factors, not necessarily the country it grows in.
Only the extract works and the plain powder is not effective.
For centuries, and even today, people in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia have been using the plain tongkat ali root powder as a potent aphrodisiac. The extraction process become available only in modern times. Therefore, if you read anywhere that the root powder does not work, consider the rest of the information on that page unreliable.
Other herbs added to tongkat ali will not help its effectiveness.
Anyone who makes this claim is not experienced in herbal formulations. An experienced herbalist knows how to combine several herbs for maximal effect. In fact, for millennia Chinese doctors preferred using formulas consisting of several herbs rather than one alone.
An extract of 200 to 1 is more effective than other versions.
There is no scientifically accepted determination of what a 200 to 1 extract is. Tongkat ali researchers I have spoken to deny such a 200 to 1 extraction process exists. Scientific standards of how to judge the extraction process of this herb have barely begun. This whole area is like the Wild West where promoters make unsubstantiated claims about the potency of their product.
Tongkat Ali root powder 200 mg, where to buy
LJ100 25 mg, a potent extract of the tongkat root
Passion Rx with Tongkat ali powder and extract, perhaps the best option
You have the option to take Tongkat Ali root powder 200 mg, LJ100 extract at 25 mg, or Passion Rx which is an effective combination of these two plus a dozen additional aphrodisiac herbs. It is difficult to predict in any one individual which product will work better. The surest way is to try them separately to see which one is most suitable to your own body chemistry. Passion Rx has a very high rate of reorder and is my favorite aphrodisiac formula.
There are quite a number of sexual enhancing products on the market that have tongkat ali in various extract potencies. Before you purchase such a product make sure the company you are buying from is a legitimate and has an actual physical address in the United States.
Buy Tongkat ali root powder, LJ100 extract, capsules of Passion Rx natural sex booster, Prostate Power Rx, other aphrodisiac sex herbs such as horny goat weed, mucuna pruriens, tribulus terrestris, maca, catuaba, or yohimbe
Note: Passion Rx and tongkat ali supplements are best taken on separate days since taking them together may cause excessive stimulation. It is preferable not to take them on days that you take herbs and supplements that have stimulant properties such as ginseng, tyrosine, acetylcarnitine, or SAM-e. I suggest you have at least 2 or 3 days a week when you do not take any herbal aphrodisiacs since daily use can cause insomnia or shallow sleep and cause too much stimulation.
Suggested Use: For libido enhancement, take one LJ100 capsule or one tongkat ali root powder capsule every day or every other day. Results begin within a couple of days.
The different options available to the consumer, be careful and don't get fooled
Buy from a company based in the USA. If you purchase from a company based in a foreign country, they could be adding dangerous hormones or pharmaceutical medications to their products. If they are a reliable company doing business in the United States, they should have a physical office in this country.
Tongkat Ali root is sold as a powder in capsules by itself such as the one mentioned above at 200 mg per capsule, which is a good dose. It is also combined with other herbs in libido products. There are also concentrated forms which I will refer to as extracts. One well known and potent tongkat ali extract is LJ100 which is standardized to contain 40% glycosaponins and 22% eurypeptides. You can find tongkat ali promoted as 4:1, 5:1, 10 to 1, 20:1, 50:1, 100:1 and 200:1 extract concentrations. These can be quite misleading since there are no accepted scientific standards of what constitutes a 4:1 versus a 200 to1. In fact, be very skeptical of products that claim to be 20 to 1, 50 to 1, 100 to 1 or 200 to 1. There are no standards that say a 40% glycosaponin content constitutes a particular extract concentration. Any company who claims they are selling a product that is 200 times as potent as the regular powder is misleading you.
To make things a little more complicated, each raw material supplier and manufacturer has a different way of preparing and extracting the active ingredients, and has a different raw material source. This means that, let's say, a 4:1 extract sold by one company may have a different effect than a 4:1 extract from another company. It is difficult to give a dosage recommendation that would apply to all the products on the market.
After years of getting feedback from users of sexual enhancing herbs I have created a formula called Passion Rx which works very well as a sex booster in men and women with a low rate of side effects. You have the option of taking tongkat ali powder in capsules by itself, LJ100 by itself, or a libido enhancing formula. I prefer combinations since one can take advantage of different herbs which work in different ways to enhance the overall sexual experience, including sex drive, sensation, stamina, erectile function, orgasms, and lubrication.
Tongkat Ali side effects, caution, safety, toxicity, and adverse eventsPassion Rx - Medical Doctor Formulated for men and women
I have read articles in health magazines that it has wonderful benefits with absolutely no side effects. This has not been my personal or professional experience. Even though this herbal aphrodisiac is potent and effective, it does have shortcomings. One of the side effects of high dose tongkat ali herb use is insomnia. This can be quite unpleasant leading to tossing and turning all night. Lack of adequate sleep, when repeated over many days, can lower sex drive and cause fatigue, tiredness. So it's better to take smaller amounts over several days than a very high amount in one day.
I have personally tested various extracts in different doses and realized that it has additional side effects not often mentioned in articles or in research papers. Many of my friends and patients have given me feedback regarding their personal experiences. I am convinced that high doses can cause increased body temperature, which is not a good thing during hot and steamy days without air conditioning, but a good thing if you live in Alaska or enjoy taking a walk outside in cool weather. Some people find that when they take a high dose, they become restless and impatient, perhaps easily angered. Therefore, you don't want to swallow several capsules of tongkat ali if you expect to be driving in heavy traffic. You may get road rage. Being patient and taking lower doses is the preferred option. There could also be heart related side effects. High doses can increase heart rate which is not acceptable to those who have heart disease.
I am not sure yet how much it influences blood pressure, whether it has an effect good or bad on the kidneys or liver, but it does increase heart rate. I also do not know for sure whether a person with diabetes can take it safely, I assume they can if used in a low dosage.
This natural sexual enhancer provides results that are noticed within two to four days, and improve over several days of use. We have tested various doses and extracts of tongkat ali from a number of raw material suppliers to determine the ideal dose and combination for optimal libido enhancement with fewest side effects. After years of research, an effective proprietary blend, along with more than a dozen additional herbal extracts, has been created. Passion Rx provides a natural solution for those looking for an alternative to synthetic drugs.
- Sexual stamina, sensation
- Erectile function, lubrication
- Orgasms and climaxes
- Mood, motivation, and vision
Some of the potent herbal extracts in this formula include ashwagandha, Catuaba, Herba Cistanches, Horny goat weed, Maca, Muira puama, Passion flower, Tongkat Ali herb and LJ100, Tribulus and yohimbe. I do not suggest taking full capsules of these natural aphrodisiacs together the same day. For instance, when high doses of tongkat ali are taken with other herbs that have stimulating properties, such as ginseng or other adaptogens, there is the potential for restlessness, irritability, rapid heart beat, elevated body temperature, and insomnia.
Tongkat Ali aphrodisiac study review
Over the past few years, there have been quite a number of studies (particularly in rodents) that have tested it in relation to sexual effects. The results have been quite positive. There is some evidence that the use of this herb, at least in high dosages in rodents, increases levels of testosterone.
Complement Ther Med. 2015. Efficacy of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) on erectile function improvement: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. To determine the efficacy of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) herbal extract on erectile function improvement. Comprehensive electronic databases were searched from inception through October 2014. Randomized controlled trials investigating Tongkat Ali compared to placebo were included. Outcome of interest was the improvement of erectile dysfunction. The difference of changes from baseline of the outcome between Tongkat Ali and placebo was pooled using weighted mean difference (WMD). Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using Jadad's quality scale and Cochrane's risk of bias. Of the 342 articles identified, 2 studies involving a total of 139 participants were analyzed. No significance between group difference was found in the mean WMD of the change in the 5- item version of the international index of erectile function (IIEF-5) at week-12. Based on current evidence, the herbal extract of Tongkat Ali may have clinical effect on erectile function. However, more efficacy trials are warranted to further support current evidence.
Randomized Clinical Trial on the Use of PHYSTA Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia for the Improvement of Quality of Life and Sexual Well-Being in Men.
Evidence Based Complement Alternative Med. 2012. School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Kubang Kerian, Malaysia.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group study was carried out to investigate the clinical evidence of TA in men. The 12-week study in 109 men between 30 and 55 years of age consisted of either treatment of 300 mg of water extract of tongkat ali (Physta) or placebo. Primary endpoints were the Quality of Life questionnaire and Sexual Well-Being investigated by International Index of Erectile Function and Sexual Health Questionnaires ; Seminal Fluid Analysis (SFA), fat mass and safety profiles. The TA group showed higher scores in sexual libido and better sperm motility and semen volume. Subjects with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2) significantly improved in fat mass loss. All safety parameters were comparable to placebo.
The effects of this aphrodisiac herb were studied on libido of male rats after dosing them twice daily for 10 days. Tongkat ali produced a dose-dependent increase in mounting frequency; that is, the number of times the male rats tried to mount the female rats increased as the dose given to the rats increased. In addition, the rats displayed more frequent and vigorous licking and anogenital sniffing towards the receptive females. Furthermore, the rats dosed with the plant extract spent more time grooming their genitals compared to the rats who were not given the plant. Genital grooming may be interpreted as self-pleasuring since the rats were most likely enjoying the sensation of touching themselves. The researchers noticed another interesting finding: while the rats who had not received tongkat ali showed normal behavior within the cage such as exploration and climbing the cage wall, the rats given tongkat ali hung around the females instead of exploring the cage. In terms of human species, this may be interpreted as a man spending more time in the kitchen helping his wife dry the dishes than in the den half-asleep in a Lazyboy chair with the remote control in the left hand and a can of beer in the right while tuned to ESPN :)
Several studies have tested tongkat ali in rodents and shown this plant to have aphrodisiac properties.
In this study we evaluated the influence of Eurycoma longifolia on sexual behavior (including both motivation and copulatory performance) of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats. Treatment with the root powder significantly reduced ejaculation latencies, increasing also the percentage of mounting and ejaculating animals. In impotent rats treatments increased the percentage of mounting and ejaculating rats. Testosterone serum levels were increased in rats treated in comparison with controls. Influence of Eurycoma longifolia on the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Section of Pharmacology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
Availability online and in health food stores
Tongkat Ali is sold as a powder and in capsules, and it is often combined with other herbs in libido products. There are a number of extracts available in various potencies, and since each raw material supplier and manufacturer has a different way of preparation and extraction of the root material, and since there are no established standards, it is difficult to give dosage recommendations that would be consistently effective. In addition to tongkat ali being available as a raw powder, it is sold as a 4:1, 5:1, 20:1 and a 100:1 concentration although these could be misleading. At the higher concentrations it becomes difficult to dose appropriately since the margin of error in terms of effectiveness versus side effects becomes quite challenging.
Mechanism of action, how it works, effect on testosterone
More studies are required to determine the exact mechanisms of action. Recent studies indicate that the root contains several compounds including beta-carboline alkaloids and quassinoid-type glycosides, including eurycomaoside. How these compounds and many others in tongkat ali influence hormonal release or the human sexual response is not clearly understood (at least by me) at this time. I have read promotional material by some vitamin companies and articles in health magazines that tongkat ali enhances testosterone production or release. Apparently some human trials have been conducted in Malaysia that indicate tongkat ali influences testosterone and this herb in has shown to raise testosterone levels in rodent studies. I would not be surprised if compounds within it, such as glycoproteins, do influence blood, testes, or brain levels of testosterone. Does this effect on testosterone continue with prolonged use? I would also not be surprised additional compounds within the plant influence sexuality in ways other than just testosterone or hormone effects.
The plant parts have many compounds (such as eurycomaoside, eurycolactone, eurycomalactone, eurycomanone, and pasakbumin-B) among which the alkaloids and quassinoids form a major portion.
Int J Prev Med. 2014. Supplementation of Eurycoma longifolia Jack Extract for 6 Weeks Does Not Affect Urinary Testosterone: Epitestosterone Ratio, Liver and Renal Functions in Male Recreational Athletes.
Andrologia. 2011. Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism? Wellmen Clinic, Damai Service Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kbg Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. Considering that human studies are not available, 76 of 320 patients suffering from late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) were given 200 mg of a standardised water-soluble extract of Tongkat ali for one month. The Ageing Males' Symptoms (AMS) according to the standardised rating scale and the serum testosterone concentration were taken. Results show that treatment of LOH patients with this Tongkat ali extract significantly improved the AMS score as well as the serum testosterone concentration. While before treatment only 10% of the patients did not show any complaint according to the AMS scale and 35% had normal testosterone levels, after the completed treatment 71% and 90% of the patients showed normal values, respectively. Thus, Tongkat ali extract appears to be useful as a supplement in overcoming the symptoms of LOH and for the management of hypogonadism.
We examined the effect of 9-hydroxycanthin-6-one (9-HC-6-one), a β-carboline alkaloid isolated from E. longifolia, on penile erection and ejaculation, and further elucidated the mechanism of action. Results show 9-HC-6-one might be the active component that contributed to the aphrodisiac effect of E. longifolia by antagonizing the smooth muscle tone of corpus cavernosum through interfering with Ca2+ mobilization. J Sex Med. 2012. 13.9-hydroxycanthin-6-one induces penile erection and delays ejaculation. National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.
Nat Prod Res. 2013. Plant proteins, minerals and trace elements of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali). Metabolites Profiling Laboratory, Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia. A water extraction method has been used to extract plant proteins from the roots of TA harvested from Perak and Pahang, Malaysia. On the basis of the spectroscopic Bradford assay, Tongkat Ali Perak and Pahang contained 0.38 and 0.95 mg mL(-1) of crude protein, respectively. Isoleucine was present in the highest concentration. Both plant samples showed differences in the mineral and trace element profiles, but the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium were present in the highest concentration. The highly concerned toxic metals such as arsenic and lead were not detected.
Some claim that use of this tree root leads to improved lean muscle mass, skin tone and overall vitality. I am not yet convinced that this occurs. Here are some claims you will see on the internet that have little merit:
Increases your body's ability to burn fat.
Increases your ability to build lean muscle.
Improve cardiac function.
Stimulates of the pituitary gland (My comments: stimulation of the pituitary gland can be beneficial or harmful).
Long term side effects
Since long term human trials have not been published, it would be best to take breaks from use. One option is to take the herbal product every other day or 2 days on, 2 or more days off with a full week off each month. Each person is different and will find their own best schedule.
It is somewhat difficult to find the right dose and extract of tongkat ali supplement that works without causing insomnia, and that's where an experienced herbalist who has wide knowledge with this plant is crucial in terms of formulating the right product with the right amount and extract potency of tongkat ali.
Athletic performance, body building, increase in energy
It is true that tongkat ali increases energy levels, and here again the right dose is crucial since too high a dose will give insomnia, leading to fatigue the next day. However, if you take the right amount which wears off by evening, then you'll be just fine and happy. it is thought that tongkat ali increases energy levels through its actions on ATP. This herb also has an influence on testosterone levels, at least in the short term.
I have read a lot of articles on tongkat and wanted your professional advice. I'm 50 years old and a professional tri-athlete. (swim, bike, run) I was looking into this herb as a supplement for recovery, mental being, and endurance enhancer. Could you please give me a honest opinion about the herb and any positive effects that are proven to help with athletic performance.
Although this herb increases energy levels, it also increases body temperature which can be counterproductive to performance enhancement particularly if the activity is being done in warm weather. Perhaps this herb could help in situations where the outside temperature is very cold, or swimming in cold waters. However, there is also the risk for increased heart rate from the herb which may not be helpful. Overall, I don't think this herb is helpful for athletes except perhaps in situations where cold tolerance is a benefit. Much depends on the dosage used and this would be learned through trial and error.
Phytother Res. 2014 Apr. Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal supplement for physically active male and female seniors--a pilot study. Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia; TA) is known to increase testosterone levels and alleviate aging males' symptoms. This study aimed at investigating TA as an ergogenic supplement for elderly people. Thirteen physically active male and 12 physically active female seniors (57-72 years) were supplemented with 400-mg TA extract daily for 5 weeks. Standard hematological parameters were taken. In addition, the concentrations of total and free testosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone, cortisol, insulin-like growth factor-1, and sex hormone-binding globulin were analyzed. As additional biochemical parameters, blood urea nitrogen and creatine kinase as parameters of kidney function and muscle damage, respectively, as well as the muscle strength by a simple handgrip test were determined. After treatment, hemoglobin, testosterone, and dihydroepiandrosterone concentrations, and the ratio of total testosterone/cortisol and muscle force remained significantly lower in female seniors than in male seniors. Hematocrit and erythrocyte count in male seniors increased slightly but were significantly higher than in female seniors. Treatment resulted in significant increases in total and free testosterone concentrations and muscular force in men and women. The increase in free testosterone in women is thought to be due to the significant decline in sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations. The study affirms the ergogenic benefit of TA through enhanced muscle strength.
Beta-carboline alkaloids have demonstrated significant cytotoxicity against human lung cancer (A-549) and human breast cancer (MCF-7) cell lines. In plain English, this means that some compounds in tongkat ali can kill cancer cells. The practical significance of this finding in humans is not clear at this time.
The Dr Oz show was suggesting tongkat ali as a testosterone supplement to assist females with fatigue. Is this product and dosage primarily for men or would it also be safe for females (age 48 perimenopauseal)?
We don't suggest its use as a treatment for fatigue. Although it can boost energy levels, it can also cause insomnia which can make fatigue worse. We are not sure if Dr. Oz is aware of its effects on sleep.
Use for infertility
This study investigated the effect of treatment with the proprietary standardized, water-soluble extract of the root of the Malaysian plant, Eurycoma longifolia Jack, which is thought to enhance male fertility with regard to higher semen volumes, sperm concentrations, the percentage of normal sperm morphology and sperm motility in male partners of sub-fertile couples with idiopathic infertility. A total of 350 patients were given 200 mg of the extract daily 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. The extract significantly improved the sperm quality in these patients, allowing for 11 (14%) spontaneous pregnancies. Eurycoma longifolia Jack in managing idiopathic male infertility. Asian J Andrology. 2010. Bin Mohd Tambi MI. Wellmen Clinic, Damai Service Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. School of Medical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia, Kbg Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.
Scientists have found that, in addition to its sex-enhancing effects, compounds within tongkat ali have anti-malarial properties. Some of these anti-malaria compounds are known as quassinoids.
Mood and Stress influence
Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects.
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013. Talbott SM, Talbott JA.
Previous studies have shown properly-standardized TA to stimulate release of free testosterone, improve sex drive, reduce fatigue, and improve well-being. We assessed stress hormones and mood state in 63 subjects (32 men and 31 women) screened for moderate stress and supplemented with a standardized hot-water extract of TA root (TA) or Placebo for 4 weeks. Significant improvements were found in the TA group for Tension (-11%), Anger (-12%), and Confusion (-15%). Stress hormone profile (salivary cortisol and testosterone) was significantly improved by TA supplementation, with reduced cortisol exposure and increased testosterone status. Results indicate that daily supplementation with tongkat ali root extract improves stress hormone profile and certain mood state parameters, suggesting that this "ancient" remedy may be an effective approach to shielding the body from the detrimental effects of "modern" chronic stress, which may include general day-to-day stress, as well as the stress of dieting, sleep deprivation, and exercise training.
Comments: My experiences have been different. I often find use of TA leads to increased aggressiveness and restlessness rather than reduction of stress.
We have not seen any studies regarding tongkat ali and prostate gland in humans, so we don't know whether it helps with BPH treatment or induces prostate gland enlargement. We also don't know how it influences prostate cancer, whether it helps prevent it or aggravates it.
Use with other dietary supplements
Fish oils at one to three softgels a day can be taken together. Try to avoid taking it with other potent herbs in their full dosage.
Interactions with medications
J Clin Pharm Ther. 2010. Modification of propranolol's bioavailability by Eurycoma longifolia water-based extract. Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Penang, Malaysia. The bioavailability of propranolol is significantly decreased when consumed together with E. longifolia. The interaction is due to a reduction in absorption, rather than an increase in propranolol's metabolism.
I purchased a 200mg bottle of Tongkat Ali. I'm eager to start taking the herb. My question is, does it have any interactions with prescription medication such as Suboxen, Nuvigil, Pristiq and Crestor?
A. It has not been tested with these medications, so it may be a good idea to begin with a small portion of the contents of the capsule rather than a full one.
I am 32 years old and I want to raise my testosterone using tongkat ali. I currently take Naltrexone 50 mg for alchohal overindulgence not everyday but using the Sinclair method which means I only take it on days I drink so a few times a week. My liver is still in excellent shape and I have taken tongkat ali before at 800 mg a day if 200:1 Indonesian extract. I am thinking to try your brand at the recommended dose but I am worried because I read Naltrexone also has an effect on Luteneizing hormone. Is there any possible interactions I should be worried about?
A. This aphrodisiac herb is very potent. I am not aware of any research with the combination with Naltrexone, but suggest using very low dosages of tongkat ali and to use it only occasionally.
Tongkat li is harvested in the wild and there is a concern that increasing popularity will deplete the natural preserves. Steps are being taken to cultivate the tree in large plantations. Unlike most trees which have a horizontal root system, the root of a tongkat Ali tree grows as much as one meter straight into the ground. This tough fibrous root penetrates deep into the earth to obtain its nutrients and takes at least five years to mature. Of an older tree (15-20 years), the root itself can grow to a size that is taller than many people. Some people misspell the name of this tree as tonkgat or tonkat ali.
Review journal article
J Diet Suppl. 2013. An evidence-based systematic review of tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. An evidence-based systematic review of tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration consolidates the safety and efficacy data available in the scientific literature using a validated, reproducible grading rationale. This article includes written and statistical analysis of clinical trials, plus a compilation of expert opinion, folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetics/dynamics, interactions, adverse effects, toxicology, and dosing.
Sexual arousal in sexually sluggish old male rats after oral administration of Eurycoma longifolia.
J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2004. Ang HH, Lee K. School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Science Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia.
The objective of this study is to evaluate sexual arousal in sexually sluggish old male rats, 24 months old and retired breeders, receiving 200, 400, or 800 mg/kg of various fractions of tongkat ali, twice daily, for 10 days. Control rats received 3 ml/kg of normal saline. The aphrodisiac effect was monitored by the act of yawning and stretching because yawning, either alone or associated with stretching, is considered an ancestral vestige surviving throughout evolution that promotes sexual arousal. The results showed that 800 mg/kg of tongkat ali increased yawning by 50% and stretching by 16% in sexually sluggish old male rats, by 676-719% and 31-336%, respectively, in sexually active male rats, and by 22 to 44% and 75 to 100%, respectively, in middle aged, 9 months old and retired breeders. We conclude that the results of this study support the folk use of this plant as an aphrodisiac.
Eurycoma longifolia enhances sexual motivation in middle-aged male mice.
J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2003.
Tongkat Ali was investigated for sexual motivation activity in adult, middle-aged male mice and in retired breeders. Each mouse received 500 mg/kg of one of 4 fractions of tongkat ali : chloroform, methanol, butanol, and water, whereas the mice in the control and yohimbine groups received 3 ml/kg of normal saline and 30 mg/kg of yohimbine daily respectively for 10 days. Our study showed that this potent herb continues to enhance sexual motivation in adult, middle-aged male mice and in retired breeders.
Effects of Eurycoma longifolia on sexual qualities in middle aged male rats.
The effects of tongkat ali were studied on the sexual qualities of middle aged male rats after dosing them with 0.5 g/kg of various fractions of tongkat ali whilst the control group received 3 ml/kg of normal saline daily for 12 weeks. Results showed than tongkat ali enhanced the sexual qualities of the middle aged male rats by decreasing their hesitation time as compared to controls. This study shows that it enhanced the sexual qualities of middle aged male rats, further supporting the folk use of tongkat ali as an aphrodisiac.
Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on libido in middle-aged male rats.
J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2002.
The effect of increasing doses of various fractions of tongkat ali extracts on libido was examined in middle-aged male rats. The results of this study show that tongkat ali extracts can increase libido in middle-aged male rats.
Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on orientation activities in middle-aged male rats.
Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2002.
Subjects treated with tongkat ali increased orientation activities towards the receptive females (anogenital sniffing, licking and mounting), increased genital grooming towards themselves and restricted movements to a particular area of the cage but decreased interest in the external environment (climbing, raring, exploration) as compared with the controls during the investigation period.
Effects of Eurycoma longifolia jack on levator ani muscle in both uncastrated and testosterone-stimulated castrated intact male rats.
Arch Pharm Res. 2001. Ang HH, Cheang HS. University Science Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia.
Dosing for 12 consecutive weeks showed significantly increased levator ani muscle strength.
Q. I find tongkat ali works best for me if I take it 2 days on, one or more days off. In fact, sometimes I notice the sexual feelings even on the off days.
A. Yes, it is one of those sexual enhancing herbs that has a delayed effect.
Q. At first tongkat ali supplement was working great, but now i don't feel it as much. I have been taking it every day for 4 weeks.
A. There is a tolerance that builds up to some herbs, and tongkat ali is one of them. Perhaps it stimulates hormone release which depletes after a while and you may need to take a break from use to replenish the hormones, or maybe there are other factors involved that we don't know about. Nevertheless, it's best to take frequent breaks from use.
Q. I note 2 versions of tongkat Ali -- the 200 mg powder and the LJ 100 extract. How would one decide which formulation to purchase for very low male libido?
A. It's difficult to say which form is better suited. We have had positive responses with both, some liking the root powder, some liking the extract. It's difficult to predict individual likes and responses.
Q. I purchased tongkat ali 200mg and I was surprised at how strong two capsules were. I have been told that 400mg of a 1:50 extract, 1 dose per day was the correct dose. However, I purchased the product from an Indonesia company Pasam Bumi which sent me 1:50 400mg caps, but the suggested tongkat ali dose on the label was 4 capsules per day. That seems like too high a dose.
A. Before we formulate a product, our research team takes it in varying amounts and concentrations, and we get feedback from many users. Thus we have first hand experience what these products do, as opposed to theoretical dosing. For some people 400 mg tongkat ali root powder may be too high a dosage and they may need only 100 or 200 mg.
Q. Does tongkat ali cause a woman to have a longer and heavier than usual menstrual flow? I took 400 mg for two weeks, 2 days on and 2 days off, and this is what I experienced.
A. Although we have not had a previous report of tongkat ali associated with menstrual flow, it is possible since it may influence certain hormone levels or influence the release of certain hormones.
I have bought tongkat ali on a previous occasion and was very happy with the results, but I had a heart attack in September, caused by blocked arteries, not heart problems. Will the tongkat ali cause harm to me, does it raise blood pressure, what could be beneficial or harmful to taking it, I was very happy the the results but do not want to cause further injury if there is something I should be aware of.
Tongkat ali can stimulate the heart to beat faster, we don't think it is a safe herb to take in those who have heart problems unless your doctor wants to monitor you on very low doses.
I understand there are few human clinical trials using tongkat Ali herb except a few from Malaysia. In theory, could tongkat ali stop the production of important hormones, testosterone, FSH, LH, etc. Have there been any reports of it causing the testicles to shrink, or, could it in theory have that effect?
The full long term effect of chronic tongkat ali use on hormones is not known, but in my opinion it is a relatively moot point since I do not recommend frequent use of this potent herb. The maximum use, in my opinion, should be no more than 3 times a week, and there should be at least a full week off a month. It is also possible that the hormonal effects are dose dependent, and different people may react differently to tongkat ali and the various extracts that are available.
Q. I have been experimenting using tongkat Ali root powder (400 mg), LJ100 25 mg, and Longjax 20:1 (400 mg). Another web site I've looked at claims that the root powder is worthless, because it would take 50g (50,000 mg!!!) to equal an effective dose. Therefore the extracts are a better bet, because with two or three pills of the Longjax one approaches at least half this "therapeutic dose". The web site claims it draws this information from direct experience (including living) in SE Asia where tongkat ali has a long local history of use in a brewed tea. Apparently the brewed tea starts at around 25-50 g of root that gets boiled into a bitter tea. So I'm confused. You say that 400 mg of tongkat ali root powder can actually be a very strong and effective dose, yet others question this premise. The fact that you are a doctor leads me to put a lot of faith in your opinion over the others, even though I know nothing about you beyond that fact. I have experienced mild improvements with the tongkat Ali products (powder and extract), and am hopeful that it will help ward of andropause and low testosterone. I'm 53 years old, and my wife and I have sex daily - so we are doing OK, but always looking for improvement. I love your website and your work. I hope you don't take this probing question as anything other than someone desperately seeking advice and clarification regarding dosage, but in particular the "value" of root powder vs. extracts of any kind.
A. I can only speak from my experience with the tongkat ali root powder and feedback from patients and users of this supplement. I can't imagine the health risks of taking 50,000 mg of tongkat ali powder. It could be fatal or at least require several days in intensive care. Even 400 mg is a little bit too much for me. I reduced the tongkat ali powder supplement dosage from 400 mg a capsule to 200 mg per capsule. As with most sexual enhancing supplements, it is preferable to take low dosages and go slow rather than trying to have a quick effect with a high dose. These herbs are potent and should be treated cautiously. I have no intention of discussing or countering every claim that is made on the internet on countless products. People have the right on their own websites to say what they wish. My role is to be honest and accurate writing about my own experiences and knowledge. The final decision as to which web site to rely on for such information rests on the reader and the consumer.
Are there any side effects taking tongkat ali and statin drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor? Is it advisable?
I have not seen studies that have evaluated the combination of statin medications and this herbal aphrodisiac. The herb itself has a lot of side effects so it needs to be used cautiously. It is a good idea, if combining the herb and the medication, to use very low dosages and to have approval by your doctor.
I recently purchased a bottle of Vitali-T-Aid which has Testofen 600mgs (Fenugreek PE 50% fenuside, Male Wellness Blend 100mg (Saw Palmetto Berry powder, Astragalus Root powder, Phytosterol (40% Beta Sitosterol), Asian Ginseng Root powder, Tribulus Fruit extract, L-Arginine. Can a person take the Tongkat Ali 200mgs and the Vitali-T-Aid together.
We prefer to alternate them, one day TA and the other day Vitali-T-Aid and to take a day off both every two or three days.
I have been taking between 1500mg to 3000mg per day of tongkat ali for around a week or two now. In the past week I have noticed my testicles have been hurting off and on. I have no signs of infection just testicle pain.
Q. I saw your video on TongKat Ali and wanted to ask you a few quick questions. I am a healthy 26 year old male that does not suffer from Erectile Dysfunction. My acupuncturist mentioned TongKat Ali and stated that it could have benefits in my athletic training, marked increases in confidence sexual desire and libido. Currently I am prescribed to Adderall IR 20mg for ADD / ADHD and this prescription mutes my sex drive. My main questions are: For a 26-year, having not gone thru Andropause, is taking TongKat Ali recommended? Am I too young to take TongKat Ali? Is it safe to take TongKat Ali in conjunction with my Adderall prescription?
A. For healthy young people who wish to take this herbal aphrodisiac, occasional use for a few days at a time is fine. It is not safe to take this herbal aphrodisiac and stimulant with prescription stimulants such as
Amphetamine sulfate (Evekeo)
Dextroamphetamine (Adderall and Adderall XR, Dexedrine, ProCentra, Zenzedi)
Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin and Focalin XR)
Methylphenidate (Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate CD and Metadate ER, Methylin and Methylin ER, Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Ritalin LA, Quillivant XR)