Alternative medicine is all the rage right now, and for good reasons. Various reasons, such as people’s disillusionment with conventional medicine, the side effects of allopathic prescriptions, and the growing apathy of the institution of healthcare, have driven people towards traditional remedies. However, one ingredient that is taking the world of alternative medicine by storm is Tongkat Ali.
For the past twenty years, the scientific community has been engaged in extensive investigation vis-à-vis the health benefits of Tongkat Ali. It is currently used as a herbal health supplement and is also the key ingredient in many traditional concoctions, including those that claim to heal cancer, arthritis, stress, erectile dysfunction, and so forth.
In this article, we will gauge the multiple dimensions of Tongkat Ali and see what it does for us.
What Is Tongkat Ali?
Also called Malaysian Ginseng, Tongkat Ali is an herbal supplement that comes from the root scrub of Eurycoma Longiflia plants, which are endemic to the South-East Asian countries of Malaysia, Java, Sumatra, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Asia, Tongkat Ali has been used as a traditional medicine to cure ailments like malaria, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, intestinal worms, etc. In addition, herbalists term the ingredient as an adaptogen that assists the body in managing various kinds of stressors, including emotional, physical, and chemical stress. Tongkat Ali has recently garnered immense popularity owing to its beneficial constituents, like flavonoids and alkaloids, which are robust antioxidants with the capacity to fight cellular damage caused by free radicals. The main bioactive compounds found in Tongkat Ali are –
- A substantial proportion of alkaloids and quassinoids
Seven Things That We Like About Tongkat Ali
To date, around 700 human subjects have participated in research and clinical trials to evaluate Tongkat Ali’s health benefits. After rigorous investigation, experts have opined that the herb has multifarious benefits for human health, some of which are elaborated below –
- Better Sexual Performance and Increased Fertility among Men – Some studies claim that Tongkat Ali has properties that can enhance male fertility and sexual libido. A 2016 medical investigation conducted on human and animal test subjects reflects that the consumption of Tongkat Ali increased semen volume, sperm count, and sperm motility among the participants. Likewise, heightened production of testosterone coupled with the better erectile function was also observed. It is important to note that Tongkat Ali has been touted as the best all-natural remedy for sexual performance after Viagra.
- Bone Health – Tongkat Ali might help people with osteoporosis and joint pains. A study by the Faculty of Medicine, the National University of Malaysia, found that Tongkat Ali’s prominent and proven role in increasing testosterone levels also stimulates the production of bone-forming cells, something we call osteoblasts. In addition, it also helps in bone preservation. Thus, there has been evidence to suggest that Tongkat Alit’s usage is linked to better bone health among humans.
- Increased Production of Testosterone – Tongkat Ali is one of the few natural herbs scientists have successfully proven to regulate testosterone levels in both men and women. There exists sufficient evidence and clinical trials on the testosterone-related effects of consuming Tongkat Ali conducted within the last 20 years. The herb helps to release a higher proportion of free testosterone through the adrenaline, pituitary glands, testes, and ovaries. For instance, a clinical trial with 47 participants reported an increase in free testosterone of up to 600 percent in 24 weeks. Likewise, a one-month study in 76 older men with low testosterone levels found that the daily intake of 200 mg of Tongkat Ali increased testosterone levels to significantly higher in 90 percent of the participants.
- Anti-cancer Properties– The current cancer statistics are alarming, with one in five men and one in six women diagnosed with the condition. Thus, the medical community has been forced to hang onto loose threads and search for alternative medicines that might help fend off the diseases. One ingredient that shows some promise in fighting cancer is Tongkat Ali. Scientists are identifying new quassinoids in Tongkat Ali that may help fight cancer by decreasing the growth and progression of cancer cells. Recent collaborative research between the National Research Center of Cairo, the University of Science, Malaysia, and the Third Military Medical Univerity of PR China reveals that regular exposure to Tongkat Ali caused the reduction of incidence of subcutaneous (beneath the skin) tumors of the test subjects.
- Helps Relieve Stress – Tongkat Ali may reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and help calm down the nerves of its consumers. A 1999 study first recognized the apparent role of Tongkat Ali in assuaging mood and stress-related problems. The study found that the herb is comparable to a common anti-anxiety medicine in reducing anxiety symptoms in mice test subjects. Similar effects are seen among humans, but the research is a tad bit limiting. For instance, a one-month study of 63 adults with moderate stress that consumed 200 mg of Tongkat Ali supplement every day found that the hormones in their saliva were reduced by 16 percent, as opposed to those who received a placebo in the study.
- Anti-inflammatory and Antimicrobial Effects – Tongkat has antibacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Recent clinical studies illustrate promising usage to manage gout and bacteria-induced diseases, including those caused by E Coli and Salmonella typhi. A 2021 placebo-controlled study on 103 men found that the consumption of 100 mg of Tongkat Ali daily leads to a reduction of uric acid from 5.69 mg / dL to 5.03 mg / dL after 12 weeks. Thus, the study shows Tongkat Ali’s potential to curb gout and flares.
- Better Body Composition – The last thing that Tongkat Ali can do for human health is boosting athletic performance and increase muscle mass. The presence of bioactive compounds called quassinoids helps us use the body’s energy reserves more efficiently, reduce fatigue, and improve endurance. Thus, Tongkat Ali is a herbal supplement that serves as an ergogenic aid – a substance that can enhance physical performance and improve body composition. For instance, a small five-week study of 14 men participating in a strength training program found that those who took 100 mg of Tongkat Ali per day experienced a significantly greater increase in lean body mass as opposed to the placebo cohort.