Eurycoma Longifolia (commonly called tongkat ali or pasak bumi or malaysian ginseng) is a flowering plant in the family Simaroubaceae. It is native to Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Malaya, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) and to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The plant is a medium-sized slender shrub that can reach 10 m (33 ft) in height, and is often unbranched. The root of the plant has been used in folk medicine of the South East Asian region, and in modern times has common use as supplements, as well as food and drink additives. There is no clinical data supporting the effectiveness of Eurycoma longifolia for any health benefit.
Many purported health benefits have been attributed to Eurycoma longifolia; however, there is no clinical data supporting its effectiveness for any health benefit. The plant is used in the traditional medicine of Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. In Indonesia and Malaysia, the root of the plant is boiled in water, and the water is consumed as a health tonic for post-partum recovery, as an aphrodisiac, as well as the relief of fever, intestinal worms, dysentery, diarrhea, indigestion, and jaundice. In Vietnam, the flower and fruits are used to treat dysentery, and the root is used for malaria and fever. In Malaysia, a paste of the plant is applied topically to relieve headaches and stomach-aches. There is a traditional belief that E. longifolia is an aphrodisiac. Other health benefits attributed to this plant include antimalarial, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and antipyretic activities. In Indonesia and Malaysia, E. longifolia has been widely commercialized. Its root, which is highly bitter, has been used as the basis for supplements, as well as food and drink additives. In the US, the extract has self-affirmed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status, as an ingredient. As a supplement, it has been marketed for the supposed benefits of sexual health improvement, as an energy and stamina booster, for improving blood circulation, and fat reduction. In the drinks market, it is a common ingredient for coffee and beverages marketed as energy drinks.
An extract process and method of treatment for sexual dysfunction and male infertility was issued a U.S. patent in 2006. Additional patent applications have been filed in the U.S. for various processes and indications, but as of August 2017 none have resulted in issued patents.
Previous studies have shown properly-standardized TA to stimulate release of free testosterone, improve sex drive, reduce fatigue, and improve well-being.
These 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. Tongkat ali suggested uses include for enhancement of male sexual function. Tongkat ali also has been used as an antimalarial.
Animal studies show some positive results for tongkat ali use for male sexual function enhancement; there have been no human clinical trials.
Tongkat ali is available under the following different brand and other names: Eurycoma longifolia, longjack, pasak bumi, and tung saw.
Tongkat ali is an herbal remedy that has been a part of traditional Southeast Asian medicine for centuries.
It’s often used to treat a variety of ailments, including fevers, erectile dysfunction, and bacterial infections.
Studies suggest that tongkat ali may boost male fertility, relieve stress, and improve body composition, but research in these areas is limited.
Tongkat ali’s potential to increase testosterone in men with low levels of this primary sex hormone is well known and well documented.
Low testosterone can result from aging, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, some medications, injury or infection of the testicles, and certain diseases, such as chronic alcoholism and obstructive sleep apnea.
Effects of inadequate testosterone levels include low libido, erectile dysfunction, and in some cases, infertility. Since compounds in tongkat ali may boost low testosterone, it could treat these issues.
What’s more, studies in both animals and humans show that taking tongkat ali stimulates sexual arousal and may improve erectile dysfunction in men.
Finally, tongkat ali may improve sperm motility and concentration, boosting male fertility. Tongkat ali extract has been researched into treatment for people with prostate cancer.