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Tongkat Ali and Testosterone (Everything You Need to Know)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: December 28, 2022
Methodology
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Recent research shows that Tongkat Ali has the potential to combat the effects of declining testosterone.

So, as a certified fitness coach, I decided to explore that notion more thoroughly.

I spent several weeks reading the scientific research and consulted my close doctor friend to learn everything about the hormonal benefits of this herbal medicine.

Finally, with the help of a few clients, I tested Tongkat Ali's effectiveness.

In this article, I share the details of what Tongkat Ali is and its effects on testosterone.

Keep on reading.

Quick Summary

  • Tongkat Ali is a herbal medicine used to treat illnesses such as fever and infertility.
  • Tongkat Ali has biochemical substances such as eurycomanone that stimulate the adrenal and pituitary glands to produce more free testosterone.
  • Tongkat Ali has also been shown to improve body composition, libido, and sperm health.

What Is Tongkat Ali?

Close up shot of Tongkat Ali leaves

Tongkat Ali is a Southeast Asian herbal medicine made from the Eurycoma longifolia jack roots.

Commonly known as Longjack, Tongkat Ali has been used for decades in numerous Southeast Asian nations (including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam) to cure various diseases, such as infections, fevers, and infertility [1].

There are three species of plants commonly referred to as Tongkat Ali: Entomophthora apiculata, Goniothalamus, and Polyalthia bullata [2].

Tongkat Ali Eurycoma longifolia’s health advantages most likely derive from the plant's components.

In particular, it includes alkaloids, flavonoids, and other antioxidants.

Antioxidants protect cells from cellular damage produced by molecules known as free radicals [3].

Eurycoma longifolia root extract is usually consumed as tablets or as a herbal drink.

How Does Tongkat Ali Affect Testosterone?

A person stretching at the floor indoors

Tongkat Ali affects testosterone by boosting its levels by up to 37%.

This medicine dramatically boosted testosterone to normal levels in more than 90% of individuals [4].

Eurycoma longifolia extract also enhances sperm concentration and motility, thus combating the effects of infertility caused by low testosterone, especially late-onset hypogonadism [5].

Low testosterone can be caused by age, chemotherapy, radiation therapies, some drugs, testicular injury or illness, and conditions like persistent alcoholism and disruptive sleep apnea [6].

Low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and, in rare circumstances, infertility are some side effects of low testosterone.

Because the chemicals in Tongkat may increase testosterone, it may be used to address these conditions [7].

Furthermore, research on middle-aged male rats and people reveals that consuming Eurycoma longifolia jack increases sex drive and may help men increase erectile function [8], [9].

A 12-week trial of 108 males aged 30–55 found that consuming 300 mg of Eurycoma longifolia extract enhanced sperm volume and motility by 18% and 44%, respectively [10].

Based on these trials, it efficiently improves low testosterone and fertility problems in certain men, although further study is needed.

Is Tongkat Ali Clinically Tested to Boost Testosterone?

A doctor checking if Tongkat Ali is clinically tested to boost testosterone

Yes, Tongkat Ali has been clinically tested to boost testosterone naturally and has been shown to increase this hormone to normal levels in the body.

Several studies support the notion that Tongkat Ali extract increases free testosterone, total testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) [11].

"Tongkat Ali, like testosterone replacement therapy, may increase testosterone by boosting DHEA levels, and it also acts as an adaptogen, assisting the body in dealing with moderate stress hormones and lowering cortisol. Most studies appear to suggest a good influence on libido as well."

- Amber Smith, Doctor of Medicine

From 2000 to 2021, clinical studies and research papers revealed an elevation in free testosterone ranging from 15% to 600% in both males and females, based on daily dosages and length of usage.

A 24-week randomized placebo-controlled clinical research on 50 mg Physta Tongkat Ali plus multivitamins, for instance, indicated a 582% rise (up to 11.4 ng/dL) as well as a 600% rise (up to 1.05 ng/dL) in free testosterone in males and females, respectively [12].

Tongkat Ali Eurycoma longifolia has eurycomanone, a biochemical substance that stimulates the pituitary and adrenal gland.

This allows the binding hormone, the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), to produce more free testosterone (FT).

The most recent study, published in 2021, found that Eurycoma longifolia jack had steroidogenic impacts in young males.

Increased free testosterone levels might be attributed to increased hormone synthesis through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis [13].

Other Benefits of Tongkat Ali

A woman stretching at a park outside

Other supposed health benefits of Tongkat Ali extract have not been well explored; however, some studies indicate that it may assist in boosting the psychological mood state and muscular mass.

Improved Body Composition

Tongkat Ali Eurycoma longifolia is frequently claimed to improve athletic performance and muscular mass.

This is due to the presence of quassinoids, which include eurycomanone, eurycolactone, and eurocomaoside.

These may assist your body in utilizing energy efficiently, minimizing fatigue, and enhancing endurance [14].

In other words, the supplement might work as an ergogenic aid, a drug that improves athletic performance and muscle mass [15].

A brief 5-week trial examined 14 moderately stressed subjects engaging in a strength-training program.

The trial indicated that individuals who consumed 100 mg of this standardized water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia each day increased their lean body mass much more than those who received a placebo.

They also burned more fat than the placebo group members [16].

Improved Libido and Sperm Health

A couple cuddling happily in bed

Another well-known effect is its capacity to boost sexual desire, sexual performance, and erectile firmness and regulate reproductive hormones.

In addition to that, it has also been demonstrated to improve male sperm viability and fertility.

 

"Tongkat Ali extract can boost spermatogenesis and may function as a pro-erectile drug. At least one compound of Eurycoma longifolia (9-hydroxycanthin-6-one) has been linked to both ejaculation delay and pro-erectile characteristics."

- Kamal Patel, Master of Public Health

One randomized clinical trial looked at the impact of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) on the erectile role and whether it can increase testosterone levels in aged males with androgen deficiency.

It was discovered that males who combined concurrent training with Eurycoma longifolia improved their sexual well-being [17].

Reduced Stress

One research on Sports Nutrition looked at stress hormones in 63 participants who took Tongkat Ali extract or just a placebo for four weeks.

According to the study, the extract significantly reduced people's anger, stress, and uncertainty.

The stress hormone cortisol dropped while testosterone levels surged.

They concluded that Tongkat Ali might be a promising treatment for modern psychological stress, sleep disturbance, and exercise regimen [18].

Eurogenic Aid

A male athlete jogging at the park outside

Athletes occasionally use ergogenic aids to improve their performance.

Based on one 2016 review, Eurycoma longifolia may work as an ergogenic aid since it relieves anxiety and boosts levels of testosterone.

The researchers found that Eurycoma longifolia may have some effect on endurance activities with high doses and long-term intake [19].

 

Who Should Consider Taking Tongkat Ali?

People who experience problems with low testosterone, low libido, or infertility should consider taking Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia jack).

According to some studies, it may also lower anxiety and enhance body composition.

While the product appears to be safe at dosages up to 400 mg daily, research is minimal, and published studies concentrate on short-term usage.

Therefore, it is unknown if using the supplements for prolonged periods is effective or safe.

If you’re thinking about taking this product, talk to your doctor first to ensure it's safe for you.

Dosage and Side Effects of Taking Tongkat Ali

A doctor listing down the side effects of taking tongkat ali

Tongkat Ali is often used in doses ranging from 200 to 400 mg per day.

However, it is recommended to use this supplement with caution, especially for older people.

You should not exceed the specified dose.

The supplement comes as a pill, tablet, or tincture. It is also available in powdered form.

Although Eurycoma longifolia has been used for generations in traditional medicine, nothing is known about the potential side effects of its supplementation.

However, if you have a weak immune system or are using hypoglycemia or blood pressure medicine, you should take caution while using Eurycoma longifolia supplements [20].

It's also advised that nursing or pregnant women and children avoid using this herbal supplement.

Moreover, since Eurycoma longifolia may boost testosterone, those at risk of hormone-sensitive malignancies (prostate cancer, breast cancer) or who have a history of cardiovascular disease or renal illness may respond negatively to the supplement.

FAQs

Does Tongkat Ali Raise Testosterone?

Yes, Tongkat Ali may raise testosterone, aid in treating male infertility, decrease stress, and boost muscle mass.

How Long Does It Take for Tongkat Ali to Raise Testosterone?

It may take Tongkat Ali two to 24 weeks to raise testosterone significantly.

Is Tongkat Ali Good for Erectile Dysfunction?

Yes, Tongkat Ali is good for erectile dysfunction (ED). Since it increases testosterone, it can treat ED.

How Reliable Is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali is a solid supplement that may boost your testosterone, libido, and fertility and improve your body composition.

However, I advise going for a high-quality testosterone booster when it comes to long-term reliability and effectiveness.

It can perform the functions of Tongkat Ali and has other beneficial ingredients that can aid your general health.

When testing these supplements, I had my testosterone levels checked regularly, and week after week, the lab results indicated a stable increase until my levels reached a healthy range for my age. My client's experiences aligned closely with mine.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274257/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318077514_
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21671978/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3739276/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707424/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24386995/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10803359/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23243445/
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233931841_
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23754792/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6294837/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33559971/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214558/
  15. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285180367
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3669033/
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33541567/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3739276/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214558/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26978330/
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