Introduction to Tongkat Ali
Tongkat Ali is a very popular herb. This extract is found in almost all male sex enhancement supplements out there due to its potency in boosting libido and fertility.
When you mention Tongkat Ali, most people immediately associate it with sexual enhancement and nothing beyond that. The truth, however, is that this herb can do so much more for your health than just boosting your sex drive and testosterone levels. In fact, some of these benefits will be useful not just to men but also some women with various ailments. In the following review, we will help you understand everything about this herb including its scientifically proven benefits, how to use it and any potential side effects that one may experience.
What is Tongkat Ali?
Tongkat Ali goes by so many names including Eurycoma longifolia, ginseng, longjack, pasak bumi etc. It is a medicinal shrub that’s mostly found in Southeast Asia. This plant has, for centuries, been used in traditional medicines where it is utilized in balancing chemicals in the body to maintain and improve chemical processes. Due to its popularity, scientists had to look into its functioning mechanisms by subjecting it to clinical trials some of which were done on humans. The reports from these studies have indeed reaffirmed the herb’s medicinal benefits.
How does it work?
Some of the biggest ailments that we experience are due to chemical or hormonal imbalances in our bodies. In men, for instance, as we age our bodies tend to make less testosterone. Some of this male sex hormone can also be converted into estrogen meaning our bodies can no longer use it. This then leads to problems such as low libido and a decrease in sperm count resulting in infertility.
Scientists explain that Tongkat Ali helps in restoring hormonal balances. How does this happen? Well, this herb is filled with triterpenoids, alkaloids, and eurypeptides that assist with the process of normalizing hormone levels. Tongkat Ali also contains quassinoids with bioactive properties that promote overall well-being.
Tongkat Ali’s interaction with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which controls a lot of body functions, means that it provides a wide spectrum of benefits beyond the common sex enhancement uses.
Benefits of Tongkat Ali
- Boosts Sex Drive
This is by far the most common and supported benefit of Tongkat Ali. The herb has been used as an aphrodisiac for decades treating sexual problems caused by age and other factors. It is even referred to as a natural “homegrown Viagra” in Malaysia.
Libido is mostly controlled by the amount of testosterone in the body. The more of this hormone you have the more the sex drive and the better your erections will be. For various reasons, however, testosterone levels can diminish rapidly and with it goes your interests in sexual activities.
The best thing about this herb when it’s used for this purpose is not just its ability to get your sex life back on track, but it is how it achieves this. You see, unlike anabolic steroids and other remedies, Tongkat Ali doesn’t focus so much on increasing the amount of testosterone being produced. Instead, it focuses on the vast testosterone that is trapped in the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Due to aging and presence of other chemicals in the body, a lot of testosterone usually ends up getting trapped into SHBG where it is rendered useless. Tongkat Ali works by freeing this testosterone making it available for use by your body. The good thing about this approach is that it’s much safer compared to remedies that stimulate testosterone synthesis. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy a more exciting sex life without dealing with adverse reactions.
A lot of the studies done on this herb show that it is likely to benefit men more than women. At low dosages, Tongkat Ali will also improve sex drive in women but the problem is that if overused then it might lead to masculine characteristics that most women find uncomfortable. Women taking too much Tongkat Ali can end up with excess testosterone and this can lead to an increase in muscle mass, acne breakout among other problems. It’s therefore, advisable for women to be keen on the amount of Tongkat Ali they are taking.
- Improves Male Fertility
Tongkat Ali won’t just boost your sex drive and leave you there. This herb will go as far as improving the sperm quality and quantity thus boosting fertility.
One study involving 75 men was done to investigate the effect of this herb on fertility. In this study, a section of the men was placed under Tongkat Ali supplementation for weeks before they were compared against the placebo group. The results recorded that the group under Tongkat Ali had witnessed a significant boost in sperm quality which was measured by concentration, volume, and motility. The research went further to explain that 15% of the participants reported new pregnancies.
- Lowers Stress levels
Excess cortisol leads to stress and other mood problems. As we mentioned earlier, Tongkat Ali is extremely effective in balancing hormone levels in the body. When taken regularly, this herb will, hence, help to keep cortisol levels low enough for you to enjoy a stress-free life.
This is supported by multiple studies including one published in the ISSN Journal which showed that 200mg daily supplementation of Tongkat Ali is sufficient to suppress cortisol levels. The study also reported that the herb will reduce confusion, anger, and tension.
- Promotes Energy Levels
In men, testosterone levels have been associated with muscle growth, endurance, and strength. Men with low testosterone levels usually have a hard time developing muscles and this is why most bodybuilding supplements contain compounds that stimulate testosterone production in the body.
The fact that Tongkat Ali safely helps to increase testosterone levels means that it directly leads to an increase in energy levels and overall strength. Take note that unlike bodybuilding supplements and other steroids, Tongkat Ali does not aggressively increase testosterone levels. It only makes moderate but useful increments and hence you shouldn’t expect to get extremely ripped. The impact will be subtle but enough for you to carry out your daily activities with more ease.
- Enhances Skeletal Health
Calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D are the first compounds that typically come to mind when we are talking about skeletal health. Very few people are aware of the crucial role that a decent hormonal balance plays in keeping your bones strong. Low testosterone levels have also been linked with weak and fragile bones. Tongkat Ali promotes hormonal balance and also improves the amount of serum in testosterone and this enhances your skeletal health.
In one lab study, Tongkat Ali increased bone-building proteins; OCN, RUNX-2, and BMP-2 which improved the formation of new and healthier bone cells. It’s also believed that this herb enhances the destruction process of osteoclasts (cells that destroy bone tissues).
Using Tongkat Ali
Tongkat Ali is available in form of extracts and pills. You can choose any form depending on the purpose of taking the herb. Your physician can also recommend the ideal supplement to take depending on the issue you are solving and whether you need a pure form or one mixed with other herbs.
The dosage guideline is also dependent on the issue in question. You are however advised to keep the dosage between 1200mg to 2400mg daily which can be taken twice, three or four times. Doctors also advise you to take the herb in phases of 5 to 8 months with breaks in between. This helps in restoring normal body functions during the breaks and also prevents your body from getting used to the herb which will make it ineffective in future.
Most of the supplements and steroids are taken for sex enhancement are normally associated with renal and liver-related side effects. With pure forms of Tongkat Ali, there have been no such cases and clinical trials have also never reported such incidences. This is good news for the big majority of men that have had to endure frustrating sex lives simply because they couldn’t get a drug that works without destroying their livers.
There is, however, a few mild negative reactions that some people may experience. These include insomnia and high metabolic body heat. Excessive consumption can also lead to irritability and restlessness. Some users have also expressed their frustrations with the bitter taste of this herb. If you find it too bitter then you can take it in form of capsules.
Tongkat Ali is one of the best natural remedies for low libido, especially in men. This herb will spice things up in your bed, marriage, and life in general and this explains its popularity. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be part of the large group of people enjoying the vast benefits of this safe herb.