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What Is Tongkat Ali
You often see Tongkat Ali listed in the ingredients formulation of various testosterone boosters and sexual performance products.
In this article we will talk about the various benefits, side effects, and uses of this botanical. First and foremost, we want to verify whether or not this is a scientifically proven ingredient to boost testosterone.
When you look at testosterone boosters on the market today, many of them are marketed with ingredients that are said to be testosterone boosting ingredients, when in reality, there is no scientific proof behind them. That’s why we like to go in-depth on all the most popular ingredients to uncover which ones actually have science backing them up on their claims. That is our intention with Tongkat Ali in this article.
Tongkat Ali is also known as Eurycoma Longifolia, Longjack, Tung Saw or Pasak Bumi. Essentially it is a natural herb that grows natively in the countries of Southeast Asia including Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. Sometimes the local residents in these countries refer to Tongkat Ali (TA) as Malaysian Ginseng. Some people call it “herbal viagra” due to its abilities to improve sexual dysfunction.
TA has a variety of long-named active ingredients including eurycomanon, eurycomanol, and eurycomalacton just to name a few that I could actually attempt to write. These active ingredients have been used in treating various diseases for quite a long time.
Benefits Of Tongkat Ali
Tongkat Ali and Testosterone
In doing our research we found that Tongkat Ali has been scientifically proven to increase testosterone levels. It is especially effective for men dealing with Low T.
One of the most compelling studies was this one which was made up of 76 men who were suffering from low testosterone. Each of these men were given 200 mg of Tongkat Ali for one month. The results were more than impressive. Results showed an average increase in testosterone levels of 46%! Also impressive was the fact that over 90% of the men were able to keep their testosterone levels in the normal range after taking Tongkat Ali.
In 2013, the Journal Of International Society Of Sports Nutrition conducted this peer-reviewed study which included 62 subjects. In this study, half of the subjects were given a placebo, and the other half were given Tongkat Ali. The study lasted 4 weeks, and the results showed that the group receiving TA showed an increase in testosterone of 37%! Not only that, but they also showed a 16% reduction in cortisol among other things.
These are just two examples of studies where the science clearly shows that Tongkat Ali is a powerful and effective testosterone booster. In our research, we found numerous more studies that showed the same or similar results.
Tongkat Ali For Libido
TA is probably most noted for its ability to increase libido. This is why it is often referred to as “herbal viagra”. It has been used for centuries in this regard. Not only has it been shown to increase libido but it also has been shown to increase erection quality. To sum it up, TA seems to be a great all around sexual performance enhancer on multiple fronts.
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There is also scientific information that points to TA as helping to improve sperm quality, motility, and volume. There was a randomized double blind placebo study of 109 men that were split up into two groups. One group received a placebo and the other group received 300 mg of Tongkat Ali. The study was conducted over a six-month period of time. The results of the study showed an increased in semen motility by 44% and volume by 18%.
Another study of 75 men that took TA on a daily basis showed significant improvements in all semen parameters including sperm count and quality. Furthermore, the results lasted for months after the study ended.
A study that was highlighted in the Natural Products Journal showed that the TA extract contains beta-carboline alkaloids that apparently very potent against breast and lung cancer cells. Researchers involved in this study identified 3 new beta-carboline alkaloids and 19 existing ones that are considered to be very cytotoxic.
Stress & Anxiety Reliever
As we’ve seen in other studies, one of the byproducts that come with taking TA is that it reduces cortisol. In this 4-week study, the results showed an 11% decrease in tension, a 15% decrease in confusion, a 12% decrease in anger, and 16% reduction in cortisol.
Fat Loss & Muscle Gain
Because of it’s proven testosterone boosting capabilities, you are naturally going to experience an improvement in gaining lean muscle mass and losing fat, particularly stubborn belly fat. A 2002 Malaysian study of a small group of men taking only 100 mg of Tongkat Ali for 5 weeks showed an increase in lean muscle mass of 5% and a significant reduction in body fat.
The bottom line is that we have seen scientific proof that Tongkat Ali does in fact increase testosterone levels in men struggling with low T levels. Not only that, but we also can see that TA has numerous other benefits making it a powerful ingredient to keep in your arsenal.
Side Effects Of Tongkat Ali
In researching Tongkat Ali, we noticed that there really weren’t many notable side effects. Certainly there were no serious side effects affecting kidney or liver function, etc.
There were some possible mild side effects that we found when really digging so we thought we would list them for due diligence, but these seemed like corner cases:
- Increased body heat – it’s recommended to increase water intake
- Slightly raised aggression
- Insomnia – this is usually noted in the beginning, so it’s recommended to start off with a smaller dose until your body gets used to it, and then increase over time.
- Restlessness – especially evident when take at higher than normal dosages
In looking at the studies conducted and comparing that to what’s on the market, you should look for a 200:1 extract for good potency and maximum benefit, and the dosage level should be in the 100 mg – 300 mg range.
It’s also recommended that you cycle Tongkat Ali. As a general rule of thumb, you should think about cycling it at a 60/40 cycle time. That means that you should take a break that is about 40% the length of time that you take it. So if you take it for a month, then you want to take a break for about 10-12 days. This way your body doesn’t acclimate to it, and you constantly experience the power and benefits of it.
Clearly Tongkat Ali is on our list of known and proven ingredients to boost testosterone. So if you see it listed in the ingredients formulation of a testosterone booster, then you can have confidence that at least that ingredient is good.
Again, our recommendation is to have AT LEAST 5 core testosterone boosting ingredients when considering a testosterone booster so you can experience the most effective and dramatic results.
Mike is our resident personal trainer specializing in men’s health & fitness. He is an avid enthusiast when it comes to understanding and implementing the best strategies & tactics for optimal healthy living, and he is completely obsessed with how to achieve peak performance levels.