As long as levels of magnesium, calcium and vitamin D are normal, Tongkat Ali’s ablility to encourage serum levels of testosterone make this herb extremely useful for improving and maintaining superior bone health. In 2021, a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study on a group of 105 male between 50 to 70 years of age showed significant improvement in total testosterone, free testosterone and dihydroepiandrosterone levels after 5 weeks. Many purported health benefits have been attributed to Eurycoma longifolia’s bioactive ingredients such as eurycomanone. There is growing clinical data in recent years to support the use of Eurycoma longifolia as a supplement with increasing results to validate its potential benefits. tongkat ali seems to be a promising remedy for several health issues. Some research suggests that it is beneficial for male fertility, sexual performance, and stress.
A handful of studies on humans and mice has shown moderate amounts of improvement in mood regulation, erectile function, libido, and most surprisingly of all, testosterone. For example, a 2013 study of 63 individuals found a 37% increase in testosterone status after only four weeks of use (Talbott et al., 2013). Studies show many other positive impacts from using Tongkat Ali, including stress reduction, mood improvements, increased energy levels, and libido enhancement (Tambi et al., 2018). Properly standardized hot-water extracts have a distinctly bitter taste due to the presence of quassinoids, which are recognized as some of the bitterest compounds in nature .
There has been a lot of buzz about Tongkat Ali on the internet lately. Over recent months, the compound, derived from the Southeast Asian Eurycoma longifolia plant, has soared in popularity for its supposed health and hormonal benefits. Still, a fair bit of suspicion has also made its way into the conversation. Tongkat Ali skeptics sight several concerns regarding its potential long-term health consequences and a shortage of scientific evidence supporting its safety and efficacy. With that said, it is time to take a closer look at Tongkat Ali and see what all the fuss is really about.
There have been a number of cases of products falsely claiming to contain E. Longifolia are eurycomanone, total protein, total polysaccharide and glycosaponin, which have been recommended in a technical guideline developed by the Scientific and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia . Scientists from the Shionogi Research Laboratories in Japan found evidence that the quassinoids in Tongkat Ali may prevent the formation of ulcers by decreasing the surplus amount of acid in the stomach. The study was published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 2004. Indonesia and Malaysia also has a red-coloured variety known as “”tongkat ali/pasak bumi merah”” (“”merah”” meaning “”red””), which is being studied by researchers.
Lastly, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take tongkat ali, due to the lack of research in this area. Additionally, those with medical conditions or taking medications should speak to their healthcare provider before taking tongkat ali. While tongkat ali does not appear to have adverse effects in doses up to 400 mg per day, research is limited, and available studies focus on short-term use. Some studies suggest that tongkat ali may reduce anxiety and improve body composition, but research is limited. Furthermore, the effects of tongkat ali in children or pregnant and breastfeeding women have not been researched.
A similar mode of action was also noticed by a study which reported that eurycomanone in Tongkat Ali showed anticancer activity against cervical carcinoma HeLa cells. Eurycomanone was found to trigger apoptosis by promoting the up-regulation of p53 tumor suppressor protein which was followed by the increasing of pro-apoptotic Bax protein and the decreasing of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2. Many of the common names refer to the plant’s medicinal use and extreme bitterness. Penawar pahit translates simply as “”bitter charm”” or “”bitter medicine””.