Tongkat Ali Benefits (Are There Side Effects You Should Know?)

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Updated December 25, 2020

Tongkat Ali Benefits and Side EffectsTongkat ali (TA) is increasingly being used in male enhancement and testosterone booster supplements. The following article will discuss the Tongkat ali benefits and side effects.

TA is essentially a medicinal herb native to Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. The locals call this plant the Malaysian ginseng, whereas scientists refer to it as Eurycoma longifolia.

The plant contains active ingredients such as eurycomalacton, eurycomanol and eurycomanon that make it ideal for treating a wide range of diseases. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), TA has found use in enhancing libido, improving sports performance and weight loss, as an anti-ageing remedy, improving a person’s overall wellbeing, and reducing fatigue. Here is a detailed look at Tongkat ali benefits and side effects:

Tongkat Ali Benefits

Over the years, medical experts have carried out numerous studies to learn more about the benefits of TA. Some of its notable health benefits include:

Boosting Libido

TA is widely referred to as a “home-grown Viagra” in Malaysia due to its ability to enhance sexual desire. According to a study appearing in the Journal of Tropical Forest Science, this plant contains a class of peptides called “eurypeptides” that improve sex drive. To achieve this goal, eurypeptides restore normal levels of testosterone by increasing the rate of release of “free” testosterone from the sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG). As such, it works differently than say anabolic steroids that boost testosterone levels by enhancing “testosterone synthesis.”

Anti-bacterial Characteristics

Acetone and alcoholic extracts from the Malaysian ginseng leaves and stem have potent antibacterial agents, according to the results of a study carried out in Malaysia and published in the Saudi Medical Journal. Extracts used in this study were effective against Staphylococcus, Serratia marscesens, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhi bacteria strains.

Relieves Stress

According to a study published in the ISSN Journal, 200 mg of TA root extract taken every day lowers cortisol levels leading to improvements in one’s stress hormone profile.

Anxiety Remedy

A study published in the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology found that this plant is an effective remedy for anxiety . In fact, this study showed that TA produces similar anxiolytic effects as those produced by diazepam.

Testosterone Boosting Benefits

Late on-set hypogonadism (LOH) is a condition in which the body’s testosterone production is inadequate. In the US, LOH affects three million men. The good news is this herb’s extracts can improve the Aging Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scores of such men, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Tongkat Ali Side Effects

In spite of the benefits detailed above, TA does have some side effects. However, such effects are generally mild and there is no evidence of serious liver or renal function, according to the NIH. In addition, not all people who take the Malaysian ginseng extracts experience negative effects.

With this in mind, potential TA effects include:

  • Increased metabolic body heat. To counter this side effect, you should increase your daily water intake
  • Insomnia. TA can cause insomnia as the body gets used to its effect. To avoid this, it is advisable to start with small doses if taking the plant’s extracts for the first time
  • Abnormally high levels of testosterone may increase irritability, impatience and restlessness
  • Just like any other medication, exceeding the recommended daily dosage can prove dangerous. An NIH publication recommends 50 to 200 mg per day of water-extracted Eurycoma longifolia root standardized to 22% eurypeptides
  • TA’s bitter taste may put off some people. However, the NIH warns that Eurycoma longifolia extracts that do not taste bitter are either fake or sub-potent

Tongkat Ali Benefits – Summary

Most Asian communities have used Tongkat Ali for centuries to improve their energy levels, improve sex drive, and ramp up the body’s testosterone levels. Scientific studies have shown that TA does have real medicinal value. For instance, it has great libido boosting qualities thanks to eurypeptides that enhance testosterone release from SHBG.

Using one of the high quality natural testosterone supplements that includes Tongkat ali can be a very good idea if you want to boost your testosterone levels naturally and enhance your libido. Just make sure you use it according to the suggested use on the label to maximize the Tongkat ali benefits while avoiding the side effects.

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Joe Costello CNC
Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC)
Joe Costello is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Nutrition Coach, author, and internet blogger. Joe has more than 10 years of experience in the sports nutrition industry and over 3 years of experience as a supplement and nutrition blogger. As a Certified Nutrition Coach who specializes in dietary supplements, Joe strives to deliver accurate, comprehensive, and research-backed information to his readers.

You can find more of Joe’s work including his E-Books about fitness and nutrition at his official website joecostellonwc.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or YouTube. Joe Costello is one of the founders of TheSupplementReviews.org and years after the creation of the site, partnered with TEK Naturals, a nutritional supplement company.