12 Benefits of Tongkat Ali: A Deep-Dive into the Science and Evidence for Australian Consumers

12 Benefits of Tongkat Ali: A Deep-Dive into the Science and Evidence for Australian Consumers

Tongkat Ali has used for centuries in Malaysia as a traditional remedy to enhance male vigor and as a cure all for anything from general fever to malaria symptoms. But what is the true extent of its potential? Modern clinically tested offerings like standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract underscore there are multiple benefits to be gained from regular supplementation. As this versatile herb gains increasing popularity among Australians, it will be useful for consumers to understand the full range of potential benefits according to clinical and pre-clinical studies.

Properly standardized and potent water extracts of Tongkat Ali benefits both men and women, primarily targeting the core endocrine system and related subsystems, including the reproductive system, hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands.

Tongkat Ali offers a broad spectrum of health benefits relating to the human endocrine system, a complex messenger system regulating over 30 hormones that govern bodily functions. The beneficial effects of Tongkat Ali are thought to be primarily initiated by the hypothalamus in the brain, which sends signals to the adrenal and pituitary glands, prompting them to produce the necessary hormones for optimal bodily function.

As clinical research continues to substantiate the health benefits of Tongkat Ali, this clinically tested herbal supplement is attracting a growing number of discerning consumers all across the world seeking to maximize the advantages of Tongkat Ali supplements.

Clinically-tested and proprietary standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract is renowned for its validated health benefits, supported by thorough and continuous testing conducted by certified experts. (Credit: AKARALI Global Laboratory)

 From its ability to support healthy testosterone levels, improve immune function, and enhance physical performance, to how it can reduce the overall impact of stress, improve mood, its potent anti-microbial properties, and more, this article will serve as a deep-dive for Australian consumers into the various scientifically validated benefits related to Tongkat Ali supplementation.

1. Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Microbial Properties:

Tongkat Ali possesses potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antiparasitic properties. For centuries, it has been traditionally utilized in Southeast Asia to treat symptoms of malaria, dengue, as well as general fever.

Tongkat Ali may provide relief you if you are dealing discomfort due to inflammation. Regular supplementation can help inhibit key markers of inflammation. It works by suppressing signaling pathways associated with inflammation as well as possesses analgesic qualities which can alleviate pain associated with chronic inflammation.

Aside from directly tackling inflammation, Tongkat Ali may be able to provide relief for conditions like gout by helping the body manage high uric acid levels. Other promising studies indicate that using Tongkat Ali could serve as an effective preventive measure that may help protect the body against common bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections.

 Studies & Clinical Trials

- A 2021 placebo-controlled clinical study on 103 men showed that daily supplementation with 100mg of Tongkat Ali led to a reduction in uric acid levels from 5.69 mg/dL to 5.03 mg/dL after 12 weeks, suggesting potential prevention of gout and related symptoms

 - A 2015 study identified that Tongkat Ali can help fight inflammation by activating certain pathways in cells. These results indicate that regular Tongkat Ali supplementation can be useful for treating diseases caused by inflammation.

 - Research from Taif University, published in the Saudi Medical Journal, indicated that Tongkat Ali inhibited the growth of most gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

 - A systemic review on the anti-microbial and antiparasitic properties of Tongkat Ali underscored that Tongkat Ali possesses anti-parasitic properties that not only hinder the growth of various parasites but also their movement and reproduction.

 - A 2015 laboratory study by researchers at the University of Malaya revealed that Tongkat Ali constrained the growth and production of the Blastocystis sp parasite, which causes intestinal and digestive problems.

 - In another in-vivo study, Tongkat Ali was found to inhibit the growth of Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.

 - Three in-vitro studies published in 2016, 2019, and 2021 showed inhibitory properties and positive effects against candida albicans, a common fungal infection that can cause oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and more

 - In one study, standardised hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract was found to have a two-pronged approach to treating dengue fever by significantly reducing viral load and increasing platelet count.

 2. Supports Immune Function

 Tongkat Ali enhances and strengthens the immune system by boosting the production of immune cells in the body. A robust immune system helps the body defend against infections, including COVID-19, malaria, dengue, and others.

 A well-functioning immune system relies on a healthy count of immune cells, such as total, naïve, and CD4(+) T cells. A higher count of these cells increases the likelihood of successfully in fighting off different infections.

 Due to its immune-boosting properties, Tongkat Ali has also been studied as a potential natural solution that may aid in the recovery phase of COVID-19 patients.

Tongkat Ali may benefit you if you have a weak immune system or immune deficiencies. Additionally, if you are prone to frequent flu or colds, Tongkat Ali could be advantageous for bolstering your immune function.

 Studies & Clinical Trials

- A clinical study demonstrated an increase in overall immunological grade as well as improved levels of total, naïve, and CD4(+) T cells with a daily consumption of 200mg of Tongkat Ali over 4 weeks.

- An in vitro study published by the American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy in 2022 indicated that quassinoids in Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) possesses potential potent anti-coronavirus properties.

3. Improves Sexual Health, Fertility, and Libido

Tongkat Ali enhances libido levels in both men and women by balancing and maintaining healthy sex hormonal levels, specifically increasing testosterone in men and estrogen in women.

Recent scientific studies, supported by clinical trials involving men, provide substantial evidence of Tongkat Ali's libido-boosting effects.

For men, Tongkat Ali promotes healthy male reproductive function and fertility, which includes improving sperm motility, semen production, libido, and erectile function.

In women, Tongkat Ali supports hormonal balance, the reproductive system and libido, offering benefits for adult, peri-menopausal, menopausal, and post-menopausal women.

The primary libido-enhancing benefits of Tongkat Ali are linked to its ability to increase total and free testosterone levels. This mechanism regulates the testosterone hormone, which plays a crucial role in the function of sexual organs and libido in both men and women.

Tongkat Ali may benefit individuals experiencing specific reproductive health concerns. If you have a low sperm count, mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (ED), or reduced libido or sexual desire, incorporating Tongkat Ali into your regimen could offer significant advantages over the long term.

 Studies & Clinical Trials

- In a 12-week placebo-controlled study conducted by the University of Science Malaysia, 109 men aged between 30 to 55 showed improved sexual health and libido with Tongkat Ali supplementation. The findings included enhanced sperm motility, increased semen volume, boosted libido, and improved erectile function.

 - Dr Tambi, an andrologist specialist, conducted a 9-month clinical trial involving 75 men. The study demonstrated that Tongkat Ali supplementation led to improved fertility rates, characterized by an increase in semen volume, sperm concentration, motility, and overall sperm quality.

 - A 12-week research by Medicus Research LLC in Northridge, California, evaluated Tongkat Ali, specifically standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract, on 26 men. The results showed that compared to the placebo group, Tongkat Ali enhanced sexual performance and increased subjective libido scores, resulting in improved hardness and erection duration.

 - Research from the University of Science Malaysia suggested that Tongkat Ali might inhibit estrogen release, promoting increased testosterone production. This led to a significant rise in sperm production, volume, vitality, concentration, and motility.

 - A study published in PhytoMedicine highlighted that Tongkat Ali improved sexual libido, stimulation, and overall performance.

4. Reduces Stress & Improves Mood

 Tongkat Ali has the potential to alleviate physical, behavioral, and cognitive stress, while also improving several mood parameters like tension, anger, and confusion. This is achieved by regulating cortisol levels and maintaining healthy testosterone levels.

 Research indicates that Tongkat Ali can effectively reduce cortisol levels in the body, which typically increase during periods of stress, anger, or depression.

 Tongkat Ali has also been shown to boost and balance dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter known as the "feel-good hormone", in pre-clinical studies. Dopamine plays a crucial role in regulating pleasurable feelings of reward, motivation, and happiness.

Tongkat Ali may offer benefits if you are experiencing low mood, mild anxiety, or mild depression. Additionally, it can be beneficial for “shielding” the body against chronic stress related to day-to-day stressors, dieting, exercise, and more.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- In a 24-week randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali combined with multivitamins, significant improvements in cognitive stress, physical stress, behavioral stress, and overall stress were observed after the 12th week.

 - In a 4-week clinical trial involving Physta® Tongkat Ali, regular supplementation led to improvements in several mood parameters Tension (−11%), Anger (−12%), and Confusion (−15%), as well as a significant reduction of cortisol levels (−16%), alongside an increase in testosterone levels (+37%).

See graphical illustrations below:

Results from a placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali extract (Eurycoma Longifolia) combined with multivitamins. The clinical trial is registered under NCT02865863.

5. Stimulates Fat Burning, Metabolism, & Promotes Healthy Weight Loss

Tongkat Ali facilitates fat burning and supports healthy weight loss by boosting metabolism to enhance calorie burning, elevating testosterone levels for more efficient energy conversion as well as lean muscle mass growth, and by reducing stress-induced overeating.

 Studies have found that regular supplementation enhances metabolism by encouraging thermogenesis, a heat-producing process that aids in calorie burning, ultimately promoting weight loss and reducing BMI.

 For optimal weight loss benefits from Tongkat Ali supplementation, research has found that integrating supplementation with foundational elements such as a regular exercise regimen and balanced diet leads to optimal weight-loss results.

Tongkat Ali may be beneficial for improving body composition or encouraging healthy weight loss, especially if you are already active and maintain a regular exercise routine. It can also be advantageous if you are overweight or obese and aiming to reduce excess body fat over the long term.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- In a 2021 randomized placebo-controlled trial featured in Phytotherapy Research, Tongkat Ali supplementation led to a notable reduction in the Body Mass Index (BMI) among 97 obese adults within 112 days, indicating potential benefits for reducing body fat and addressing obesity.

 - A 12-week research study conducted by experts from the School of Medical Science at the University of Science Malaysia, involving 109 male participants, revealed that daily consumption of 300mg of Tongkat Ali resulted in reductions in hip size, fat mass, and waist circumference.

 - According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Tongkat Ali supplementation improved muscle strength and decreased body fat in a group of 14 healthy men over a 5-week period.

 - Research from the University of South Africa found that Tongkat Ali supplementation led to a decrease in body weight and abdominal fat without impacting the weight of internal organs.

 6. Anti-Cancer Properties

Tongkat Ali has been shown to possess notable anti-cancer properties against a variety of cancer cell types, including lung carcinoma (A-549), breast cancer (MCF-7), gastric cancer (MGC-803), and intestinal cancer (HT-29). Exposing human cancer cells to properly standardized and potent Tongkat Ali extracts caused programmed cell death along various cancer cell lines, suppressed the proliferation of cancerous cells, and inhibited the growth of various kinds of tumors. These encouraging results stem from multiple in-vitro studies conducted between 2002 and 2020.

Despite the promising nature of these findings, further clinical research involving human participants is essential to fully assess and validate the anti-cancer potential of Tongkat Ali. While more studies are needed, healthy individuals may consider using Tongkat Ali as a potential preventative measure to mitigate long-term cancer risks.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- In 2018, a study highlighted the anticancer properties of eurycomanone, a key bioactive compound in Tongkat Ali, demonstrating a strong dose-dependent effect against lung carcinoma (A-549) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cells.

 - Research collaboration involving the National Research Centre of Cairo, University of Science Malaysia, and The Third Military Medical University of PR China found that Tongkat Ali exposure inhibited the growth of the leukemia cells, inducing both apoptosis and stopping them from dividing abnormally

 - Major quassinoids like eurycomanone and eurycomanol present in Tongkat Ali have been identified in studies as potential agents capable of inhibiting the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, including for leukemia.

 - Studies conducted by scientists from Nagasaki International University in Japan and Vietnam National University revealed that Tongkat Ali exhibits moderate inhibitory effects against gut cancer cells.

7. Bone Health & Osteoporosis

Recent scientific research has identified Tongkat Ali as a potential supplement for bone health and osteoporosis. While these findings are promising, further studies are needed to substantiate the benefits of Tongkat Ali for individuals with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone condition characterized by bone loss, leading to weakened bones that are more susceptible to fractures, which can occur from minor incidents like falls, sneezing, or slight impacts. Individuals displaying early signs of osteoporosis or those looking to adopt preventive measures during the initial stages of adulthood may find Tongkat Ali beneficial.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- A research team from the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Malaysia has identified that Tongkat Ali can enhance bone strength and potentially serve as a treatment for male osteoporosis. This effect is linked to Tongkat Ali's capability to elevate testosterone levels. Elevated testosterone not only stimulates the generation of bone-forming cells known as osteoblasts but also inhibits the activity of bone-degrading cells, osteoclasts, thereby preserving bone mass.

 - Additional research indicates that Tongkat Ali consumption promotes bone formation by stimulating the production of proteins essential for bone building, including OCN, RUNX-2, and BMP-2.

 - In a separate study, Tongkat Ali was observed to prevent calcium loss, underscoring its potential role in safeguarding bone health.

8. Supports Healthy Testosterone Levels

Tongkat Ali has been shown to support an increase in both total and free testosterone as well as DHEA levels in both men and women. Its mechanism of action involves activating the adrenal gland, pituitary gland, testes, and ovaries to enhance testosterone production. Over the past 20 years, accumulating scientific evidence from clinical trials has substantiated the positive impact of Tongkat Ali on testosterone levels.

Recent research has shown impressive boosts in testosterone level ranging from 15% to an impressive 600% in both sexes. However, it is important to note that the extent of testosterone increase can be influenced by various factors including dosage, age, physical activity, BMI, and pre-existing medical conditions.

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial involving participants aged between 20 and 60 years (19 males and 28 females), the consumption of 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali extract combined with multivitamins resulted in a notable increase in free testosterone levels. The trial was registered under the clinical trial registration NCT02865863.

Tongkat Ali supplementation may be beneficial for individuals diagnosed with hypogonadism or low testosterone, those experiencing low testosterone symptoms, and individuals in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s looking to naturally enhance their testosterone levels. Clinical evidence indicates that those who maintain a consistent exercise routine, prioritize adequate sleep, and adhere to a balanced diet will experience optimal benefits on their testosterone levels from Tongkat Ali supplementation.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- A 2022 meta-analysis examining various randomized clinical trials on Tongkat Ali affirmed its efficacy in boosting testosterone production. The findings indicated that Tongkat Ali serves as a safe and promising therapeutic option, especially for men with hypogonadism.

 - In a 24-week placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 47 participants and 50mg of Tongkat Ali, women experienced a significant 600% increase in free testosterone levels, while men saw a 580% increase.

 - Research conducted by Chan et al. in 2021, which included 32 males with an average age of 24 years, demonstrated that a daily intake of 600mg of Tongkat Ali over two weeks resulted in a significant rise in total and free testosterone levels.

 - A 2020 randomized controlled trial carried out by a team from the University of Santarina, Brazil, found that middle-aged men who consumed 200mg of Tongkat Ali daily and engaged in exercise three days a week exhibited the most substantial increase in testosterone over a 6-month period.

 - A study involving 76 patients who were administered 200 mg of water-soluble Tongkat Ali extract revealed improvements in Ageing Males’ Symptoms (AMS) scores and serum testosterone concentrations.

 - At the University of Western Cape, South Africa, a study involving men and women aged between 57 and 72 years who were given 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily for 5 weeks found that Tongkat Ali increased testosterone levels and enhanced muscle strength in both sexes. The rise in free testosterone in women was linked to a decrease in Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG).

9. Improves Physical Performance

Tongkat Ali has become a sought-after pre-workout supplement among athletes as well as sports and fitness enthusiasts due to its potential to enhance physical performance. It has been linked to notable improvements in stamina, anaerobic capacity, muscle recovery post-exercise, lean muscle development, and overall physical strength. This adaptogenic herb's versatility extends to its compatibility with other supplements like Fadogia agrestis and ashwagandha, further enhancing its appeal in the fitness and sports communities.

 Incorporating Tongkat Ali into your wellness routine can provide a distinct advantage by elevating stamina, endurance, strength, and muscle growth. Thus, Tongkat Ali may be particularly advantageous for those who maintain an active lifestyle, individuals aiming for enhanced performance metrics such as increased stamina or strength, those looking to accelerate lean muscle growth, and individuals engaged in competitive or professional sports.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- In a 4-week study featured in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32 men who consumed Tongkat Ali daily exhibited improved total strength in exercises such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.

 - In a study spanning 5 weeks, conducted by the Department of Medical Bioscience at the University of Western Cape, South Africa, involving 13 men and 12 women who were given 400mg of Tongkat Ali daily, the results indicated a 16.6% increase in hand-grip test muscular force for men and a 13.7% increase for women. These results underscored Tongkat Ali's ergogenic properties and its role in enhancing muscle strength.

 - Research conducted by the University of MARA Technology Malaysia on 31 middle-aged women (aged between 45 to 59 years) demonstrated significant improvements in muscle strength after 12 weeks of daily supplementation with 200mg of Tongkat Ali. The study reported a 67% enhancement in bench press strength, a 21% increase in upper body power, and a marked improvement in handgrip strength.

 - A 5-week study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2003 involved 14 men and revealed that daily consumption of Tongkat Ali led to both muscle strength and size improvements. Furthermore, participants experienced notable enhancements in athletic performance.

10. Improves Sleep Quality

Tongkat Ali has demonstrated the ability to improve sleep quality and bolster healthy circadian rhythms by lowering core body temperature, consequently enhancing both REM and non-REM sleep phases. While Tongkat Ali supplementation doesn't notably extend total sleep duration, it does enhance the overall sleep quality, making it a potential remedy for those grappling with sleep disorders or experiencing difficulty sleeping soundly at night.

 With increased recognition as a sleep-quality-enhancing agent, Tongkat Ali is now being integrated into innovative foods and dietary supplements. In fact, in 2019, a team of Japanese researchers submitted a patent application highlighting Tongkat Ali's effectiveness as a bioactive ingredient for sleep improvement (Patent No: WO2020040216A1). In contrast to other sleep medications that may lead to daytime drowsiness and interrupted sleep, Tongkat Ali offers improvements in both sleep duration and quality while improving energy levels during waking hours.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- A study conducted over four weeks in 2022 and published in the Journal of Nutritional Science & Vitaminology found that Tongkat Ali can help mitigate sleep disturbances and elevate sleep quality.

 - This research also demonstrated that Tongkat Ali effectively reduces Core Body Temperature (CBT) during sleep. Supporting this, a separate study from 2012 indicated that decreased core body temperature is associated with enhanced sleep quality.

11. Gastroprotective and Anti-Ulcer Properties

Tongkat Ali is known for gastroprotective and analgesic properties, which can help alleviate symptoms related to stomach ulcers or gastric lesions without exacerbating conditions for further ulcer development such as with NSAIDs. This makes Tongkat Ali a promising option for those experiencing minor stomach discomfort due to acid reflux, excessive alcohol consumption, as well as for individuals seeking relief without exacerbating the risk of reoccurrence of ulcers.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- Researchers at Shionogi Research Laboratories in Japan identified that the quassinoids, specifically eurycomanone and pasakbumin-B, found in Tongkat Ali may inhibit ulcer formation by decreasing excessive levels of stomach acid. This study was published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 2004.

- Another study from the National University of Malaysia indicated that Tongkat Ali can mitigate the severity of alcohol-induced stomach injuries.

12. Reduces High Blood pressure

Tongkat Ali has the potential to promote vasodilation, which involves the widening of blood vessels, aiding in the reduction of blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is dangerous over the long term and can lead to heart disease, stroke, and even kidney disease. It is exacerbated by factors such as stress, anxiety, anger, and mood imbalances. Tongkat Ali can help in this area by reducing the impact of overall stress while improving mood. Consequently, Tongkat Ali supplementation may offer well-rounded benefits for individuals exhibiting symptoms or suffering from high blood pressure.

Tongkat Ali may be particularly beneficial for those grappling with anger management issues that may result in elevated blood pressure, as well as for individuals with high blood pressure due to aging or unhealthy dietary habits.

Studies & Clinical Trials

- Research from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya found that Tongkat Ali facilitates vasodilation, leading to a reduction in blood pressure. This study was published in the Journal of BioMed Research International in 2016.

 - A clinical trial published in The Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition demonstrated a marked improvement in several mood parameters, lower cortisol levels, and elevated testosterone levels following a 4-week consumption of Tongkat Ali.

 - In a 24-week randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali combined with multivitamins, significant enhancements were observed in cognitive stress, physical stress, behavioral stress, and overall stress levels by the end of the 12th week.

Parting Thoughts

With more than 300 research studies and over 26 clinical trials spanning decades, Tongkat Ali stands out as a highly promising herbal supplement for Australian consumers. It is very well tolerated, with clinical trials showing minimal to no side effects, making it a viable long-term supplement compared to ashwagandha, Panax ginseng, Fadogia agrestis, shilajit, and other well-known herbs.

The clinically validated health benefits of Tongkat Ali have been bolstered by a surge in human clinical studies over the past ten years, supported by rigorous industry standards set by high-quality producers in Malaysia and tightly regulated by Tongkat Ali standards adhering to the Malaysian Standard MS2409. For example, AKARALI's proprietary standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract has been clinically tested in over 26 human clinical trials, offering multiple benefits to both men and women.

 As research on Tongkat Ali continues to evolve, it is clear that the advantages of this herb significantly outweigh the minimal side effects caused by impurities found in low-quality extracts. Despite challenges posed by unscrupulous actors in a poorly regulated international herbal supplement industry, premium, clinically tested Tongkat Ali products have cemented their reputation as the preferred dietary supplement for a diverse range of individuals, including sports professionals, active adults, busy professionals, stay-at-home parents, night shift workers, and more.


Learn More or Contact Us

Learn more about the best Tongkat Ali in Australia here, or email us at enquiry@akarali.com.au if you have any queries or concerns.


Alief Acmal, a committed contributor to AKARALI, offers insightful narratives covering the realms of lifestyle, culture, and health-focused content in Malaysia. Through a blend of creativity and meticulous research, Alief provides a unique lens on various aspects of life. Immerse yourself in his compelling body of work for an enriching exploration.

 Medically Reviewed by Dr. Annie George

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