Tongkat Ali’s Impact on the Liver and Kidneys – A Comprehensive Guide for Australian Consumers

Tongkat Ali’s Impact on the Liver and Kidneys – A Comprehensive Guide for Australian Consumers

One major concern many Australians have about herbal supplements is side effects, especially when it comes to vital organs like the liver and kidneys. These organs play crucial roles in filtering toxins, maintaining digestive health, and hormonal balance. Over the past two decades, ongoing toxicology research has focused on uncovering any potential adverse effects of Tongkat Ali as a daily dietary supplement on these vital organs.

In this article, we’ll delve into the whether there is any credence to the notion that Tongkat Ali can affect the liver and kidneys adversely, assessing the risk (if any) involved, and the implications for long-term health.

The Risk with Polyherbal Combinations and Fadogia agrestis

Liver and kidney concerns loom large for anyone who uses supplements or medications daily and over the long-term. Certain drugs like acetaminophen and statins, along with herbs like Fadogia agrestis, can trigger liver inflammation over time. A 2023 Scientific One study highlighted Fadogia agrestis' potential to cause organ damage, citing that over 600mg of Fadogia extract can cause severe inflammation of the kidneys and death of liver tissues after 40 days.

 While research suggests no adverse effects on these vital organs with Tonkat Ali, there is a popular trend for supplement companies to mix these two herbs as well as health influencers recommending the benefits of combining both. Consumers intent on mixing both Tongkat Ali and Fadogia or taking Tongkat Ali-Fadogia supplements are urged to err on the side of caution.

One way to do this is to try each herbal supplement separately, a few hours apart, e.g. Tongkat Ali with breakfast and Fadogia after lunch. This is to allow individuals to monitor their body's response to each substance independently, facilitating better identification of any adverse reactions. While this strategy can help mitigate potential side effects, the best course of action is still for consumers to eschew Fadogia altogether until human clinical trials deem that it is indeed confirmed to be safe to take daily and over the long term.

Tongkat Ali and Liver Health

Properly standardized hot-water extracts of Tongkat Ali are generally considered safe, with no impact on liver function and enzymes when taken in recommended doses, tested in human clinical trials, ranging from 200mg to 600mg daily.

Although studies have not shown any adverse effects on liver function in standard toxicity tests, there is a potential risk associated with high doses exceeding 1,000mg per day over an extended period, especially for individuals with a history of liver conditions.

In otherwise healthy adults, Tongkat Ali should be very safe to take daily over the long term. However, if you have a history of serious liver issues, it's advisable to first consult with your healthcare provider before trying out Tongkat Ali. This is especially the case if you suffer from conditions like Alagille Syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, cirrhosis, or other serious liver-related disorders.

Is Tongkat Ali Harmful to Your Liver?

A six-week study, conducted with male athletes, administered a daily dose of 400mg of standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract. The study, employing a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled methodology, found no detrimental impact on liver function. Published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2014, the study affirms that Tongkat Ali does not disrupt liver parameters, as evidenced by consistent levels of albumin, globulin, ALT, GGT, and total protein.

Furthermore, an additional study examining the Lethal Dose 50 (LD50) of standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali extract at 3000 mg/kg revealed no adverse effects on liver function. Test results demonstrated no significant changes, even with prolonged and high-dosage use of Tongkat Ali.

The Impact of Tongkat Ali on Liver Enzymes and Liver Function

Research conducted on Tongkat Ali's impact on liver enzymes and function has shown promising results. In a 2020 oral toxicity study by the Ministry of Health in Malaysia, Tongkat Ali coffee demonstrated a decrease in liver enzymes, suggesting protective effects due to its rich polyphenol content.

This peer-reviewed study published in Nutrients documented significant reductions in liver enzymes (ALP and ALT) and triglyceride levels over a 6-month period of Tongkat Ali supplementation. Furthermore, a prolonged toxicity study at 1,000 mg/kg body weight indicated no adverse effects on liver enzymes or functions.

Additionally, a 2005 study led by urologist Dr. Ismail Tambi observed no significant changes in liver enzymes or oxidative stress among healthy men following Tongkat Ali supplementation.

So far, according to all human and animal studies, supplementation with properly standardized hot-water extract of Tongkat Ali has no effect on liver enzymes, function or inflammation. This suggests that Tongkat Ali is safe for healthy adults to take in recommended daily doses of between 200mg to 600mg.

Is Tongkat Ali Harmful to the Kidneys?

According to a study conducted in 2019, standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract shows promise as a nephroprotective agent against kidney injury induced by paracetamol (PCM) or PCM-induced nephrotoxicity. While these findings suggest a potential benefit for individuals consuming pure, properly standardized, and potent Tongkat Ali root extract, it's important to note that many generic Tongkat Ali supplements available in the market may contain impurities, adulterants, fillers, and other unknown substances that could compromise your kidney health.

Nephrotoxicity, which can impair kidney function, is often associated with frequent or high-dose intake of drugs like paracetamol or NSAIDs. Tongkat Ali itself, however, appears to have a positive effect for those using paracetamol regularly by acting as a nephroprotective agent against kidney damage.

This pre-clinical study, published in the 2019 issue of the Journal of Complementary Medicine, revealed that Tongkat Ali extract administered at doses of 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, and 400 mg/kg bodyweight could potentially help inhibit kidney injury. This conclusion was drawn from the results of urine biochemical analysis and kidney histopathology, which are detailed below.

Histopathology images of rat kidneys under different conditions after 14 days of Tongkat Ali treatment are depicted. (a) Normal kidney, (b) Kidney exposed to Paracetamol, (c) Kidney treated with 100 mg/kg Tongkat Ali, (d) Kidney treated with 200 mg/kg Tongkat Ali, (e) Kidney treated with 400 mg/kg Tongkat Ali. Source: Journal of Complementary Medicine (2019).

After analyzing kidney histopathology and serum samples, it was found that Tongkat Ali did not exhibit any negative or immediate impact on kidney function or inflammation even at high doses. In fact, it displayed protective properties for the kidneys. Nonetheless, further investigation through long-term human studies is necessary to validate this early evidence of the renal benefits of Tongkat Ali.

Parting Words

Current research on Tongkat Ali's effects on both humans and animals are promising for Australians interested in its many benefits, as there is no evidence of adverse reactions on the kidneys or liver of test subjects. Nevertheless, it is possible that very high doses of Tongkat Ali (exceeding 1,000mg daily over the long term) may have a negative impact on liver function and kidney health. Australian consumers should also beware of generic extracts that may not be entirely pure, as fillers or adulterants could have a negative impact on either the liver or kidneys. According to various human clinical trials, it is generally recommended that users take standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali extract in tested doses, adhering to safe daily doses of between 200mg to 600mg.

Consumers should also remain vigilant for any early signs of liver issues if you're using Tongkat Ali in very high doses. If you are taking higher than recommended doses, it is important to remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water while taking Tongkat Ali to prevent dehydration, which could inadvertently compromise liver and renal function; this is especially crucial if you regularly consume alcohol. One key recommendation from health experts is to abstain from or moderate intake of alcohol while using Tongkat Ali supplements, as prolonged use with high doses could lead to detrimental long-term effects on liver or kidney health.

We strongly urge those diagnosed with serious kidney or liver issues to consult their healthcare provider before incorporating Tongkat Ali into their regimen to mitigate any risk of side effects.


If you are interested in experiencing single-origin and clinically tested standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali extract, try our dose-optimized capsules, available anywhere in Australia.

Learn More or Contact Us

Learn more about the best Tongkat Ali in Australia here, or email us at 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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