Tongkat Ali, also known as Eurycoma longifolia, is an herbal medicine with a long history of traditional use in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. This herb has gained global recognition for its extensive array of health benefits, offering an effective and safe approach to well-being, backed up by data from nearly 30 human clinical trials. It has become internationally popular, gaining traction in places like the UK, US, and now Australia.
With the market for Tongkat Ali supplements in Australia growing rapidly and the global herbal supplements market size estimated to reach $49.36 billion by 2027, the call for premium, reliable, and safe Tongkat Ali supplements is more significant than ever. This is where the single-origin AKARALI Tongkat Ali from Malaysia, powered by patented Physta® extract, steps in to set a benchmark.
In this article, we will explore the myriad benefits related to Tongkat Ali, specifically Physta® extract, based on currently available scientific evidence.
One of the most well-documented benefits of Tongkat Ali is its ability to boost testosterone levels. Recent research has further solidified its reputation as a promising therapeutic option, particularly for hypogonadal men. A 2022 meta-analysis of various Tongkat Ali randomized clinical trials highlighted its efficacy in enhancing testosterone production.
In a 24-week randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial, 50mg of Tongkat Ali led to a 600% increase in free testosterone levels in women and a 580% increase in men. Another study in 2021, involving 32 young males, showed a 34% increase in free testosterone after consuming 600mg of Tongkat Ali daily for two weeks. A 2020 randomized controlled study from the University of Santarina, Brazil, revealed that middle-aged men who consumed 200mg of Tongkat Ali daily, combined with three days of exercise per week, experienced the most significant increase in testosterone over a six-month period.
Moreover, a study involving 76 patients who were given 200mg of water-soluble Tongkat Ali extract demonstrated improvements in Ageing Males' Symptoms (AMS) scores and an increase in serum testosterone concentration. According to video by Lucas Aoun, an Australian Health Coach, this research confirms that even an average dose of Tongkat Ali is effective at raising testosterone levels in men. In fact, according to MediHerb Australia’s professor Kerry Bone, Tongkat Ali could be the perfect solution to alleviate many of the symptoms of low testosterone as a result of ageing.
Enhances sexual health, fertility, and libido
Tongkat Ali also plays a significant role in improving sexual health and libido. A 12-week placebo-controlled study conducted by the University of Science Malaysia involving 109 men between the ages of 30 to 55 showcased the herb's positive effects on sexual health. The study reported increased sperm motility, semen volume, enhanced libido, and improved erectile function.
At the Wellmen Clinic in Damai Service Hospital, a nine-month clinical trial with 75 men, overseen by Dr. Tambi, an andrologist specialist, concluded that Tongkat Ali supplementation improved fertility rates. The study showed increased semen volume, sperm concentration, motility, and overall sperm quality.
Medicus Research LLC, based in Northridge, California, conducted a 12-week study on 26 men, evaluating the effects of Tongkat Ali, specifically Physta®. The results indicated not only improved sexual performance but also increased subjective libido scores, leading to enhanced erection quality and duration. Adding on to this, Lucas Aoun, an Australian Health Coach, pointed out in a video that an alkaloid found in Tongkat Ali, 9-Hydroxycanthin-6-One, is associated with both delayed ejaculation and pro-erectile properties.
Enhances strength and muscle growth
Tongkat Ali is not limited to enhancing testosterone and sexual health; it also has remarkable benefits for strength and muscle growth. In a study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 32 men were given Tongkat Ali supplements daily for four weeks. The results showed increased total strength in exercises like squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.
A similar five-week study conducted at the Department of Medical Bioscience in the University of Western Cape, South Africa, involving 13 men and 12 women, demonstrated a 16.6% increase in muscular force based on the hand-grip test for men and a 13.7% increase for women. This study further confirms Tongkat Ali's ergogenic benefits via improved muscle strength.
Even middle-aged women showed significant improvement in muscle strength in a study conducted by the University of MARA Technology Malaysia. Over a 12-week period, 200mg of Tongkat Ali daily resulted in a 67% improvement in bench press performance, a 21% improvement in upper body power, and a significant enhancement in handgrip strength.
Supports healthy weight loss
Tongkat Ali has also demonstrated its potential in promoting healthy weight loss. In a recent 2021 randomized placebo-controlled study published in Phytotherapy Research, 400mg of Tongkat Ali, in combination with Bergamot orange, led to a significant reduction in the Body Mass Index (BMI) among 97 obese adults over 112 days.
Another 12-week study conducted by scientists at the School of Medical Science at the University of Science Malaysia on 109 men revealed that those consuming 300mg of Tongkat Ali daily experienced a decrease in hip size, fat mass, and waist circumference.
Additionally, a research study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggested that Tongkat Ali supplementation not only increases muscle strength but also reduces body fat, based on a study involving 14 healthy men over five weeks.
According to Australian health coach, Lucas Aoun, on his Boost Your Biology show, Tongkat Ali also supports healthy weight loss by improving mood and reducing stress, thus helping dieters manage emotional or stress-related binge eating effectively.
Mood enhancement, stress reduction, and cardiovascular health
Tongkat Ali has a remarkable impact on emotional well-being. In a 24-week randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial, 50mg of Physta® Tongkat Ali, combined with multivitamins, showed significant improvements in cognitive stress, physical stress, behavioural stress, and overall stress levels. These results are attributed to Tongkat Ali’s cortisol-lowering properties.
A clinical study led by Dr. Shawn Talbot, a psychonutritionist, showed substantial mood improvement in participants who consumed Tongkat Ali for four weeks. The study included 63 men and women in a reasonably stressed state, and the mood profile improvements were attributed to a reduction in cortisol levels. This reduction included a decreased tension by 11%, a decrease in anger by 12%, a reduction in confusion by 15%, and a 16% reduction in cortisol exposure. One of reason for enhanced mood parameters (as well as its aphrodisiac qualities) has been attributed to Tongkat Ali’s ability to boost dopamine and total testosterone, according to Australian health coach, Lucas Aoun.
In addition, a study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya revealed that Tongkat Ali's capacity to dilate blood vessels may contribute to the lowering of blood pressure. This research, along with Tongkat Ali’s ability to enhance mood and reduce stress, highlights the potential for Tongkat Ali to help maintain cardiovascular health.
Bolstering the immune system
Tongkat Ali has also been proven to enhance human immunity. A clinical study conducted by Tokyo Medical University and the Institute of Life Sciences in Japan in 2016 analyzed the effect of Tongkat Ali on the immune system of 84 middle-aged men and women. The results indicated an increase in T-cells, naïve T-cells, and CD4+ cells after a 200mg daily consumption of Physta® Tongkat Ali for four weeks. This shows that Tongkat Ali has the potential to enhance overall immunity in middle-aged individuals, making it a promising candidate as an overall immune system booster.
Additionally, a study published by the American Chemical Society in 2022 suggests that quassinoids in Tongkat Ali contain anti-Coronavirus properties. These findings suggest the potential use of Tongkat Ali as an herbal remedy for managing COVID-19 symptoms as well as those of other viral infections.
Anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-inflammatory properties
Tongkat Ali's diverse range of benefits extends to its anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-inflammatory properties. A study conducted in 2019 by researchers from Kangwon National University in Korea and Hanoi University of Pharmacy found that Tongkat Ali contains anti-inflammatory properties. This is further supported by a 2021 placebo-controlled clinical study involving 103 men showed a significant reduction in uric acid levels, indicating Tongkat Ali's potential in preventing gout and other inflammation-related symptoms.
Furthermore, a study by Taif University, published in the Saudi Medical Journal, revealed that Tongkat Ali inhibited the growth of harmful bacteria. This supports the herb's potential as a potential source of antibacterial compounds.
Tongkat Ali's anti-parasitic properties are evident in laboratory studies conducted by researchers at the University of Malaya. These studies showed that Tongkat Ali compounds restrict the growth and production of various parasites, including Blastocystis sp and Toxoplasma gondii, which cause intestinal problems and toxoplasmosis, respectively.
Tongkat Ali is also emerging as a potential complementary treatment for cancer. A study in 2018 found that eurycomanone, one of the bioactive compounds in Tongkat Ali, displayed a strong dose-dependent anticancer effect against lung carcinoma (A-549 cancer cells) and breast cancer (MCF-7 cancer cells). In fact, eurycomanone and eurycomanol, both major quassinoids present in Tongkat Ali, have shown promise in inhibiting the growth and progression of cancer cells in general.
Recent molecular and cell-based research, conducted by scientists at Nagasaki International University, Japan, and Vietnam National University, explored Tongkat Ali's potential in combating various cancers, concluding that the bioactive components in Tongkat Ali could be an effective complementary treatment for leukaemia.
Is Tongkat Ali safe?
Tongkat Ali is generally considered safe when used within the recommended dosage of 100mg to 400mg per day, with no observed adverse side effects even at higher doses (up to 600mg/day). This has been echoed by Australian medical herbalist professor Kerry Bone who stated that clinical trials showed that Tongkat Ali supplementation has no important or significant negative side effects.
However, individuals new to Tongkat Ali may experience mild side effects such as nausea, stomach cramps, irritability, restlessness, and mild digestive upsets. For long-term daily use exceeding three months, it is advisable to cycle Tongkat Ali to prevent potential tolerance or desensitization. Tongkat Ali is also generally considered safe for kidney and liver health, and some research indicates it may even have nephroprotective qualities as well as protective effects in terms of liver function attributed to its polyphenol content.
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