Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia): Everything You Need to Know

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) or Maca is a species of flowering plant native to Central America. It was first cultivated in Peru and Bolivia by the Incas, but it became popular in Europe during the 16th century due to its reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. Today, it is one of the most widely used medicinal plants worldwide, with estimated global sales exceeding $1 billion per year. [1]

The plant contains high levels of lignans, which are compounds found in higher concentrations than those found in many other commonly consumed herbs.[2][3] These include: 1) epimedium; 2) erinaceus; 3) erionone; 4) geraniol; 5) hederolide.

The exact mechanism of action remains unknown, although some studies have suggested that they may act as anti-oxidants and inhibit carcinogenesis.

It is well known that maca has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine in Peru, where it is called “macaw root”. It was used to treat various ailments including digestive disorders, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and even cancer.

However, there are no clinical trials conducted on the use of maca for any medical condition. There are several reports suggesting that maca may possess anti-cancer properties.

There is also evidence to suggest that maca can increase fertility in both women and men. In females, it can help regulate the menstrual cycle and alleviate symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.

It may also help to increase libido in women by balancing out hormonal fluctuations during their monthly cycle. In males, it can increase testosterone levels, enhance sexual function and performance, and boost fertility.

While there is evidence that maca can improve fertility in both females and males, there are several safety issues to consider before taking this product. Since there are no clinical studies have been done on the use of this herbal supplement, it is unknown what the appropriate dosage should be or if it is safe for long-term use.

Only purchase maca supplements from trusted manufacturers and always follow package directions. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.

Tongkat ali is best known as a herbal alternative to synthetic hormones often prescribed to men for low testosterone. It has also been used with some success in treating sexual desire disorders in women resulting from hormonal imbalances.

Tongkat ali may have some side effects so always seek the advice of a medical professional before taking supplements.

The fact that tongkat ali increases testosterone levels makes it a popular choice among athletes and bodybuilders. It is often used as a pre-workout supplement to increase strength and endurance.

Tongkat is also used to treat sexual dysfunction in both males and females. It is commonly prescribed to men with low testosterone levels or problems with erectile dysfunction.

In women, it can help increase the desire for intimacy, alleviate symptoms of menopause, and ease painful menstrual cycles.

Ashwagandha is an herb, which has been used for several centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It has a role in treating several different health conditions including: thyroid dysfunction, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, arthritis, and hypertension.

Ashwagandha is sometimes known as Indian ginseng because it is believed to have many of the same health benefits as ginseng.

Ashwagandha is most commonly used to treat diseases and disorders of the nervous system. Research suggests that it may have a protective effect on the brain.

It is often used to boost memory, as well as reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Physicians often prescribe ashwagandha for people with Alzheimer’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Ashwagandha has also been used to increase fertility in both women and men. In females, it is sometimes combined with other herbs including female ginseng (shatavari) and long pepper to increase fertility, regulate menstruation, and alleviate the symptoms of menopause.

In males, ashwagandha is sometimes used to increase libido and sexual performance.

Ashwagandha side effects are considered mild. They may include headache, upset stomach, nausea, or insomnia.

Do not take this supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Ashwagandha may interact with several medications including: blood thinners, insulin, and antibiotics. Always consult your physician before taking this supplement.

Black cohosh is a popular herbal remedy used to alleviate menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. It is sometimes combined with other herbs such as red clover, Argentine lupine, and wild yam root to enhance its effects.

Black cohosh has been used safely for decades to treat a variety of symptoms related to menopause.

An effective dosage of black cohosh can reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. It takes two to four weeks for this herb to take full effect.

Black cohosh may also help alleviate night sweats and sleep problems often associated with menopause.

Studies show that black cohosh is effective at relieving hot flashes with few side effects. In most studies, only mild digestive issues such as upset stomach were reported.

Black cohosh does interact with several prescription drugs including: Feldene, Vioxx, Advil, and Accutane. You should not take black cohosh if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Buchu leaf is an herbal remedy used to promote urinary tract health. It is often used to prevent or treat urinary tract infections.

Buchu leaf is also believed to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with menstruation by reducing inflammation and suppressing excess uterine tissue growth.

Buchu leaf has been used for centuries in Southern Africa to alleviate discomfort associated with the urinary tract and genital region. Recent clinical studies suggest that it is an effective treatment for urinary tract discomfort caused by infection or overactive bladder.

Buchu leaf may cause mild side effects such as nausea, flatulence, and stomach discomfort. There is a risk of allergic reaction.

Do not take buchu leaf if you have a allergy to plants in the Agastache family. The Agastache family includes ligustrum, German ivy, and wild indigo.

Butcher’s Broom is a herbal remedy used to improve blood circulation, especially in the legs and feet. It may be used to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), varicose veins, or poor blood circulation.

It is most commonly used to treat cramps, cold feet, and numbness in the legs.

Butcher’s Broom is believed to improve blood circulation by widening the small blood vessels. It is more commonly used in Europe than in the United States.

Butcher’s Broom is well-tolerated and generally safe. Possible side effects include headache, stomach discomfort, and a rash.

This remedy should not be used by people who have bleeding disorders or those who are scheduled to have surgery.

Calendula is an herbal remedy most often applied topically to skin wounds or taken orally to alleviate stomach discomfort. It is used to promote wound healing and alleviate pain.

Calendula is also applied externally to alleviate the discomfort and itching caused by hemorrhoids.

Calendula has been used in many cultures for hundreds of years to treat a variety of health conditions. It was commonly used in American folk medicine to cure or ward off infection in open wounds during the Civil War era.

Calendula may cause some minor side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Do not take calendula if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

This remedy should not be used in children.

Cayenne is a spicy fruit that can be taken orally to reduce blood clotting, aid digestion, and increase blood circulation. It is applied topically to sooth skin irritations and reduce muscle pains.

Cayenne is native to tropical regions of South America. It is a popular culinary spice in the United States, where it is most often used to spice hot chili peppers.

Cayenne may cause some mild side effects such as stomach upset, heartburn, or allergic reactions in rare cases. Do not take cayenne if you have a stomach ulcer, stomach cancer, or another chewing-related disorder such as regurgitation, dysphagia (choking), or esophageal reflux disease.

Chamomile is an herb that has been taken orally to reduce gastrointestinal distress and treat inflammation of the respiratory tract. It is used topically for relief from skin conditions such as sunburn, eczema, and rashes caused by poisoning.

Chamomile is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It has long been used medicinally in each of these regions.

Chamomile may cause some mild side effects such as allergic reactions, stomach upset, or dizziness. Do not take chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed or related plants.

Elder is a shrub that has been taken orally to reduce inflammation and pain caused by arthritis. It is applied externally to slow bleeding of wounds caused by cuts or trauma.

Elder is believed to have beneficial antioxidant effects on the human body.

Elder is considered to be safe for most people when taken in small doses. Avoid using elder if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Fennel is an herb that has been used both orally and topically to reduce inflammation and treat digestive complaints. It is used externally to alleviate pain caused by bruises, sprains, and muscle tears.

Fennel is a popular cooking herb in the Mediterranean region. It is believed to have antioxidant properties.

Fennel is considered to be safe for most people when taken in small doses. Avoid using fennel if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as the effects of the herb on newborn babies are unknown.

Garlic is a bulb that has been taken orally to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, reduce the risk of blood clots, and reduce the risk of blood vessel damage in heart patients. It is applied topically to the skin to treat insect bites.

Garlic is native to central and eastern Asia, as well as northern Africa. For centuries, it has been used traditionally as both a seasoning and a medicine in many cultures around the world.

Garlic may cause some minor side effects such as allergic reactions, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, and muscle pain. Do not take garlic if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medication.

Do not take large doses of garlic.

Ginger is a root that has been taken orally to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy, chemotherapy, and motion sickness. It is applied to the skin to reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and muscle pain.

Ginger is native to southern Asia but is now grown in many other parts of the world. It has been used medicinally for at least 2,000 years in various cultures around the world.

Ginger is considered to be safe for most people when taken in small doses. It can cause minor side effects such as heartburn, upset stomach, heartburn, and allergic reactions in rare cases.

Globe artichoke is the flower bud of a thistle plant that has been taken orally to treat liver and bile duct disorders. It is also taken by mouth to improve gastrointestinal motility and to increase urine output in patients undergoing anesthesia.

Globe artichoke is native to the Mediterranean region. The ancient Greeks and Romans both used this plant for medicinal purposes.

Globe artichoke may cause serious side effects such as allergic reactions, poor coordination, heart problems, and low blood pressure. Do not take globe artichoke if you have a digestive disorder called porphyria.

Green tea is steeped and consumed for its antioxidants, which can help protect the body’s cells from damage.

Green tea is made from the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis, a perennial shrub that is native to Southeast Asia, but is now also grown in India and Africa.

Green tea can cause side effects such as insomnia, nausea, anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, and headaches.

Kava is the root of a plant that has been chewed or taken orally to treat pain and spasms associated with muscle tension.

Kava is native to the islands of the South Pacific and has been used traditionally for centuries in rituals and ceremonies.

Kava may cause moderate to serious side effects such as liver problems, breathing difficulties, and skin darkening. Use kava with caution if you have a history of liver disease.

Licorice is the root of a plant that has been taken orally to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, and other gastric problems. It is also taken to reduce the amount of cortisol in the body.

Licorice is native to Europe and West Asia. It has been used medicinally for at least 3,000 years.

Licorice can cause significant side effects such as increases in blood pressure and fluid retention, resulting in symptoms like headaches, weight gain, swelling, and difficulty breathing. Use licorice with caution if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes.

Ma huang is an herb that has been used as a stimulant to reduce fatigue, relieve pain, and to treat asthma, tuberculosis, and depression.

Ma huang is native to northern China. The earliest written record of its use is found in a Chinese medical text from the third century BC.

Ma huang can cause serious side effects such as irregular heartbeat, seizures, and death. Use ma huang with caution if you have a history of heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. It is used to prevent or reduce symptoms of inflammation, to prevent heart disease, and to treat depression.

Fish get omega-3 fatty acids from algae they eat.

Sources & references used in this article:

Growth of tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) on a sandy beach ridges soil in Malaysia. by KW Rasidah, AB Rosazlin, AA Rozita – Proceedings of the 19th …, 2010 –

Induction of somatic embryos from cotyledonary tissue of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia). by S Aziz, G Akeng, KI Kandasamy – Journal of Tropical Medicinal …, 2000 –

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): a review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance by R Bhat, AA Karim – Fitoterapia, 2010 – Elsevier

Efficacy of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) on erectile function improvement: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials by S Kotirum, SB Ismail, N Chaiyakunapruk – Complementary therapies in …, 2015 – Elsevier

Phytochemical screening and antimicrobial activity of root and stem extracts of wild Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali) by Z Khanam, CS Wen, IUH Bhat – Journal of King Saud University-Science, 2015 – Elsevier

Review on a traditional herbal medicine, Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali): its traditional uses, chemistry, evidence-based pharmacology and toxicology by SU Rehman, K Choe, HH Yoo – Molecules, 2016 –

In vitro metabolism of selected bioactive compounds of Eurycoma longifolia root extract to identify suitable markers in doping control by P Bräuer, P Anielski, S Schwaiger… – Drug testing and …, 2019 – Wiley Online Library