Tongkat Ali, properly known as Eurycoma longifolia, is a flowering plant that is native to Southeast Asia. Different parts of the plant are commonly used as a remedy for a variety of health issues. The most popular use for Tongkat Ali is for its supposed ability to naturally boost testosterone levels. Consequently, it is also believed to increase male virility and sexual prowess1.
In multiple animal experiments, Tongkat Ali was found to enhance sexual performance, 2, 3, 4 and it was also found to increase sperm count in mature rodents5. In animal studies involving rodents separated into control and treatment groups, plasma testosterone was “significantly increased [in treatment groups] when compared with that of the control and infertile animals.”5 Italian scientists who found similar results supportive of the claim that Tongkat Ali’s can improve sexual performance in animals, attributed the effect to Tongkat Ali’s ability to increase testosterone levels.6
As a result of these findings in animal studies, researchers have conducted experiments on humans. The most well-known study involved young men in a weight-training program, whom were divided into two groups: a placebo group, and a treatment group. In the results that were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers stated that they observed a greater strength increase in the treatment group than in the placebo group. Researchers described their results by stating that “the increase in strength in the treatment group was larger than in the placebo group (6.78% and 2.77% respectively)… The mean arm circumference of the treatment group increased significantly by 1.8 cm after the supplementation… but there was no significant increase in the placebo group.”7
Because of Tongkat Ali’s purported ability to naturally boost testosterone levels (and sexual prowess); it has become a popular herbal dietary supplement among men. In fact, it is the first ingredient listed in the popular dietary supplement Spartan Blend. But despite Tongkat Ali’s purported health benefits, you should consult with your physician prior to taking any herbal supplements.
1. Ang, HH; Cheang, HS (2001). “Effects of Eurycoma longifolia jack on laevator ani muscle in both uncastrated and testosterone-stimulated castrated intact male rats”. Archives of pharmacal research 24 (5): 437-40. doi:10.1007/BF02975191. PMID 11693547.
2. Ang, HH; Ngai, TH; Tan, TH (2003). “Effects of Jack on sexual qualities in middle aged male rats”. Phytomedicine 10 (6-7): 590-3. doi:10.1078/094471103322331881. PMID 13678248.
3. Ang, Hooi Hoon; Cheang, Hung Seong; Yusof, Ahmad Pauzi Md. (2000). “Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali) on the Initiation of Sexual Performance of Inexperienced Castrated Male Rats.”. Experimental Animals 49 (1): 35-8. doi:10.1538/expanim.49.35. PMID 10803359.
4. Ang, HH; Lee, KL; Kiyoshi, M (2004). “Sexual arousal in sexually sluggish old male rats after oral administration of Eurycoma longifolia Jack”. Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology 15 (3-4): 303-9. PMID 15803965.
5. Chan, KL; Low, BS; Teh, CH; Das, PK (2009). “The effect of Eurycoma longifolia on sperm quality of male rats.”. Natural product communications 4 (10): 1331-6. PMID 19911566.
6. Zanoli, P; Zavatti, M; Montanari, C; Baraldi, M (2009). “Influence of Eurycoma longifolia on the copulatory activity of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats”. Journal of ethnopharmacology 126 (2): 308-13. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.021. PMID 19703544.
7. Cyranoski, David (2005). “Malaysian researchers bet big on home-grown Viagra”. Nature Medicine 11 (9): 912. doi:10.1038/nm0905-912a. PMID 16145563.
Spartan Blend is an all-in-one dietary supplement for men containing a special blend of Panax Ginseng , Horny Goat Weed, Cnidium Monieri, Arginine, Maca Root, Tribulus Terrestris, Zinc (oxide) Niacin, Tongkat Ali, Xanthoparmelia Scabrosa, Mucuna Pruriens, Guarana Extract, DHEA, Eleutherococcus, Avena Sativa, Saw Palmetto, Rhodiola Rosea, Wild Yam, and Muira Puama.