Herbal supplementation is all the rage in today’s health-conscious world, and for a good reason. They’re a good complement to a healthy diet and lifestyle, and they don’t carry the side effects of drugs and allopathic treatments. Among the most sought-after supplements today is tongkat ali, a flowering plant that has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac and all-cure in Indonesia, Malaysia, and neighboring Asian countries.
A Variety of Benefits
Tongkat ali is promoted to hold a number of potential benefits, especially for male sexual potency and energy levels. To break these benefits down:
- Testosterone boost – Testosterone is a male sex hormone that’s responsible for many physical and physiological functions to occur, including growth of muscle mass and sexual desire or libido. Increasing levels of testosterone in your body also enhances your adaptive response to exercise, or a so-called ergogenic effect. In a 2003 study, tongkat ali extract used in combination with a weight training regimen was seen to increase lean body mass and assist in fat tissue loss relative to placebo.
- Libido and sexual enhancement – Tongkat ali positively impacts a whole arena of male sexual abilities, again because of its capacity to boost testosterone levels. In a 2003 study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine, tongkat ali extract administered to middle-aged rats improved their sexual performance relative to placebo. There was a marked decrease in the rats’ hesitate time, meaning their libido was increased.
- Cancer-fighting properties – This herb showed the potential of being a cancer-fighting agent due to its several chemical constituents. Tongkat ali extract exerted anti-proliferative action against breast cancer cells in humans, according to a 2005 research in Anticancer Research. Interestingly, tongkat ali has also showed consistent anti-malarial effects.
Uses and Precautions
The roots of tongkat ali are dried, ground into a powder form or used in pill form. The pill version comes in different potencies, and the 1:200 ratio is considered the most beneficial when supplementing.
There are different tongkat ali sources, and mature ones are deemed most effective. Indonesian tongkat ali has been touted ideal, while some Malaysia tongkat ali samples have been found to have high lead concentrations – a safety issue outweighing the benefits.
Men who have diabetes, heart/liver/kidney disease, or prostate cancer should refrain from taking tongkat ali. Excessive consumption of the extract may also result in insomnia, because the body is producing ATP increasingly. It is best for you to consult your healthcare provider before supplementing with it.