Tongkat ali is a traditional herb native to Southeast Asia. This potent herb is becoming increasingly popular in the West and the surge in popularity has led many people to wonder how tongkat ali can benefit them. In this blog post we’ll introduce you to tongkat ali and explore four of it’s benefits. We’ll also outline some concerns associated with this herb.
What is Tongkat ali?
Tongkat ali, also known as long jack or Malaysian ginseng, is a medium-sized shrub that grows in the wild. This herb is powerful for both men and women.
Tongkat ali is harvested for its roots which are revered for their health benefits. The roots of tongkat ali take at least 5 years to mature and are notable for the peculiar way in which they grow. Unlike most trees, which have a horizontal root system, the roots of the tongkat ali tree grow in a straight line beneath the ground.
Tongkat Ali has been used in traditional medicine for generations. It is believed that Tongkat Ali was first discovered by modern civilization in the early 1100s. A painting depicting the tongkat ali shrubs dates back to the 1800s. Historically, the herb was used to treat colds and flus. It was also used for its aphrodisiac benefits as it was known to boost sexual desire.
1. Hormonal Benefits
Research suggests that tongkat ali could increase testosterone levels. This is beneficial for both men and women.
Women create about 5-10% percent of the testosterone men do. A combination of testosterone and estrogen helps with many body processes including xual, fertility and menstrual health. It's said that when a drop in testosterone occurs it can greatly impair xual performance in both men and women.
In a small study on male and female seniors, tongkat ali was shown to increase total and free testosterone. This is especially important as testosterone levels tend to decrease with age.
There is also evidence to suggest that tongkat ali can have potential growth hormone benefits. One study reported that there was an increase in HGH (Human Growth Hormone) when taking this supplement.
2. An Aphrodisiac
Tongkat ali is regarded as one of the most powerful aphrodisiac plants on earth. For centuries, it has been used as a remedy for loss of desire and impotence.
Research has found that erectile dysfunction affects 26 percent of adult men under the age of 40. However, this problem is rarely discussed openly and a lot of people suffer in silence. There are many potential causes of erectile dysfunction, one being low libido.
It’s worth noting that loss of libido and erectile dysfunction are symptoms of low testosterone but they aren't always caused by low testosterone. Studies have confirmed that tongkat ali can increase libido. One such study was conducted on 109 men who ranged from the ages of 30 to 55 years old. This 12-week study found that men who took tongkat ali experienced a significant increase in libido. The study also found that sexual performance was greatly enhanced after taking tongkat ali.
3. Improves Athletic Performance
It is common knowledge that testosterone is beneficial for fat loss, increased muscle, strength and other sports related goals. Key compounds within tongkat ali have been shown to help build muscle. A pilot study on 14 men published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that those who took tongkat ali over a 5-week period, had a significant increase in lean mass, strength, and recovery. They also experienced a decrease in fat percentage.
Another factor to consider is the ability of tongkat ali to remedy stress. When we train or diet we put our body through stress. However, because tongkat ali is an adaptogen it helps our body adapt to stress. If our bodies can adapt to stress well, our bodies will respond better to exercise and training.
4. Stress Reduction
Tongkat ali is commonly used to reduce fatigue, improve well-being, and increase energy performance. This herb has also been shown to help reduce stress and improve mood. One study found that participants who took tongkat ali experienced significant health improvements which included reduced tension, anger, confusion, and stress hormones. The results indicate that regular tongkat ali supplementation improves stress hormone profile and mood state parameters. These benefits affect both men and women.
A Word of Warning
Having outlined the various benefits of tongkat ali, it’s also important to mention the fact that research into this herb is limited. Although there are studies that show positive results, there are also studies that don’t show any results. None of the known studies on the use of tongkat ali report any side effects but that does not mean there aren’t any side effects to be had.
There are some anecdotal accounts of people experiencing lightheadedness or nausea. For this reason, if you currently have any health issues, definitely speak to your doctor before trying tongkat ali. It’s also recommended that you avoid this herb if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
It’s important to exercise caution when deciding where to purchase tongkat ali, especially if you’re buying the extract.There have been reports of lead or mercury poisoning in some extracts so it’s best to ensure you’re buying from a reputable source.
At Herby we believe in optimising daily life and we have Tongkat Ali in our Zuwa blend for men.
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