Tongkat ali – a Testosterone-Enhancing Ally for Reproductive Health

Tongkat ali Arouses Reproductive Health

Infertility affects 1 in 10 of reproductive-aged couples in the United States alone. Issues are multi-factorial and include both external and internal obstacles to reproductive health. As the prevalence of male and female reproductive challenges, including infertility, low libido, and erectile dysfunction, continues to rise, it is essential for wellness practitioners to stay informed on the latest research and to explore natural remedies like Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali).

Tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) continues to gain attention as a natural option for improving testosterone levels and supporting reproductive health. Based on traditional use and modern evidence of Tongkat ali’s potential to support male and female reproductive health, this medicinal herb is developing a strong track record as a natural and effective alternative to conventional treatments for male and female reproductive challenges, such as hormone replacement therapy, erectile dysfunction medications, and infertility treatments. Furthermore, it appears to deliver these benefits without the typical adverse effects associated with conventional medical treatments. 

Low Conception Rates Linked to a Culture Built on Convenience and Chemicals

Individuals with reproductive challenges face numerous obstacles in their quest for optimal health and wellness. Reproductive issues such as infertility, low libido, and erectile dysfunction are becoming increasingly prevalent, with studies indicating that up to 15% of couples experience infertility. Conventional treatments for reproductive challenges come with potential risks and side effects, including impaired liver function, blood sugar issues, hormone-sensitive conditions, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, and interactions with prescription medications, and do not always address the root causes of these issues.

Reproductive health issues can be influenced by a variety of factors, including endocrine disruptors and environmental factors. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s feedback loops that orchestrate the function of the endocrine system, potentially leading to issues like low testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction, and infertility. These chemicals can be found in everyday products like plastics, pesticides, and personal care products as well as in the air and water.

Environmental factors like poor air quality, exposure to heavy metals, and chronic stress can also have a significant impact on reproductive health. Studies have found that exposure to high levels of air pollution can increase the risk of infertility, while chronic stress can elevate cortisol and reduce testosterone levels, disrupting hormone balance and contributing to issues like low libido and erectile dysfunction (ED).

These issues can have a significant impact on quality of life and emotional wellbeing, underscoring the need for safe and effective natural remedies like Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali). As wellness practitioners, it is important to understand these underlying factors and provide holistic support and find safe and effective natural remedies for supporting clients physically and emotionally with these challenges.

Infertility – the Elephant in the Bedroom

Backed by both traditional use and modern science, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) holds promise as a natural and effective alternative to conventional treatments for male and female reproductive challenges, such as hormone replacement therapy, erectile dysfunction (ED) medications, and infertility treatments.

Low levels of testosterone manifest as a down-regulation of male sexual libido and sexual activity. The quantity and quality of sperm greatly influence male fertility. Low sperm count or poor-quality sperm significantly influences the ability of a man to successfully initiate pregnancy.

Additionally, 1 in 6 infertile men is affected by ED. Men who experience ED have decreased blood flow to the penis. While ED does not directly affect sperm health, it can affect one’s ability to maintain an erection long enough to release sperm and successfully fertilize an egg. Heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, low testosterone levels, kidney disease, and prostate cancer are the most common risk factors of ED. 

Tongkat ali Revitalizes Sexual Wellbeing

Meta-analysis and systematic review studies have confirmed that the use of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) can improve serum testosterone levels in men and offers potential health benefits for both men and women. These studies suggest that Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) may be a promising natural remedy for improving male and female reproductive health and sexual wellbeing.

Research suggests that combining Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) with other natural remedies, such as adaptogens or antioxidants, may enhance its therapeutic effects. This finding reflects the idea of synergy of plant energies or phytoconstituents, where the effects of thoughtfully formulated, polyherbal formulas are greater than individually delivered herbs. PRL utilizes the concepts of synergy in thoughtfully formulating Men's Performance Edge, which delivers the properly extracted, standardized extract, LJ100™ , formulated with a unique blend of synergistic botanicals.

Tongkat ali, Not Just for Men

While Tongkat ali has been traditionally used to improve sexual function and boost energy levels in men, limited research exists on its effects on women. Nonetheless, some studies have investigated the potential benefits of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) in female populations, including improvements in sexual function, menopausal symptoms, and stress and mood.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) extract improved sexual function and satisfaction in 76 women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Another study published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine found that Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) extract improved various menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, insomnia, and joint pain, in 71 women. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) extract reduced cortisol and improved mood in 28 physically active women.

It's important to note that these studies are limited in size and scope, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and safety of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) in women.

Southeast Asia’s Up and Coming Adaptogen

Locally known as Malaysian ginseng, Eurycoma longifolia is believed to have adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects, making it a promising remedy for supporting overall health and wellness. Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) is considered an adaptogen due to its role in modulating the effects of age-related stress, both internal and external. ability to help the body adapt to external and internal stress. It contains compounds called quassinoids which are believed to contribute towards its ergogenic effects, including muscle strength, physical endurance and also deliver anxiety-relieving benefits, reducing the effects of stress on the body.

Adaptogens are non-toxic substances that heighten the ability of the human body to resist the effects of stress (whether that stress is from anxiety, fatigue, trauma, infection, etc.), and restore or support normal physiological functioning. They are thought to improve the range or capacity for resilience through structure-functional adaptations by modulating endocrine system function. Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has been shown to modulate levels of cortisol and enhance testosterone levels, leading to improved physical and mental performance, as well as reducing anxiety and improving mood. Additionally, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can help protect the body from oxidative stress caused by chronic stress, and reduce inflammation associated with stress-related illnesses.

Tongkat ali, a Natural Ergogenic Aid

With the growing interest in natural remedies and alternative medicine, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has gained popularity among athletes and bodybuilders as a natural and safe alternative to anabolic steroids, as an ergogenic aid, to improve physical performance and gain muscle mass. Anabolic steroids are known to have many adverse effects, including liver damage, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, and hormonal imbalances. Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) offers a safe, natural ergogenic aid for athletes and dieters alike.

In contrast, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has been shown to have beneficial effects on muscle strength and endurance and may improve recovery time and reduce muscle damage following intense exercise, with few side effects. And more good news, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) is well-tolerated and generally safe, even with long-term use.

One study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) supplementation led to significant improvements in muscle strength, power, and endurance in both men and women, without any adverse effects. Moreover, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce muscle damage and improve recovery after intense exercise. This is particularly relevant for athletes and bodybuilders who engage in endurance-based exercise training, which can potentially lower testosterone levels.

Tongkat ali and Testosterone, a Physiological Alliance

Studies suggest a strong “physiological alliance” between Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) and testosterone levels. All participants treated with an average of 300 mg daily of Eurycoma longifolia root extract experienced significant improvement in testosterone levels as well as an overall improvement in sexual activities and sexual wellbeing.

Clinical studies have reported noticeable increases in both free and bound testosterone levels with the use of Eurycoma longifolia root extract, resulting in significant improvements in male sexual performance. Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali)’s ability to improve testosterone levels appears to be a result of an increased rate of “free” testosterone from its binding hormone, sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG). This free form of testosterone is biologically active, able to enter cells and activate androgen receptors associated with initiating spermatogenesis.

Although the exact mechanism of action of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) at a cellular level is not fully understood, researchers correlate some of this plants’ positive effects on male infertility to improving serum testosterone levels as well as its antioxidant properties. Several studies have demonstrated that increasing antioxidant intake may improve male reproductive functions, including fertility. Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) extract increases superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, one of the body’s most important powerful enzymes that combat free radical damage from oxidative stress. 

Bioactive Compounds

Eurycoma longifolia root (tongkat ali)) contains various nutrient and bioactive compounds, including:

  • Quassionoids: These are bitter compounds that are found in high concentrations in Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) and are associated with reducing inflammation, improving physical endurance and strength as well as sexual function.
  • Alkaloids: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) also contains several alkaloids, including beta-carboline alkaloids, quassinoids, and eurycomaoside.
    • Beta-carboline alkaloids are found in various plants and have been studied for their antioxidant properties which seem to have an affinity for the central nervous system, supporting memory and cognitive function.
  • Eurycomaoside is a glycoside compound found in Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) that has potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been studied for its potential benefits on sexual function and may be a key component for improving male and female reproductive health.
  • Glycosaponins: Glycosaponins in Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) are formed from glycosylated quassionoids and have been studied their ability to improve sexual function and fertility, reduce inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress. These effects may be due to their ability to modulate various signaling pathways and enzymes involved in these processes.
    • For example, eurycomanone is associated with an increase in testosterone levels and sperm count, as well as improving erectile function. Eurycomanol and eurycomalactone have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.
  • Polysaccharides: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) contains several types of polysaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates that are believed to have immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Various minerals and vitamins: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) is also a source of various minerals and vitamins, such as zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E.

It's worth noting that the exact composition of nutrients and bioactive compounds in Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) can vary depending on various factors, such as the location where the plant was grown, the season of harvest, and the extraction method used. Additionally, the bioavailability and efficacy of these compounds may depend on various factors, such as the dosage and duration of use, as well as individual health status.

Tongkat ali - Traditional Use Guides Modern Preparations

When exploring the potential health benefits of medicinal plants from around the world, it is important not only to verify the identity, or species, of the plant material used but also the preparation method that produced the desired results. In the case of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali), the roots of this slender tropical plant are always prepared using hot water decoction to extract its medicinal compounds. This preparation method is important to note, especially when selecting commercially manufactured Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) supplements.

Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) supplements are typically made from root extracts prepared using various extraction methods such as water extraction, ethanol extraction, or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction. These extracts are often standardized to a certain concentration of active compounds, such as eurycomanones or quassinoids, which are believed to be the primary bioactive compounds responsible for the plant's therapeutic effects.

It's worth noting that the traditional preparation methods of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) may not necessarily be equivalent to the modern methods used to extract and manufacture supplements. The concentration and composition of active compounds may vary depending on the extraction method used, as well as the quality and processing of the raw plant material.

LJ100 – A Standardized Extract with Reliable Results

In an effort to deliver an herbal dietary supplement that provides consistent amounts of bioactive compounds for therapeutic results, herbal manufacturers often create standardized extracts. LJ100™ is a patented extract of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) that is standardized to contain a high concentration of bioactive compounds known as eurypeptides and glycoproteins phytoconstituents that are associated with its testosterone elevating effects as well as its libido-enhancing, aphrodisiac properties.

LJ100™ is a patented extract that begins as a traditional hot water decoction, which is then concentrated and standardized to contain a high concentration of eurypeptides. The extraction methods to produce LJ100™ are proprietary and is said to preserve bioactive compounds and eliminate impurities. Properly standardized hot water extracts have the best record of both safety and efficacy for long-term use. Roots extracted in a diluted ethanol mixture are associated with adverse effects and potential toxicity. At PRL, we utilize the LJ100™ standardized root extract of Eurycoma longifolia to consistently deliver, evidence-based potency and uncompromised quality.

Some studies have investigated the potential benefits of LJ100™. For example, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that LJ100™ supplementation improved various markers of physical fitness, including muscle strength, body composition, and aerobic capacity, in a group of elderly men and women. (Chen et al., 2014) LJ100™ is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and powders.

In the next sections, we will delve deeper into the potential risks of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) for male and female reproductive health, as well as the challenges faced by wellness practitioners in navigating the crowded market of natural remedies.

Tongkat ali, is it Right for Me? 

While Tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is generally considered safe when used as directed, there are some potential adverse effects and contraindications to be aware of.

  1. Hormone-sensitive conditions: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) may increase testosterone levels in men and women, and as a result, it may not be appropriate for individuals with hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, or endometriosis.
  2. Blood sugar: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) may lower blood sugar levels, so individuals with diabetes or hypoglycemia should be cautious when using the herb and should monitor their blood sugar levels closely.
  3. Liver health: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has been reported to have hepatoprotective effects. However, individuals with liver disease should use caution and consult with their healthcare provider before using Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali).
  4. Insomnia: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) may increase energy levels, so individuals with insomnia or sleep disorders may experience difficulty sleeping if they take the herb in the evening.
  5. Interactions with medications: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) may interact with certain medications, including those that are metabolized by the liver or that affect hormone levels. 

Tongkal ali – Not All Products are Created Equal

With its traditional uses for improving physical performance and sexual function, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has become a go-to for those seeking a more natural, but effective alternative to conventional treatments. But are all tongkat ali-containing products created equal? The short answer is no, and the sad truth is that this herb is being adulterated in the marketplace, which puts consumers at risk of adverse effects. It's important to note that the safety and efficacy of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) supplements may depend on various factors, such as the dosage, duration of use, individual health status or the overall quality of the product.

Adulteration of Eurycoma longifolia products is a growing concern, particularly as the demand for tongkat ali supplements has increased in recent years. There are several ways in which Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) products can be adulterated:

  1. Substitution with other plant species: Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) is a high-value herb, and some unscrupulous manufacturers may substitute it with other, cheaper plant species to cut costs. Some common substitutes include the roots of a different Southeast Asian plant, Butea superba from the pea family (Fabaceae), or the stem of Fadogia agrestis, a Nigerian plant from the madder family. (Rubiaceae). Although these common adulterants are also considered aphrodisiacs in their respective traditional cultures, their inclusion in Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) supplements is not listed as an ingredient.
  2. Addition of synthetic compounds: Some Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) products may be adulterated with synthetic compounds, such as sildenafil or tadalafil, which are used to treat erectile dysfunction, which poses health risks when taken in combination with other medications.
  3. Inconsistent quality: The quality of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) supplements can vary depending on factors such as the extraction method, processing, and storage conditions. Poor quality control can lead to supplements that contain inconsistent levels of active compounds or that are contaminated with bacteria or other impurities.

It's important to purchase Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) supplements from reputable manufacturers that use high-quality raw materials and have rigorous quality control standards in place. A definite giveaway indicating possible product adulteration are Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) extracts that do NOT have a distinct bitter taste. Belonging to the bitter-tasting Quassia plant family (Simaroubaceae), Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali)’s abundance of bitter-tasting eurypeptides is a distinct characteristic of authentic, high-quality extracts.

In an ongoing effort to support dietary supplement consumer safety and combat adulteration of raw materials from unethical suppliers, Premier Research Labs (PRL) has officially joined forces with the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP); the largest international consortium focused on reducing adulteration in botanical ingredients used in dietary supplements, conventional foods, cosmetics, and other natural health products. Established in 2011 by three leading nonprofit organizations, the American Botanical Council (ABC), the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), and the National Center of Natural Products Research (NCNPR), the BAPP continues to raise awareness and provide solutions to tackle adulteration issues in herbal dietary supplements and botanical products.

Consider Tongkat ali for “Low T”

In conclusion, Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) has shown potential as a natural remedy for male and female reproductive challenges, with evidence suggesting benefits for improving testosterone levels, libido, and sexual function. However, as with any natural remedy, it is important to use high-quality, unadulterated supplements from reputable manufacturers.

As more and more people seek natural alternatives to prescription-driven, allopathic protocols, it is important that wellness providers stay informed on the latest research and understand the mechanisms of action behind herbal remedies like Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali). While it is important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with its use, research suggests that Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) may be a safe and effective alternative to conventional treatments.

In addition to establishing good lifestyle habits, you and your clients may benefit from additional resources that provide current information on the consumer safety of products and produce that contain harmful endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a consumer-safety advocacy nonprofit annually that annually publishes research on the prevalence of modern-made contaminants (like sunscreens and pesticides) In an effort to reduce excessive exposure to produce items and beauty products that we should consider steering clear of, PRL encourages its practitioners to stay committed to educating their clients about free available resources, such as the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which is updated annually based on current data.

We encourage our readers to explore the potential benefits of Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) for themselves or their clients, and to review scientific journals to determine if tongkat ali is a suitable option. Additionally, we encourage sharing this post with colleagues and continuing the conversation on the role of natural remedies in supporting reproductive health and overall wellbeing.

Until next time, let's continue to explore the potential of medicinal plants like Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) in promoting optimal health and wellness!