What is Tongkat Ali? 

If you live in southeast asia, you’ve probably come across this term before and know it’s famously recommended in folk medicine to improve men’s health and fertility. The term ‘tongkat ali’, translated to English as  ‘Ali’s walking stick’ is known as Eurycoma longifolia in the scientific world. A slender, tall shrub which can grow up to 10 metres tall, it is native to Southeast Asia countries. Tongkat Ali is usually consumed as pills or drinks which contain an extract of the herb. It is often touted as a natural solution for men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction, low libido and infertility.

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Benefits of Tongkat Ali 

#1. Boost Fertility. Tongkat Ali is known for its effectiveness in increasing testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels can result in low libido, erectile dysfunction and infertility too. Hence anyone with either of these symptoms, According to a 12-week study done with 108 participants age 30-55, their sperm volume and motility increased from 18% to 44% on average after taking 300mg of Tongkat Ali extract daily. With this increase, it helps in increasing the chances of conception. 

#2. Build muscle mass. Tongkat Ali can also help to increase strength, boosting athletic performance. A study done in 2014 shows that a group of men and women who took Tongkat Ali extract daily for five weeks raised testosterone levels and muscular force. 

#3. Relieve Stress. Tongkat Ali seems to be able to relieve stress too as it can reduce the stress hormones in the body. A small study done on a group of 63 participants for four weeks have shown that their overall mood has improved after their stress hormones and mood were assessed. 

#4. Fight Inflammation. Antibacterial properties and antioxidant properties in Tongkat Ali may help to reduce inflammation. However, this should not be the reason for taking Tongkat Ali! If you’re experience inflammation in any parts of your body, do consult a doctor and get treatment accordingly. 

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Possible side effects 

With the lack of study on the long-term use of Tongkat Ali, it is unclear whether the intake of this supplement long-term is safe or not. However, based on some of the previous studies done, no side effects have been reported so far. Consume Tongkat Ali based on the recommended dosage stated on the packaging and always buy from reputable and reliable sources. All TCM supplements sold in Singapore must be licensed by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). Read the labels which must be in English, stating the product name, batch number, expiry date, ingredients and dosage. Bewares of safety claims too such as stating the product is ‘100% Natural’.

As Tongkat Ali can increase testosterone levels, it is recommended that people with conditions that may be affected by higher testosterone levels such as heart disease should not consume them. People who are on medication should also consult their doctors first if they wish to consume Tongkat Ali. Pregnant or nursing women and children should not consume Tongkat Ali too.