Can Tongkat Ali Cure Erectile Dysfunction And Improve libido?
By Johnathan P Cumberwell
Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia)
Known also as Longjack and Pasak Bumi, Tongkat Ali is believed to have been used as a medicinal and rejuvenating plant for thousands of years.
It has traditionally mostly been used for headaches, malaria, fungal / viral / bacterial infections, inflammation, and as an aphrodisiac for both men and women.
Tongkat Ali is a medium size tree which can reach a height of about 15 meters. The trunk of a fully grown tree normally has a diameter of 8-10 cm.
It has branches or leaflets at the top of the tree of about a meter in length, and the leaves are about 5 to 20 cm long. It bears clusters of red-brownish fruits of similar size to grapes.
Tongkat Ali is in the family Simaroubaceae and is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma and Laos.
The part of the plant that is most often used for health and medicinal purposes, is the root.
A tree normally needs to grow for at least 2-3 years before it can be harvested. One tree normally yields about 1 kg of fresh root.
The elements of the root that are believed to improve sexual functions are the following: polypeptides, diterpenoids, alkaloids, eurypeptides, glycosaponins, glycoproteins, quassinoids, eurycolactone, laurycolactone, eurycomanone and eurycomalactone.
When Tongkat Ali is used as a supplement, the raw root has normally gone through a process where certain of the components are extracted, while others are left out.
Often, the components that are extracted are eurypeptides and glycosaponins.
If one were to get a 50:1 extract, one would get 50 times more of the extracted components, that one would get from a similar weight of the raw root.
Tongkat Ali has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years with many reports of success. It is claimed that ingesting this plant will make both men and women experience an increase in sex drive, and that it gives a man stronger erections.
Legend has it that an elder tribesman ‘Ali’ became ill. Even though his tribe recommended that he stay at home to recover, he went hunting alone.
He then got lost and did not return to the tribe as planned. He did his best to survive in the jungle, and ate what he could find.
And he kept chewing the roots of a short plant he found abundant in the forest.
This plant was Eurycoma Longifolia. From eating it, Ali recovered. He became more energetic and stronger. And after a few weeks he had recovered from his illness, and was able to find his way back to the tribe.
How Does Tongkat Ali Impact Erectile Dysfunction And Libido?
Tongkat Ali Can Increase Luteinizing Hormone And Leydig Cells
After being produced, this luteinizing hormone travels through your blood vessels to your testicles. When it arrives here, it starts binding to receptors on cells called Leydig cells.
When luteinizing hormone is bound to your Leydig cells, these cells are stimulated to produce testosterone.
Therefore, by increasing the amount of luteinizing hormone in your bloodstream, Tongkat Ali can make your production of testosterone jump.
But not only that:
Research (see below) has also shown that Tongkat Ali can increase the number of Leydig cells in your testicles. Now there are more of these cells that can produce testosterone.
Hence, your testicles should now be able to produce even more testosterone than before.
Tongkat Ali Can Make Less SHBG Bind To Testosterone
Research studies (see below) have reported that Tongkat Ali has the ability to make a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (‘SHBG’), less capable of binding to testosterone.
SHBG binds to testosterone to transport it somewhere, or simply to store testosterone for later use.
Only about 3% of the testosterone in your bloodstream is free testosterone, and is therefore free to carry out tasks in the body.
The remaining 97% is bound to two proteins called SHGB and albumin. This testosterone is therefore not available for immediate use.
When Tongkat Ali makes SHGB less apt at binding to testosterone, it will normally mean that less testosterone is tied up. And the more free testosterone you have, the more impactful your testosterone is.
Tongkat Ali Can Decrease Estrogen Levels
Scientific studies (see below) have also demonstrated that Tongkat Ali has anti-estrogenic effects.
Meaning that it can reduce excess estrogen in your body.
You do need some estrogen, but excess estrogen will normally have a negative effect on both your libido and erections.
First of all, when you have more estrogen than you should, your estrogen / testosterone balance is off. This means that estrogen is likely to dominate several functions, which means that your testosterone will be less effective than normally.
Secondly, estrogen can also connect and occupy the receptors that are used by testosterone. Which means that less testosterone can connect to these receptors and be functional.
Here is an unfortunate fact:
It is relatively common for men with a modern lifestyle, to have excess estrogen levels.
This can be due to an unhealthy diet, including consumption of meat and dairy treated with estrogen.
It can also be due to consumption of alcohol, ingestion of chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body such as bisphenol A and phthalates, little or no exercise, overweight, etc.
It has also been speculated that wireless radiation and electronic devices play a part in this.
In fact, testosterone levels have decreased by about 50% in males over the last 40 years.
If you want to learn how to increase your testosterone naturally, you can read this guide.
Tongkat Ali Can Reduce Cortisol Production
Tongkat Ali Can Increase Dopamine Production
Research studies have also demonstrated that Tongkat Ali can increase your production of dopamine.
Dopamine is very important for two reasons: 1) for your sex drive, and 2) for your erections.
Firstly, in order to have a sex drive, you need dopamine. Dopamine is what motivates you to seek out sex. If you don’t produce dopamine, you will have little or no interest in sex.
Secondly, getting an erection is a complicated process of many steps. One of the first steps, is for dopamine to be produced in your brain, travel down your spinal cord, and instruct your penis to produce nitric oxide.
If you have inadequate dopamine production, this signal may be weak. Which may also cuase your erections to be weak.
As Tongkat Ali improves your dopamine production, your sex drive should go up, and you should also get erections more easily.
Scientific Studies On Tongkat Ali’s Impact On Libido And ED
Tongkat Ali Study 1: June 2019
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Tongkat Ali on general well‐being, the brain cortical and hippocampal content of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline.
48 male rats were divided into 6 groups of 8 rats each. The control group received 3 mL/kg of water, whilst the other 5 groups received 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 mg/kg of Tonkat Ali extract, for 10 days.
On day 11, male and female rats were mated and sexual behavior parameters along with total body weights, were evaluated.
Tongkat Ali Study 2: May 2017
The purpose of this study was to assess the mechanisms of action of Eurycoma Longifolia in rat corpus cavernosum.
63 rats were treated with different forms of Tongat Ali extract.
After the treatment, the rats were sacrificed and their penises dissected.
Several of the fractions were able to significantly cause corpus cavernosum relaxation. This relaxation is what enables the penis to be filled with blood.
Tongkat Ali Study 3: January 2017
The aim of this review was to analyze and summarize the literature on human clinical trials of Tongkat Ali, in improving male sexual health.
11 studies met the inclusion criteria. 7 of the studies demonstrated positive effects on male sexual health, while 4 studies failed to do this.
The findings revealed a promising efficacy of Tongkat Ali to treat erectile dysfunction in sexually sluggish males. Studies showed an ability to improve penile erection, erectile hardness and sexual performance.
This review also found that Tongkat ali had a positive effect on male infertility by significantly improving semen volume, concentration of sperm, and proportion of sperm having normal morphology and motility.
The study concluded that Tongak Ali possessed these enhancing effects due to its ability to increase testosterone production.
Tongkat Ali Study 4: September 2014
Tongkat Ali Study 5: June 2014
Tongkat Ali Study 6: May 2014
The goal of this study was to investigate the in vivo effects of Tongkat Ali on body and organ weight, as well as on functional sperm parameters.
42 male rats were fed either 200 or 800 mg/kg Tongkat Ali extract, for 14 days.
Afterwards, the rats were sacrificed and analyzed.
Tongkat Ali Study 7: April 2014
This study aimed at investigating Tongkat Ali as a supplement intended to enhance physical performance, stamina, and recovery for elderly people.
13 physically active male and 12 physically active female seniors (57-72 years), were supplemented with 400-mg Tongkat Ali extract, daily for 5 weeks.
There was a significant increase in total and free testosterone concentrations, and muscular force, in men and women.
The increase in free testosterone in women was thought to be due to a significant decline in sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations.
Tongkat Ali Study 8: May 2013
The purpose of this study was to review the effect on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed persons, from Tongkat Ali administration.
32 men and 31 women were given 200 mg/day of Tongkat Ali, or a placebo, for 4 weeks.
The study reported that after these four weeks, cortisol levels had dropped by 16%, and testosterone levels had increased by 37%.
It was indicated that this increase may be because less testosterone was bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and therefore more testosterone was ‘free’.
In addition, the Tongkat Ali group also saw improvements in tension (11%), anger (12%) and confusion (15%) scores.
Tongkat Ali Study 9: February 2013
Tongkat Ali Study 10: November 2012
Tongkat Ali Study 11: August 2012
The objective of this study was to explore the bone structural changes following Tongkat Ali treatment, in normal and androgen-deficient rats with osteoporosis.
36 male rats were divided into various groups, and treated with Tongkat Ali, Placebo or testosterone.
Testosterone serum was measured both before and after the completion of the treatment.
Testosterone replacement was able to raise the testosterone level and restore the bone volume of orchidectomised rats.
Tongkat Ali supplementation failed to emulate both these actions of testosterone.
Tongkat Ali Study 12: May 2012
The goal of this study was to assess the aphrodisiac and testosterone enhancing effects of Tongkat Ali.
320 men with late-onset hypogonadism were given 200 mg/day of Tongkat Ali, or a placebo, for one month.
Late-onset hypogonadism is a condition in which the body does not produce adequate testosterone.
Before the treatment, 10.5% of the patients reported normal values according to ‘Ageing Males’ symptoms. After the treatment, 71.7% reported normal values.
And before the treatment, 35.5% had normal testosterone levels. After the completed treatment, 90.8% of the patients showed normal testosterone levels.
The study reported that the average testosterone levels had increased by 46% in the participants.
Tongkat Ali Study 13: April 2012
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of 9-hydroxycanthin-6-one, a β-carboline alkaloid isolated from Tongkat Ali, on penile erection and ejaculation.
The effects were studied on rat corpus cavernosum and seminal vesicle in vitro.
9-hydroxycanthin-6-one demonstrated an ability to induce penile erection.
The study concluded that 9-HC-6-one might be the active component that contributed to the aphrodisiac effect of Tongkat Ali, by antagonizing the smooth muscle tone of the corpus cavernosum, as well as seminal vesicle, through free calcium mobilization.
Tongkat Ali Study 14: January 2011
Comparative X-ray and conformational analysis of a new crystal of 13α,21-dihydroeurycomanone with eurycomanone from Eurycoma Longifolia and their anti-estrogenic activity using the uterotrophic assay.
The goal of this study was to analyze whether 13α,21-Dihydroeurycomanone and Eurycomanone, two known quassinoids of Tongkat Ali, had anti-estrogenic effects. The study was done on rats.
The study concluded that both 13α,21-Dihydroeurycomanone and Eurycomanone had anti-estrogenic properties, and that Eurycomanone was the most potent.
Tongkat Ali Study 15: January 2010
Tongkat Ali Study 16: November 2009
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack on sexual behavior, (including both motivation and copulatory performance) of sexually sluggish and impotent male rats.
24 sexually sluggish or impotent male rats were divided into three groups:
Tongkat Ali Study 17: December 2004
Tongkat Ali Study 18: September 2003
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Tongkat Ali on sexual motivation in adult, middle-aged male mice, and in retired breeders.
This study used what is called the modified open field, and the modified runway choice methods.
Each mouse received 500 mg/kg Tongkat Ali in various fractions, 30 mg/kg of yohimbine, or a placebo for 10 days.
50 percent of the adult middle-aged male mice treated with Tongkat Ali and yohimbine, scored the right choice after 8 and 5 days post-treatment, respectively.
The researchers concluded that Tongkat Ali enhances sexual motivation in adult, middle-aged male mice and in retired breeders.
Tongkat Ali Study 19: February 2003
The aim of this study was to study the effects of Tongkat Ali on the sexual qualities of middle aged, male rats.
Groups of rats were given 500 mg/kg of Tongkat Ali, or a placebo, for 12 weeks
Middle aged male rats given Tongkat Ali decreased their hesitation time to approach a female by 5-18%, compared to controls.
The study concluded that Tongkat Ali enhanced the sexual qualities of the middle aged male rats.
Tongkat Ali Study 20: December 2002
Tongkat Ali Study 21: September 2002
Tongkat Ali Study 22: October 2001
Tongkat Ali Study 23: August 2001
Tongkat Ali Study 24: August 2001
Tongkat Ali Study 25: January 2000
Tongkat Ali Study 26: December 1998
The aim of this study was to provide evidence of the aphrodisiac property of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack.
260 sexually naive male rats received 200, 400, or 800 mg/kg of Tongkat Ali extract daily, or a placebo, for 12 weeks.
In order for male rats to reach a receptive female, they had to cross an electric grid that produced an adverse shock.
The rats supplemented with Tongkat Ali showed a significantly stronger willingness to cross this electric grid and endure pain, than the control group.
And those who received larger doses, had a stronger willingness to cross the barrier.
In addition, these rats also demonstrated a higher number of mountings, intromissions and ejaculations during the 12 weeks, than the control group.
Tongkat Ali Study 27: February 1998
The purpose of this study was to analyze the orientation activities of sexually experienced male rats towards receptive females.
Groups of rats were given 200, 400 or 800 mg/kg body weight of Tongkat Ali, twice a day, or a placebo, for 10 days.
The study found that rats given Tongkat Ali displayed significantly more frequent and vigorous mounting, licking and anogenital sniffing towards the receptive females.
These rats also further intensified self orientation, as indicated by the increased grooming of the genitals compared to the controls.
The Tongkat Ali treated rats also showed a lack of interest in the external environment, as indicated by a reduction in exploration, raring and climbing on the cage wall.
Tongkat Ali Study 28: October 1997
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