Tongkat Ali, also known as Long Jack, is a type of flowering plant whose roots are used in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam as part of their traditional medicine.
Some promising researches suggest that tongkat ali may help in restoring hormone balance (cortisol and testosterone) and may improve psychological mood state in humans exposed to modern stress.
This herb, sometimes referred to as ‘Malaysian Ginseng’, is believed to potentially help in treating a variety of other ailments too like infections, malaria, hypoandrogenism, and male infertility.
Antioxidants, found abundantly in the root of this plant with scientific name Eurycoma Longifolia, actively fight against the harmful effects of cellular damage caused by free radicals in the body. Without their help, free radical damage would otherwise accumulate and lead to a variety of painful conditions such as inflammation and cancers.
However, we must note that there isn’t a lot of research done so far to 100% support the claims of the benefits of using the Tongkat Ali root as a supplement. In this article, we review tongkat ali, its benefits, possible side effects and dosage.
- Potential Benefits of Using Tongkat Ali
- How Is This Herb Sourced and Administered?
- Ingesting a Commercially Made Formulation
- Consuming Tea Prepared from Tongkat Ali Root
- Final Thoughts
Potential Benefits of Using Tongkat Ali
As per the limited number of studies done Tongkat Ali, there is evidence of the following benefits that users could gain from using this supplement.
- Men suffering from low testosterone or infertility issues could return to having normal testosterone levels and even father children by consuming Tongkat Ali.
- People who are suffering from anxiety and mood disorders could turn to Tongkat Ali to regulate and enhance their moods.
- Those seeking to improve their body composition could benefit from taking Tongkat Ali because it boosts lean muscle mass and helps reduce body fat.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of the benefits of Tongkat Ali that could help people suffering from hypoandrogenism or poor body fitness, head over to Tongkat Ali Benefits by Tongkat Fitness to learn about all the changes to expect when you begin using the supplement.
How Is This Herb Sourced and Administered?
There are 2 different ways of using Tongkat Ali. One can either ingest a commercially prepared capsule or drink tea made by boiling the roots in water. We have detailed both procedures below:
Ingesting a Commercially Made Formulation
The commercially made formulation may be ingested like popping a pill.
Buy from a Reputed Supplier
Unfortunately, not all suppliers are equally good and the integrity of a product will vary from supplier to supplier. Some manufacturers sell supplements contaminated with mercury which is extremely dangerous to human health while there are others who could provide low-grade supplements mixed with prescription erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Levitra.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to thoroughly research the seller before sourcing. Keep your eyes open to online reviews and ratings.
Search for a Formula With a 100:1 Strength Ratio
Supplements on the market come in a variety of strengths from 20:1 ratio up to 200:1 ratio. This 20:1 ratio means that 1kg of extract was derived from 20kg of root.
Ideally, Tongkat Ali Strength usually taken is in the standard 100:1 ratio. For higher strengths, one needs to reduce dosage accordingly. Eg. ingesting half the dose that you have for the 100:1 strength supplement.
You can do the opposite for low strength formulas but their efficacy is often compromised.
Opt for a Concoction Prepared with Water over Ethanol
Extracts are prepared using solvents such as water or ethanol. Sadly, extracts made by using ethanol have been shown to produce detrimental effects if higher doses are used. It is best to go for water-based extracts to avoid suffering from such problems. To find out about the solvent used in making the supplement, check product details on the website or product packaging.
Carry out a Taste Test
Quassinoids are some of the bitterest compounds in nature and a prime component of Tongkat Ali. This can prove to be an advantage in the sense that you can immediately identify the potency of sourced herb with a simple taste test.
If a supplement is not bitter enough, it may not be in right concentration to give you the desired results. Additionally, it could signal that the herb sourced may be of inferior quality or likely to be contaminated.
Keep Daily Intake between 200-300 mg
There isn’t any single proven ideal dose for Tongkat Ali supplements due to lack of enough research. However, existing research has proven the efficiency of 200-300 mg doses. Furthermore, there are no reported side effects at this dosage so far.
Capsules often come in 100-200 mg doses so you can either take the recommended dosage in one time or spread it throughout the day.
Take the Supplement between Meals
Again, the lack of evidence makes it difficult to pinpoint an optimal time to take the supplement. However, we do know that fiber affects the speed of nutrient absorption by the body and that is why taking it between meals may be better.
It can be swallowed with a glass of water. Avoid taking it with juice to reduce the bitterness, because the acidity in the juice might tamper with the effectiveness of the supplement.
Consuming Tea Prepared from Tongkat Ali Root
If one wishes to opt for consuming Tongkat Ali as a tea then this will require one to:
Select a Mature or Fruit Bearing Plant
This step is applicable when one has access to a Tongkat Ali plant. These plants bear fruit when they are 2 to 3 years old so you should only use a plant no older than 4 years of age. Another marker of maturity is the presence of tiny Red or Pink flowers or fruits which have slowly turned from Green to Red.
Dig up the Plant to Acquire the Roots
The roots of the Tongkat Ali plant grow straight down so one should be careful when digging up the plant so as not to injure the root. One can also order the roots online in case of no grown plants to get the root.
Sanitize the Earth Covered Roots
Whether dug up or delivered, sanitizing roots is a crucial step to avoid any pathogenic organisms or microorganisms that might be living on its surface. One can contract Diarrhoea or a more serious illness by consuming unhygienic food items. Hence, thorough rinsing with cool water before use is recommended.
Leave them to Dry in the Sun or Bake in the Oven
Before moving to the tea brewing step, the roots need to be dried. One can either place them on a flat surface in a dry and temperate climate, which gets between 5-6 hours of sun per day for 3-5 days or more if there is high humidity, or simply bake it in the oven at a temperature of 100–120 °F (38–49 °C) for 72 hours.
Cut the Dried Roots up into Thin Circular Pieces and Simmer
After the drying process is completed, cut the roots into very thin circular pieces. Place these slices in a pan containing 2-3 cups of water (470-710 mL) and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Consume the Hot Tea up to 4 Times Per Week
Once the tea has been prepared, pour it into a mug and enjoy. You can drink this up to 4 times a week. Additionally, a single root can be used up to 3 times.
Oftentimes, we become swayed by a seller’s inflated claims of the benefits of herbal supplements, only to end up disappointed later because of our high expectations.
It is not correct to say herbal remedies don’t work at all but it’s even more wrong to exaggerate the benefits provided by them. Keeping expectations realistic and safe usage can maximize evidence-based results as well as boost mood.