tongkat ali increases testosterone

This exotic Malaysian herb has been shown to boost testosterone in older men. Now it’s been shown to give it a boost in young men too.

Tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is a Southeast Asian herb that has been traditionally used in Malaysia as an adaptogen for general well-being. But, as one of its popular names, longjack root, suggests, it is best known as a powerful aphrodisiac.

A 2017 systematic review of tongkat ali’s sexual and reproductive powers found that the herb improved erectile function, libido and sexual activity, satisfaction and well-being. It also significantly improved sperm quality.

The best research on tongkat ali is on its impressive ability to increase testosterone. That’s probably how it boosts libido. 400mg a day of tongkat ali can increase testosterone by 15.1% and free testosterone by 61.1% (Phytother Res 2014;28:544-50). In men who are moderately stressed, half that dose boosted testosterone by a whopping 37% (J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2013;10:28).

In men who have late-onset hypogonadism, the scientific name for the condition when there is an abnormal decrease in testosterone production, a pilot study found that 200mg a day of tongkat ali extract can return testosterone levels to normal. When the study started, only 35.5% of the men had normal testosterone levels. After a month on tongkat ali, 90.8% of theme did (Andrologia 2012;s1:226-30).

Now there is more evidence that the potent testosterone boosting herb can increase testosterone in healthy, young, men. The small study included 32 men of an average age of 24.4 years. When they were given either 600mg a day of tongkat ali or a placebo for two weeks, the men in the tongkat ali group had 15% higher levels of testosterone and 34% higher levels of free testosterone than the men in the placebo group. Both of those boosts are significant.

Amongst other things, the researchers say that the enhanced testosterone could benefit muscle and strength gain. In the 2014 study that increased testosterone and free testosterone, the men experienced significant increases in muscle strength.


Andrologia 2021 May;53(4):e14001


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