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Tongkat Ali

Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects & MOre

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Updated April 07, 2014

Other Names: Eurycoma longifolia, Longjack

Tongkat Ali is a tree native to Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. The part of the tree used medicinally is the root.

Why Do People Use Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali was dubbed the "Asian Viagra" in a May 1999 report in the New Sunday Times.

It has been used in Malaysia for many years by men to increase sexual desire, libido, sexual performance and to treat erectile dysfunction.

Related: Erectile Dysfunction: 5 Natural Remedies That May Help

Tongkat ali appears to work by increasing levels of the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is primarily responsible for the growth and development of male reproductive organs, including the penis, testicles, scrotum, prostate, and seminal vesicles. Normal testosterone levels maintain energy level, mood, fertility, and sexual desire.

Because of its testosterone-enhancing properties, tongkat ali is also used by bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and strength.

Safety

Reported side effects include insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.

Tongkat ali should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or children.

Because tongkat ali increases testosterone levels it should not be used by men with breast cancer or prostate cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, or sleep apnea.

Tongkat ali should not be used by people with weakened immune systems as some evidence suggests it may further weaken immune function.

Drug Interactions

Tongkat ali should not be used by people taking immunosuppressant drugs.

It is especially important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking insulin. Tongkat ali may decrease blood sugar levels.

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