Eurycoma longifolia is a medicinal plant commonly called tongkat ali (TA) and “Malaysian ginseng.” TA roots are a traditional “anti-aging” remedy and modern supplements are intended to improve libido, energy, sports performance and weight loss. Previous studies have shown properly-standardized TA to stimulate release of free testosterone, improve sex drive, reduce fatigue, and improve well-being. In both men and women, testosterone levels peak between 25 to 30 years of age – and thereafter drop approximately 1-2% annually. At the age of 60, testosterone levels are typically only 40-50% of youthful levels and may be lower due to stress and related lifestyle issues such as diet, exercise, and sleep patterns. The benefits of maintaining a youthful testosterone levels are many, including increased muscle mass and reduced body fat, high psychological vigor (mental/physical energy), and improved general well-being.
A wide range of investigations, from laboratory research, to animal feeding studies, to human supplementation trials, have confirmed the health benefits and traditional use of tongkat ali root extract. Laboratory evidence shows that eurycoma peptides stimulate release of free testosterone from its binding proteins and improve overall hormone profiles. More than a dozen rodent feeding studies have demonstrated improved sex drive, balanced hormonal profiles, and enhanced physical function.
Human supplementation trials show a clear indication of reduced fatigue, heightened energy and mood, and greater sense of well-being in subjects consuming tongkatali root extracts. It is important to note that the majority of these studies, and all of the human supplementation trials, have been conducted on specific hot-water-extracts of Eurycomalongifolia (which is the traditional Malaysian preparation) produced using a patented extraction process to isolate and concentrate the bioactive compounds.
In conclusion, tongkat ali, used for centuries in traditional medicine systems of Southeast Asia for treating lethargy, low libido, depression, and fatigue, appears to have significant potential for restoring hormone balance (cortisol/testosterone) and improving psychological mood state in humans exposed to various modern stressors, including aging, dieting, and exercise stress.