Tongkat Ali is a tall plant native to Southeastern Asia, known locally as Eurycoma longifolia or Pasak Bumi. The roots of the Tongkat Ali plant are ground into a paste and boiled in water, the liquid Tongkat Ali brew is then consumed as a traditional medicine for its aphrodisiac properties.
Today Tongkat Ali root is extracted in large quantities using a controlled process to give a fine water-soluble powder; this powder is then taken in capsule form as a health supplement or added to food and beverages to boost natural testosterone production in the body. It is in this modern extract form that Tongkat Ali has gained notoriety as a powerful, safe, natural testosterone booster.
Tongkat Ali root extract is used by hundreds of thousands of men worldwide to safely increase the natural production of testosterone and availability of 'free testosterone' in the body, this increase in testosterone is used in many ways, we have highlighted a few popular reasons for using Tongkat Ali extract below.
After age thirty, most men begin to experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels, if testosterone levels fall below 250 ng/dL this is diagnosed as low testosterone (Hypoandrogenism). Tongkat Ali extract is commonly used by men suffering from Hypoandrogenism to increase the natural production of testosterone, reversing the symptoms of low testosterone.
If you find yourself suffering from the symptoms of low testosterone such as erectile dysfunction/low sex drive, fatigue or depression, using standardized Tongkat Ali root extract is an excellent way to help steadily increase your testosterone back up to a healthy level.
What to expect when using Tongkat Ali for low testosterone: Depending on your initial testosterone level and how well you respond to Tongkat Ali extract it can take from one to three weeks for a sufferer of Hypoandrogenism to fully feel the positive effects of their Tongkat Ali.
TKA 1:200 Tongkat Ali extract users who began taking Tongkat Ali to treat the symptoms of low testosterone typically report an increased sex drive finding themselves more easily aroused with stronger erections and more energy day to day. Tongkat Ali users who suffered from depression have reported bouts of depression becoming mild and infrequent, or disappearing completely.
TKA 1:200 Tongkat Ali extract is very popular amongst men looking to push their natural testosterone levels to the maximum as safely as possible, taking full advantage of the muscle building benefits that go hand in hand with a raised level of free testosterone and intense workouts.
What to expect when using Tongkat Ali for bodybuilding:
Week (1) On your first week you will not notice a huge change in your body as your testosterone level will be steadily increasing from its characteristic levels, but reaching a higher level with each day of usage. (An increased sex drive should be noticeable).
Week (2) By week two you should begin to notice an increase in strength and a faster recovery rate after training.
Week (3) During week three you should experience your strength increasing further, plus a heightened sense of well-being, you may also notice a slight increase in aggressiveness towards your workouts.
Week (4) By week four you should have seen an increase in lean muscle mass, and depending on your diet and workout technique you may of noticed a reduction in body fat. Your general feel-good factor and confidence levels should be significantly higher than normal.
Week (5) & (6) During weeks five and six your testosterone levels will be substantially greater than normal; this is when you will notice the most significant benefits from your TKA1:200, gaining lean muscle mass and feeling stronger with every workout.
*PLEASE NOTE: At a chosen point between weeks three and six you may want to adjust your dosage to maintain a high level of testosterone, rather than continuing to push it up further, this is up to the user to decide, see our dedicated Tongkat Ali Dosage page for more information.
To fully understand how Tongkat Ali extract works, it is best to first understand how testosterone is regulated in the body. The amount of testosterone manufactured by the body is regulated by a process called The Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Gonadal axis (HPG axis).
When testosterone levels are low; Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is released by the Hypothalamus, which in turn stimulates the Pituitary gland to release Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH) these two hormones activate the Leydig cells to produce testosterone.
When the peak testosterone level is reached; the hypothalamus stops releasing GnRH, creating a negative feedback loop acting on the pituitary to inhibit the release of FSH and LH reducing the activity of the Leydig cells lowering the production of testosterone.
The Tongkat Ali effect: When an individual takes Tongkat Ali root extract they stimulate the Hypothalamus to release GnRH, temporarily switching on testosterone production in their body, this pushes the Tongkat Ali users testosterone levels up higher while simultaneously increasing the amount of free testosterone that is available for the body to use.
By taking Tongkat Ali at regular intervals, this bump of testosterone can be repeated and repeated, steadily increasing the users testosterone level. When the desired testosterone level is reached, larger pauses between the dosages and short brakes of one to two days per week can be introduced to hold testosterone at the desired level.
When using Tongkat Ali root extract in this manner you can increase or regulate your natural testosterone levels depending on the dosage used and the length of times between each dose.
Tongkat Ali in more detail: The Tongkat Ali plant contains many active compounds throughout the plant's stem and leaves, but it is the Tongkat Ali root that contains the key quassinoids and bio-active compounds responsible for the safe testosterone boosting reputation of Tongkat Ali extract.
In the sections below, we explain how some of the key active compounds found in Tongkat Ali root extract work, click on the expanding sections below to learn more:
Eurycomanone is the key quassinoid that gives Tongkat Ali extract its revered testosterone boosting properties, using two methods of action to boost testosterone production and increase 'free testosterone' availability.
(1) By temporarily stimulating the Hypothalamus to release GnRH, Eurycomanone triggers the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Gonadal axis (HPG axis) causing the Leydig cells to produce testosterone, even if the testosterone level is already at the user's characteristic peak.
Triacetyleurycomanone occurs naturally in the Tongkat Ali root, acting as a mild aromatase inhibitor; this is key to the safety of Tongkat Ali extract as it stops your increased bio-available testosterone from being converted to estrogen via aromatization.
Safety Note: Extracts produced with a Eurycomanone content greater than 2.7% begin to see a reduction in the effectiveness of Triacetyleurycomanone at regulating estrogen aromatization.
Dihydroeurycomanone is responsible for the stimulation of sperm production, increasing the sperm count in men, although its exact method of action requires further study. More information will be available soon.
In 2003 Tongkat Ali was clinically tested against a placebo and came back with impressive results, the effects of Tongkat Ali extract (referred to as 'Eurycoma Longifolia' in this study) are documented in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Article Number 007) The tests show a significant increase in testosterone levels over a twelve week period of usage compared to those using the placebo.
This resulted in the candidates that took the Tongkat Ali having a greater increase in fat-free mass at the end of the trial.
Because genuine Tongkat Ali root extract is a highly sought after product, there have been some unscrupulous companies peddling cheap inferior products claiming to be genuine Tongkat Ali root extract. Because of this, we created Tongkat Fitness Approved Certification, given to Tongkat Ali extracts that meet a strict set of standards for safety and quality.
To learn more about Tongkat Fitness Approved extracts click here, or alternatively use our guide below to help you make a good purchase.
Because the active quassinoids responsible for testosterone boosting are mostly contained in the root of the Tongkat Ali plant, it is important to look for products that state 'Root extract'.
Because the root of the Tongkat Ali plant is where the active quassinoids are, the Tongkat Ali plant can not simply be clipped, it has to be excavated, making the cycle of growing and harvesting Tongkat Ali a more expensive process than many other raw commodities.
Any Tongkat Ali product with a price below $1.50 (USD) per gram is likely to be one of three things:
In traditional extracts (before standardization), a common mixing agent we found when testing various extracts on the market was food grade charcoal powder; as the general conception with traditional extracts is that a darker color represented a stronger extract.
This practice seemed to stop when we highlighted the issue to the product manufacturers we tested, but is still something worth being aware of.
In rare cases we found ground Tongkat Ali plant being sold as extract, the ground plant stem will not be water soluble and may lack the distinct strong bitter taste of a genuine Tongkat Ali extract and lack the ability to reliably boost testosterone levels.
In some cases, powders similar in texture and color are sold as Tongkat Ali extract, this is often detectable by the lack of distinct strong bitter taste characteristic to Tongkat Ali extract, also many of the substitute powders used are not water soluble.
The reasoning: When advertising Tongkat Ali extract some companies attempt to push the Eurycomanone content up higher and higher 3%... 6%... 8%... and so on. The primary concern should be; at what composition the extract is safe, effective and maintains the integrity of a natural Tongkat Ali root extract.
The peak effectiveness of an extract to increase free testosterone levels in the bloodstream is not exponentially increased when the Eurycomanone content is increased within the extract. The effectiveness of an extract to boost and increase Free Testosterone (biologically active testosterone) plateaus with extracts containing a proportional ratio of around 2.4 - 2.6% Eurycomanone.
Tongkat Ali extracts with Eurycomanone higher than 2.7% begin to see a reduction in the effectiveness of Triacetyleurycomanone; a natural component found in Tongkat Ali extract that stops your increased levels of testosterone converting to estrogen via aromatization, this is key to the safety of Tongkat Ali usage.
Although standardized extracts are the way forward when it comes to making safe, effective Tongkat Ali root extract, this statement is only true when the above efforts are taken to preserve the integrity of a real Tongkat Ali root extract, avoiding any Frankenstein extracts.
The reasoning: Tongkat Ali extracts produced using HPLC mass spectrometry equipment during production yield a very consistent strength and quality of extract, and therefore the finished Tongkat Ali is more reliable and safer to use than traditional extracts.
The reasoning: Many of the active compounds and quassinoids found in Tongkat Ali extract are acid sensitive, making their oral bio-availability around 7% to 12%.
When administered in standard capsule form, the bio-availability of these active quassinoids rise to around 45%. When using DRS (Delayed Release) capsules designed purposely for acid-sensitive ingredients, the bio-availability increases to around 90%.
When using TKA1:200 standardized Tongkat Ali to positively adjust your testosterone levels there are three main ways of using the capsules: Raising, Maintaining and Lowering. It is up to the individual Tongkat Ali user to choose when to raise and when to maintain their testosterone level and if required when to lower.
For full details please visit our Tongkat Ali Dosage page.
When used correctly for Low Testosterone no side effects are noticed; this is because you are only returning your testosterone level to that of a healthy person and not pushing them any higher.
When using Tongkat Ali at the dosage required to continuously raise your testosterone for an extended period of time, users will often push their testosterone up well above the norm, in these cases the following side effects have been noted:
1. Slightly raised aggression, not uncontrollable but noticeable at times, this is typical of increased testosterone levels.
2. Restlessness, when you use Tongkat Ali in high doses, your energy levels will rise, and you may find yourself staying up later.
3. Occasionally spots may appear on the back, mainly in hot weather, very mild but has been noted.
*PLEASE NOTE: The above side effects are a standard result of increased levels of testosterone in your body. To date, we have not seen any male pattern balding or hair loss or gynecomastia (gyno) of any kind.
Shut down typically occurs when an external source of testosterone is introduced into the body, for example, injections or testosterone replacement therapy. When an external source of testosterone is introduced into the bloodstream the Hypothalamus senses this and stops releasing GnRH, triggering the negative feedback loop stopping natural testosterone production, this in-turn causes testicular shrinking also known as 'shutting down.'
Thankfully, Tongkat Ali works in quite the opposite way, by stimulating natural testosterone production creating an abundance of free testosterone in your body, nothing is shut down in this process and therefore no shrunken testicles or PCT (post cycle therapy) requirements.
**PLEASE NOTE: The information above is taken from our personal experiences using TKA 1:200 Tongkat Ali extract and will NOT apply to other Tongkat Ali extracts of varying strengths and/or brand.
***PLEASE NOTE: If you are prone to illness or allergies consult your physician (doctor) before taking dietary supplements of any kind.