What is Tongkat ali?
Tongkat ali, according to Wikipeida, is a flowering plant in the family Simaroubaceae native to Malaysia and Indonesia. This small pant is found as an understorey of lowland forests and grows wildly in Peninsular Malaysia, Vietnam, Java, Sumatra, Thailand and Borneo. Tongkat Ali has many other names, such as Long Jack, Eurycoma longifolia, pasak bumi. Tongkat Ali gets its nickname Ali’s Walking Stick or Longjack in the West because of the herb’s aphrodisiac effects. The root has been used as traditional medicine and promoted as a tonic, energy enhancer, and as an aphrodisiac.
Tongkat Ali’s scientific name Eurycoma longifolia (family Simaroubaceae) explains a little about the characteristic of this plant. In its original root words in Greek, “eurys” means broad while “come” means “a tufted bush”, so the combination word Eurycoma refers to growth habit of its compound leaves that spirals out at the the tip of its slender trunk in a large dense rosette. In Latin, “Longus” means long and Folia refers to the leaves, so its specific epithet Longifolia tells about its compound leaflets that are long and slender, often reaching 20 cm in length.
Constituents of Tongkat ali
With the advent of chemical extraction processes, modern science has been able to take a closer look at the active ingredients in herbal medicines. Tongkat ali possesses unique compounds that have specific actions in the human body. «Fitoterapia» featured a study in October 2010 that discusses the various pharmacological constituents in the plant. The study states that tongkat ali contains alkaloids and quassinoids, including eurycomaoside, eurycolactone, eurycomalactone, eurycomanone and pasakbumin-B. Not all of the actions of these compounds are known; however, research continues to determine tongkat ali’s safety and efficacy.
Important glycoproteins found in eurycoma longifolia jack include eurycomalacton, eurycomanone, and eurycomanol. Though each may contribute to the extract’s effectiveness as an aphrodisiac or muscle-builder, eurycomanone also shows promise as an anti-cancer and anti-malarial agent. Since these glycoproteins provide the herb’s true effects, reputable manufacturers now accept 20 to 22 percent glycoprotein levels as a standard. Standardized extracts ensure effective and safe dosage levels.
How does Tongkat Ali work?
In a nutshell, Tongkat Ali reduces the effects of ageing on the male reproductive system by increasing your body’s free testosterone availability via several mechanisms including stimulating the secretion of Luteinzing Hormones (LH) which in turn stimulates the Leydig cells of your testicles to produce testosterone.
With ageing testosterone becomes bound to serum globulin and is not available to the cell receptor sites where it is needed to initiate sex-stimulating centers in the brain. The component in the blood that renders free testosterone inactive is called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Excess estrogen can increase the production of SHBG and block testosterone-receptor sites. Estrogen levels of the average 54-year-old man are often higher than those of the average 59-year-old woman. While some estrogen is a necessary hormone for men, too much contributes to a wide range of health, weight gain and libido problems. Due to similarities in chemical structure, high serum levels of estrogen also trick the brain into thinking that enough testosterone is being produced, thereby slowing the natural production of testosterone. For testosterone to produce its positive health enhancing effects, it must be kept in the free form in the bloodstream. Bound testosterone is unable to be picked up by testosterone receptors on cell membranes. For aging men, it is desirable to suppress excess levels of SHBG and estrogen while boosting free testosterone to the level of a young man. Tongkat Ali is a natural way of boosting bioavailable testosterone while also reducing SHBG and estrogen levels in aging men.
Benefits of taking Tongkat ali supplement:
Grown exclusively in Southeast Asia, the natural testosterone booster Tongkat Ali is credited for increasing ones’ libido, muscle mass, energy levels, athletic performance, improving workout recovery time, and has also been associated with cancer fighting activities. It has been widely used in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. The key benefits of tongkat Ali extract is listed as below:
The main action that Tongkat Ali performs is to boosting the sex drive in both men and women through building testosterone. An increased testosterone level results in many known health benefits. Decreased risk of depression, less body fat, a stronger heart and bones, and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease are just a few. Tongkat is most known for its testosterone building aspects which lead to a large number of other advantages.
2. Tongkat ali and Athletic Performance
An increased level of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is another effect of eurycoma longifolia, improving overall energy and vivacity. Significant enhancements in both athletic performance and muscle mass have been experienced in users of the agent. Thanks to the anabolic effects of Tongkat a large number of Southeast Asian athletes have begun using the substance with improved athletic results
3. Tongkat ali and Muscle Mass
The extract has been scientifically proven to induce muscle growth in men by 5% on average. The British Journal of Sports Medicine reinforced this by using a double-blind, placebo controlled trial. The journal also showed an average 1.8cm increase in the group’s arm circumference (30.87cm to 32.67cm).
4. Tongekat Ali and Energy Levels
By increasing the body’s metabolic rate and improving blood circulation enhanced energy levels have been experienced upon ingesting the supplement. One down side is the experience of insomnia and excessive fatigue the following day when not taking the proper dosage, but by taking the correct amounts earlier in the day you can experience all of the benefits and no negative side effects.
SIDE EFFECTS AND CAUTIONs of taking Tongkat ali extract
As of now, it is not known whether the use of the herb Tongkat ali is contradicted for any condition or there are any warnings regarding the use of this herb. Nevertheless, excessive use of the herb, which is often the prescribed dosage of this medication, may result in side effects, such as increased thirst, dizziness, nausea and even nosebleed.
Dosage of Tongkat Ali
For best results using Tongkat Ali while bodybuilding it is recommended that you follow the manufactures directions and take your extract four capsules per day, as evenly spread throughout the day as possible, for example one capsule before breakfast, one before lunch, the third capsule before an evening meal and the forth capsule before you go to bed.
A six to eight week cycle is what most bodybuilders typically run with a break period lasting around 40% of your on cycle time, for example if you ran an eight week cycle you would want to take a break of no less than three and a half weeks.
If you are using Tongkat Ali to increase your sex drive as many people do, a shorter cycle period is often used. Some users have been known to cycle five days on, two days off as they only wish to increase their testosterone levels slightly but stay on the Tongkat Ali for extended periods of time, again five days on two days off meets the recommended 40% off cycle time.