Anti-aging properties are one of the most intriguing aspects of modern medicine. Can they truly keep your energy up as they so often promise? Longjack extract, also known as Tongkat Ali, is one such medicine, as research suggests that it may improve libido, energy, weight loss and even sports performance. Cultures in Malaysia and Southeast Asia have used it for centuries. It’s even treated as a supplement for reduced energy and libido in older individuals. But keep in mind that a supplement by itself cannot thoroughly treat or cure any disease or health condition on its own (x). Instead, the extract’s natural properties may help support the natural processes in the body to potentially improve health.
What is Longjack Extract?
Longjack extract is probably not a widely familiar name. Nonetheless, it has several other names. Its scientific name is Eurycoma longifolia, but it is also called tongkat ali, pasak bumi and Malaysian ginseng. It derives from the plant family Simaroubaceae, of which researchers have only identified three species and subspecies: E. apiculata, E. harmandiana and E. longifolia subspecies eglandulosa. All of these plants are native to the Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, just to name a few. But just how can one distinguish longjack extract from other members of its family? Longjack itself looks almost like a small palm tree, with bright green two-foot long fronds sprouting from a single stem (x).
How Long Has Longjack Been Used?
For centuries, longjack extract has been used in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam the Philippines and other countries as a traditional medicine. But what is the difference between traditional and conventional medicine? Does it make a difference which one a patient chooses to use?
Traditional medicine typically involves the administration of natural plants and herbs, along with other natural bodily exercises and procedures to treat certain diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for making sure traditional methods are safe for all patients and do not affect the environment. In fact, the organization has taken measures since the early 21st century to preserve traditional medicine practices, promoting their safety and effectiveness (x).
Herbs used in traditional medicine have several active ingredients, both on their own and in conjunction with other herbs or plant materials. There are several different types of traditional medicine systems including:
- Ayurvedic Medicine derives from an ancient Indian medical system called Ayurda. It is based mostly on ancient writings that rely on a natural, “holistic” approach to mental and physical health. (Holistic methods take mental and social factors into account for treatment, not just physical symptoms). Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems and the traditional medicine system in Indian culture. It combines products mainly from plants (as well as minerals, gems and sometimes animals), combined with lifestyle practices, diet and exercise (x).
- Unani Medicine is mostly practiced in India, but it originated in ancient Greece. A key principle of this practice is that disease stems from an imbalance of the four elements of nature—water, earth, fire and air—and that this balance also exists within the human body (x). Like other forms of traditional medicine, it primarily addresses disease prevention and treatment with herbal remedies, alternative therapies and dietary practices.
- Chinese Traditional Medicine addresses health issues using various mind and body practices, such as tai chi (a combination of soft movements, breathing and mental focus), herbal products and acupuncture (a process that uses small needles to stimulate certain body points (x).
What is Longjack Extract Used for?
Although longjack extract is often used as a general tonic, it’s more commonly associated with increasing energy, mood and libido. In fact, several studies suggest that it may stimulate the release of free testosterone, improving sex drive and possibly reducing fatigue (x). Some studies suggest that the root may act as an effective stress reliever, potentially helping to promote a healthy mood (x).
Longjack extract has several classical, long-standing uses, even though it can also be used as a general supplement. Traditionally, the root is consumed orally and is used as an aphrodisiac that aims to improve sexual drive and fertility. It may also be able to address ailments such as high blood pressure, malaria, fatigue and maybe even postpartum depression (x). Because longjack extract contains flavonoids and quassinoids, it also naturally contains antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (x).
How Does Longjack Extract Work?
So, apparently longjack extract may be able to address all kinds of ailments related to energy and sexual function. Sounds like a pretty nice deal, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t wish they had more of those things? But the truth is that a set of simple chemical components are what make these effects possible.
- Quassinoids are a group of compounds extracted from members of the Simaroubaceae plant family, including longjack. Because these molecules naturally display anti-leukemic properties, they may also have several inhibitory effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-malarial and anti-proliferative effects on various types of tumor cells, meaning they may stop the cells from multiplying (x).
- Alkaloids are a type of chemical that contains nitrogen and they are made by certain flowering plants (x). A single plant species will only have a few types of alkaloids in their makeup (x).
- Flavonoids are a group of plant chemicals found in almost all fruits and vegetables and they are responsible for their bright, vivid colors. They are also powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. According to research, diets rich in flavonoids may have a positive association with the prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative (brain) diseases. Some research even associates flavonoids with the prevention of some types of cancer (x).
- Glycosides are widely distributed in plants and research recognizes them for their powerful stimulating abilities. For instance, they may help stimulate a diseased heart and may be able to help address congestive heart failure (x).
- Phenolic compounds can arrest cell cycles, inhibit cell adhesion and block signalling pathways. Researchers claim that these abilities may be able to play a role in cancer treatment (x).
It’s important to remember that even though these compounds may possess these natural abilities, they do not necessarily successfully treat or cure any disease or health condition. Instead, these natural properties may be related to other natural properties that the body contains on its own.
Testosterone for Fertility, Strength & Energy
Some studies have indicated that longjack extract may improve sperm quality in male patients with fertility problems. Based on animal studies, longjack extract may also reverse the inhibitory effects that estrogen may have on testosterone production. This means that testosterone levels may increase naturally as a result. Other studies have shown, although insufficiently, that longjack extract may be able to increase muscle strength in both men and women (x).
Sometimes people may associate testosterone deficiency with a condition called “andropause,” characterized by a decrease in testosterone, theoretically similar to menopause (x). However, this is not necessarily correct. Unlike menopause, which is a natural result of aging, testosterone deficiency comes with unpleasant symptoms and may require treatment. Testosterone is important not just for maintaining sex drive and muscle mass, but also to help maintain physical and mental energy. Just a few symptoms of testosterone deficiency are reduced libido, trouble obtaining or maintaining an erection, loss of muscle mass and difficulty concentrating (x).
How Does Longjack Extract Affect Testosterone?
So if testosterone is so important, then how can longjack extract help it? According to research, it has three main mechanisms that may affect testosterone. First, longjack extract stimulates luteinizing hormone (LH), which then stimulates testosterone. Second, sex hormone binding globulins—which tightly bind sex hormones such as estrogen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone—decrease (x). Finally, aromatization—the process by which testosterone is converted into estrogen—is reduced, balancing sex hormone levels in the body (x).
Why Try Longjack Extract?
Longjack extract has several potential health benefits, mostly because it is a natural medicine whose strength comes from the root itself. As mentioned previously, it can possibly increase testosterone, though researchers are still conducting studies to support its potential benefits. The extract has also been used for centuries as a supplement to possibly improve fertility and sex drive in both male and female patients (x).
How to Use Longjack Extract
Longjack extract may be an unfamiliar name to some people. So the question becomes: how effective is it really? Can a patient expect for it to be sweet or bitter? Does it have any side effects to be aware of? Again, patients must be aware that any natural supplement, no matter its strength or potency, does not aim to treat, prevent or cure any disease, illness or medical condition. Make sure to consult a doctor before adding longjack extract or any supplement to your health regimen.
As a dietary supplement, the recommended dosage for longjack extract (tongkat ali) powder is 80 mg twice a day with meals, or as directed by a physician. As for its taste, longjack is an authentic herb that contains quassinoids, which give it a bitter flavor. The extract is not as bitter as the root itself, luckily, but it may still have a bitter taste.
How Effective is Longjack?
Although there is research on the effectiveness of longjack extract, its reputation as an effective natural medicine is more based on tradition than science. That is, there is no medical evidence that completely and thoroughly supports its use as a supplement. Although it may benefit overall health, it is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease, illness, condition, symptom, etc.
Possible Side Effects of Longjack Extract
Like much else about longjack extract, there is limited evidence on its side effects as well. Some studies have shown that longjack extract may increase the risk for side effects including (x):
Other Warnings & Precautions
Because information regarding the use of longjack extract during pregnancy is lacking, it’s a good idea to avoid taking it while pregnant or breastfeeding (x). The same goes for those with existing medical conditions or those with weak immune systems because it may cause complications (x).
Where to Buy Longjack Extract
You can purchase longjack extract powder form at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other good and supplement brands to make their products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Even though there is not much scientific evidence, traditional medicine practices have held longjack extract in high esteem. The plant is often touted as an aphrodisiac that may be able to naturally increase testosterone production and help address erectile dysfunction. But in a more general sense, it may be able to increase libido and energy in anyone, not just men. It is also a completely natural supplement, full of many of the same chemical components as common fruits and vegetables. Not only that, but it is a key part of several systems of traditional medicine.
Whatever the reason for taking it, though, it’s important to consult a doctor before consuming longjack extract, whether by itself or in conjunction with other medicines or supplements. It is not intended to completely treat or cure any health condition or disease. Instead, its properties may have a positive and natural effect on the body.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.