Also referred to as Tongkat ali and “Malaysian ginseng,” Eurycoma longifolia is a stellar herbal remedy that is a central part of traditional Southeast Asian medicine. This botanical has been used to improve sexual performance, energy, sports performance, and to support healthy testosterone and cortisol levels in both men and women. It’s also used to boost male fertility, relieve stress, and manage a healthy body composition. What can’t this herb do?
The most common physiological benefit of Eurycoma longifolia is its ability to normalize testosterone levels. Testosterone levels reach their peak between the ages of 25 and 30 for both men and women. It is estimated that testosterone levels decrease each year by 1-2 percent after this peak and by age 60 have declined to 40-50% of those levels during early adulthood.1 Low testosterone levels may be brought on naturally from aging or the use of certain medications, experiencing a large amount of stress, whether physical or emotional, injury or testicular infection in men, radiation or chemotherapy treatments, and even obstructive sleep apnea.
Studies have largely found significant improvements in testosterone levels with use of E. longifolia. Small peptides (proteins) called “eurypeptides” found in E. Longifolia help to release testosterone from sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a hormone transporter produced in the liver. This “frees up” testosterone so that it is available to interact with your cells and perform its metabolic functions. In addition to improving libido, healthy testosterone levels can also improve body composition. Men who participated in a strength training program while taking Eurycoma longifola were able to build significantly more lean muscle mass and lose more fat than those who took a placebo.
However, this amazing botanical agent may be hiding yet another significant health benefit - immunomodulating properties. A 2016 study2 targeted a middle-aged population (since immune responses decrease with age). At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that the numbers of T cells (natural killer immune cells that defend the body against viruses and bacteria) were significantly higher in the group taking the Eurycoma supplement. This increase represented an improved immune response relative to the age of the participants. This study is promising encouragement for the ability of E. longifolia to boost immunity!
More studies with Eurycoma longifolia are needed to uncover the wide array of benefits that this herb has to offer. If you choose to add Eurycoma longifolia to your nutrition regimen, please make sure you select a source from a transparent, trusted company with high quality standards!
- Talbott SM, Talbott JA, George A, Pugh M. Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10(1):28. Published 2013 May 26. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-28
- Annie George, Naoko Suzuki, Azreena Binti Abas, Kiminori Mohri, Masanori Utsuyama, Katsuiku Hirokawa, and Tsuyoshi Takara. Immunomodulation in Middle‐Aged Humans Via the Ingestion of Physta® Standardized Root Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia Jack—A Randomized, Double‐Blind, Placebo‐Controlled, Parallel Study. Phytother 2016 Apr;30(4):627-35.