Most tongkat ali supplements around the world are pills or extracts made from the root of the tree of the same name and are typically used as a natural sexual enhancement drug or steroid replacement. Many who use tongkat ali supplements believe there are numerous benefits to consuming the pure extract of the root. Peoples of Southeast Asia have used the herb for its possible antibacterial, aphrodisiac, and ulcer prevention capabilities. More western cultures have marketed the extract primarily as a type of natural sexual enhancement for men and women. Studies have produced positive results in the performance of animals and humans given tongkat ali, but it is believed more studies are needed to provide any solid proof.
Tongkat ali, also known as tung saw, pasak bumi, or eury longifolia, is a small tree native to jungle areas of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. This tree is typically 40- to 50-feet (about 12 to 15 meters) tall at its highest, with many leaves and flowers covering it. Traditionally, natives have considered every part of this tree medicinal, using each part to cure or enhance many human ailments or attributes.
Additional studies have begun to suggest that the use of tongkat ali supplements may increase muscle size and strength. Companies now market this herb as a natural steroid without many of the negative side effects. For this purpose, the extract may be mixed into juice or power shakes, or capsules may be taken 20 minutes before a workout. Performing an intense workout after taking tongkat ali may induce vomiting, so it’s best for individuals to avoid overdoing the dose or the workout.
Still more researchers have performed studies in which tongkat ali supplements seemed to aid in the destruction of breast and lung cancer cells. This may be beneficial in those suffering the early stages of these types of cancers, but it is considered an experimental treatment. Some claim this extract may even prevent some types of cancer if taken regularly. It is important to note, however, that these claims are not endorsed by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Information available for tongkat ali supplements varies, and some accounts may be very misleading. While the root may help sexual performance, fight serious diseases like cancer, and increase muscle size, it is still best for users to keep doses to a minimum. Evidence and case studies suggest that there may be several negative side effects to using too much tongkat ali. Excess use of the herbal supplement may result in marked aggressiveness, insomnia, and an increased heart rate. Speaking with a nutritionist or doctor may be a good idea for individuals to know the correct dose and how often it should be taken to avoid unpleasant side effects.