(Medically reviewed by Dr. Zac Hyde M.D)
A new paper was published a few months ago, so this page on tongkat ali and erectile dysfunction was due for an update.
This was a systematic review and meta-analysis of 9 randomized clinical trials.
The authors spent a lot of time talking about older men suffering with hypogonadism, low sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
And their conclusions after analyzing these studies backed up everything I’ve experienced with this powerhouse herb.
For example, Tongkat Ali…
- Improves Erection Quality
- Enhances Athletic Performance
- Increases Muscle Mass
- Reduces Body Fat
- Increases Luteinizing Hormone
- Reduces Estrogen
- Increases Bone Density
- Boosts Semen Quality & Quantity
- Increases Libido & Sex Drive
- Boosts Total & Free Testosterone Levels
Now, I spent quite a bit of time looking into the 9 studies the authors used in this review and here are a couple of things that really stuck out.
Tongkat Ali in Older vs Younger Men
In one study in particular…
Androgen deficient older men with poor Aging Male (ADAM) scores experienced significant boosts in testosterone, sex drive and erectile function, compared to the placebo controls.
The studies that saw no improvement with tongkat were usually done on healthy, younger men with decent hormonal parameters to begin with.
But, there was one glaring exception….
In younger, healthy men with testosterone levels below 300 ng/dl, the improvement between the control group and the placebo group was significant (source).
So after reviewing the data…
We can conclude that older, androgen deficient men and younger men with low testosterone will benefit the most with tongkat ali supplementation.
This review also demonstrated…
That you’ll very likely benefit from tongkat ali supplementation if your ejaculation volume, sex drive, muscle mass or erection quality is down.
If you’re walking around with a ton of muscle mass, high testosterone, powerful erections and loads of semen volume, tongkat probably won’t do you much good.
And finally, keep in mind….
These studies all used high quality extracts, not bulk powders, so if you decide to test tongkat, make sure you use an extract.
You can read up on the extract I’ve been using since 2013 right here.
Now here’s part 2…
Tongkat Ali Erectile Dysfunction Part 2
Tongkat Ali, officially known as Eurycoma Longifolia, is the root of a tree native to Southeast Asia.
For hundreds of years it’s been used to boost testosterone, increase fertility and treat erectile dysfunction.
Tongkat Ali encourages your body to produce more testosterone organically, at the testicular level.
For example, Tongkat…
- Boosts energy and motivation
- Increases muscle mass and strength
- Elevates Sperm Count
- Alleviates the symptoms of Andropause
Andropause, sometimes called male menopause, is essentially puberty in reverse.
Remember when you were 22, when you could eat whatever you wanted and build muscle simply by doing a few push ups a day?
When you could party all night and still easily get up and work the next morning? When you had a six pack?
This happened because your testosterone levels were maxed out when you were in your early 20’s.
But as men get older, our testosterone levels naturally begin to fall.
We put on body fat and we begin to lose muscle mass. We have less stamina….and, of course, our sexual performance declines.
Cognitively, we get more irritable, grumpy and depressed.
All of these symptoms are caused by sup-optimal testosterone levels. And if you want to get back on track, you need to take steps to move yours back up into the optimal range.
Tongkat Ali increase testosterone production in your body in 4 distinct ways:
- It boosts Luteinzing hormone, for increased testicular testosterone production
- It reduces the amount of your testosterone that is converted into estrogen
- It reduces cortisol, a stress hormone that lowers testosterone
- It decreases your Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), leading to more bioavailable testosterone in your system.
Essentially, Tongkat Ai increases how much testosterone your body produces, reduces how much is bound, and decreases the amount that is converted into estrogen.
Tongkat Erectile Dysfunction & Sex
If Tongkat increases your testosterone levels, how does this help your sex life?
First off, it makes you much more fertile. In 2009, a group of scientists in Malaysia did a study on rats to see how the herb impacted fertility.
They induced infertility by giving them estrogen, a blatant testicle toxin in humans and rodents.
When they stopped the estrogen, the scientists then dosed the rats with Tongkat ali, sacrificed them and examined several gonadal parameters.
Here’s a quote from the paper:
Rats that were treated with Eurycoma Longifolia alone exhibited significantly higher sperm counts and sperm motility when compared to the control group.
EL extract acts as a potential agent for reversing the effects of estrogen by increasing spermatogenesis and sperm counts in rats.
Evidence like this explains why people in Southeast Asia have been using tongkat for years to treat infertility.
But sex is more than just having your swimmers ready to roll, you need bedroom motivation as well….
And my experience with Tongkat has proven that this herb delivers in this department better than any other herb out there (pine pollen comes close).
Tongkat Ali and Erectile Dysfunction Studies
Tongkat Ali has been used to treat erectile dysfunction and we have several scientific studies to prove that it does work.
One study done in 2012 on 109 men aged 30-55 found that tongkat taken at 300 mg’s elevated….
- Sexual Libido
- Semen Quality And Quantity
- International Index of Erectile Function Scores (an erectile function questionnaire)
Another study treated 76 men suffering from late-onset hypogonadism.
The men were given 200mg of Tongkat Ali during the trial. At the end of the study the men experienced a significant improvement in their Ageing Male Symptoms scores (a test that monitors mind, body and sexual fitness).
They also experienced a significant increase in sexual performance and satisfaction.
Tongkat Ali vs Yohimbe
Tongkat Ali isn’t the only game in town when it comes to enhancing sexual performance.
The Yohimbe tree from sub-Saharan Africa is an evergreen whose bark contains a compound called yohimbine.
Yohimbine is often used to treat erectile dysfunction, but it’s not nearly as effective as Tongkat Ali is in my opinion…
And I know because I’ve tested several different yohimbe products and never found one that delivers benefits that outweigh the negatives.
Yohimbine works by manipulating cGMP levels in your body in a similar fashion to Cialis and other ED drugs.
However, the evidence for its effectiveness is sketchy as best….but an even bigger problem with yohimbe is the negative side effects.
It’s therapeutic index is Extremely Narrow, meaning that the difference between taking enough to have an effect and taking too much and overdosing is very, very small.
In fact, it’s so narrow that it’s been banned in Germany, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
And those who do get their hands on it will very likely be hit with one or more of the following…
- Anxiety and a rapid heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
Anxiety, rapid heartbeat, and increased blood pressure are bad news for any man with physiological erectile dysfunction, given that ED is a sign of heart problems to begin with.
By comparison, Tongkat has far fewer side effects, making it a much better bet.
Tongkat Ali Side Effects
There are few documented side effects of Tongkat Ali supplementation.
In my experience they’re minor and in line with elevated levels of testosterone. For me this means more sex drive, and increased motivation to retire to the bedroom with my girl.
I don’t really see these as negative side effects myself.
That being said, I have experienced a little impatience and aggression when I take too much, but this is manageable, unlike the negative vibe brought on by yohimbe.
Other anecdotal reports show similar experiences, with many men reporting increased competitiveness and an elevated sense of urgency.
Tongkat Ali Extract Info
The biggest challenge with Tongkat Ali is quality control. As with all natural supplements, the FDA relies heavily on self-regulation.
As a result, there are a lot of knock-off products that are not the real thing (ebay is notorious for this).
Knock-off supplements at best will have no effect on you at all if you’re lucky…
But they can hurt you if you’re not…because they may be laced with banned pesticides or even pharmaceuticals, which has happened more than once.
To avoid getting scammed your best bet is to get a high quality root extract from a reliable source. I recommend extracts because they’re much more potent than whole root..
If a product is being sold as Tongkat Ali powder, then it’s likely just the root ground up.
It could also be the leaves or stems (no value there) or it could be something else entirely…usually Tribulus.
Tongkat Ali Dosage
I recommend a dose of 100mg of tongkat extract, cycled exactly as described on this page, to avoid tolerance issues (For women, cut this dose in half.)
If you decide to use bulk powder as I have, the taste of Tongkat Ali can take some getting used to.
To make things easier put some water in your mouth and hold it there…then throw the Tongkat in and swallow the whole thing down quickly.
Bulk Extract vs Tongkat Ali Capsules
I recommend bulk herbs over caps, and use this product myself because their tongkat ali is consistently potent.
But if you can find a quality encapsulated source, that will work too.
Bulk herbs are a little more difficult to take, but in my opinion the hassle factor is well worth it.
Because with bulk herb there’s no magnesium stearate, cellulose, binders or flowing agents…which you’ll find in many capsules.
With a high quality bulk you get the pure herbal extract…and thats it.
And this offers up several advantages….
For one, you can easily test higher dosages with bulk herb extracts…and quite often a tiny adjustment of a quarter tea spoon or less can have a huge impact.
You can also add time and heat to the equation (infusion + steep).
I’ve been playing around with this lately and hot water, a few drops of olive oil and an overnight steep of one teaspoon of bulk herb out performs one teaspoon of raw herb…by a long shot.
So if you decide to go the bulk route, try steeping it on your second dose and compare it to the hormonal hit you got off the herb when you took it un-steeped.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself steeping your herbs more often than not.
Tongkat Ali and Erectile Dysfunction Conclusion:
Tongkat Ali can have a huge impact on your sex drive, cognitive abilities and motivation to take on life.
It will also help you achieve much more potent and usable erections…
And this is backed not only by science, but by hundreds of years of traditional medicinal use by people throughout Southeast Asia.