Tongkat Ali - The Nature's Answer to Steroids

by Thordur Sturluson - Date: 2007-02-07 - Word Count: 667 Share This!

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia), also called Longjack and Pasak Bumi, is a tree that grows in Malaysia and Indonesia. The root of this tree has been used in these regions for many years as an aphrodisiac and to treat various sexual dysfunctions. Scientific research in recent years has shown support for the libido enhancing and sexual health qualities of this herb.

One of the original uses of this herb was as a malaria medication. Its use as an aphrodisiac and sexual function enhancer was a fortunate side effect of this original use. It was used for years without any knowledge of what brought about the improvement in sexual desire and function. Research soon looked at the possible causes for these positive results.

Tongkat Ali has been shown to increase the body's natural production of testosterone, the male sex hormone. Testosterone is responsible for the development of the male sex organs and maintaining the health of those organs. It is also responsible for the male sex drive and secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair and enlarging of the larynx (resulting in deepening of the voice.) Females need testosterone as well, although not in as large a quantity as males. Testosterone is responsible for a healthy sex drive in women and increases the sensitivity of the erogenous zones. Both males and females need testosterone to help stimulate the metabolism, support fat burning, produce red blood cells and stimulate muscle growth.

Studies have shown that Tongkat Ali does have a libido enhancing effect on animals, and recently the same has been shown in human trials. The increase in testosterone brings about an increase in sex drive, improvement in sexual function, and reversal of some erectile dysfunction issues. One study found behavioral changes in rats that were given Tongkat Ali. Instead of roaming and exploring the cage like other rats, the ones given the herb stayed closer to the females. Ladies, this probably doesn't mean that your man will join you in the kitchen for dishes or sit down for a nice heart to heart, but he may want to spend more "quality" time with you. Women who take this herbal supplement may notice an increase in libido as well, resulting in true "quality" time.

The testosterone enhancing qualities of Tongkat Ali are also of interest to the bodybuilding community. Testosterone is an important hormone in building muscle mass and strength. Testosterone production normally begins to drop off after thirty years of age. This leads to a slowing of the metabolism, loss of muscle mass, lower energy levels, and decrease in sex drive and function. With all of these issues related to decreased testosterone production it is no wonder people look for ways to keep testosterone levels up. Those interested in building more muscle mass are especially interested in boosting testosterone levels. The increase in sex drive is a welcome side benefit for most.

Many men and women with decreased sex drive or other sexual dysfunction issues seek help from their physician. One common treatment is to use testosterone replacement therapy. This involves injecting testosterone into the body to replace that which the body no longer produces. The problem with this approach is that the body reads the new level of testosterone and no longer strives to make its own. This approach does not correct the underlying problem of reduced production. Herbal supplementation that supports the body's own production of testosterone, such as Tongkat Ali use, may help to correct this problem.

Herbal supplements generally are safer than pharmaceutical or hormonal therapies. However, Tongkat Ali does carry some possible side effects, especially with larger doses. These include restlessness, insomnia, anxiety and a slight decrease in immune functions. It is important to start out with small doses and only increase if no side effects are noted.

If you are looking for further information on Tongkat Ali or other medicinal herbs and herbal supplements please visit these links.

Thor Sturluson is a biologist and an amateur herbalist living in Copenhagen Denmark.

Related Tags: herbal supplements, medicinal herbs, tongkat ali

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