Dubbed the "Asian Viagra", this herb is used traditionally as a natural cure by men to increase libido, sexual performance, impotence and to treat erectile dysfunction. It works by building the levels of the hormone testosterone which is primarily responsible for the growth and development of male reproductive organs, including the penis, testicles, scrotum, prostate, and seminal vesicles. Testosterone is not just a sexual stimulant for men. Women also produce testosterone, though in much smaller amount. This vital hormone also fans sexual desire and increases sensitivity in women's erogenous areas.
Interestingly, the name Tongkat Ali literally means "Ali's walking stick" in Malay (the picture above was taken during my visit to a fruit farm in Southeastern Johor, Malaysia) and appropriately speaks of its ability to combat mental fatigue and physical exhaustion, and strengthen immunity system. In Indonesia, people called it "Pasak Bumi" meaning "firmly nailed to the ground", while for the Vietnamese, it is known as "Cay Ba Binh" or "remedies for 1000 diseases" including diarrhoea, fever, malaria, and sores. Because of its testosterone-enhancing properties, this natural plant is often used by bodybuilders and athletes to increase muscle mass and strength. To maintain youthfulness, many women also take this wonder root for its potent protective antioxidants which inhibit aging of cells. It also has active anti-viral, anti-malarial, and anti-cancerous compounds. Its testosterone also stimulates metabolism, increases the formation of red blood cells, promotes lipogenesis (burning of fat), aids in weight loss, and reducing risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. In countries like Malaysia, you can easily find the extract of this herbal essence in many brands of beverages such as coffee, and tea. And because the roots are really bitter, it is also popularly taken with, honey another nature's wonder full of goodness.
Tongkat Ali is an expensive alternative medicine, partly because it is a slow-growing weed. To reach maturity, it takes at least 25 years. Moreover, this herb is not easy to cultivate as it needs to be watered frequently and partially shaded, and the soil needs to be sandy and well drained from excess water. It is unlikely to get cheap prices for the genuine stuff. To protect yourself from being cheated by dishonest herbal traders who sell Viagra instead of the genuine herb, be careful and always make sure you are buying from an established company or trader.
Caution: Those who have a health condition and are under medication are advised against the consumption of Tongkat Ali. Pregnant, nursing women, and children should not use this supplement. Reported side effects due to its intake include insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness, and lowering of blood sugar levels.