Eurycoma longifolia jack is an herb, derived from a flowering plant, used in bodybuilding and male virility supplements. Also known as tongkat ali, it is commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia. In supplement form, this substance is thought to increase testosterone levels naturally, thus increasing metabolism, muscle strength and size, and male sexual desire.
Bodybuilding supplements typically contain eurycoma longifolia jack to boost testosterone naturally. Testosterone is responsible for raising the number of calories the body uses at rest, and increasing muscle protein synthesis related to increased muscle mass. As of 2010, there was one known study that claimed eurycoma longifolia jack increases muscle size and strength.
Male enhancement supplements may also include this ingredient. There are several scientific animal studies supporting the claim that eurycoma longifolia jack increases sexual desire and performance. Sperm count may also increase when using the herbal supplement. No studies have been performed on humans to verify these findings, however.
In other herbal treatments, eurycoma longifolia jack is commonly used to prevent malaria, ulcers, and tumors. It is also used in southeast Asia as an antipyretic and antibacterial. Antipyretic herbs and medicines are typically used to reduce fever, while antibacterial ones prevent and protect the body from bacterial infection.
Eurycoma longifolia jack is available in liquid, pill, and powder form. Typical dosages are around 300 milligrams (mg), but strengths can vary between products, so those wishing to take it should consult a professional to determine their proper dose. Tongkat ali extract should be cycled, because the herb is known to build-up in the human body over time. Some retailers suggest taking the supplement for two weeks, followed by one week off. After two to three months, it is also suggested users stop taking the supplement for one month or more.
Potential side effects associated with eurycoma longifolia jack include insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety. Pregnant women and those who are nursing may not wish to take this substance. Men with testosterone-dependent cancer may also avoid it due to its hormone-boosting characteristics. Diabetics are sometimes also warned of possible drops in blood sugar levels due to it.
There are several alternative names for tongkat ali, including pasak bumi and cay bha binh. Supplements including eurycoma longifolia jack are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and thus their effectiveness and strengths may vary widely. Some herbal companies have even been accused of printing ingredients and amounts on labels, but not actually including them in the product.