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Can Tongkat Ali Help Men With ED?

Angela Sheddan

Reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 04/30/2023

Here’s everything you need to know about Tongkat Ali benefits for male performance.

In the search for erectile dysfunction treatments, you might have stumbled across herbal extracts as a way to boost sexual performance.

You may or may not have heard of Tongkat Ali, an herbal remedy that has been a part of traditional Southeast Asian medicine for a variety of health conditions.

Also known as Eurycoma longifolia jack or E. longifolia, Tongkat Ali is a shrubby tree native to Southeast Asia. Many parts of the plant are used for different ailments. For example, Tongkat Ali root is used as an antibiotic, appetite suppressant and aphrodisiac.

But what is the research behind Tongkat Ali benefits for males?

We’ll explore any scientific evidence behind this herbal remedy, whether there are E. longifolia benefits for males and if it can help with erectile dysfunction (ED).

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The root extract activity of E. longifolia is used as a folk medicine for aging, anxiety, exercise recovery, fever, increased energy and sexual dysfunction.

But do Tongkat Ali coffee benefits for males include treating erectile dysfunction? What about Tongkat Ali root extract as a dietary supplement?

Some smaller pre-clinical studies have found Tongkat Ali’s herbal extracts to improve sexual health and have positive benefits for erectile dysfunction. But more extensive research and human studies are needed to know how exactly this herbal supplement helps.

Herbal extracts for erectile dysfunction don’t always live up to the hype as an effective ED treatment. But Tongkat Ali does offer a range of health benefits — some of which might even help you in the bedroom.

Tongkat Ali’s health benefits are likely from various compounds found in the plant. Specifically, E. longifolia extract contains flavonoids, alkaloids and other compounds that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that fight cellular damage caused by molecules called free radicals.

In addition to being used as either a powder or capsule, E. longifolia can also be mixed with coffee.

Keep reading to learn about the range of health benefits of Tongkat Ali, including Tongkat Ali coffee benefits for males.

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The supposed superior health benefits of Tongkat Ali don’t have many clinical trials behind them. But some studies suggest it may help treat male infertility, improve mood and increase muscle mass.

May Act as a Testosterone Booster

Does E. longifolia help boost testosterone production? Maybe.

Many clinical studies have looked at how Tongkat Ali’s male enhancement effects work by increasing testosterone levels in men with low hormone levels.

Low testosterone levels can happen for several reasons, from medications and chemotherapy to something as simple as aging. Two effects of low testosterone levels include low libido and erectile dysfunction.

The compounds in Tongkat Ali could act as a testosterone booster for low testosterone and help treat these issues, according to some clinical studies.

Clinical studies on both animals and humans have found that taking Tongkat Ali increases sexual arousal. Meanwhile, a dietary supplement of Tongkat Ali may also affect erectile dysfunction, according to a review of multiple clinical studies.

According to these studies, Tongkat Ali effectively treats low testosterone in some men. But more extensive research is needed to fully understand its effects on testosterone specifically.

Could Reduce Stress Levels

Tongkat Ali may lower stress hormones in your body, decrease anxiety and result in an improvement in mood — all of which can help improve sexual performance.

A 1999 study in mice first found the possible role of this remedy in treating psychological mood. It found that Tongkat Ali extract was comparable to a common anti-anxiety medication in reducing symptoms of anxiety.

A month-long study of 63 moderately stressed subjects found that supplementing with 200 milligrams (mg) of Tongkat Ali extract per day reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in saliva by 16 percent.

Participants also reported significantly reduced stress levels, as well as less anger and tension, after taking Tongkat Ali.

While these results are promising, more clinical studies on humans are needed.

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Although a Tongkat Ali health supplement might have positive effects on erectile dysfunction, libido and mood improvements, there may still be possible risks.

According to a 2021 report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Nutrition, a high dose (2,000 milligrams per kilogram body weight) of the water-based extract from dried ground Tongkat Ali may lead to DNA damage.

The few clinical studies on the use of E. longifolia in humans, however, have not reported any side effects.

One 2012 study of 109 men found that taking a 300-mg health supplement of Tongkat Ali extract daily over a 12-week period was as safe as taking a placebo.

But no clinical studies have examined the long-term use of a Tongkat Ali extract herbal supplement, making it unclear whether the supplement is safe over longer periods.

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Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is an herbal supplement thought to have sexual health and mood benefits. Some studies suggest that Tongkat Ali may reduce stress levels, improve mood and treat low testosterone and poor libido, but research is limited.

If you’re struggling with ED or just beginning to see symptoms, there are better ways to address this problem.

The most important thing you should do if you’re in need of treatment is to seek out professional medical help. Healthcare providers can address your particular needs and help you find a safe and effective treatment.

Plus, they might spot other conditions commonly associated with ED symptoms — everything from obesity and diabetes to anxiety and depression.

In addition to lifestyle changes and therapy, you might receive recommendations for things like tadalafil or sildenafil (also known as Cialis® or Viagra®, respectively). These prescription PDE5 inhibitors regulate blood vessels in your penis and are proven to help treat erectile dysfunction.

The bottom line is that Tongkat Ali benefits for males aren’t thoroughly researched, so whether this herbal supplement can help men with ED is currently unknown.

However, there are effective treatments for ED and other sexual dysfunction a healthcare professional can provide. Explore ED treatment options from Hims today.

10 Sources

  1. Talbott, S. M., Talbott, J. A., George, A., & Pugh, M. (2012). Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10, 28. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3669033/
  2. Rehman, S. U., Choe, K., & Yoo, H. H. (2016). Review on a Traditional Herbal Medicine, Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali): Its Traditional Uses, Chemistry, Evidence-Based Pharmacology and Toxicology. Molecules, 21(3). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6274257/
  3. Farag, M. A., Ajayi, A. O., Taleb, M., Wang, K., & Ayoub, I. M. (2022, December 30). A Multifaceted Review of Eurycoma longifolia Nutraceutical Bioactives: Production, Extraction, and Analysis in Drugs and Biofluids. American Chemical Society, 8(2), 1838–1850. Retrieved from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsomega.2c06340#
  4. Khanijo, T., & Jiraungkoorskul, W. (2016). Review Ergogenic Effect of Long Jack, Eurycoma Longifolia. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 10(20), 139-142. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214558/
  5. Pourreza, N. (2013). Phenolic Compounds as Potential Antioxidant. Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products, 8(4), 149-150. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941893/
  6. McBride, J. A., & Coward, R. M. (2016). Testosterone deficiency in the aging male. Therapeutic Advances in Urology, 8(1), 47-60. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707424/
  7. Ismail, S. B., Wan Mohammad, W. M., George, A., Nik Hussain, N. H., Musthapa Kamal, Z. M., Liske, E. (2012). Randomized clinical trial on the use of PHYSTA freeze-dried water extract ofeurycoma longifoliafor the improvement of quality of life and sexual well-being in men. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1–10. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/429268/
  8. Kotirum, S., Ismail, S. B., & Chaiyakunapruk, N. (2015). Efficacy of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) on erectile function improvement: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 23(5), 693-698. Retrieved from ​​https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0965229915001223
  9. Ang, H. H., & Cheang, H. S. (1999). Studies on the anxiolytic activity of Eurycoma longifolia Jack roots in mice. Japanese journal of pharmacology, 79(4), 497–500. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/240292962_Studies_on_the_Anxiolytic_Activity_of_Eurycoma_longlfolia_Jack_Roots_in_Mice/fulltext/02cd2b1a0cf2f49a781dc252/Studies-on-the-Anxiolytic-Activity-of-Eurycoma-longlfolia-Jack-Roots-in-Mice.pdf
  10. Turck, D., Bohn, T., Castenmiller, J., De Henauw, S., Hirsch-Ernst, K. I., Maciuk, A., Mangelsdorf, I., McArdle, H. J., Naska, A., Pelaez, C., Pentieva, K., Siani, A., Thies, F., Tsabouri, S., Vinceti, M., Cubadda, F., Frenzel, T., Heinonen, M., Maradona, M. P., … Knutsen, H. K. (2021). Safety of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) root extract as a novel food pursuant to regulation (EU) 2015/2283. EFSA Journal, 19(12). Retrieved from https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6937
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Angela Sheddan, FNP

Dr. Angela Sheddan has been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2005, practicing in community, urgent and retail health capacities. She has also worked in an operational capacity as an educator for clinical operations for retail clinics. 

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, her master’s from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. You can find Angela on LinkedIn for more information.


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