Does Tongkat Ali Shut Down Natural Testosterone?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Men's health and wellness experts have long discussed and debated Tongkat Ali for its purported impact on testosterone levels, prompting numerous claims and discussions surrounding its purported impact.

Both enthusiastic advocates and skeptical detractors alike have noted this apparent link between Tongkat Ali and testosterone production levels.

Distilling fact from fiction amid an ocean of information can be daunting task for those pursuing optimal health. In this article, we embark on an expedition to reveal the truth about Tongkat Ali and testosterone correlation, using scientific research as well as empirical evidence for an exhaustive understanding.

As we navigate the myriad claims and myths surrounding Tongkat Ali, it is vital that we identify its actual benefits as well as any possible drawbacks or limitations.

By debunking any misperceptions about Tongkat Ali and dispelling misconceptions, our aim is to equip you with all of the knowledge required for making well-informed decisions about incorporating Tongkat Ali into your lifestyle.

Come with us as we navigate the complex landscape between testosterone and Tongkat Ali to enable informed choices about its inclusion into your health regimen and vitality regimens.

Tongkat Ali (also referred to as longjack) is an herb commonly used in traditional Southeast Asian medicine and sourced from Eurycoma longifolia plants, widely acclaimed for its ability to increase testosterone and decrease stress levels.

Studies have demonstrated that properly-standardized tongkat ali extract can promote the release of free testosterone, improve libido, energy levels and strength while helping the body adapt to stress.

The relationship between Tongkat Ali and testosterone

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia or Longjack) is an herbal treatment that has become increasingly popular for its ability to boost testosterone levels, reduce stress levels and facilitate muscle building.

Used traditionally across Southeast Asia for centuries to treat various ailments; recently it has gained recognition among men looking for natural ways to increase testosterone and enhance libido.

Testosterone plays an essential role in male sexual health, energy levels and body composition.

Maintaining high levels of this hormone is vital to leading a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle; low testosterone levels may contribute to fatigue and depression.

Tongkat ali may help restore normal testosterone levels by increasing release from bound sex hormone-binding globulin stores of testosterone. 

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Scientific studies on Tongkat Ali and testosterone

Eurycoma longifolia, commonly referred to as tongkat ali, has gained widespread attention for its potential ability to increase testosterone and lower stress levels, boost libido, promote muscle growth and health and support muscle maintenance.

Testosterone plays a pivotal role in male sexual function and health but, with age comes diminished levels known as testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS), with symptoms including fatigue, low libido, increased body fat and loss of bone density - but there are ways you can enhance it and restore levels.

Tongkat Ali contains natural compounds called quassinoids that have the power to promote the release of luteinizing hormone and increase free testosterone in blood.

Furthermore, tongkat ali can reduce cortisol - a stress hormone which inhibits testosterone production - significantly decreasing cortisol and increasing vigor among healthy participants while simultaneously decreasing glucose concentrations in one study, suggesting it may help treat symptoms associated with chronic stress.

Tongkat ali may serve as an adaptogen, increasing your body's ability to adapt to and cope with stress.

Furthermore, tongkat ali supplementation has been found to support healthy immune systems and balance hormone levels; and enhance exercise performance by reducing fatigue, increasing energy and promoting mood.

One study demonstrated this effect through supplementation increasing recovery from intensive physical exercise sessions as well as increasing performance during multiple high-intensity workouts; additionally it may aid athletes with mental focus and motivation.

Recent 2021 research confirmed that Tongkat Ali can increase testosterone in middle-aged men and older adults.

Results of a trial demonstrated how this herb can boost levels by stimulating production of luteinizing hormone, freeing bound testosterone and increasing dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), an essential hormone produced by adrenal glands that helps produce testosterone.

A 2022 study involving 33 healthy adults revealed that tongkat ali root extract increased testosterone and reduced cortisol levels, thus improving exercise performance through reduced fatigue and improved mood as well as increasing body's ability to adapt to stress.

Another 2018 study demonstrated that tongkat ali extract increases testosterone levels for both healthy men and those suffering from hypogonadism (insufficient testosterone production by their testicles to sustain healthy sperm production). Tongkat ali supplements were shown to stimulate release of hormones luteinizing and gonadotropin which assist testicles in producing enough testosterone.

According to other studies, tongkat ali extract can stimulate the release of free testosterone into the bloodstream, increase libido and athletic performance, improve sleep quality and vigor and decrease anxiety while helping with body composition and fat loss. One 2014 pilot study of physically active adults, tongkat ali may even help men suffering from low testosterone symptoms.

Other benefits of Tongkat Ali for men's health

Eurycoma longifolia, more commonly known by its common name "tongkat ali," has long been used in Malaysia and Southeast Asia as an aphrodisiac herb. Research on it indicates it may help men who experience erectile problems increase testosterone levels while helping manage stress better.

Furthermore, tongkat ali also contains anticancer properties and may aid with stress management.

Researchers conducted one study that compared tongkat ali supplements with placebos among healthy men and those suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone levels).

Their researchers discovered that tongkat ali supplementation significantly increased total and free testosterone in both groups; additionally, this herb reduced oxidative stress while improving mood; they believe these effects likely account for tongkat ali's aphrodisiac properties.

Tongkat ali may provide another potential advantage of tongkat ali: its ability to strengthen muscles and increase endurance and speed.

According to a body of research, taking tongkat ali supplements for two weeks saw significant increases in testosterone levels as well as an increase in endurance and speed among athletes taking part in the trial. 

Potential side effects and risks of Tongkat Ali

Though tongkat ali offers great potential as a testosterone booster, it's wise to consult your healthcare provider regarding any possible side effects or risks before giving it a try. This is particularly important if you have serious medical conditions or take prescription medication.

Tongkat ali can be safely taken, though certain health conditions and medications should be considered before beginning its use.

It could interact with some antidepressants like Effexor and Cymbalta; blood sugar-lowering agents like insulin and metformin; as well as drugs to treat thyroid conditions like Synthroid or Levothyroxine.

In addition, tongkat ali may interact with certain types of nitrates and medicines that increase blood pressure such as calcium channel blockers or vasodilators.

Tongkat ali can pose certain risks, including gynecomastia and prostate problems. In rare instances, tongkat ali may lead to too much estrogen being produced by your body; and may hinder certain medications (e.g. propranolol used to treat high blood pressure).

Does tongkat ali stop androgen production?

As men age, their testosterone levels typically decrease. This can cause various symptoms to arise, including decreased libido and fatigue.

Many men turn to herbal supplements in an effort to boost their testosterone levels and enhance overall health.

Eurycoma longifolia, commonly referred to as tongkat ali or longjack, has been proven to increase testosterone. Furthermore, traditional Asian medicine uses this supplement for improving libido and energy levels.

Tongkat ali may work by stimulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This involves decreasing binding hormone sex hormone-binding globulin production while activating dehydroepiandrosterone production from adrenal glands, leading to a subsequent increase in free testosterone.

A study revealed this fact with subjects taking tongkat ali experiencing significant increases both total and free testosterone as well as enhanced performance on various tests.

One study discovered that tongkat ali enhanced testosterone by stimulating luteinizing hormone release and inhibiting aromatase activity - which converts testosterone to estrogen.

In addition, tongkat ali helped increase sperm concentration and motility. Furthermore, tongkat ali improved erectile function and sexual desire among study subjects; similar findings can be seen across other research.

This serves as proof that these herbs do not suppress natural production but rather stimulate your body to produce more.

Tongkat Ali dosage and usage recommendations

Tongkat Ali can increase testosterone levels and enhance male sexual function. It may help with erectile dysfunction as well as increase sperm count, quality, and motility; though safe in doses up to 400 mg daily it could have adverse side effects such as insomnia in higher amounts.

This study showed that supplementing with tongkat root extract daily (200mg/day) improved stress hormone profiles (lower cortisol, higher testosterone) as well as certain mood parameters (lower anger, tension, and confusion). 

These results are consistent with recent human supplementation trials, which suggest that tongkat-ali can be an effective way to protect the body against the harmful effects of chronic stress caused by daily stressors such as dieting, intense exercise, and sleep deprivation.

Importantly, Tongkat Ali may interact with certain medications; therefore it is wise to consult your doctor prior to taking this supplement. 


Numerous studies indicate that Eurycoma longifolia, more commonly referred to as tongkat ali or Malaysian ginseng, may help increase testosterone and decrease stress levels while improving sleep quality and energy levels.

Studies have demonstrated that tongkat ali can increase both free and total testosterone levels among healthy adults. It has been speculated that this effect may be attributable to its adaptogenic qualities - meaning it helps the body deal with stress more effectively by helping adaptogens help the body adapt their response. 

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