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Eurycoma Longifolia: Tongkat Ali Makes You Super?

Updated on February 18, 2011

Deep Asia Superstar

Most Deeper Asians (we folks from Deeper Asia) are familiar with Tongkat Ali, Pasak Bumi to other people, or what science calls Eurycoma Longifolia. But it is mainly sourced from Indonesia and Malaysia. Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand also have it. In Manila, Tongkat Ali became popular in the late 1990s when it was introduced in health supplement capsules as herbal remedy. People went wild over it—especially for its aphrodisiac effect.

A lot of my friends claimed they really felt the super effect of Eurycoma Longifolia that made their wives happy and love them more excitedly, and they urged me to try it, too. I said, thanks, but I really didn’t have any problems with that sort of thing which Tongkat Ali reportedly solved and boosted.

But what I wanted to find out were claims about Tongkat Ali’s effect on physical strength, muscle strength in particular, because I was an active athlete then—a martial arts teacher. Could Tongkat Ali really make you feel like superman?

One thing for sure, it can increase muscle growth, according to an important study. Thus, it's a great fitness and body building supplement. But there's more to this herb than just aphrodisiac and muscle effects.

Superman Effect

According to an Ethnopharmacological report in 2010, Eurycoma Longifolia is a traditional herbal remedy used as an anti-diabetic, anti-malarial, anti-microbial, and anti-pyretic. Of course, it also reported the herb’s good aphrodisiac effect (what do you expect?). In another report, through experiments, it was found that Tongkat Ali increased sperm count and testosterone levels and could have a good effect in testosterone replacement therapy for osteoporosis.

Now, here’s what caught my interest—its anabolic effect. Could it really make you strong like superman? Well, a study was made where certain healthy young men where given Tongkat Ali and made to lift weights. Others were given placebo. The result? Those given Tongkat Ali performed better due to increased strength. Still, they could not stop running trains or fly like a bird.

Thus, today, a lot of fitness supplements claim to have this Indonesian herbal ingredient that is supposed to increase their muscle strength by leaps and bounds. However, experts are cautioning us to be more careful about health products said to contain this power herb. Many of them are fakes while others make exaggerated claims—something close to superman effects. Some are reportedly even contaminated with mercury. So be careful when you buy supplements. 

A lot of so-called Tongkat Ali supplements or products but are fakkes have been banned by health and food authorities in some countries and taken out of stores. But there are some still in the market with a different name. It's better to make sure that what you buy is approved by health authorities in your locality. 

Tongkat does make you stronger, but not make you superman—like we see him in movies, faster than a bullet or leap over buildings with a single bounce.

Anti Cancer

Studies have also shown Eurycoma Longifolia roots to have powerful cytotoxicity against cancer cells. They act like Doxorubicin, a known anti-cancer drug. This herbal remedy against cancer is said to effect apoptosis in breast cancer cells, making these cells die a natural death.


But there are thousands of fake Tongkat Ali products out there, say experts. They claim to have Tongkat Ali but actually have other contents in them that have somewhat similar effects, only inferior and sometimes even dangerous.

If I were you, and you want genuine stuff, why not just plant it in your backyard? It takes some hard work, but at least you get the real thing, safely. That’s what Herba Linch is advocating: Why not plant?

How to Plant Tongkat Ali

It takes expertise in the plant to grow Tongkat trees because they are as complicated as growing orchids. Tongkat is grown through its red seeds planted in sandy soil. The soil should be well drained and watered regularly. Tongkat likes the environs of thick forests, so it's vital that forest conditions are met, like a forest canopy cover and filtered sunlight. In about 4 to 6 weeks the seeds start to grow.

Some say you can start harvesting the roots after 2 to 4 years (from cultivated trees), but others say roots harvested from trees grown 20 to 30 years old are more potent. For more about planting these seeds and growing them, visit this site.


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    • edmondpogi profile image

      edmondpogi 7 years ago

      very informative!