The shrub, Eurycoma longifolia commonly known as Tongkat Ali is found in the Southeast Asian countries and is widely used as alternative medicine in the surrounding places. The extract or the plant is known for its ability to recover sexual vitality and for its anti-aging characters, which mostly are true. The plant has gained attention in the international research industry in the local as an alternate medicine attaining the status of “protected” species. Having high profile benefits sure comes with a few side effects in the natural form. Tongkat Ali is however not a mainstream drug and both the benefits and drawbacks are the outcome of researches in the control environments.
How Does Tongkat Ali Take Effect?
The plant otherwise called longjack is rich in many bioactive compounds enhancing the overall body activity. Other than the dominant quassinoids and alkaloids, there are eurypeptides helping to normalize the hormone levels. They do not act directly on the body parts instead, take over the central hub in the brain. Most of our internal organs and their functioning are controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), which is a small portion of the brain. The adaptogenic and restorative nature of the herb set right the HPA axis thereby properly setting the adrenals, thyroid and reproductive functions.
The plant’s root mainly and part of the shoot are said to be rich in compounds – quassinoids and alkaloids. These are the subject interests for using as alternative medicine. The consumption is through beverages by making extracts directly or indirectly. They are consumed locally in the form of capsule supplements, energy drink or simply with boiled water. The consumption is estimated to average at 200mg of concentrate either as a powder or in a beverage.
Side Effects and Safety
The extracts of Eurycoma longifolia consumed in any form is considered to be safe up to 200mg per day for an adult up to the period of nine months, which is based on the maximum period of a test conducted yet.
- Restlessness and Insomnia
As the herb is said to improve the overall body functioning and anti-aging, this might take you to the other extreme if you are already at the optimum body functioning. You will tend to see hyper activeness, restless behavior, and absence of sleep. Consumption of more than 200mg to persons of any age category might also experience these symptoms. So, the patients experiencing hyperactive nature are advised to stop the medication right away.
Though the condition has no proven effect on pregnant women and infants during the breastfeeding phase, it is not advised to take Longjack capsules.
- Immune System
Since the drug interferes with the secretion of most hormones to boost the functionality of the body straight from the HPA axis, people with a weaker immune system and other common issues like blood pressure, diabetes are not recommended to consume this herb. Other hormones-related diseased bearers with diseases like thyroid, hormone-related cancer, and heart diseases are also advised to stay away from the herb.
- Lead and Mercury Poisoning
In the current availability of Tongak Ali distribution through pills available in Malaysia, mercury and lead are tested to be found in very minor propositions. Though they do not take effect immediately might lead to serious consequences when consumed over a long period.
Researches are going on in various parts of the world to use the bio-compounds in improving the testosterone levels. It is also used as a health booster to help sportspersons and athletes to perform better. This anti-aging herb will be a great boon to the humankind if the side effects causing chemicals are separable using modern techniques.