Tongkat Ali is an herb that’s traditionally been used for sexual enhancement, energy, strength, fever, and several other conditions.
In modern day, Tongkat Ali is mainly promoted as a way to boost testosterone levels in men, in addition to other “masculine-dominant” avenues, such as improving strength and power output.
However, there are also several potential health benefits of Tongkat Ali for women. In this article, we’ll cover the main health benefits of Tongkat Ali for women, the optimal dosing strategies, and special concerns for safety and side effects.
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Tongkat Ali Overview:
Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) is a long, slender shrubby tree native to Southeast Asia. This plant prefers to grow in acidic, sandy soil, and relatively humid conditions.
All parts of the Tongkat Ali plant have been used for medicinal purposes. However, in traditional herbal medicine, the roots of Tongkat Ali are most often used, mainly due to their high presence of bioactive compounds, such as:
- Bioactive steroids
The tongkat ali compounds called quassinoids receive the most attention for their potential health benefits, especially one quassinoid called eurycomanone.
Health Benefits of Tongkat Ali for Women:
Tongkat Ali has many potential benefits, many of which have been generally biased towards men in research (e.g. testosterone enhancement, strength, and athletic performance).
While Tongkat Ali is most often used for men’s health, there certainly are possible health benefits of Tongkat Ali for women. Below, we’ll cover these potential health benefits.
1. May Improve Athletic Performance
Some research shows that Tongkat Ali may also improve exercise performance for women, just like it does for men.
In a clinical trial on middle-aged women, Tongkat Ali supplementation (100mg/day for 12 weeks) alongside a twice-weekly resistance training program increased fat-free mass greater than strength training alone. This is important because fat free mass is one’s muscle mass, which is most important for strength and performance.
One clinical trial involving 25 active senior men and women showed that 400mg of Tongkat Ali supplementation for five weeks led to increases in muscular force and strength in both men and women. Both genders also saw a significant improvement in total and free testosterone levels.
However, in another clinical trial on middle-aged women, strength training alone led to similar strength improvements compared to strength training alongside Tongkat Ali supplementation. Thus, Tongkat Ali didn’t have any extra beneficial effect. A possible reason for this is that they only used 100mg of Tongkat Ali, which is a bit lower than most studies have used.
Summary:Clinical research has found that Tongkat Ali supplementation may work to increase strength and benefit exercise performance in both men and women.
2. May Balance Hormones & Menopausal Symptoms
Emerging evidence suggests that Tongkat Ali may be useful for women’s hormonal health and reducing menopausal symptoms.
In one clinical study on perimenopausal and menopausal women, treatment with Tongkat Ali and Labisia pumila resulted in reduced hot flushes. It also helped to reduce night sweats, anxiety, aches and pains, and increased sexual desire. Also, compared to the placebo group, women who received the herbal combination had lower levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), as well as significant reductions in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
In a rat study, researchers looked into the effects of Tongkat Ali extract (low, medium, and high dose) on rats with menopause. They discovered that the highest dose of Tongkat Ali resulted in greater levels of estrogen and progesterone, as well as lower levels of FSH and LH compared to the control group. Additionally, all three treatment levels of Tongkat Ali improved bone health markers. And this is important because menopause often increases the risk of osteoporosis and poor bone health.
Summary:A combination of both human and animal studies indicate that Tongkat Ali may reduce menopausal symptoms and promote hormone balance. Additional clinical research would be useful for further confirming these findings.
3. May Improve Mood & Reduce Stress
Tongkat Ali may also have benefits for stress and mood in women.
In a clinical trial on moderately stressed men and women, 200mg of Tongkat Ali for four weeks led to notable improvements in tension, anger, confusion, and stress. Additionally, Tongkat Ali significantly lowered cortisol levels, which is the body’s primary stress hormone.
One clinical study on men and women indicated that those who took a Tongkat Ali extract and multivitamin supplement experienced improved emotional health, mental function, well-being, social functioning, and vitality.
Ideally, more clinical studies are needed using just women to confirm these benefits for mood and stress.
Summary:Tongkat Ali supplementation has been found to improve mental health and reduce stress levels, according to clinical research. However, more human trials would be beneficial for verifying these findings.
Tongkat Ali Safety:
Overall, Tongkat Ali supplementation is considered safe for women as long as it is taken within a safe, reasonable dose.
There are some individuals that may have a greater risk of side effects, such as people who take medications to lower blood sugar, individuals with compromised immune systems, and those with various chronic diseases such as heart disease, liver disease, and prostate cancer.
Also, it is important for women to understand the potential effects of Tongkat Ali on pregnancy, fertility, and reproductive outcomes. Some animal research indicates that Tongkat Ali may be safe during pregnancy, however, human clinical research is needed to verify these findings.
Click here for a full safety review of Tongkat Ali.
Tongkat Ali supplements are typically taken in an extract form in doses of 200 to 400mg. However, this dose is mainly based on the clinical studies, which have been primarily conducted on men.
Since women typically weigh less than men, sticking to the lower end of this range is likely most appropriate (e.g. 200mg to 250mg). In fact, even going down to 100mg may still provide some health benefits.
It’s important to select an effective, high-quality Tongkat Ali supplement; Click here to read about the best Tongkat Ali Supplements.
As long as one stays in the reasonable range, experimentation can be used to determine the best tongkat ali dosage for women.
Click here to learn more about recommended Tongkat Ali doses.
Tongkat Ali vs. Other Herbs:
Tongkat Ali is often compared with many other different types of herbs. We have put together several helpful articles going over these common comparisons.
Tongkat Ali has a wide variety of bioactive compounds. It’s typically used by men, but emerging research shows that Tongkat Ali may have several benefits for women.
Specifically, Tongkat Ali benefits may enhance female athletic performance, balance hormones and menopausal symptoms, and improve mood and stress responses.
While more research is needed for pregnant and nursing women, Tongkat Ali overall seems safe and free of side effects for most women when used in the recommended dose of around 200mg per day.