Eventually, all men must face getting older, which comes with a host of side effects including diminished libido. When it comes to reduced sexual desire, aging men look to any remedy that promises to help. While 20 percent of American men over the age of 40 have tried Viagra for enhancing erectile function, this drug has virtually no effect on sexual desire. What's more, roughly 50 percent of men experience side effects from Viagra like flushing, headache, nasal congestion, upset stomach, or visual problems. Fortunately, men who suffer a lack of sex drive have a natural option in the form of tongkat ali, an herb from Southeast Asia.
Tongkat ali is a shrub-like tree found in Borneo, Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sumatra, and Thailand. Dubbed "Asian Viagra" by the New Sunday Times, this herb has been used to treat men with a lack of sex drive, reduced sexual performance, and low energy levels.
According to research, tongkat ali contains potent phytochemicals that increase muscle growth, boost mental alertness, support healthy sex organs, promote semen quality, increase muscle growth, boost mental alertness, and promote healthy testosterone levels in men. In fact, consumption of tongkat ali has been shown to boost free testosterone and nearly double total testosterone in men undergoing clinical trials.
A Malaysian study in 2012 examined 76 men. At the beginning of the study, only 35 percent of the men showed normal testosterone levels. Following 30 days of supplementation with tongkat ali, over 90 percent of the participants showed normal levels of testosterone. Many animal studies have also found success with tongkat ali in boosting sexual arousal and frequency of sexual behavior.
Tongkat Ali and Male Fertility
While fertility may not be important to some men as they get older, other men might appreciate the fruitful benefits offered by tongkat ali. Because it improves sperm quality, the herb also enhances male fertility. One study of 75 men showed improvements in sperm quality that lasted for months following the study, and nearly 15 percent of participants reported resulting pregnancies in female partners.
Other Uses for Tongkat Ali
Natural herbs often provide a host of health benefits, and tongkat ali is no different. In addition to its use for lack of sex drive and diminished sexual performance, tongkat ali is said to benefit:
- aches, pains, and fever
- bleeding (as a coagulant)
- glandular swelling
- sores and ulcers
Precautions for Supplementing with Tongkat Ali
While generally considered safe when consumed in appropriate amounts, tongkat ali sometimes causes side effects in doses higher than 1000 mgs. These include insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and restlessness. People should look for products that are certified for authenticity and free of mercury. Before engaging in any supplementary program, it is always wise to consult with a health care professional.