While you should always check with a doctor before taking supplements, some supplements have potential health benefits and may be worth considering. Eurycoma longifolia is native to South East Asia and sometimes called Malaysian ginseng or Tongkat Ali. Preliminary research has shown a variety of potential benefits from this plant, although further research is necessary to verify these benefits and determine the best potential dosage.
May Improve Mood
This herbal medicine may help improve the mood of those who take it, potentially decreasing confusion, anger, and tension. It appears to increase testosterone levels and limit cortisol, which may be at least partially responsible for these effects.
May Help Increase Muscle Mass
If Malaysian ginseng increases testosterone levels, this could theoretically help increase muscle mass and limit body fat. Typically, testosterone levels drop as people age, combining with other factors to result in people having higher levels of body fat and lower levels of muscle as they get older. This herbal medicine probably doesn’t increase the production of testosterone in the body. However, it’s thought to increase the amount of testosterone that’s not bound to other hormones, making more available for use.
May Improve Libido
In traditional medicine, Malaysian ginseng is sometimes used to increase the libido and improve performance in bed. These effects are thought to be due to the effect of this herbal medicine on testosterone levels.
May Have Other Health Benefits
Some preliminary research shows that this herbal medicine may act as an anti-bacterial, help with the treatment of malaria, and be toxic to certain types of cancer cells. However, the evidence isn’t strong enough to recommend it as a stand-alone treatment.
As with any supplement or medication, it’s important to speak with your doctor to make sure it won’t interfere with any medications you’re taking and that using Malaysian ginseng isn’t contraindicated due to any medical condition you may have. Potential side effects include insomnia, irritability, restlessness, impatience, and an increase in body heat. The supplement can taste unpleasantly bitter, but versions that aren’t bitter are likely to not include any or not include a sufficient dose of the Eurycoma longifolia extract.