Eurycoma Longifolia: What is it?Eurycoma Longifolia is a tall, slender evergreen shrub-tree in the family Simaroubaceae that has been a part of traditional Southeast Asian medicine for centuries. This flowering plant is commonly referred as “Tongkat Ali”. The plant has been used orally in traditional medicine in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and other Asian countries to enhance health and treat various ailments such as, malaria, infections, fevers and arthritis since it is rich in antioxidant agents. Filled with various compounds, Eurycoma Longifolia also owe its reputation for its marvelous property as an “anti-aging” herb, for male enhancement, helping older individuals adapt to the reduced energy, mood, and libido that often comes with age. Eurycoma Longifolia, therefore, makes an important contribution to health care. Currently, Eurycoma Longifolia is commercialized as health supplemental products, available as a raw crude powder of the root, a capsule, mixed in proprietary blends, and as an additive mixed with coffee.
Eurycoma Longifolia: What it does?
Eurycoma Longifolia is famously known for its various pharmacological activities, consisting of various types of important bioactive compounds, mainly in Eurycomanone, the highest concentrated quassinoid. The presence of quassinoid together with other phytochemicals found in the plant contributes to remarkably therapeutic effects as following;
Eurycoma Longifolia is famously renowned for its aphrodisiac effect, which is due to its ability to stimulate the production or action of androgen hormones, especially testosterone from its major compound Eurycomanone. The root which is the most valuable component, is reported to possesses wide range of phytochemicals including quassinoids (eurycomanone), canthine-6-one alkaloids, squalene derivatives and by-phenylneolignans which are the reasons behind its testosterone increasing effect. Hence, it can be used as an alternative for testosterone replacement therapy in the treatment of androgen deficiency, one of the major factors of sexual dysfunction, associating with premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and reduced libido. Regarding to an increased production of testosterone, the plant is also believed to be efficient for sexual potency including;
Energy and vitality
Among local people, Eurycoma Longifolia is typically consumed as herbal drinks to for increased high blood pressure, fatigue and sports performance.
Prevention of Male Osteoporosis
Recently, the use of Eurycoma Longifolia has gone beyond traditional medicine. With its testosterone enhancing eﬀects, the plant is also suggested as a complementary medicine for androgen-deficient osteoporosis. As androgen playing an important role in regulating bone health, low testosterone level can bring about bone loss and osteoporosis. However, with the bioactive complex polypeptides, called eurypeptides and its proandrogen properties, it can exert and enhance eﬀects on the biosynthesis of various androgens by stimulating osteoblast pro-liferation and diﬀerentiation, resulting in increased bone formation rate. Other than its proandrogenic properties, Eurycoma Longifolia also contains high level of nitric oxide (NO) and antioxidant activity from alkaloids and triterpenes that have eﬀects on bone by acting as a mediator to promote bone formation and suppress bone resorption. Eurycoma Longifolia is therefore, suggested to be potential as testosterone replacement for androgen deficient osteoporosis.
Quassinoids along with canthine alkaloids isolated from roots of E. longifolia are known to possess potent antimalarial activity against various strains of Plasmodium falciparum parasites. It is claimed that a combination of standard antimalarial agent and antimalarial herbal extract is beneficial in combating the infection caused by malaria parasite.
Over the years, pharmacological evaluations of this plant showed that this promising herbal medicine has antibacterial, antitumor, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In folk medicine, decoctions of E. longifolia leaves are used for washing itches, while its fruits are used in curing dysentery. Its bark is mostly used as a vermifuge, while the taproots are used to treat high blood pressure, and the root bark is used for the treatment of diarrhea and fever.
Eurycoma Longifolia is also used to treat bleeding gums, oedema, jaundice, cachexia, rheumatism, flatulence, indigestion, wounds, syphilis, lumbago, and to relieve gastric ulcer.
Eurycoma Longifolia is reported to consist a major quassinoid compound, eurycomanone.
Eurycomanone Chemical Structure
Eurycoma Longifolia inhibits the metabolic activities of CYP1A2, CYP2A6, and CYP2C19 enzymes. These enzymes are part of the CYP540 family, which are responsible for breaking down or activating drugs. Inhibition of these enzymes may cause adverse effects with specific drugs (e.g., some antidepressants, beta-blockers, statins, warfarin, and antiepileptics)
Eurycoma Longifolia is not recommended for those who take Propranolol which is used to treat high blood pressure. Eurycoma Longifolia extract may interfere with pharmacokinetic processes altering drug absorption which can decrease the efficacy of Propranolol.
Eurycoma Longifolia appears to be safe in doses of 200–400 mg per day and should be used with caution, especially in the elderly.
Various human trials have recognized the effectiveness of aqueous extract from E. longifolia roots in improving the quality of life and well-being in men particularly those suffering from infertility. Administration of twice daily of 100mg capsules containing Eurycoma Longifolia in 75 patients suffering from partial infertility showed significant improvement in sperm concentration, motility, normal morphology, and sexual performance.
Another study on sexual behavior in the treated rats revealed similar outcomes, showing that extract increased the sexual activities in the treated rats with an increase in sperm count, motility and viability.
Another study found that in 14 men who participated in an intensive 8-week weight training program, the seven men who were supplemented with 100 mg/day of aqueous Eurycoma Longifolia root extract experienced a 5 % increase in lean mass, a decrease in fat mass, and an average of 1.8 cm increase in arm circumference while those in the placebo group did not.
A later study on 31 middle-aged women between the ages of 45-59 years, found very similar results. This study used the same daily 100 mg supplement of Eurycoma Longifolia root. The findings indicated increased muscle strength and larger quadriceps muscles.
Another recent pilot study utilizing both men and women cyclists aged between 57 and 72 years, found that a dose of 400 mg/day aqueous extract of Eurycoma Longifolia root led to significant increases in both muscle strength and testosterone level.
In a study on 76 male patients between age of 50s who are diagnosed with testosterone deficiency, the results showed significant increases of testosterone level as those who have normal testosterone levels after 1-month treatment of 200 g. of Eurycoma Longifolia root extract daily.