Malaysia has a rich source of rainforests that contain thousands of plants with potential medicinal values. One such plant is the tall shrub tree from the Simaroubacaece family, Eurycoma longifolia, which is commonly found in the lush rain forests of Malaysia. The local name of the shrub is Tongkat Ali, which translates to “Ali’s Walking Stick,” a rather suggestive reflection of its traditional function and that is to provide virility for aging males.
Decoctions of tongkat ali roots have been used for centuries in Malaysia and Southeast Asia as an aphrodisiac for loss of sexual desire and impotence, as well as to treat a range of ailments including post-partum depression, malaria, high blood pressure, and fatigue. Tongkat ali has been referred to as Malaysia’s “homegrown Viagra” with the Malaysian government investing considerable effort to license, develop, and sustain research into the potential health benefits of Eurycoma longifolia through a variety of governmental organizations, including the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia.
Tongkat Ali’s medicinal elements are contained in the roots, a large, elaborate and visually stunning network that resembles wood. The roots of Tongkat Ali were used as a decoction by the natives of old Malaya, especially the elderly, for strength and energy, as well as to boost libido and sexual virility in aging men. Modern phytochemistry has further clarified that the roots contain eurypeptides, a 30-39 amino-acid chain, and a 4,300 dalton molecular weight.