The Amazing Aphrodisiac Herb
Eurycoma longifolia (Simaroubaceae) is a small tree to 15 m high. Plants dioecious
(flowers on a plant are either male or female). Leaves compound, long, and crowded
at the tips of the branches. When the leaves fall they leave large scars on
the stems. Leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, sessile or nearly so, and opposite.
Flowers are borne in axillaries panicles, mostly large and lax, and puberulous
with short hairs. Flowers are unisexual; male flower has sterile pistil, female
flower has sterile stamens. Fruits ellipsoid or ovoid, 10-20 x 5-12 mm, green
to blackish-red when ripe.
E. longifolia prefers acid and sandy soils at low altitude up to 700 m above
sea level. Plants usually grow in beach forests, primary and secondary forests,
mixed dipterocarp forests and also in heath forests. In Riau Province, Sumatra,
1991, the author found that plants were growing in areas with an average temperature
of 25C and 86% humidity. The soils in this area were found to be poor in nutrients,
but mycorrhizal fungi were found growing near the plants and may indicate an
association. Seedlings require shade, during which time they develop an extensive
root system. Following juvenile stages, plants need stronger light to develop
vegetative and reproductive parts. E. longifolia flowers and fruits throughout
the year, with peak flowering from June-July and peak fruiting in September.
E. longifolia originates from South East Asia, including Indonesia, Malay Peninsula,
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In Indonesia, this species only occurs
naturally in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Though E. longifolia is currently mostly known as an aphrodisiac, in South East
Asia, all parts of E. longifolia plants have long been used medicinally. The
plant is commonly used throughout the region as a tonic after childbirth. The
bark of the roots is used in the Malay Peninsula to cure fever, ulcers in the
mouth, and intestinal worms. The Malays also use the paste of the plant to relieve
headache, stomachache, pain caused by syphilis, and many other general pains.
In parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan, the root is used as an anit-pyretic. In
Lampung and Belitung it is used as a medicine for dysentery. The people of Sabah
and Kalimantan make a decoction of the bark that is drunk to relieve pain in
the bones or applied for washing itches. In Vietnam, people use the flowers
and fruits as a medicine for treating dysentery. In Riau, where the author carried
out research, people living in the surrounding forests boil the root or stem
to cure malaria. One of the most unique uses for E. longifolia is that of the
Sakai ethnic group in Sumatra who use the plant as an amulet to protect people
from the smallpox virus.
The active constituents in E. longifolia, and many other species in the Family
Simaroubaceae, include quassin, neo-quassin, glaukarubin, sedrin, eurycomanol
that are mostly derivatives from compounds with 20 carbon atoms.
Arch Pharm Res 1998 Dec;21(6):779-81
Eurycoma longifolia increases sexual motivation in sexually naive male
Ang HH, Sim MK.
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Science, Malaysia, Minden,
The aim of this study is to provide evidence on the aphrodisiac property
of Eurycoma longifolia Jack. An electric grid was used as an obstruction
in the electrical copulation cage in order to determine how much an aversive
stimulus the sexually naive male rat for both the treated with E. longifolia
Jack and control groups were willing to overcome to reach the estrous
receptive female in the goal cage. The intensity of the grid current was
maintained at 0.12 mA and this was the intensity in which the male rats
in the control group failed to crossover to reach the goal cage. Results
showed that E. longifolia Jack continued to enhance and also maintain
a high level of both the total number of successful crossovers, mountings,
intromissions and ejaculations during the 9-12th week observation period.
In conclusion, these results further enhanced and strengthened the aphrodisiac
property of E. longifolia Jack.
PMID: 9868556 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Arch Pharm Res 2001 Oct;24(5):437-40
Effects of Eurycoma longifolia jack on laevator ani muscle
in both uncastrated and testosterone-stimulated castrated
intact male rats.
Ang HH, Cheang HS.
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Science Malaysia,
Minden, 11800, Penang, Malaysia. firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been reported that Eurycoma longifolia Jack commonly
known as Tongkat Ali has gained notoreity as a symbol of man's
ego and strength by the Malaysian men because it increases
male virility and sexual prowess during sexual activities.
As such, the effects of 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg of butanol,
methanol, water and chloroform fractions of E. longifolia
Jack were studied on the laevator ani muscle in both uncastrated
and testosterone-stimulated castrated intact male rats after
dosing them for 12 consecutive weeks. Results showed that
800 mg/kg of butanol, methanol, water and chloroform fractions
of E. longifolia Jack significantly increased (p<0.05)
the leavator ani muscle to 58.56+/-1.22, 58.23+/-0.31, 60.21
+/-0.86 and 62.35 +/-0.98 mg/100 g body weight, respectively,
when compared with the control (untreated) in the uncastrated
intact male rats and 49.23+/-0.82, 52.23+/-0.36, 50.21+/-0.66
and 52.35+/-0.58 mg/100 g body weight, respectively, when
compared to control (untreated) in the testosterone-stimulated
castrated intact male rats. Hence, the pro-androgenic effect
as shown by this study further supported the traditional use
of this plant as an aphrodisiac.
PMID: 11693547 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Exp Anim 2000 Jan;49(1):35-8
Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali) on the
initiation of sexual performance of inexperienced castrated
Ang HH, Cheang HS, Yusof AP.
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Science Malaysia,
We studied the effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack, commonly
known as Tongkat Ali in Malaysia, on the initiation of sexual
performance and the weights of sexual accessories in inexperienced
castrated male rats. The doses of 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg
body weight, which were extracted from E. longifolia Jack,
were orally administered to the rats twice daily for 10
days prior to the tests and continued throughout the test
period. Testosterone was used as a positive control after
injecting 15 mg/kg daily subcutaneously for 32 days. Results
showed that E. longifolia Jack produced a dose-dependent
increase in sexual performance of the treated animals, but
the E. longifolia Jack groups showed lower sexual performance
in mounting, intromission and ejaculation than the testosterone
group. Further results also showed that E. longifolia Jack
promoted the growth of both ventral prostate and seminal
vesicles as compared with the control, but the growth of
sexual accessories at 800 mg/kg of butanol, methanol, water
and chloroform fractions of E. longifolia Jack was less
than that of testosterone treated group. The present study
therefore gives further evidence of the folkuse of E. longifolia
as an aphrodisiac.
PMID: 10803359 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]