Tongkat Ali vs Ashwagandha | A Comparison for Better Health

Never miss a glorious update - click here!

Curious about natural methods to enhance your overall health? Meet Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha, two powerhouse herbs causing ripples in the world of wellness. Known for their potential health benefits, these botanicals boast unique traits that distinguish them from each other.

While both may share qualities like stress reduction and purported testosterone enhancement, their origins, histories, and mechanisms of action within the body set them distinctly apart.

These natural adaptogens have gained significant attention in recent years due to their potential positive effects on stress, physical performance, and overall wellness.

In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll find out the unique historical applications and mechanisms of action of Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha. We’ll uncover their individual benefits, traditional uses, and active components, and assess the scientific evidence supporting their health claims.

By understanding these specifics, you’ll gain clarity on differentiating between these two supplements. Additionally, we’ll also have a look at the suggested dosage and the side effects of the supplements containing these potent ingredients.

Our goal is to empower you to make an informed choice tailored to your specific health goals, whether it’s increased energy, stress management, improved libido, or cognitive enhancement.

Understanding Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali

Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali, these herbal wonders hold a special place in the world of wellness. They’re often pitted against each other for their incredible impacts on male hormone health and performance.

While Ashwagandha has its roots in India and the practice of Ayurvedic medicine, Tongkat Ali is native to Southeast Asia and features prominently in their traditional medicine.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is commonly referred to as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, and it has been a vital part of Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years. This ancient herb is known for its adaptogenic properties, helping the body deal with stress more effectively.

Ashwagandha rocks at reducing stress, boosting your mood, and even kicking cognitive function up a notch.

It’s a powerhouse known for calming those nerves and potentially giving your immune system a serious pep talk by battling inflammation and boosting those immune cells. It also carries potential benefits for mental well-being, as it may boost cognitive function and reduce anxiety. Moreover, ashwagandha has been praised for its sleep-supporting effects, making it an appealing choice for those looking to improve their rest and overall health.

On the other hand, Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia), also known as long jack or Malay Ginseng, is a native plant to Southeast Asia. In traditional medicine, it has been used as an energy enhancer, aphrodisiac, and male fertility aid.

Tongkat Ali is known for its potential to supercharge more than just male sexual performance. And that’s not all, it’s rumored to amp up physical stamina and jazz up athletic ability.

Research indicates that Tongkat Ali may boost testosterone and improve physical performance in both men and women. Contrary to the calming effects of ashwagandha, Tongkat Ali is known for its energizing and stimulating properties.

Both of these herbs excel in enhancing well-being by reducing tiredness, boosting energy levels, improving mood, managing stress more effectively, and contributing to an overall sense of feeling good. Before deciding which herb to choose, consider the specific superpowers you seek—each herb offers distinct advantages and benefits.

Let’s head on and have a look at the detailed comparison of the two herbs backed up by scientific evidence and studies.

Comparing Health Benefits

Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha are popular herbal supplements that have been gaining attention due to their potential health benefits. In this section, we will explore how these two herbs may impact various aspects of health, such as hormone levels, mood, cognitive function, and more.

Testosterone levels and libido

Ashwagandha and Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) are two herbs that have been compared due to their potential health benefits on male hormone health and sexual function.

Regarding testosterone levels, multiple studies suggest that Tongkat Ali is more efficient in boosting testosterone levels compared to Ashwagandha. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, daily supplementation with 300 mg of a longjack extract for 12 weeks resulted in a significant increase in testosterone concentrations.

In another study involving 75 male partners of infertile couples, the intake of 200 mg of tongkat ali extract daily resulted in significant enhancements in sperm concentration and motility within a span of 3 months. Remarkably, this treatment led to more than a 14% increase in the number of couples successfully achieving pregnancy.,

On the other hand, Ashwagandha has also been shown to increase testosterone levels.

In a study, 60 men dealing with infertility were split into different groups: some facing high stress, others smokers, and some with unexplained infertility. Each group received a daily dose of 5 g of ashwagandha. After just 3 months, there was a noticeable improvement in testosterone levels and sperm quality across all groups, particularly among those dealing with high stress. Surprisingly, by the study’s end, 8 out of the 60 men’s partners had become pregnant.

In terms of libido, Tongkat Ali has been found to be more effective in promoting male sexual performance, with better sperm motility and longer erection time. Ashwagandha may have a similar impact on libido, but more research is needed to fully understand its potential health benefits and risks when used for this purpose.

Stress, energy, and mood

Research examining Ashwagandha and Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) suggests that both herbs may offer potential benefits concerning stress, energy, and mood regulation.

Regarding Ashwagandha, multiple studies have underscored its capacity to alleviate stress and anxiety. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Ashwagandha root extract exhibited significant efficacy in diminishing stress and anxiety scores among adult participants. Additionally, another study highlighted its role in enhancing energy levels and reducing fatigue.

Conversely, the primary focus of research on Eurycoma longifolia has centered on its influence on testosterone levels and sexual health. Although there is limited direct evidence linking this herb to stress, energy, and mood improvement, some studies suggest its potential adaptogenic properties, which may aid the body in coping with stressors and enhancing energy levels.

While Ashwagandha has undergone more extensive scrutiny for its impact on stress, energy, and mood, research on Eurycoma longifolia remains predominantly concentrated on its effects on testosterone levels and sexual health.

Sleep Quality

Ashwagandha contains beneficial phytochemicals like withanolides and alkaloids, which have been associated with improved sleep quality. This is mainly due to their adaptogenic properties that assist in moderating the body’s stress response and promoting relaxation.

In contrast, Tongkat Ali does not have a direct connection to sleep quality, but it may indirectly impact rest through its effects on mood and energy levels.

Cognitive function and immune system

Ashwagandha and Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) could hold promise in positively influencing cognitive function and bolstering the immune system.

Ashwagandha, renowned for its stress-reducing and mood-enhancing properties, has also exhibited promising effects on cognitive function. A controlled study revealed that Ashwagandha root extract not only increased resistance to stress but also boosted overall well-being among stressed adults. Furthermore, preliminary studies hint at Ashwagandha’s potential to bolster the immune system by reducing inflammation and enhancing the function of immune cells.

While research specifically probing Eurycoma longifolia’s impact on cognitive function remains limited, human trials supplementing with this herb have shown notable outcomes, such as reduced fatigue, elevated energy levels, improved mood, and increased stress resilience—factors that indirectly contribute to cognitive well-being. Additionally, there are indications that Eurycoma longifolia may offer immune system benefits by potentially augmenting T-cell and CD4+ cell counts.

Here we can say that both, Ashwagandha and Eurycoma longifolia show promise in benefiting cognitive function and immune health.

Physical performance

Tongkat Ali has been popular among athletes for its proposed benefits in enhancing stamina and reducing fatigue, making it a great option for those seeking to improve their physical performance. Ashwagandha, while not specifically targeting physical performance, may provide support through its stress-reducing and energy-boosting properties.

However, several studies have been performed on these two herbs in regard to their role in athletic performance and muscle development. Let’s move ahead and take a look.

Role in Athletic Performance and Muscle Development

Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha are often compared for their potential benefits in athletic performance and muscle development.

Several studies have investigated the effects of Tongkat Ali on athletic performance and muscle development.

A study combined Tongkat Ali supplementation with resistance training and found that it improved peak muscular power and strength. The increase in strength and power was attributed to the activation and stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, resulting in hypertrophy of muscle fibers.

Another study investigated the effects of Tongkat Ali supplementation on eccentric leg press exercise-induced muscle damage in rugby players. The study found that Eurycoma longifolia supplementation had no effects on muscle functions, hormones, and muscle damage markers among elite rugby players.

This herb is also thought to assist in maintaining a normal balance between cortisol and testosterone, potentially averting overtraining syndrome, refining body composition, and expediting post-exercise recovery among athletes

Furthermore, Tongkat Ali has been reported to have anabolic properties and is used widely as a pre-workout and post-workout supplement to boost sports performance. It is also used to enhance endurance and prevent premature muscle fatigue.

On the contrary, Ashwagandha, which is also known as Withania somnifera, is an adaptogenic herb that has also been studied for its potential benefits in athletic performance and muscle development.

Ashwagandha has been shown to enhance endurance capacity, improve aerobic capacity, and increase muscle strength and mass

Ashwagandha has been reported to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial for athletes who experience mental and physical stress.

This magical herb has also been suggested to regulate the ratio between testosterone and cortisol, which can stimulate muscle gain and prevent muscle breakdown.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of Ashwagandha on physical performance found that it was more efficacious than placebo in improving strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and fatigue/recovery.

Furthermore, a study on elite Indian cyclists found that Ashwagandha supplementation for eight weeks improved their cardiorespiratory endurance.

So there we have it! When it comes to boosting athletic performance and building muscle, the choice between Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha might just boil down to what clicks with you and your fitness goals.

But here’s the cool part, blending these two powerhouses can give you a supercharged mix of physical stamina and mental zen.

So, imagine scoring top-notch results in your athletic journey – all thanks to this dynamic duo!

Side Effects and Safety Considerations

When considering the use of Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha, it is important to be aware of potential side effects and safety concerns. While both herbs have been used for centuries and are generally considered safe, there are still some risks and considerations to keep in mind.

One of the primary concerns linked to Tongkat Ali involves its potential to induce DNA damage, particularly in the stomach and duodenum tissues, especially when consumed at high doses (2,000 mg/kg body weight). Additionally, studies using daily dosages ranging from 200–600 mg in humans have reported minor adverse effects like gastrointestinal symptoms and itching.

Common side effects such as insomnia, irritability, and restlessness have also been associated with the use of Tongkat Ali.

Another aspect to consider is the potential interaction of Tongkat Ali with certain medications, like propranolol, a drug used for managing high blood pressure. It might potentially diminish the efficacy of propranolol by interfering with its absorption and bioavailability. Moreover, concerns have been raised regarding the potential contamination of Tongkat Ali preparations by heavy metals such as lead and mercury.

In animal studies, high doses of Tongkat Ali have shown associations with pathological changes in the liver and kidneys. These concerns emphasize the necessity of a cautious approach towards Tongkat Ali supplementation.

Consulting a healthcare professional before initiating its use is highly recommended, especially for individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medications, or using other supplements.

In contrast, Ashwagandha, an herb traditionally used to combat stress, generally poses no major risks but warrants caution due to potential side effects. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), some may experience drowsiness, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, or vomiting when using ashwagandha preparations.

Excessive doses might exacerbate these symptoms or, in rare cases, lead to severe liver problems or mild, transient effects like giddiness or hallucinations, as noted in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. It’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating ashwagandha into your routine, particularly if pregnant, breastfeeding, or dealing with specific medical conditions.

To ensure the highest level of safety, it is recommended to source high-quality supplements and follow the recommended dosage guidelines on the product label. If any concerning side effects or adverse reactions occur, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali in Sexual Health

Ashwagandha, an herb frequently used in Ayurvedic medicine, is believed to offer potential health benefits, particularly in improving sexual function. Traditionally considered an aphrodisiac, it’s been associated with enhancing sexual desire, pleasure, and performance.

According to the results of the study, ashwagandha supplementation also caused a big reduction in sexually related distress.

Some studies suggest that Ashwagandha could enhance overall semen quality, increase sperm count, and improve sperm motility.

In terms of women’s health, Ashwagandha has shown reports of enhancing sexual satisfaction, sleep quality, and overall life satisfaction. One study found that Ashwagandha root extract was safe and even improved sexual function among healthy women. However, another study didn’t show significant improvements in the frequency of sexual encounters for both the Ashwagandha-treated group and the placebo group after 4 and 8 weeks. So, ashwagandha has benefits for women.

On the other hand, Tongkat Ali is also known for its aphrodisiac and pro-fertility effects and is promoted as a “testosterone booster.”

Tongkat Ali is most often used for improving male sexual function, including libido, erectile function, and fertility. It may increase testosterone levels in men with low levels of this primary sex hormone, which can result from aging, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, some medications, injury or infection of the testicles, and certain diseases, such as chronic alcoholism and obstructive sleep apnea.

A 2017 review of studies found that out of 11 articles examining the effect of tongkat ali on male sexual health (including erectile dysfunction), seven showed notable improvement while four did not.

Tongkat Ali may also improve sperm motility and concentration, boosting male fertility. One study found that taking 200 mg of Tongkat Ali extract per day significantly improved sperm concentration and motility after three months. However, research on Tongkat Ali is limited, and more well-designed clinical trials are needed to fully understand its benefits and effects.

Some studies suggest that Tongkat Ali may help treat male infertility, improve mood, and increase muscle mass. Tongkat Ali may also reduce stress, with one study showing a significant effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones, with tension dropping 11%, anger dropping 12%, and confusion dropping 15%.

So we can say that both Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali hold promise in the realm of enhancing sexual health and fertility. These herbs, renowned for their aphrodisiac properties, hint at potential benefits in improving sexual function, sperm quality, and overall well-being. However, while initial studies show encouraging results, a more comprehensive understanding of their effects calls for further research and exploration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better for energy: Tongkat Ali or Ashwagandha?

Tongkat Ali is often considered more potent when it comes to boosting energy levels. It is popular for its stimulating properties, which can help increase physical endurance and reduce fatigue. However, Ashwagandha also has adaptogenic properties that help the body adapt to stress and may improve overall energy levels in a more balanced way.

Can Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali be stacked for better results?

Yes, it is possible to stack Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali for synergistic benefits. Combining these two herbs might provide more comprehensive support for stress management, energy levels, and hormonal health. As always, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before combining supplements to ensure safety and effectiveness.

What are the benefits of Tongkat Ali compared to Ashwagandha?

Tongkat Ali is more commonly associated with enhancing male hormone health, improving libido, and increasing muscle strength. It has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac for men. On the other hand, Ashwagandha is known for its adaptogenic properties, helping manage stress, improve mood, and support overall cognitive function. Both herbs have their own unique benefits, and which one is better depends on individual needs and desired effects.

How do Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali affect libido?

Tongkat Ali is well-known for its libido-enhancing properties, particularly in men. It has been shown to improve sexual performance, increase testosterone levels, and support healthy male hormone balance. Ashwagandha, while not as specifically targeted toward libido, can still have positive effects on sexual function due to its stress-relieving and vitality-boosting properties.

What are the potential side effects of Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali?

Both Ashwagandha and Tongkat Ali are generally considered safe when taken in appropriate doses. However, there are some potential side effects worth noting. In rare cases, Ashwagandha may cause digestive upset or allergic reactions. Tongkat Ali, when taken in high doses, may cause irritability, insomnia, or increased heart rate.

It is important to follow recommended dosages and consult with a healthcare professional before using any new supplements to minimize the risk of side effects and ensure the safety of usage.

How do dosage recommendations differ for Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha?

Dosage recommendations for Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha may vary based on factors such as body weight, age, and intended use. It is crucial to follow the guidelines provided by supplement manufacturers or consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.


About the Author

Yusra Aslam is a professional freelance writer and editor specializing in health and wellness, medicine, gardening, genetics, and various science-related fields. With a degree and Gold Medal in Molecular Biology, her writing effortlessly merges scientific expertise with effective communication. Beyond health and writing, Yusra harbors a passion for swimming, painting, and sports.

Comments for This Entry

Leave a Comment