Eurycoma Longifolia: The Safe and Effective Sexual Health Enhancing Herb!

Eurycoma longifolia, also known as Malaysian ginseng, is a small tree that grows along the hilly slopes of the rainforests of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

It has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries in Southeast Asia to promote well being, improve health, increase strength, and increase libido. Today it is increasingly being used as a natural, gentle, and effective alternative to sex-enhancing drugs, and in Malaysia is often included in soft drinks, coffee, and tea as an overall health enhancer.

Traditional uses

According to an article written by Julisasi Tri Hadiah, a member of the Medicinal Plants Research Group at Bogor Botanic Garden in West Java, eurycoma is currently a popular aphrodisiac in Southeast Asia, and all parts of the plant have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. It is commonly used as a postpartum tonic, and its bark is used to cure fever, oral ulcers, and intestinal worms. A paste made from the plant is used as a pain reliever for headache, stomachache, syphilis, and other ailments. The flowers, fruit, and roots are used as a medicine for treating dysentery, and in Riau, Sumatra, where Hadiah did her research, people living in the surrounding forests boil the root or stem to cure malaria. Eurycoma is even used by the Sakai ethnic group in Sumatra as an amulet to protect them from the smallpox virus.1

Scientific studies

There have been quite a few studies on the effect that eurycoma has on the sexual behavior of male rats which support its folk use as an aphrodisiac. The effects of eurycoma were studied on sexually experienced male rats, castrated rats, sexually inexperienced rats, and middle-aged rats. All studies indicated an increase in the rats’ sexual activity.23[ref4}5678910

For instance, in a recent study at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Science Malaysia, the effects of eurycoma were studied on the orientation activities of middle-aged rats towards females. The male rats were given eurycoma extract twice daily for ten days. When compared to the controls, the treated male rats showed more interest in the female rats in terms of sniffing, licking, and mounting. The male rats were also more interested in their environment which they expressed by climbing, exploring, and self-grooming. The study concluded that eurycoma has a definite effect on the orientation activities of middle-aged male rats.11

In a more dramatic study of the aphrodisiac property of eurycoma on sexually inexperienced male rats, an electric grid was used in the rats’ cage to deter them from crossing over to the cage with the female rats. The rats treated with eurocyma were willing to overcome the intensity of the grid current to reach the receptive female rats. The untreated rats, however, did not pursue the female rats.

Results showed that eurycoma continued to enhance and also maintain a high level of the total number of successful crossovers, mountings, intromissions, and ejaculations during the 9-12 week observation period. In conclusion, these results further enhanced and strengthened the aphrodisiac property of eurycoma longifolia. 12

Additionally, other studies have determined that eurycoma’s chemical constituents called quassinoids were found to exhibit anti-tumor and anti-parasitic activities.13

Current Research

As eurycoma is becoming a popular supplement around the world for sexual enhancement, more and more scientists are interested in determining exactly how and why it works. The Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has an ongoing five-year Malaysia MIT Biotechnology Partnership Program (MMBPP) to determine the herb’s health benefits and to see if it works as an aphrodisiac because it increases testosterone. In Thailand, the Faculty of Science of the Mahidol University is investigating the active compounds in eurycoma. And an Indonesian pharmaceutical company is also testing the herb.14

Eurycoma works for men and women

Although no human studies have been done, according to anecdotal evidence, 80 to 90 percent of people who try eurycoma notice a definite increase in their libido.

One 23-year-old woman said, “I have had a low libido and for years I thought something was wrong with me. I didn’t think there was anything I could do about it. I tried other prosexual formulas and counted myself successful when I found myself initiating sex with my partner. I came across the eurycoma longifolia a couple months ago, and figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I took two pills a day and, after about a week and a half, noticed that I was actually seeking my partner out and thinking about chance encounters. I have been taking the eurycoma for about two months, and it has definitely helped add a little more vigor to my young life.”

Another woman, aged 34, remarked, “I tried eurycoma on a whim and didn’t really expect anything. After taking it for about two weeks, all of a sudden I noticed that I felt different. I felt more sexually ambitious than before and also had a general elevated sense of well being and happiness.”

A 41-year-old man who has been using eurycoma on and off for a few months said, “I need to limit my use of this product because the increase in libido can be frustrating. This supplement has been a helpful tool in increasing my wife’s libido so that we are on an even playing field. It works for her, and that definitely works for me!”

If you decide to try it

With all the research projects currently underway, it’s just a matter of time before scientists discover what makes eurycoma work the way it does. Until then, if you’d like to discover the “magic” of this time-tested herb, just make sure you’re getting a high-quality product made from the roots of the plant. Most eurycoma supplements are made from inferior bark and leaves that are dark brown in color or are methanol or butanol extracts. The safest and most effective products, however, are made from a water extract of the roots—which is a golden yellow color.

Eurycoma is a safe and natural alternative to chemical sex enhancers. There are no safety precautions because there have been no documented negative side effects. Eurycoma does, however, have other health benefits which scientists are just beginning to investigate, and which we’ll be learning about in the coming years.


  1. Ang HH, Lee KL. Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on orientation activities in middle-aged male rats. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Dec;16(6):479-83.
  2. Ang HH, Lee KL. Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on libido in middle-aged male rats. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2002;13(3):249-54.
  3. Ang HH, Cheang HS. Effects of Eurycoma longifolia jack on laevator ani muscle in both uncastrated and testosterone-stimulated castrated intact male rats. Arch Pharm Res. 2001 Oct;24(5):437-40.
  4. Ang HH, Ngai TH. Aphrodisiac evaluation in non-copulator male rats after chronic administration of Eurycoma longifolia Jack.Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2001 Aug;15(4):265-8.
  5. Ang HH, Cheang HS, Yusof AP. Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali) on the initiation of sexual performance of inexperienced castrated male rats. Exp Anim. 2000 Jan;49(1):35-8.
  6. Ang HH, Cheang HS. Studies on the anxiolytic activity of Eurycoma longifolia Jack roots in mice. Jpn J Pharmacol. 1999 Apr;79(4):497-500.
  7. Ang HH, Sim MK. Eurycoma longifolia increases sexual motivation in sexually naive male rats. Arch Pharm Res. 1998 Dec;21(6):779-81.
  8. Ang HH, Sim MK. Eurycoma longifolia JACK and orientation activities in sexually experienced male rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 1998 Feb;21(2):153-5.
  9. Ang HH, Sim MK. Eurycoma longifolia Jack enhances libido in sexually experienced male rats. Exp Anim. 1997 Oct;46(4):287-90.
  10. Ang HH, Lee KL. Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on orientation activities in middle-aged male rats. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Dec;16(6):479-83.
  11. Ang HH, Sim MK. Eurycoma longifolia increases sexual motivation in sexually naive male rats. Arch Pharm Res. 1998 Dec;21(6):779-81.
  12. Jiwajinda S, Santisopasri V, Murakami A, Sugiyama H, Gasquet M, Riad E, Balansard G, Ohigashi H. In vitro anti-tumor promoting and anti-parasitic activities of the quassinoids from Eurycoma longifolia, a medicinal plant in Southeast Asia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Sep;82(1):55-8.
  13. Tjahjadi, Riza V “Big Interest In A Small Tree, Bioresearch ofEurycoma fongifolia, Pasak Bumi (Eurycoma fongifolia) in South East Asia.” BioTani Indonesia Foundation/ PAN Indonesia, Issue 6-20, May 18, 2003

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