Eurycoma longifolia (a.k.a. tongkat ali or pasak bumi) is a flowering plant in the family Simaroubaceae, native to Indonesia and Malaysia.
Eurycoma longifolia is a small everred treelet growing to 15 m (49 ft) tall, with spirally arranged, pinnate leaves 20-40 cm (8-16 inches) long with 13-41 leaflets. The flowers are dioecious, with male and female flowers on different trees; they are produced in large panicles, each flower with 5-6 very small petals. The fruit is green ripening dark red, 1-2 cm long and 0.5-1 cm broad.
Eurycoma longifolia has become popular for its alleged testosterone-enhancing properties. Tongkat Ali is typically sold as an Herbal Viagra under various trade names such as Via Plus and Long Jack. This is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial It has therefore been included in some herbal supplements for bodybuilders. Historically, South East Asia has utilised the herb for its suggested antimalarial, antibacterial activity, antipyretic, antiulcer, antitumor, cytotoxic, and aphrodisiac properties. In an experiment conducted on male rats, it was found that eurycoma longifolia increases the sperm count and plasma testosterone of the rats.
Some scientific studies suggest that it enhances sexual characteristics and performance in animals. However, most of these studies were conducted by the same researchers, so more research is needed.
In other studies, fractions of Eurycoma longifolia extract have been shown to induce apoptosis in breast-cancer cells and to be cytotoxic to lung-cancer cells.
A 2003 study by researchers in the Department of Exercise Physiology at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, the abstract of which was presented in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in a section listing research to be presented at an upcoming conference, reported results that Eurycoma longifolia caused increased muscle strength and size when compared to a placebo.
Other laboratory animal tests have produced positive indications, with one extract having been observed to increase sexual activity in mature rats, including arousal, sniffing, and mounting behavior. These tests were performed on a specifically isolated bioactive fraction extract, which has since been co-patented by the Government of Malaysia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). U.S. patent #7,132,117 was granted December 12, 2003.
Tongkat ali is sold in various extract ratios, with 1:20, 1:50, 1:100, and 1:200 being commonly claimed. Traditionally Tongkat Ali is extracted with water and not ethanol. However, the use of selling Tongkat Ali extract based on extraction ratio may be confusing and is not easily verifiable. Thus professional manufacturers are now standardizing their extract based on the active ingredient level, not the non-verifiable ratio method that is open to abuse. The commonly used standard/marker is the Glycosaponin content (35-45% glycosaponin in a pure extract) and eurycomanone (>2%).
See Also: bunga, toko bunga, bunga papan