Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha are two herbs whose health benefits on male hormone health and sexual function are frequently compared. Both herbs have a long history of medicinal use, but their origins, uses, and chemical composition is distinct.

When deciding which herb to use, it is important to consider the differences between Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha.

This article will compare and contrast Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha in depth.

What is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat ali is a Southeast Asian plant also known as Eurycoma longifolia or Malaysian ginseng. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine for various purposes, such as enhancing energy and male fertility.

There is scientific evidence to support the use of tongkat ali for enhancing male fertility and sexual performance, although the amount of research conducted to date is still insufficient.

Tongkat ali is believed to increase testosterone levels by increasing the rate of free testosterone release within the body.

This plant is believed to contain a variety of phytochemicals that provide health benefits, including:

  • Eurycomanone
  • Eurycoma Side
  • Euryco Lactone

Below is a brief summary of tongkat ali’s health benefits.

Tongkat Ali Benefits

In some research, Tongkat ali has been linked to potential benefits, including treating male infertility, improved mood, and increased muscle mass. On the other hand, most of the purported health benefits of tongkat ali have yet to be adequately studied.

According to research, the following are some of the possible benefits of Tongkat Ali:

Potentially Boosts Testosterone

Multiple clinical studies indicate that supplementation with tongkat ali may increase testosterone production.

Tongkat ali, in conjunction with daily exercise, improved erectile dysfunction and testosterone levels in a study involving 45 men [1].

In a second clinical trial involving 109 men, 300 mg of tongkat ali was found to improve life quality, erectile function, and libido [2].

Could Help with Stress Control

In addition to improving your physical health, tongkat ali may also improve your mental health by reducing stress and boosting your mood [3].

In a separate study involving 93 high-stress individuals, supplementation with tongkat ali and a multivitamin appeared to promote mental health and reduce stress levels compared to the placebo group [4].

Potentially Boosts Energy Levels and Stamina

According to research, tongkat ali may enhance exercise performance, including strength and power. This benefit is believed to result from tongkat Ali’s ability to boost testosterone levels.

A study involving 45 men with low testosterone levels showed that supplementation with tongkat ali and daily exercise increased power output [5]. It was also discovered to increase energy, libido, strength, and mental health [6].

It should be noted that consistent resistance training alone leads to increases in strength and power, but tongkat ali supplementation appears to aid in enhancing athletic performance.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian ginseng,” is a popular Ayurvedic herb (an Indian form of medicine). It has a long history of use as a natural remedy for various health problems in India. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce stress and boost the immune system.

Recent scientific research indicates that ashwagandha supplements may be useful for reducing anxiety, boosting hormone production, and enhancing sleep.

It is regarded as an adaptogenic herb or a herb that assists the body in adapting to stress.

Ashwagandha Benefits

Preliminary evidence shows that consuming ashwagandha can improve athletic performance and sleep quality. More in-depth studies are needed, but preliminary findings suggest that this herb may be beneficial for the treatment of anxiety as well as infertility.

According to research, the following are some of the possible benefits of ashwagandha:

Helps Boost Testosterone

Research suggests that Ashwagandha may improve testosterone production and athletic performance.

In a study involving older, obese men, Ashwagandha was found to increase testosterone levels by over 14%. In addition, the researchers observed an 18% rise in DHEA-S levels among the study participants [7].

Daily ashwagandha supplementation effectively increased upper and lower body strength in a separate study [8]. The researchers also observed an increase in muscle mass in the study participants [9].

These findings suggest that Ashwagandha may be a useful natural supplement for increasing testosterone production and enhancing athletic performance. However, more research is required to comprehend its potential benefits and risks.

Might enhance sleep quality

According to several clinical studies, Ashwagandha may benefit sleep quality and insomnia [10].

Another study compared the effects of Ashwagandha on those with and without insomnia and found that it improved sleep quality in both groups [11].

These results indicate that Ashwagandha may be an effective herbal remedy for enhancing sleep quality and reducing insomnia. However, additional research is required to comprehend its potential benefits and risks.

By reading our detailed article, you can learn more about the benefits of Ashwagandha.

May Reduce Anxiety and Stress

According to recent clinical studies, Ashwagandha may effectively alleviate stress and anxiety.

Daily supplementation with 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract significantly reduced participants’ self-reported stress and anxiety levels, according to one study [12].

These results indicate that Ashwagandha may be an effective herbal treatment for anxiety and stress [13]. However, more research is required to fully comprehend its potential health benefits and risks when used for mental health and stress reduction.

Tongkat Ali vs. Ashwagandha: Differences & Similarities

When comparing Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha, there are several similarities and differences to be aware of.

To begin with, both Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha have been shown to increase testosterone levels, making them viable options for individuals seeking to improve their hormone levels and sexual function through natural means.

Even though both Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha increase testosterone levels, they do so through distinct mechanisms. Tongkat ali appears to increase testosterone levels less by “stimulating” testosterone synthesis than by increasing the rate at which testosterone is released from its binding hormone, sex hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) [14].

Due to its powerful antioxidant properties, Ashwagandha affects testosterone levels. Ashwagandha is believed to protect testicular cells from oxidative damage. Since testosterone is produced in the testes, less damage to the testes may increase total testosterone levels.

In addition, both Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha have stress-relieving properties. Ashwagandha is a calming herb that may aid in reducing anxiety and enhancing sleep. Tongkat ali is useful for stress management.

One of the most significant differences between Ashwagandha and tongkat ali is that Ashwagandha has a sedative effect. Tongkat ali does not have the same effect because it is typically a stimulating, energizing herb.

Which is Best, Tongkat Ali or Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha can be thought of as an anti-stress herb that enhances the body’s resilience. Researchers have also discovered that it improves sleep quality and testosterone levels.

Ashwagandha is ideal for those in search of a general anti-stress boost. The improvement in sleep and the increase in hormone production are pleasant effects.

On the other hand, the benefits of tongkat ali are ideal for those who wish to increase their testosterone levels and physical performance.

When comparing Ashwagandha and tongkat ali, think of Ashwagandha as a brain herb (relaxing, anti-stress) and tongkat ali as a body herb (testosterone levels, energy levels, etc.).

However, the best herb for you will ultimately depend on your particular needs.

Before making dietary or lifestyle changes, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. They can help you determine which herb is optimal for your specific needs and objectives.

Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha Together 

Yes, taking Tongkat Ali and Ashwagandha together is safe. There are no known negative interactions between these two herbs, and their effects on hormone health and stress management may be complementary.

Before taking any herbs, alone or in combination, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional to ensure their safety and suitability for your individual needs.

Possible Adverse Effects & Interactions

Herbs can potentially interact negatively with the body if used improperly, just like any other substance.

Ashwagandha is generally well-tolerated and safe for most individuals to consume.

According to a safety study, standard doses of Ashwagandha (300 mg daily) are not associated with negative side effects or adverse reactions [15].

Tongkat ali is also generally well tolerated and safe for most individuals to consume.

A recent safety study revealed that large doses of tongkat ali might be harmful [16]. Generally, 200 to 400 mg of Eurycoma longifolia per day is recommended.

Conclusion

As demonstrated, consuming Tongkat Ali or Ashwagandha is generally well-tolerated and safe. Consider putting each of these herbs to the test for a few weeks before deciding. One is better than the other, or vice versa! Alternatively, combine them to determine if a synergistic effect is produced.

As with all supplements, it’s best to check in with your personal physician prior to trying something new.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Leitão, A. E., Vieira, M. C. S., Pelegrini, A., da Silva, E. L., & Guimarães, A. C. A. (2021). A 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial to evaluate the effect of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali) and concurrent training on erectile function and testosterone levels in androgen deficiency of aging males (ADAM). Maturitas, 145, 78–85. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33541567/
  • Ismail, S. B., Wan Mohammad, W. M., George, A., Nik Hussain, N. H., Musthapa Kamal, Z. M., & Liske, E. (2012). Randomized Clinical Trial on the Use of PHYSTA Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia for the Improvement of Quality of Life and Sexual Well-Being in Men. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 429268. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23243445/
  • Talbott, S. M., Talbott, J. A., George, A., & Pugh, M. (2013). Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 28. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23705671/
  • George, A., Udani, J., Abidin, N. Z., & Yusof, A. (2018). Efficacy and safety of Eurycoma longifolia (Physta®) water extract plus multivitamins on quality of life, mood and stress: a randomized placebo-controlled and parallel study. Food & nutrition research, 62, 10.29219/fnr.v62.1374. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30574050/
  • Leitão, A. E., Vieira, M. C. S., Gomes, D. A., Boing, L., Pelegrini, A., Luiz, E., & Guimarães, A. C. A. (2021). Exercise associated or not to the intake of Eurycoma longifolia improves strength and cardiorespiratory fitness in men with androgen deficiency. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 42, 101301. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33445146/
  • Chen, C. K., Ooi, F. K., Abu Kasim, N. A., & Asari, M. A. (2019). Effects of Eurycoma Longifolia Jack Supplementation Combined with Resistance Training on Isokinetic Muscular Strength and Power, Anaerobic Power, and Urinary Testosterone: Epitestosterone Ratio in Young Males. International journal of preventive medicine, 10, 118. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31367282/
  • Lopresti, A. L., Drummond, P. D., & Smith, S. J. (2019). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males. American journal of men’s health, 13(2), 1557988319835985. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30854916/
  • Ziegenfuss, T. N., Kedia, A. W., Sandrock, J. E., Raub, B. J., Kerksick, C. M., & Lopez, H. L. (2018). Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Withania somnifera on Strength Training Adaptations and Recovery: The STAR Trial. Nutrients, 10(11), 1807. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30463324/
  • Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 43. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26609282/
  • Langade, D., Kanchi, S., Salve, J., Debnath, K., & Ambegaokar, D. (2019). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus, 11(9), e5797. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31728244/
  • Langade, D., Thakare, V., Kanchi, S., & Kelgane, S. (2021). Clinical evaluation of the pharmacological impact of ashwagandha root extract on sleep in healthy volunteers and insomnia patients: A double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 264, 113276. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32818573/
  • Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 34(3), 255–262. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/
  • Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Malvi, H., & Kodgule, R. (2019). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Medicine, 98(37), e17186. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31517876/
  • Talbott, S. M., Talbott, J. A., George, A., & Pugh, M. (2013). Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 28. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23705671/
  • Verma, N., Gupta, S. K., Tiwari, S., & Mishra, A. K. (2021). Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, study in Healthy Volunteers. Complementary therapies in medicine, 57, 102642. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33338583/
  • Rehman, S. U., Choe, K., & Yoo, H. H. (2016). Review on a Traditional Herbal Medicine, Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali): Its Traditional Uses, Chemistry, Evidence-Based Pharmacology and Toxicology. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 21(3), 331. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26978330/
maca coffee 2
Dr Faisal Rasheed, M.D.

Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn

Author

  • Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn

Share.

Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn