At a glance
Tongkat Ali: The King of the Testosterone Jungle
They say there can only be one king in the jungle, but what about the rest of the animals? After all, every species in the wild possesses a unique skillset unmatched by the other creatures that roam among them.
The same holds true for the herbal kingdom. And when it comes to boosting male performance, men of all ages have set out to find the best botanical to give them an edge when it matters most.
But unlike the uncertainty that lies within the depths of the jungle, we’ll turn to scientific evidence to explore the efficacy of these botanicals and crown a king.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the herbal kingdom’s best botanicals for male physical, mental, and sexual performance.
Eurycoma longifolia (known as Tongkat Ali) is a prized aphrodisiac and testosterone booster. Native to several countries including Malaysia and India, the roots of this popular herbal medicine have long been used to treat sexual dysfunction, aging, exercise recovery, and more.
Molecules, a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal, labeled Tongkat Ali as a “promising herbal medicine” — and for good reason. Though Tongkat Ali is well established in herbal folk medicines in Southeast Asia, its male enhancing effects have gained notoriety in modern medical practices as well.
But potential only goes so far; it is the scientific evidence that solidifies Tongkat Ali as one of the top botanicals for male performance.
- According to the 2016 review in Molecules, Tongkat Ali is used to help relieve sexual dysfunction, high blood pressure, anxiety, constipation, and more.
But like many other botanicals in this article, there are various extracts and formulations of Tongkat Ali _ and it’s important to do a deeper dive into what sets one form apart from the others.
That’s where LJ100® Tongkat Ali comes in. LJ100® is a patented form of Tongkat Ali developed by a joint task force of researchers from M.I.T. and the University of Malaysia. It is derived from a wild harvested form of the plant’s roots using green chemistry — and the process has unleashed the potency of the plant in some astonishing ways.
- With over 13 published clinical studies, the science LJ100® is clear: it impacts multiple markers of men’s performance such as endogenous testosterone production and release, free testosterone levels, and cortisol levels.
- A 2002 clinical study tested LJ100® as a potential natural energizer for healthy aging in 30 men between 31-52 years. The participants underwent multiple tests that measured testosterone hormone, DHEA levels, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels in human, as well as the Quality of Life (QOL) of subjects through PADAM score and Sexual Health Inventory Questionnaires (SHIQ). The randomized trial supplied 100mg of LJ100® for 3 weeks.
- A staggering 62% of subjects had an increase in maximum scores and experienced increased sexual desire and success in attempts at sexual intercourse.
- DHEA levels gradually increased by 47%, which means that LJ100® may induce DHEA production and, in turn help convert DHEA to testosterone.
- SHBG reduced in 66% of participants after the 3-week period. The study notes that, when SHBG declined, the free testosterone index increased in 73% of subjects.
LJ100® has exhibited ergogenic effects such as increased testosterone levels, and how that increase impacts body composition, muscle strength, and muscle size as well.
- A 2003 clinical study assigned an intense strength-training program to 14 healthy men for 5 weeks.
- Participants were randomly placed into two groups that consumed either 100mg of LJ100® a day or placebo.
- The results suggest that consuming LJ100® led to increased lean muscle mass, greater muscle strength and size, and a reduction in body fat.
Lastly, LJ100® has been shown to boost testosterone for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism.
- A 2011 clinical study that consisted of 76 patients with late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) were supplied 200 mg of LJ100® for 1 month.
- According to the study, LJ100® significantly improved both Aging Male Symptom (AMS) score and serum testosterone concentration.
- One important excerpt from the study reads as follows: “Before treatment only 10.5% of the patients did not show any complaint according to the AMS scale and 35.5% had normal testosterone levels, after the completed treatment 71.7% and 90.8% of the patients showed normal values, respectively. Serum testosterone rose from 5.66 nm to 8.31 nm (46.82% increase).”
- As a result, LJ100® appears to be useful as a supplement in beating the symptoms of LOH, as well as managing hypogonadism.
With such stellar results, it would appear than mean of all ages who want to unlock their inner testosterone “beast” would do well to look into Tongkat Ali — especially a patented and clinically studied form like LJ100®.
Aside from Tongkat Ali, the herbal kingdom contains other botanicals for male performance as well — including Ginseng. Often referred to as the “King of all herbs,” offers a lot of promise for me looking to raise their game to a new level.
There are many forms of Ginseng, but one in particular — Panax Ginseng— is especially prized by men.
- Panax Ginseng — which means “all-healing” in Greek — was given its impressive name by Russian botanist Carl A. Meyer in 1843.
- It can be eaten raw and even enjoyed in various recipes including soup and stir-fry, but Ginseng is primarily consumed as a dietary supplement.
- Ginseng is one of the most precious botanicals in traditional Chinese medical practices.
- Similar to Tongkat Ali, Panax Ginseng is used to boost male performance.
- The beneficial effects of ginseng have been tested in clinical trials.
A 2015 systematic review of clinical studies analyzed the safety and effectiveness of Panax Ginseng. The review researched multiple Korean online database sites but did not select studies with single administration nor preparations combined with other herbs. Rather, the analysis opted for studies that only contained ginseng. Factors such as study design, the number of participants, dosage, and results were extracted and reviewed across 44 studies that met the criteria. These studies covered multiple areas of health such as cardiovascular function, sexual function, fatigue, and oxidation.
- The results showed that 29 of the 44 studies (65.9%) exhibited positive results, while the remaining 15 showed no effect.
- This safety analysis concluded that Panax Ginseng demonstrated a safe profile with no significant differences between the herb and placebo when it came to the frequency and symptoms of adverse effects.
As mentioned before, there are several forms of Ginseng.
One double-blind clinical trial evaluated the efficiency of Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) in male patients with sexual dysfunction.
- The study showed that KRG can be an effective alternative for treating erectile dysfunction.
- The study found that the men consuming 900 mg of Korean Red Ginseng three times daily scored significantly higher than the placebo group on Mean International Index of Erectile Function tests.
Ancillary studies, including a 2010 trial performed on rodents, found that Ginsenoside Rg1 — a purified ingredient from Ginseng — may improve sexual behavior. In other words, the ingredient increased sexual functions such serum testosterone concentration and enhanced Nitric Oxide release in male mice.
Although more human clinical studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of Ginseng on male performance, the experimental data on Rg1 is promising for both ED and low libido.
The Maca root is an impressive botanical. It grows at high altitude in the Andes Mountains, which is a fitting home for an exciting plant that is known to provide multiple benefits to male performance.
Although it shares similar physical characteristics to a freshly picked beet root, the Maca root is actually related to broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Furthermore, this special botanical is known to possess its own set of benefits, and it is a common ingredient used in Peruvian cuisine.
Aside from its heavy involvement in Peruvian dishes, it is in the area of male performance that the Maca root perhaps shines the brightest. It provides energy, endurance, and stamina — and it is considered an extraordinary ingredient for boosting sex drive.
Scientific evidence — such as this clinical study testing semen quantity and quality in adult men — shows promising results for using Maca to increase male potency:
- In this clinical trial, nine men between the ages of 24-44 consumed tablets of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) for 4 months.
- Treatment with Maca lead to increased seminal volume, sperm count, motile sperm count, and sperm mobility.
- In summary, the Maca root improved sperm production and sperm mobility in healthy adult men.
A separate study found that using Maca extract for two weeks improved performance for male cyclists in a 40 kilometer time trial.
- The results showed significant improvement in time to complete a 40 km time trial in trained male cyclists.
- In addition, the cyclists self-reported an increase in sexual desire
- Future studies will help determine the mechanisms of action of Maca on other areas of male performance such as paced exercise and pre-competition testosterone.
Saffron (Crocus Sativus)
Saffron — scientific name Crocus sativus — is widely cultivated in Greece, India, and parts of the Middle East. With its vibrant purple leaves, this stunning botanical is perhaps one of the most visually appealing plants in the herbal kingdom. But don’t let the pretty aesthetics fool you — the Saffron Crocus plant is a powerful male enhancer.
Nicknamed the “sunshine spice,” Saffron may be able to brighten your mood, as demonstrated in a recent meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.
And when it comes to male performance, Saffron has shown why it deserves a spot among the best botanicals in the herbal kingdom.
- A 2019 review and meta-analysis evaluated the effects of Saffron on sexual dysfunction. This body of research comprised 5 studies that included a total of 173 participants with sexual dysfunction factors including abnormal libido and ED.
- Although each study produced different results, the overall analysis showed a statistically significant positive effect by Saffron on sexual dysfunction.
A separate investigation into the effects of Saffron for sexual dysfunction set out to determine the efficacy of a topical Saffron gel on erectile function in diabetic men.
- This randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial consisted of 50 married diabetic men, aged 40 and above, with ED. The men were randomly assigned to receive active treatment using topical Saffron Gel or were placed in the placebo group.
- Participants were instructed to fill out a 15-Item International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire (IIEF-15) before the intervention and then one month later.
- Key findings included significant improvements in scores on the IIEF-15 and the five dimensions of male sexual health: erectile function, sexual desire, orgasmic function, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction.
Other Botanicals To Look At
As you can see, the herbal kingdom contains multiple botanicals for male performance. Each option possesses unique characteristics that benefit different areas including testosterone levels, sperm production, energy, athletic performance, and more.
With that in mind, here are five more botanicals to check out:
- Horny Goat Weed: Although research on the effects of Horny Goat Weed is limited, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that it improved erectile function in rats.
- Tribulus Terrestris: An exotic plant, Tribulus terrestris (TT) is widely available as an over-the-counter supplement and used to enhance human vitality, boost testosterone, and improve impaired erectile function. Though evidence is conflicted, it does show promise – research shows that a TT extract alleviates muscle damage and promotes anaerobic performance in male boxers.
- Fenugreek: A 2010 double-blind, controlled trial published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that 500 mg of a Fenugreek extraction significantly impacted both upper and lower body strength and body composition, as compared to placebo.
- Ashwagandha: Withania somnifera, better known as Ashwagandha, was found to improve reproductive system function in male subjects. For example, the Ashwagandha extract decreased infertility in men, a result of enhancing semen quality.
- Rhodiola: A versatile root used throughout history for physical and mental energy, endurance, and performance, the “golden root” has shown to fight fatigue in subjects with prolonged or chronic fatigue, and it may also hold promise in enhancing male virility.
Which Botanical Will You Choose?
The herbal kingdom contains multiple botanicals for male performance. However, not all herbs have the pedigree — or clinical evidence — to be crowned the king.
Botanicals such as Tongkat Ali, Ginseng, Maca, and Saffron have undergone multiple studies to measure their role in men’s performance. Some may prefer Ginseng or Saffron, but others may cite the impressive clinical benefits of LJ100® as the reason why Tongkat Ali reigns supreme.
So, as each botanical continues to fight for the top spot in the herbal kingdom, be sure to keep an eye out for future studies involving male performance.