Tongkat Ali History
Tongkat Ali Folklore
The roots of the traditional medicine beliefs and practices of Southeast Asia are thousands of years old. Malaysian medicine, and traditional Malay healers (called bomoh – the Malay version of the medicine man – or woman), call upon the combined learning from ancient medical systems from Chinese, Arabian, and Indian (Ayurveda) healers. Bomoh blend spirituality, massage and herbs to treat disease, and promote physical and mental wellness.
Across Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines), Tongkat Ali is used as a traditional remedy for treating malaria, cancer, anxiety, ulcers, fatigue, infertility and impotence. Malay bomoh claim that Tongkat Ali is four to five times more powerful than ginseng – so powerful that they commonly refer to Tongkat as the “King of traditional Malay medicine”.
Malaysian traditional medicine is known to have utilized at least 1,300 different plants, with Tongkat Ali holding a prominent place in local culture. Tongkat is added to juice, coffee and a wide variety of products for its energy boosting properties.
Tongkat Ali is also known by its Latin name – Eurycoma Longifolia Jack – which is sometimes shortened to Long-Jack. In Vietnam, Tongkat is known as “the tree that cures 1,000 diseases”. Tongkat trees take approximately three years to mature (for the active compounds to become concentrated in the roots, which are harvested). Older trees are larger and therefore yield larger roots with more active compounds.
In 2000 the Malaysian government, through its Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FIRM) program, entered into the first, and only, partnership program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to conduct research on Tongkat Ali. Their goals were to determine the bioactive fractions of the root, and how to extract these fractions with a traditional water extraction process, similar to traditional methods of making tea. This is the same process followed with Physta, so it is a traditional remedy, processed in a traditional way (hot water), to yield a scientifically validated end product.