I wonder who actually started the fad "Tongkat Ali" in the early 1990's. Perhaps men were threatened by the wave of strong women taking the podium and leading nations as Presidents and Prime Ministers. The threats cut across the board and social strata. Perhaps it is quite accurate to say that increasing number of men suffer from physical dysfunction as women gain greater foothold on higher positions.
Thus natural viagra in many forms were "discovered". The tongkat ali (root only) has been around as an antidote for various indigenous ailments according to a learned friend. In the longhouses the tongkat ali has been sought mainly as a cure for malarial fevers and general physical weaknesses. ED has been a taboo topic - not talked about outside the four walls of the bedroom in the past.
It is only recently that documents have been presented on tongkat ali as a "cure" for ED and more village men and women begin to talk about it in humourous manners. However the potency of this TA is yet to be proven by more men.
Eurycoma longifolia is a small evergreen 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.
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.
Tongkat ali is sold in various forms of tablets/capsules by a large number of pharmaceutical firms in Malaysia. Some TA products are available in the Internet.
Instant coffee with some tongkat ali extracts have been commercial hits. But again nothing much has been proven . Perhaps it is the caffeine and not the TA which helps a man to be more active and alert.
However the local indigenous population would not extract the TA if they have no ailments. Hence the TA is still safe in the jungle.
The piece in the photographs has been used as a cure for malarial fever suffered by my relative. It has come from a very long piece of TA extracted some time ago from one single plant in the jungle. Perhaps according to Ake Juat about seven pieces were cut and given away. But he really cannot remember. Medicine like this does help reduce a fever but then again the important ingredients dry up over time!
Another friend of mine has a piece of very crooked TA framed up and is now hanging on the wall of his office - to be used as a conversation piece!
2. Ake Juat Entalai (Grandfather of Juat Entalai)