What Are Tongkat Ali and Kacip Fatimah?


Quick Answer

Tongkat ali, also known as Eurycoma longifolia, is a plant believed to improve male sexual abilities, boost the libido, and enhance or protect virility, reports WebMD. Kacip fatimah, or Labisia pumila, is traditionally used to facilitate and ease childbirth, increase libido and treat various illnesses, according to Drugs.com.

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Full Answer

Kacip fatimah is sometimes called the female counterpart to tongkat ali in the Malay community, reports Wikipedia. It is traditionally used to treat women, believed to regulate the menstrual cycle and alleviate side effects. Its health benefits have not been extensively studied as of 2015, but initial research has reported that it appears to mimic the effects of estrogen somewhat, increasing uterine weight. The entire plant is boiled and either ingested as a tea or used as a herbal bath.

The roots of tongkat ali contain chemicals that may affect the production of testosterone in humans, according to WebMD. Initial studies have suggested that tongkat ali causes humans and rats to produce more testosterone. It is also believed to improve the quality and concentration of sperm, helping male infertility. However, there is very little evidence that it increases endurance in male athletes, helps increase muscle mass or boosts the libido. Because of the high demand for tongkat ali in Malaysia and elsewhere, the plant is classified as a protected species, as of 2015.

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