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Ginseng vs Tongkat Ali – Which One Should You Take?

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So, you’re ready to improve your health with supplements.

That’s great! You’re making a wise decision that your body will thank you for.

2 decent options that you might’ve heard of are Ginseng and Tongkat Ali. I’m here to help you pick which one is best for you.

In my epic Supplement Comparison Series, I take two supplements and compare them on their benefits, drawbacks, cost, and more. Hopefully, by the end of each article, you’ll have a better idea of which one to take.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at Ginseng vs Tongkat Ali.


Let’s go!

What is Ginseng?

ginseng root

Ginseng is an ancient herb native to Asia that’s been used for its nutritional and medicinal properties for over 2000 years.

Many of the health benefits offered by Ginseng are credited to compounds called ginsenosides, and more than 30 of these have been discovered so far.

Ginseng’s name roughly translates to essence of man in Chinese, and it’s one of the most popular herbal supplements in America.

What is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) is a shrubby tree native to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia.

It works as an adaptogen, meaning it helps regulate your body’s stress response.

Tongkat Ali has been used medicinally for many centuries in Asia, and is seen as a national treasure in Malaysia.


Benefits of Ginseng

Ginseng may help strengthen the immune system

A big complication of cancer treatment is a weakened immune system.

Interestingly, Ginseng may help boost your immune system.

For example, a study looked at the effects of Ginseng on immune system markers in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The results showed that the Ginseng takers had better immune system markers than the other patients.

Ginseng may help reduce inflammation

Inflammation can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Acute inflammation often happens after an injury, so for example if you cut your finger.

This type of inflammation signals your body that something’s wrong, and so helps speed up the healing process.

Whereas chronic inflammation builds up slowly over time and is usually the result of living an unhealthy lifestyle.

It’s this type of inflammation you want to stay clear of, as it’s been linked to many serious diseases, including:

  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

So, to lower your risk of these awful diseases, you ought to reduce chronic inflammation as much as possible.

And this is where Ginseng proves to be useful.

Research shows that it helps regulate TNF-a, which is a molecule that play an important role in inflammation.

Ginseng may help improve erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be tricky to treat as it often has numerous causes, such as:

  • Low levels of nitric oxide
  • Oxidative stress in the blood vessels of the penis

The good news is that Ginseng can lower this oxidative stress (Source) as well as increase nitric oxide levels. (Source)

So with that in mind, you’d think Ginseng would be effective for ED, right?

Well, one study found that Ginseng was twice as effective than a commonly prescribed ED medication!

Ginseng may help improve mental function

According to research, Ginseng may help improve cognitive function.

In one study, subjects who took 400mg of daily Ginseng had improved math skill and calmness after just 8 days.

In another study, subjects who took 200mg of daily Ginseng had improved mood, mental health, and social functioning after just 4 weeks.

Benefits of Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali may help relieve stress

According to research, Tongkat Ali may be useful for those under stress.

In one study, 63 subjects with stress took either 200mg of Tongkat Ali or a placebo every day for 4 weeks.

After the 4 weeks, the Tongkat Ali takers reported less anger, stress, and tension.

They also had lower levels of cortisol – the stress hormone – in their saliva.

Tongkat Ali may help boost muscle size and strength

Although Tongkat Ali is rarely discussed in the weightlifting community, research shows it’s useful for those wanting to get bigger and stronger.

For example in one study, 14 men took either 100mg of Tongkat Ali or a placebo every day for 5 weeks.

According to the results, the Tongkat Ali takers had bigger increases in size than the placebo takers.

In another study, 25 adults took 400mg of Tongkat Ali every day for 5 weeks.

The results showed that the subjects had significantly increased strength after taking Tongkat Ali.

Tongkat Ali may help boost male fertility

Research suggests that Tongkat Ali may help male fertility.

For example in one study, 75 sub-fertile males took 200mg of Tongkat Ali every day for 3 months.

According to the results, the Tongkat Ali significantly improved their sperm quality.

In another study, 109 men took either 300mg of Tongkat Ali or a placebo every day for 12 weeks.

The results showed that the Tongkat Ali takers had an 18% increase in seminal fluid volume and 44% increase in sperm motility.

Tongkat Ali may help increase testosterone levels

Many people have lower than ideal T levels nowadays.

There are various reasons for this including a lower meat intake, poor sleep quality, and low-fat diets.

But low T levels are no laughing matter – they may even contribute to depression in aging men. (Source)

And this is where Tongkat Ali proves to be useful.

In one study, 76 men with low T levels took 200mg of Tongkat Ali every day for a month.

According to the results, 90% of the subjects had healthy testosterone levels after taking Tongkat Ali.


Ginseng Cost

Ginseng is normally sold as slices or in capsules.

Typical prices for these are:

  • Slices: $30 for 4 Oz
  • Capsules: $20 for 120

Tongkat Ali Cost

Tongkat Ali is usually sold as a powder or in capsules.

Here are some standard prices for these:

  • Powder: $20 for 100g
  • Capsules: $23 for 120

Side Effects

Ginseng Side Effects

Ginseng is well tolerated by most healthy adults, but the following side effects have been reported in some instances:

  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blood pressure fluctuations

Women may encounter more side effects like vaginal bleeding and breast tenderness.

Also, those who are taking other medications should speak to a doctor before taking Ginseng as it may interact adversely with other drugs.

Tongkat Ali Side Effects

Like Ginseng, Tongkat Ali is well tolerated by most people and side effects are quite rare.

But until more research is done, pregnant/nursing women and children should avoid taking Tongkat Ali.


My Ginseng Recommendation: Wellbeing Formula Korean Ginseng

Click to see on Amazon


Long lasting? Yep.

Highly rated? Mhmm.

High strength? You betcha.

Wellbeing Formula Korean Ginseng has all the features of a top supplement.

What I like about it

A great feature is that the Ginseng has a minimum of 5% ginsenosides.

Since these are the compounds that provide many of Ginseng’s benefits, we want this to be relatively high.

(Just to be clear, 5% is pretty high when compared to other Ginseng supplements.)

Also, the hundreds of excellent reviews show that lots of people have used this supplement with great results.

And with each bottle providing 180 capsules, one purchase will last you many months.

Potential Drawbacks

Personally, I’d like to see Wellbeing Formula be more exact with the ingredient stated as vegetable capsule.

Perhaps that’s just me. I am quite fussy.

Check price and read more reviews of Wellbeing Formula Korean Ginseng on Amazon.

My Tongkat Ali Recommendation: Holistic Bin Tongkat Ali

Click to see on Amazon


An awesome powdered Tongkat Ali supplement.

Ideal for those who like the freedom to choose how much Tongkat Ali they want to take.

What I like about it

I love that this supplement is powdered, as you can chop and change the dosage to meet your needs.

(Some folks will see better results from a lower dose and others from a higher dose.)

Also, the fact that the Tongkat Ali is extracted at a low heat is great as this helps retain more nutrients.

And as a bonus, this supplement contains 100% pure Tongkat Ali powder.

In other words, you’re not wasting your cash on cheap additives which companies include to make their products cheaper to produce.

Potential Drawbacks

Although the flexibility of powdered supplements is great, it also means you have to taste it.

But if you dislike the taste, then I’m sure you can mask it with your favorite juice or something.

Check price and read more reviews of Holistic Bin Tongkat Ali on Amazon.

Ginseng vs Tongkat Ali: The Verdict

Well, thank you for sticking to the end of this Ginseng vs Tongkat Ali breakdown with me.

I hope you’ve learned a ton!

By now, you should have a solid idea of which one you’re going to use, but if you’re still uncertain, here’s what I’d go for:

You might prefer Ginseng if:

  • You struggle with ED
  • You want to reduce inflammation
  • You want to boost your mental function
  • You want to strengthen your immune system

You might prefer Tongkat Ali if:

  • You suffer from stress
  • You want to improve your sperm health
  • You want to boost your testosterone levels
  • You want to put on more muscle and get stronger

See you in the next one!