Quick Info: Tongkat Ali vs Fenugreek

  • Both Tongkat Ali and Fenugreek are powerful supplements. 
  • Fenugreek offers hormonal support for both women and men. 
  • Tongkat Ali may be particularly beneficial for men because of its testosterone and male fertility-boosting effects. 

Fenugreek Overview

Long used in medicine and cooking in the cultures of ancient Egypt and India, Fenugreek is a herb that is associated with many benefits. Bursting with nutrients such as copper, protein, iron, fibre, manganese, and magnesium Fenugreek seeds also contain a range of useful bioactive compounds including galactomannan, trigonelline, saponins, and 4-hydroxyisoleucine.

Specific benefits of Fenugreek seeds include: 

  • Cholesterol reduction in both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total levels.
  •  Alleviating  gastrointestinal complaints (via mucilaginous fibre)

Tongkat Ali Overview

Made from the roots of the Eurycoma Longifolia plant Tongkat Ali is primarily grown in Southeast Asia. Well known for its medicinal properties, the benefits of Tongkat Ali include: 

  • Lowering cortisol, which can help to fight stress, anxiety and fatigue and boost mood
  • Help build lean muscle mass and strength via muscle protein synthesis. 
  • Boosting immunity via the effect of biocompounds such as polysaccharides and saponins. 

Fenugreek Vs Tongkat Ali: Biologically Active Compounds

Both Fenugreek and Tongkat Ali contain biologically active compounds that experts suggest are responsible for their benefits. 

Fenugreek Biologically Active Compounds

In Fenugreek the biologically active compounds include the following: 

  • 4-hydroxy isoleucine
  • Galactomannan 
  • Trigoneosides
  • Trigonelline 

In particular, Fenugreek is seen as a helpful supplement because the 4-hydroxy isoleucine it contains helps to regulate glucose metabolism. This in turn can help people manage conditions such as type 2 diabetes. 

Experts suggest that 4-hydroxy isoleucine is also responsible for the ability of Fenugreek to boost testosterone, which helps to increase male sex drive and performance. 

Tongkat Ali Biologically Active Compounds

The bioactive compounds in Tongkat Ali are quite different from the ones in Fenugreek. Tongkat Ali contains: 

  • Eurycomalactone 
  • Eurycomanone 
  • Eurycolactone 
  • Eurycomaoside 

Quassinoids are also found in Tongkat Ali, which promote significant antiparasitic and antiulcer activities. 

Additionally, the Alkaloids in Tongkat Ali are also suspected to have significant antibacterial and anticancer activities. 

Safety, Dosing and Interactions

Calls for further scientific studies

In both the case of Fenugreek and Tongkat Ali, scientists acknowledge that while the initial research is auspicious, much more on both substances is needed. In particular, larger human trials that run for longer are called for to confirm initial findings and to continue exploring the benefits that these two natural substances can have on the body. 

Side effects

Just like with any supplement, some side effects are recorded for those taking Fenugreek or Tongkat Ali. Mostly, these are minor issues such as nausea, bloating, diarrhea and gas. However, some people have had allergic reactions to such supplements and will need to terminate their use immediately. 

Also, minor side effects are often caused by taking a dosage that is too large and will no longer be an issue once the dosage has been corrected. Although, just as in the case of any supplement do check with your healthcare provider before you begin taking Fenugreek or Tongkat Ali, especially if you are taking other medication. 

Fenugreek Dosage 

  • Seeds and powder: 2-5g across 2-3 doses
  • Capsules: 500-2000 mg daily of standardized Fenugreek

Tongkat Ali Dosage 

  • Typical dose standardized root extract: 200-400 mg
  • High dose standardized root extract: 800-1200mg, short term only, safety of this has not yet been confirmed. 

Where possible start with a smaller dose and build up slowly to avoid side effects. 

Potential Interactions

Just as medications interact with one another, supplements can interact with medications as well. It’s crucial to educate yourself concerning these interactions before taking any supplement. 

Fenugreek interactions 

Fenugreek can interact with diabetes medicines. This means you must take it only with permission from your doctor, and use blood glucose monitoring at the same time. 

Fenugreek may enhance the effects of anticoagulants and NSAIDs which can be dangerous for some people. 

Tongkat Ali Interactions 

Tongkat Ali can interact with medications designed to change hormone levels in the body. This means individuals using HRT (hormone replacement therapy), the contraceptive pill, or testosterone should only take it under medical supervision. 

Tongkat Ali may also interact with some sedative medications, enhancing their effects, which can be dangerous for some individuals. 

Additionally, experts recommend that because of the impact they can have, those with medical conditions should use either Fenugreek or Tongkat Ali under medical supervision. 

Can I Use Fenugreek And Tongkat Ali Together? 

Fenugreek and Tongkat Ali can often be found together in dietary supplements which suggests that you can use them at the same time. However, always consult your medical provider to check for interactions, and ensure these supplements are right for your needs. 

Summary: Tongkat Ali vs Fenugreek

  • Tongkat Ali contains the following biologically active ingredients: eurycomalactone, eurycomanone, eurycolactone and eurycomaoside 
  • Fenugreek contains the following biologically active ingredients: 4-hydroxy isoleucine, galactomannan, trigoneosides, trigonelline 
  • The ideal dosage for Tongkat Ali is 200-400mg of standardized root extract 
  • The ideal dosage for Fenugreek is 500-2000 mg daily of standardized Fenugreek
  • Tongkat Ali is a supplement ideal for men
  • Fenugreek is better suited to both men and women 
Adil Maqbool, Medical MD

Adil Maqbool, Medical MD

Dr. Adil is a seasoned medical writer, researcher, and physician with extensive publications in top medical journals. Holding an MBBS, BSc, and FCPS-1, he excels in medical writing and patient care. Certified as a Registered Practitioner, Medical Writer, and Peer-Reviewer, he stays current with the latest medical advancements.