Eurycoma longifolia Jack, Mal. Misc. 2 (1822)

Latin for 'long leaves'.

Eurycoma eglandulosa Merr.
Eurycoma latifolia Ridl.
Eurycoma longifolia var. cochinchinensis King
Eurycoma longifolia var. merguensis King
Eurycoma merguensis Planch.
Eurycoma tavoyana Wall.
Manotes asiatica Gagnep.
Picroxylon siamense Warb.

Understorey tree up to 16 m tall and 20 cm dbh. Stipules absent. Leaves alternate, crowded at tree tip, compound, leaflets opposite to alternate, penni-veined, but venation barely visible, glabrous. Flowers ca. 7 mm diameter, pink-red-purple, placed in panicles. Fruits ca. 14 mm long, red-purple, fleshy drupes.

A spindly unbranched androdioecious tree or shrub up to 16 m tall, or with a few upright branches, each crowned by an umbrella-like rosette of compound leaves; leaves up to 100 cm long, leaflets lanceolate to obovate-lanceolate, 5-20 cm x 1.5-6 cm; Inflorescences branched; flower petals lanceolate to ovate or obovate-oblong, 4.5-5.5 mm x 2-3 mm, puberulous on both surfaces, pink-red-purple, styles rather long with a peltate 5(-6)-lobed stigma, elevated about 1 mm above the carpels; fruit 10-17(-20) mm x 5-12 mm, red-purple, fleshy drupes.

In undisturbed mixed dipterocarp and keranga forests up to 500 m altitude. On hillsides and ridges with sandy to clay soils.

Where Eurycoma apiculata and Eurycoma longifolia occur sympatrically, the uses are the same for both, and no actual distinction is made. The roots, in particular the bark, are used as a febrifuge, and also as a tonic after childbirth. In Malaysia pounded roots are applied externally as a poultice to treat headache, and also on wounds, ulcers and syphilitic sores. A decoction of the leaves is also sometimes used as a febrifuge. An infusion of the root bark of Eurycoma longifolia is used to treat stomach-ache and fever by the Kenyah Dayak in Borneo. In Kalimantan, Banjarese men drink a decoction of the root as an aphrodisiac, in peninsular Thailand it is used as a traditional remedy against malaria. 'Babi kurus' is the vernacular name used in Java for the imported drug. In Vietnam Eurycoma longifolia is reputed to cure a variety of diseases ('c[aa]y b[as] b[eej]nh' means the plant for hundred diseases). The bark is prescribed against indigestion, fever and lumbago, the fruits against dysentery. A decoction of the leaves is used as a wash to treat itch. In Cambodia, the root is employed as a vermifuge and as an antidote for intoxication, including drunkenness. A large enough dose of the bitter constituents will provoke vomiting, thereby acting as an antidote for poisoning. Furthermore, roots are used against malaria, as an antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and diaphoretic. The fruits are used against dysentery.

Indo-China, Burma, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Philippines.

Local names
Borneo: Bedara, Ionadiandau, Nuad-mandau, Pait-pait, Sengkanyat, Sengkayap, Tombuid, Tongkat ali, Tongkat langit.
Brunei: langsia siam, tungat ali, pasak bumi.
Cambodia: antong sar, antoung sar.
Indonesia: Bidara laut; Babi kurus (Javanese), Tongkat ali, Pasak bumi.
Laos: Tho nan (Laotian).
Malaysia: Penawar pahit, Penawar bias, Bedara merah, Bedara putih, Lempedu pahit, Payong ali, Tongkat ali, Tongkat baginda, Muntah bumi, Petala bumi.
Sumatra: bidara laut, beseng.
Thailand: hae phan chan (northern), plaalai phuenk (central), phiak (peninsular).
Vietnam: Cay ba bonh.