Nowadays, about every Internet scammer sells what he claims is 1:200 tongkat ali extract. Bullshit he talks, and shit he sells. Fake 1:200 is a cash cow because the world is populated by humans with the brains of ruminants.
If you are considering 1:200 tongkat ali extract, or any tongkat ali at all, Ask them what company is their supplier, contact the company, and check whether they have photographic proof of the collection of tongkat ali in the wild, as it is provided by Sumatra Pasak Bumi. Pasak bumi is the Indonesian name for tongkat ali. Don’t take “collected in Indonesian jungles” for an answer. They are not going to Indonesia themselves. Ask them what company is their supplier.
The percentage of active ingredients in tongkat ali root is very low.
States the renowned US Massachussets Institute of Technology in its description of a research program for the “quantitative measurement of the chemical or bioactive constituents of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali)”:
“The yield of the bioactive constituents is extremely low at less than 0.005%. Hence, they are not easily available for further studies and for commercial preparations. The plant also requires a longer time to produce the secondary bioactive metabolites and their biological activities may be derived from more than one of the constituents.“
The above means that the bioactive part of 1 kg of tongkat ali root is just 50 milligram (the twentieth part of 1 gram).
Please also remember the second part of the above MIT statement: “The plant also requires a longer time to produce the secondary bioactive metabolites and their biological activities may be derived from more than one of the constituents.“
This clearly means that only old plants have an effect.
In Indonesia (where tongkat ali is known as pasak bumi), young plants are not used for medicinal purposes. Only roots of an age of at least 10 years are considered effective. Wild tongkat ali is rare. But before the forest fires in Indonesia in the past few years, it was possible to find trees on single-day excursions. This is no longer the case. Only after long marches in the Indonesian jungle is it likely to not go home empty-handed.
In Northeastern Thailand, tongkat ali grows in some privately owned forest land, especially teakwood plantations.
Thais have a different attitude to nature. Nobody burns down forests in Thailand, and private forest owners know the value of tongkat ali.
In Malaysia, the tongkat ali shrub has now been declared a protected plant, as over-collection in the wild has almost eradicated it from the forests of that country.
The common recommendation in Indonesia is that 20 to 50 gram of root are cooked for about half an hour to release the active ingredient. One drinks the resulting tea and discards the cooked root.
If you can get hold of tongkat ali root, this is probably the most effective tongkat ali you can use.
Tongkat ali (or eurycoma longifolia by its Latin scientific name) is a small tree that grows in the jungles of Southeast Asia). As I have been told, the root of a 10 to 20 year old tree or shrub weighs 3 to 7 kg. If 50 gram is the effective dose, than the root of a hole tree only yields about 60 to 140 dosages.
The roots of the tongkat ali tree grow 1 to 2 meters straight into the ground. They have very few branches. It takes two men several hours to dig out a single root.
In order to understand the economics of tongkat ali, all of the above is important.
Here you have a plant of a certain scarcity, which is difficult to harvest, and which yields only a tiny percentage of active ingredients, which have not been standardized. And you have a plant which has a great reputation, backed by scientific studies.
And what you get is this: herbal supplement dealers on the Internet and with brick-and-mortar stores who sell tongkat ali with huge profit margins. How come?
Of course, what they sell in capsules or as pouches is just plain tongkat ali powder. Plain tongkat ali powder is very light, as it’s primarily cellulose. You can fit 300 mg the most into a standard supplement capsule.
If you are stupid enough to do so, you can buy a bottle of 30 or 60 capsules of tongkat ali powder for some 20 to 40 dollars. But do some simple arithmetic. 30 times 300 mg of tongkat ali powder in capsules are just 9 gram. So, for an effective single dosage, you’ll need about five-and-one-half bottles, or 165 capsules of 300 mg tongkat ali powder. If you buy the capsules cheaply, a single effective dosage of tongkat ali will cost you upwards of 100 US dollars.
Check the website of the US Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov.
In their search field, enter: “eurycoma”
This will take you to the page:
You can see that an application has been filed for tongkat ali powder only, and not for extract.
Tongkat ali isn’t a supplement for which a standard method of standardization would have been established. And under such circumstances, many variations of tongkat ali ingredients can be sold as extract.
The point is: you cannot buy tongkat ali or tongkat ali extract by looking at bottles and comparing prices. You can only buy it on the basis of personal experience with specific brands, or on the basis of trust. As you are shopping for active ingredients that haven’t been clearly determined, a product that is 20 times more expensive per gram may actually be the cheaper one.
If you want to examine whether a product likely is just root powder or extract indeed, weigh it. A specific volume of extract is much heavier than the same volume of root powder. Root powder is mostly cellulose, and cellulose is light in weight (and color).
Extract is much heavier.
Tongkat ali extract is also highly aquaphile. If you touch it with your plain fingers, it will instantly form a sticky smear with traces of sweat from your skin, just as a cheap brand of instant coffee would.
Unfortunately, as the sale of health supplements is so little regulated, and because consumers clearly tend to buy the cheapest products, traders cheat. They do on the Internet and in the brick-and-mortar world. They promise you a good deal, when in fact, they sell you an inferior product.
Consumers look at labels only to see what is in the bottle, not how much of it. They don’t look at the mg amounts, because they are not aware what therapeutic amounts are.
This is not specific to tongkat ali.
Take, for example, arginine: therapeutic dosages are in the range of 5 to 10 gram, on an empty stomach, and even such amounts are not felt. If you are sold capsules that contain 100 mg of arginine, you are taken for a ride. 100 mg of arginine is nothing. A spoonful of many kinds of food contains more arginine, and of course is just as effective or ineffective as a capsule with 100 mg of arginine in it.
Or take multivitamins with minerals. They pack 50 different nutrients into a single capsule, to impress the potential buyer. But it’s not the list of names that you swallow. You ingest certain amounts of ingredients, including, for example, 10 mg of calcium, and 10 mg of potassium. I have to laugh. Half a glass of milk has much more calcium and potassium than those inferior capsules.
As what you buy in capsules all too often are diminutive amounts of an herbal that, in proper dosage, does have its medicinal value, you mustn’t be surprised if you feel nothing, or a placebo effect at most.
A proper dosage of tongkat ali has an effect that can be felt. A proper dosage is about 50 gram of root powder or chipped root, cooked as a tea, or an extract, which is the equivalent of this.
500 mg root powder is not a proper dosage. Not even 10 times 500 mg. And 10 capsules with 300 mg of a 1:2 extract is also not a proper dosage. You won’t feel anything from either.
So, what do I feel from a proper dosage of tongkat ali? A certain hotheadedness, improved bowel movements (only the first few times). I also feel energized and stimulated, but the tongkat ali does not interfere with sleep. If the tongkat ali capsules you bought make you sleepless, than they have been stretched, most probably with yohimbe.
However, the above are just side effects, not the effects I am after. Tongkat ali clearly improves libido, which is why I take it. Why I need it.
Tongkat ali improves libido, but not in the same way as dopaminergics do. Tongkat ali feels more natural than dopaminergics, and when I have taken tongkat ali for some time, I just wonder whether I’m not just perfectly healthy, sex-wise.
Then I stop the tongkat ali for a few days, and I know that I’m not. My sex drive will just be gone.
When I’m back on tongkat ali, I have it again: this teeth-clenching desire to tight-grip a female body, and to take her rough. Tongkat ali is like a libido mill in the back of my head. And when I have intercourse on tongkat ali, I am like a grinder. I move through intercourse like a gearwheel, not fast, but steady, and with a crushing certainty that the gearwheel will not stop before I have had my orgasm.
Yes, tongkat ali makes sex more egoistic. It makes me a very manly man. And a perfect lover.
1 Shalender Bhasin, M.D., Thomas W. Storer, Ph.D., Nancy Berman, Ph.D., Carlos Callegari, M.D., Brenda Clevenger, B.A., Jeffrey Phillips, M.D., Thomas J. Bunnell, B.A., Ray Tricker, Ph.D., Aida Shirazi, R.Ph., and Richard Casaburi, Ph.D., M.D. N Engl J Med 1996; 335:1-7July 4, 1996, The Effects of Supraphysiologic Doses of Testosterone on Muscle Size and Strength in Normal Men http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199607043350101
2 M. I. B. M. Tambi1,2, M. K. Imran2 andR. R. Henkel3, Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism?, Andrologia Volume 44, Issue Supplement s1, pages 226-230, May 2012
3 Ralf R. Henkel1,*, Ruxiang Wang, Susan H. Bassett3, Tao Chen4, Na Liu2, Ying Zhu4 andMohd Ismail Tambi, Tongkat Ali as a Potential Herbal Supplement for Physically Active Male and Female Seniorsâ€”A Pilot Study, Phytotherapy Research Volume 28, Issue 4, pages 544-550, April 2014
4 Rajeev Bhat, Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): A review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance, Fitoterapia Volume 81, Issue 7, October 2010, Pages 669-679
5 Sarah E. Edwards, Ines da Costa Rocha, Elizabeth M. Williamson, Michael Heinrich, Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products, Pages displayed by permission of John Wiley & Sons. Copyright. Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products
The information below has been provided by a subscriber to our domains and user of tongkat ali extract. The name, email address, telephone number, and physical address of the author are known to us.
I am a 50-year-old Caucasian male, 98 kg (215 lb), 188 cm (6’2″). I am a biologist by training and am currently a professor at a university in North Carolina . I’ve been with my current partner for 11 years, during which time we’ve enjoyed a highly active sex life. I had a vasectomy around the time I met my wife, as neither of us are interested in more children (ours are now in university). Ours is a monogamous relationship, although the range of sexual activities we enjoy is highly varied. My wife orgasms easily and often, and there are days when I wonder if I can keep up with her sexual energy. In recent years, both my wife and I have noticed a gradual decline in my sexual energy. My erections occur more slowly and with some degree of uncertainty. My energy during intercourse has decreased and I don’t always retain a quality erection throughout. The force and volume of my ejaculation has decreased and orgasm has become a less all-encompassing experience.
I attributed most of these observations to the sad fact that I am ageing. Nevertheless, I started to research techniques and solutions to this decline in sexual performance. I tried yohimbe for a while, but found that I required a very high dose to achieve a real improvement in my erections, and this interfered greatly with sleep. I tried Pfizer’s Blue by going to one of the “no prescription required” websites, and found that 50 mg was my required dose to ensure a confident erection. As several have noted, Pfizer’s Blue by itself does not otherwise enhance energy or performance.
I discussed my declining sexual energy issue with my family physician, who did a full physical, performed blood tests, including testosterone level, and concluded that there was nothing significantly wrong physiologically. He did recommend increasing my physical activity and exercise, and wrote a prescription for Pfizer’s Blue – “use it as often as you like”. I have used dopaminergics in combination with Pfizer’s Blue, as described on combined with Pfizer’s Blue with some success, although I was disturbed to find my personal dose to be rather high. I became interested in Tongkat Ali and contacted Sam about becoming a test subject.
My supply of TKA arrived as a loose powder and I decided to start with a 500 mg dose daily for a week.
July 10 (day 1)
I mixed my 500 mg TKA in a half cup of strong coffee around 12:00 noon. The TKA is quite bitter and the coffee actually did little to disguise the taste. I did not notice any physiological reactions or changes in mood. My wife was just finishing her period and this evening was the first opportunity for sex in a few days. I decided not to take Pfizer’s Blue. Both of us were very tired, but the sex was good. A couple days abstinence has usually resulted in a more powerful ejaculation for me, so this may not have been a useful test for the effect of TKA, but I did ejaculate heavily.
July 11 (day 2)
I took my 500 mg again around noon in cold water and washed it down with a second glass. The taste is powerful, but tolerable. After work, I took 50 mg Pfizer’s Blue and my partner and I played in the pool, which led to intercourse. We enjoy sex in the pool, but rarely during daytime, as there is some risk of being overheard and even to be seen through bushes. Nevertheless, I was very hard and was able to bring my partner to orgasm twice while controlling my own. I then suggested the bedroom where we could be more vocal. My erection was very large and rigid, and my orgasm very intense. My ejaculation was powerful and my partner commented how she enjoys that feeling inside her. Later that evening, our sexual activity continued. I was very sensitive to my partner performing oral sex and we both became highly aroused. We both enjoy anal sex and this evening session we went at it with complete abandon.
July 12 (day 3)
Again, 500 mg with cold water around noon. With houseguests due that evening, our sexual activity was confined to the afternoon, where we again went from pool to bedroom. My erection was well sustained and my partner was enthusiastic about its quality. I enjoyed a wonderful orgasm and ejaculated strongly.
July 13 (day 4)
With houseguests, we feel somewhat shy about having sex, even if with the door closed. We pass, and focus on keeping our guests entertained. I still take my 500 mg dose.
July 14 and 15 (days 5 and 6)
500 mg TKA each day. With our houseguests in earshot, we abstain from sex.
July 16 (day 7)
I take my first dose at 1000 mg. There are no physiological reactions observed and my mood is not altered. After 3 days, my wife and I are quite horny and break our “sexual silence“. Even though our guests are in the next room, my wife and I enjoy sex that evening, albeit much more quietly than normal. I feel I have built up a load in my testicles and the powerful release is wonderful.
July 17 (day 8)
Again, 1000 mg. I have not had any ill effects from the higher dose, but there is no opportunity for sex today, as we suspect our activities the previous night were noticed.
July 18 (day 9)
1000 mg TKA. Our houseguests are gone, and my wife and I spend a wonderful evening of rediscovery. Sex is good and I especially enjoy the sensation of my wife’s mouth on my penis. I use 50 mg Pfizer’s Blue. My erection is good and my ejaculation again is impressive in both power and volume.
July 19 (day 10)
1000 mg TKA in the morning, together with a moderate dose of dopamine. Pfizer’s Blue around 2:00 produces a rock hard erection and vigorous intercourse in the pool. My wife orgasms twice and I can’t hold back the second time. I feel I ejaculated more fluid than in years. My erection persists after my orgasm, which is very rare for me, and I feel ready to continue but my wife calls a time out. We prepare for an evening of play, with toys and some xxx-rated tapes. My partner asks if I will abuse her tonight, which is her way of telling me she wants rough anal penetration. Pfizer’s Blue again around 7:00 pm. Our sex play is vigorous at first, but my partner hurts her knee while on top, then I sprain a wrist while shooting a major load. With both of us in pain and feeling our age, we agree to tone it down a bit.
July 20 (day 11)
I slept poorly and fet very sluggish the next day. I still took my 1000 mg, but I’m not feeling so well. I’m feeling somewhat better by evening, but our sex is subdued. I wake during the night and find my partner responds to my touch. Quick sex in the wee hours of the morning satisfies an itch in both of us and we fall into a blissful sleep.
July 21 (day 12)
I felt very poorly this morning. Although I am now on vacation, I had to go to the office briefly and there I suffered intense nausea and diarrhea. I don’t know the cause, but decided to end my week at 1,000 mg early and did not take TKA today. My wife is concerned about me and I do not feel like sex. I try to relax during the day.
July 22 (day 13)
I am feeling much better today and decide to resume my 1000 TKA. My partner and I will leave for a road trip tomorrow for a few days, so I will send this report before the opportunity for sex this later this evening. Several hours after resuming the TKA, I feel quite well with no signs of nausea.
My experiences with TKA so far are not conclusive but I am encouraged. I definitely feel that my seminal fluid has increased in volume and my ejaculation is more powerful. I cannot say there’s been a major change in my libido, but my partner and I are enjoying very good sex, when the opportunity and rest permits it. My erection on TKA is quite functional, but improved in size, rigidity and duration with Pfizer’s Blue. I am a little concerned about my bout of nausea and diarrhea, but only time will confirm if this had anything to do with a too-high dose of TKA. My test batch will run out this week, as I will continue on the 1000 mg until it is exhausted. Then, I will have a period of a week or two without TKA, to see how things change, before repeating the test on receipt of a new supply.
Eurycoma longifolia increases sexual motivation in sexually naive male rats
Hooi Hoon Ang, Meng Kwoon Sim, Archives of Pharmacal Research December 1998, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 779-781
Eurycomanone, the major quassinoid in Eurycoma longifolia root extract increases spermatogenesis by inhibiting the activity of phosphodiesterase and aromatase in steroidogenesis
Bin-Seng Low, Sy-Bing Choi, Habibah Abdul Wahab, Prashanta Kumar Das, Kit-Lam Chan
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 149, Issue 1, 26 August 2013, Pages 201-207
The effect of eurycoma longifolia jack on spermatogenesis in estrogen-treated rats
Norhazlina Abdul Wahab, Norfilza M. Mokhtar, Wan Nurul Heriza A Halim, Srijit Das Clinics vol.65 no.1 Sao Paulo 2010
Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat ali) extract on human spermatozoa in vitro
N. Erasmus, M. C. Solomon, K. A. Fortuin and R. R. Henkel
Andrologia Volume 44, Issue 5, pages 308-314, October 2012
In a move that could well be seen as a major break-through, especially for weight lifting athletes, tongkat ali has now been patented in the US for the inhibition of human aromatase enzyme, as well as increasing increasing or activating the total levels of testosterone, free testosterone, and/or luteinizing hormone , while decreasing the levels of estrogen and estradiol.
The full patent can be read here:
1 Bin-Seng Low, Sy-Bing Choi, b, Habibah Abdul Wahab, c, Prashanta Kumar Das, Kit-Lam Chan, Eurycomanone, the major quassinoid in Eurycoma longifolia root extract increases spermatogenesis by inhibiting the activity of phosphodiesterase and aromatase in steroidogenesis, Science Direct, Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 149, Issue 1, 26 August 2013, Pages 201-207.
2 A. George and R. Henkel, Phytoandrogenic properties of Eurycoma longifolia as natural alternative to testosterone replacement therapy, Wiley Online Library, Andrologia Volume 46, Issue 7, pages 708-721, September 2014.
3 Faramarz Majidi Wizneh and Mohd Zaini Asmawi, Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Simarubaceae);Advances in Its Medicinal Potentials, PHCOG J Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang-11800, Malaysia Phcog J | July-Aug 2014 | Vol 6 | Issue 4.
4 Hideji ITOKAWA, Etsuko KISHI, Hiroshi MORITA, Koichi TAKEYA, Cytotoxic Quassinoids and Tirucallane-Type Triterpenes from the Woods of Eurycoma longifolia, J-STAGE Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin Vol. 40 (1992) No. 4 P 1053-1055.
When your average pharmaceutical product gets into the headlines because of side effects, then it’s almost always because of some unwanted effects that have been discovered “later on”.
With tongkat ali, it’s a different story. The more research is done into tongkat ali, the more surprising positive side effects, or medical applications, are discovered for it. Not that this would be news to Southeast Asian shamans who have been using the root for centuries. In Vietnam, for example, the local name of tongkat ali translates as “the plant that cures a hundred diseases”. Or was it a thousand?
1 Kuo PC1, Damu AG, Lee KH, Wu TS. Cytotoxic and antimalarial constituents from the roots of Eurycoma longifolia., Bioorg Med Chem. 2004 Feb 1;12(3):537-44.
2 Nurhanan, M. Y.; Azimahtol, H. L. P.; Azizol, A. K., Cytotoxicity studies of Eurycoma longifolia extracts against a panel of human cancer cell lines., Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), 24-25 July 2001 2002 pp. 124-127.
3 Ernest L. Wynder MD andTakao Shigematsu MD, Environmental factors of cancer of the colon and rectum, Wiley Online Library, Cancer, Volume 20, Issue 9, pages 1520-1561, September 1967.
4 Sarah E. Edwards, Ines da Costa Rocha, Elizabeth M. Williamson, Michael Heinrich, Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products, Phytopharmacy (Google eBook)John Wiley & Sons, 17 Feb 2015 – Science – 416 pages.
5 Abd-Elaziem Farouk, Asma Benafri, Antibacterial activity of Eurycoma longifolia Jack. A Malaysian medicinal plant., Vol 28, No 9 (2007),
6 M Tzar, Y Hamidah, S Hartini, M Marianayati, A Nazrun, The Antibacterial or Antifungal Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Root Extract, The Internet Journal of Herbal and Plant Medicine, Volume 2 Number 1.
7 Rajeev Bhat, A.A. Karim, Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): A review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance, Science Direct, Fitoterapia, Volume 81, Issue 7, October 2010, Pages 669-679.
8 Shéhérazade Hajjouli, Sébastien Chateauvieux, Marie-Hélène Teiten, Barbora Orlikova, Marc Schumacher, Mario Dicato, Chee-Yan Choo and Marc Diederich, Eurycomanone and Eurycomanol from Eurycoma longifolia Jack as Regulators of Signaling Pathways Involved in Proliferation, Cell Death and Inflammation, Molecules, Volume 19, Issue 9, 2014, 19(9), 14649-14666.
9 Omar Saeed Ali Al-Salahi, Dan Ji, Amin Malik Shah Abdul Majid, Chan Kit-Lam, Wan Zaidah Abdullah, Abdelhamid Zaki, Shah Kamal Khan Jamal Din, Narazah Mohd Yusoff, Aman Shah Abdul Majid, Anti-Tumor Activity of Eurycoma longifolia Root Extracts against K-562 Cell Line: In Vitro and In Vivo Study, PLOS, Published: January 7, 2014.
10 Omar Saeed Ali Al-Salahi, Chan Kit-Lam, Amin Malik Shah Abdul Majid, Fouad Saleih R. Al-Suede, Sultan Ayesh Mohammed Saghir, Wan Zaidah Abdullah, Mohamed B. Khadeer Ahamed, Narazah Mohd Yusoff, Anti-angiogenic quassinoid-rich fraction from Eurycoma longifolia modulates endothelial cell function, Science Direct, Microvascular Research, Volume 90, November 2013, Pages 30-39.
11 Catherine Ulbricht, Julie Conquer, Kelly Flanagan, Richard Isaac, Erica Rusie, and Regina C. Windsor, An Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, Informa Healthcare, Journal of Dietary Supplements, March 2013, Vol. 10, No. 1 , Pages 54-83.
Now it’s scientifically official: tongkat ali extract causes noticable muscle growthin men. The British Journal of Sports Medicine stated that in a double-blind placebo controlled scientific trial, the use of tongkat ali extract was the reason for a 5 % increase in lean body mass in the treatment group, while no noteworthy changes were seen in the placebo group. 5 % in 5 weeks is a big improvement, which becomes obvious if one calculates the increase this would mean over a course of a year (5 weeks – 5 %; 52 weeks – 50 %).
Among other interesting facts, the journal article reports: “The mean arm circumference of the treatment group increased significantly by 1.8 cm after the supplementation, from 30.87 (1.88) to 32.67 (1.96) cm (p = 0.011), but there was no significant increase in the placebo group.”
The abstract of the clinical trial with healthy men can be read at the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine:
# 007, access is free
A printscreen of the abstract can be read here:
As one may expect for a scientific publication, the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine is not so easy to navigate. In this specific case, the abstract on the scientific trial about tongkat ali has been put together with a number of other abstracts. The abstracts are numbered 001, 002, 003, and so on. The abstract that talks about tongkat ali’s effect on bodybuilding has the number 007. Please notice that the Latin, scientific name of tongkat ali is Eurycoma longifolia.
There are a few things one has to pay attention to in an interpretation of the results of the cited scientific study with human subjects. For example, the tongkat ali extract used in the trial has been made in a university laboratory. It was of regulated strength. There may be a considerable difference between authentic university lab-extracted tongkat ali and the commercial products one finds on health store shelves. In my opinion, if the reason of your tongkat ali usage is muscle gain, you can ignore all products that combine tongkat ali with other herbals. Tongkat ali is one of the most expensive herbals on the market because (1) it’s rare, and (2) it takes a incredibly time long to grow. Thus, any combination product is probably trying to save on tongkat ali.
The only country in the world where there still are substantial resources of tongkat ali in the wild is Indonesia. The shrub once was standard in Malaysia, but because the search for tongkat ali has turned into something like the one for truffles in France or Italy, tongkat ali has since been named a protected plant in Malaysia, and forest areas where it is still found have already been watched over by forest rangers for several years. (The Star, January 30, 2001)
While much of “Malaysian” tongkat ali sold in recent years are actually from Indonesia, it’s expected that this supply line will dry up in the coming years as well. The Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who won a second term in July 2009, has stated that the protection of the Indonesian forests was a prime priority of his government. For the neighboring countries Malaysia and Thailand, the illegal exploitation of Indonesian forests is sworn to become a serious crime. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised: “The government will take strong action on the perpetrators and will take them to court where they will receive the most severe punishment.”
Tongkat ali isn’t a fast-growing weed like tribulus terrestris. You can grow tribulus terrestris as effortlessly as potatoes, on practically any soil, and in the span of a few weeks. Tongkat ali, in comparison, takes years to reach maturity. Full size can’t be expected in less than 25 years. The effectiveness of mature tongkat ali is said to be far superior to that of young plants. Furthermore, tongkat ali is as hard to grow as orchids. The soil needs to be sandy and has to be well drained. However, new water is needed several times a week. Tongkat ali also needs a semi-shaded environment. The plant’s natural habitat is limited to tropical jungle slopes (which naturally are drained after a downpour) and which are partly shaded by the rain forest canopy while leaving some sunlight to reach the plant because of the angle of the terrain.
Due to the fact that tongkat ali is so expensive, even in Malaysia where it originated, herbal traders there now think it more economical to sell herbal fillers that are laced with Pfizer’s Blue, rather than authentic tongkat ali (which buyers request). (New Straits Times, April 10, 2004)
For those who take the so-called tongkat ali for its prosexual effects, the doupe may actually work (though the substitution can be life-threatening for those on nitrate drugs). However, for those who look for genuine tongkat ali for the aim of improving the ratio between lean body mass and fat, the stretched Pfizer’s Blue will have no effect (if one disregards that for them, biceps exercise on fake tongkat ali may cause short-lived tissue expansion in the penis, rather than around the arms).
The active ingredients in tongkat ali are present only in little amounts. You would need about 50 gram of the root for one dosage, and athletes who want to get maximum results without having to take illegal steroids will typically take 2 or 3 dosages a day. Scientifically established effectiveness, dropping resources, and the natural difficulty of analyzing the composition of a natural medication are a dangerous mix. While they may soon measure authentic tongkat ali extract on gold scales, the demand of a growing market for ever cheaper products will definitely attract a huge number of cheaters. Just like in Malaysia, they may sell Pfizer’s Blue-stretched herbal fillers as tongkat ali, or they will market combination products where there is less than 1 percent tongkat ali included (allthough on the label tongkat ali will surely be printed in an enlarged type font).
How to guard yourself from being cheated? Inspect the company from which you buy. Are they an established seller in the tongkat ali market? Where are they located? A trader in New York or New Mexico is very distant from the source (and the situation is no better for one in Old Mexico). 99 percent of the world’s tongkat ali originates from Indonesia, and that is were you are likely to discover the best purity, and the best prices for the genuine products.
The further you’re from the source, and the more intermediates handle the tongkat ali before it arrives, the larger the risk that it’ll not only be diluted but even substituted.
And simply, don’t trust cheap prices when looking for genuine tongkat ali.
1 Edward Hall, Nutritional supplements and their methods of formulation
2 Low Testosterone, another Man-Made Risky Fix?
3 Catherine Ulbricht PharmDa*, Julie Conquer PhDb, Kelly Flanagan BAa, Richard Isaaca, Erica Rusie PharmDa & Regina C. Windsor MPHa, An Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, Publishing models and article dates explained Published online: 19 Feb 2013
4 Lester Packer, Sissi Wachtel-Galor, Choon Nam Ong, Barry Halliwell, Herbal and Traditional Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, CRC Press Pages displayed by permission of CRC Press. Copyright.
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