01-24-2006, 03:32 PM #1
Think twice about Tongkat Ali during or after PCT
Sorry for the long article but for any of us who have purchased this product, this is woth a look...a serious look. I highlighted some specific areas.
Tongkat Ali dosage
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.
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."
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.
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.
I have tried a good number of tongkat ali products. They all didnít have a clear effect, until I tested a 1 gram dosage of the 1:50 extract produced by the Medan-based company Sumatra Pasak Bumi (website: tongkatali.org).
Sumatra Pasak Bumi were so sure of the pro-sexual efficacy of their 1:50 tongkat ali extract that they agreed to supply free samples for a clinical trial run by me together with site subscribers.
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.
The only country in the world where substantial numbers of tongkat ali trees remain in the wild is Indonesia, primarily in Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra. 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.
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 itís 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, youíll 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 isnít 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 havenít 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 donít look at the mg amounts, because they are not aware what therapeutic amounts are.
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 50 gram.
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 wonít feel anything from either.
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 Iím not just perfectly healthy, sex-wise.
Then I stop the tongkat ali for a few days, and I know that Iím not. My sex drive will just be gone.
01-24-2006, 04:19 PM #2
wow intresting, i just bought a bottle for pct along with avena sativa and trib
01-24-2006, 04:25 PM #3Anabolic Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
well as anecdotal evidence many people say it seems to help in PCT.. me included... I really doubt that its just the placebo effect..
01-24-2006, 04:28 PM #4
Didnt do much for me besides some energy.
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