Tongkat Ali Facts: Separating Facts From Sales Ploy

By Tongkat Ali Published on August 7, 2015 Updated on April 24, 2019

It’s hard to get the all the tongkat ali facts when researching information about it. It was hard for me too when originally researching possibly using this product for myself. I’m going to share with you a few commonly discussed tongkat ali topics I’ve found most commonly discussed online.

Tongkat Ali Facts: Separating Facts From Sales Ploy

If you are searching for information on buying the best tongkat ali. product, you will have most likely come across a few guides for “what to look for when buying tongkat ali”. Unfortunately many of these guides are written by tongkat ali sellers themselves and contain information that could be dubious (or outright not true) designed to convince you of buying their products. Hence, it’s hard to separate facts from sales ploy.

In this article I would like to throw some light into the most common myths I often get asked about tongkat ali. In case you didn’t notice, I am a tongkat ali seller myself. I am including full references so that you can verify facts on your own.

Here are the topics and the tongkat ali facts you can actually trust.

Myth: Tongkat Ali Must Be From Indonesia

Indonesia Tongkat Ali

This is one of the most popular tongkat ali facts that consumers scrutinize quite often. Tongkat ali grows in the wild in Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s from these two countries where most of the raw materials come from. Some sellers that source their products from Indonesia will tell you that you should only buy tongkat ali from Indonesia. Is this true? And if so, why?

First of all, let’s make clear that genuine tongkat ali should be equally effective independently of the country of origin, as it is the same tree with the same active components. The reason why certain sellers started advising against buying Malaysian tongkat ali is because a 2004 study of mercury in tongkat ali preparations from Malaysia found that 36% had levels of mercury that did not comply with health regulations. [1]Ang, H. H., Lee, E. L., & Cheang, H.S. (2004). Determination of mercury by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometer in Tongkat Ali preparations obtained in Malaysia. International Journal of Toxicology, 23(1):65-71. DOI: 10.1080/10915810490269654 While this is certainly concerning, you can ensure to consume a safe product by asking the seller to provide with a heavy metals analysis of the batch they are currently selling.

Fact: both Malaysian and Indonesian tongkat ali should be equally effective and safe to consume as long as the seller can provide a COA and proof of eurycomanone content for the batch of tongkat ali they are currently selling.

Myth: Tongkat Ali extra must be dark brown

The color of tongkat ali extract powder can vary depending on many factors such as extraction procedure. The color typically ranges from creamy / beige to dark brown/ black. Some sellers of the dark tongkat ali powder have claim that the dark brown tongkat ali powder is the only genuine tongkat ali extract. Is this true?

That traditionally Indonesian tongkat ali manufacturers produce dark brown powders. The extraction method used usually takes many hours to complete. This can subject the tongkat ali to oxidative damage that makes the color darker. However, modern extraction methods can complete the process in much less time producing a more clear powder.

Unfortunately, you can’t judge the authenticity of a tongkat ali powder extract based solely on the color. The only reliable information you can use to determine if the product is genuine tongkat ali is the Eurycomanone content of the product, as this is the active component of tongkat ali. To learn more about this check why you should only buy sandardised tongkat ali.

To reinforce the point, Chinese suppliers of tongkat ali (which in case you didn’t know, are very likely to sell you a fake – check my tongkat ali journey) can control the color of the tongkat ali powder during manufacturing. Here is an email I got from a Chinese supplier (no I didn’t buy from them, I was just gathering information on their materials).

tongkat ali color

 

Fact: it is not possible to tell tongkat ali authenticity based on powder color alone, the only way to ensure authenticity is to buy a tongkat ali product standardized for eurycomanone content.

Myth: Tongkat Ali Sellers Must Have Nomor Depkes

So this claim goes like this:

ALL sellers, without exception, that claim to sell Tongkat Ali manufactured in Indonesia should be able to show you a Nomor Depkes licence, which is a government required document to produce Tongkat Ali in Indonesia and CANNOT be avoided. Without it the Tongkat Ali is most certainly either being produced illegally OR is fake, you can be 100% certain of this. Even if the seller does not make it themselves they should very easily be able to show you a Nomor Depkes by asking their supplier for a copy of it. All real Indonesian manufacturers will have no problems at all supplying a copy to their distributors, it is common practice. A copy of Sumatra Pasak bumis Certificate, who provide the extract to World A.B.S that we sell is attached.

Be aware of sellers claiming they import the raw roots from Indonesia and make the extract themselves as an excuse for not having a Nomor Depkes. This a common lie and is highly unlikely and impractical. It takes 200 grams of raw root to make 1 gram of 1:200 extract. This means you would need 7200 grams of raw root to produce just 1 bottle of 120 caps at 300mg per cap. Just 100 bottles would take 720,000 grams of raw root (720 kilos). This is a GIGANTIC amount of raw roots to import!

The problem with the above claim is that is simply not true. “Nomor depkes” means department of health registration number. The government there requires Indonesian companies to have this certificate. This is for those who are those selling the final product in Indonesia, not just anyone producing tongkat ali powder.

In Pasal 9 of the Indonesian registration guidelines for traditional drug medicines it is stated that for domestic production of traditional medicine, registration should be applied for IOT (Industri Obat Traditional/ traditional medicine industries), UKOT (Usaha Kecil Obat Traditional/ small business traditional medicine) or UMOT (Usaha Mikro Obat Traditional/ micro business traditional medicine). Extract manufacturing facilities in Indonesia are classified as IEBA (Industri Ekstrak Bahan Alam/ Natural Ingredient extract Industries). They do not produce a final product are not required to have Nomor Depkes registration.

The lack of a Nomor depkes doesn’t imply that a company is selling fake tongkat ali. Any company selling a health supplement should comply with the health regulations of their own country.

Fact: tongkat ali sellers have to comply with the regulations of their own country. They might or might not have a nomor depkes license.

Bonus: Serge Kreutz Websites and Tongkat Ali Sellers Databases

Serge Kreutz is a German (self-claim) journalist who writes about 3 main topics: 1. his “Serge Kreutz diet”, 2. sex and 3. tongkat ali. If you search for Serge Kreutz on Google you will find numerous meaningless few letters and numbers domains registered under his name, with either his name or his pseudonym Sam Sanare as a banner on top.

Serge Kreutz tried to promote himself as an independent tongkat ali “expert”. It is no secret that he actively promotes Sumatra Pasak Bumi and slanders other brands without any evidence. From the bodybuilding.com forum:

serge kreutz tongkat ali

His relationship to Sumatra Pasak Bumi is not clear. His name appears on the german version of the page http://www.tongkatali.org/german.htm making the connection obvious. 

serge kreutz

He has built a comprehensive list of tongkat ali sellers in one of his domains. There he claims “dubious source” or plainly naming “tongkat ali scam” to anyone not selling tongkat ali from Sumatra Pasak Bumi.

Fact: Any information or articles coming from Serge Kreutz or “tongkat ali sellers database” are likely impartial and trying to promote their own brand.

Conclusion

So there you have it. I hope this has cleared up some of the confusion around tongkat ali facts from tongkat ali myths. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or drop us a line.

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References   [ + ]

Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

About Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

Fran Sanchez, the founder of Herbolab, graduated from Uppsala University (Sweden) with a master in molecular biology and Karolinska University (Sweden) with a degree in medical sciences and business. He then moved to Singapore to run e-commerce operations in a pharmaceutical company, until eventually, he could fulfill his dream of creating a brand dedicated to help men reach their peak performance. Drawing on his experience as a lifelong multi-sport athlete and cutting edge medical and scientific research, Fran launched herbolab tongkat ali as flagship supplement in April of 2014. Fran now spend most of his time weight lifting and creating content dedicated to improve people’s lives.

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