Tongkat Ali Buying and Scam Guide
Below you will find various information about fake products, and learn what is important and what is not when it comes to looking for a genuine product...
PROOF many extracts are FAKE.
A recent independent non-biased study tested 41 products being sold on Amazon etc as Tongkat Ali, some with an extract ratio and some without, for the presence of Eurycomanone. If it did not contain any Eurycomanone then it was obviously fake as it is simply not possible for Tongkat Ali to not contain Eurycomaone, it is part of its genetic makeup.
Out of these 41 products,17 of them contained no Eurycomanone at all, 12 of which were purchased from Amazon and some were from know brands that were registered with the Malaysian health department and FDA, proving that registration means nothing when it comes to quality.
24 products did contain Eurycomanone, but 10 contained of these less than the legally required standard of 0.8% in Malaysia, meaning they were either of low quality or not extracted properly.
The remaining 14 products had above the required level of 0.8% and one product actually had 8%, although rather disappointingly that product, called Nu Prep Lelaki, was not standardized to 8% so it may just have been a fluke or mistake, and 8% is not guaranteed in any future batches. The product also only contained 100mg of Tongkat Ali per capsule, the other 250mg was a filler that will do nothing for you, so it is not actually a very good purchase. At first glance, 8% seemed to good to be true, and it was.
You can read the study yourself at... http://scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=jas.2015.999.1005&linkid=pdf
Even known big brand stores sold fake herbal products!
A recent independent test done in Canada proved that a 3rd of the supplements on the market today including those which are common, are fake and often just substituted with something else. About 60% of the products had also been adulterated. See the link HERE. All links open in new tabs.
Even major stores like Walmart, GNC and Target sold fake herbals...
Fake Supplements at Major Retailers.
The New York Times, February 3, 2015
GNC, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens selling adulterated herbals.
The Washington Post, February 3, 2015
Top retailers sold bogus bottles of herbal supplements.
NJ Advance Media, February 4, 2015
In 2015 The Journal of Applied Sciences tested 41 Tongkat Ali extract products from known brands, all purchased from Amazon.com, and found 10 of them contained very little Eurycomanone, meaning they were probably just root powder and not an extract. 17 contained none at all meaning they were fake and contained no Tongkat Ali, despite being FDA and/or MAL registered which proves that registration really does not mean much.
The full article can be downloaded HERE
IMPORTANT: The product that they found in the The Journal of Applied Sciences article mentioned above to contain around 8% eurycomanone, Nu-Prep Lelaki, looks promising at first glance HOWEVER it has been mixed with 250mg of filler (Maltodextrin) per capsule, meaning that every capsule contains just 100mg of actual Tongkat Ali. There are also only 60 caps per bottle, so you only get 6 grams of Tongkat Ali total per bottle, which is not a good deal at all. I did consider stocking it alongside the current products until I found this out.
Also, Nu Prep is NOT standardized to 8%, the bottle states just 0.8-2.0%, so the 8% result was probably a fluke and future batches may contain considerably less, possibly as low as 0.8%. It would not surprise me if that was a typo on the test result and they wrote 8 instead of .8.
Sumatra Pasak Bumi's false comments about standardization.
Sumatra Pasak Bumi have been making ridiculous statements and lying to their customers for a long time. They now claim that standardization of herbs is a scam, and basically in so many words, not possible so avoid standardized herbs. This is the complete opposite of reality and truth and show how dishonest or naive they are.
The fact that standardization is a well known, common and worldwide accepted method of ensuring herbs are real and potent seems to have eluded them, and their complete refusal to catch up to the modern day world and better themselves and their product is astounding, as is their tendency to lie to people when it suits them. I won't go in to details of that here as it would take all day, but Google it and I'm sure you will find plenty of reasons to avoid them.
On their website, they say that to make a standardized herb you would need to produce eurycomaonone on an industrial scale and it would cost thousands because if you had for example Tongkat with only 1% eurycomanone, you would need to add another 1% if you wanted to make it 2% eurycomanone. THIS IS NOT TRUE AT ALL!
If I have 3 red balls, and 4 blue balls, and I want to make it 50% red and 50% blue, I DO NOT need to add another red ball, I simply have to take a blue ball away! And this is how it works, if your extract has 1% Eurycomanone and you want to make it 2% you simply remove a very very small percentage of other constituents, of which there are literally hundreds, until it reaches 2% Eurycomanone, simple!
SPB themselves claim that to make their 1:200 extract they remove certain constituents which make it easier to digest than 1:50, hence why in their case it takes 4x the amount of extract to produce. Standardization during the manufacturing phase works with the same principle, some things are removed (but not completely) to increase the percentage of others. No manufacturing eurycomanone on an industrial scale or adding it needed! Either SPB are trying to deceive people or they have a huge lack of understanding about modern day production methods because of were they are located which uses more traditional methods and older equipment. Either way they should not be making such statements without doing proper research.
Below is a screen capture of the page that contains their false statements...
At the end they even go as far as claiming it's just flour or sawdust etc, and nobody can check. If it was flour or sawdust I think it would be pretty obvious without checking, as it wouldn't be so damn bitter or be effective and it would taste like flour/sawdust! Obviously!
Another false statement that they have now added to a few sites they have set up to try and discredit standardization, is that is does not exist for natural products...what?...that really is a whopper!
The entire reason standardisation exists at all, is so that that companies who run tests such as double blind placebo tests on natural herbal products and meds can ensure each batch is the same, with the same percentage of constituents they are testing!
Links to prove they are talking nonsense...
There are probably hundreds more links but I don't need to tell you that, the above will do to prove they are talking nonsense.
Yet more nonsense is that HPLC testing is expensive and takes a long time , but it isn't at all, it's incredibly cheap and fast. It can be done in a few days and thousands of companies exist globally that can do it, not just a handful at high prices like they make out.
www.Chromadex.com¬†for example has low prices and a 5 day turn around, and a few seconds of googling will show you many more.
A few years ago, as some regular customers may recall, World A.B.S and many others used SPB as a supplier but the quality was inconsistent and received various complaints, with one final batch being so burnt it was almost black and tasted like ash, would not dissolve in water and had almost no bitter taste, and reviews appeared online from customers of various resellers stating they were not happy. This was the final straw, and at this point, World A.B.S and many other resellers switched to different suppliers. The SPB site now contains just 7 resellers, it once had around 30 if I recall correctly.
Even if the quality had remained good, their constant outlandish and unresearched claims which make not just them but their resellers look ridiculous, their trying to bash every tongkat product on the market that wasn't theirs with accusations of them being drugs and dangerous herbs with no evidence at all, their lack of knowledge about the industry and false claims about the color of Tongkat Ali 1:200, stating it has to be dark brown if it is real, that they spent a decade saying only to contradict themselves in the end when they discovered this was in-fact not true and was down to drying times and temps, made them incredibly hard to work with and their product increasingly difficult to sell because their reputation went from being fantastic in the early days to being a company to avoid as time went on and people stopped trusting them which was a shame.
Beware of falsified extract ratios...
Extract ratios are also often faked. One award-winning well established Chinese company, "Naturalin Bio" actually admitted that they lie about their extract ratios because if they did not, nobody would buy from them! The COA stated 1:200. They told me it was actually just around 1:35.
Screen-shot of the email below...
I can happily forward the email and the full details, i.p address, etc, to anyone that wants it as I do realize some people may think the screen-shot is fake. Anything can be faked with Photoshop.
Why did they tell me it was a fake extract ratio? Well, I told them that there was no difference between any of the the various extract ratios they sent me, and also I suspected it was Tribulus, although I could not prove this it smelt and tasted exactly like it and not like Tongkat. Perhaps they thought that I, just like the other supplement companies they sell too, would not care about the extract ratio as we would make a small fortune selling it so they just admitted it, or perhaps it was tribulus but they would rather say they lied about the extract ratio than admit it was something else, who knows.
You can read more about Tongkat Ali, the color, ratios and why they mean nothing, and why standardization is the only way forward HERE. I strongly suggest you read this page before purchasing.
Selling root powder or other substances in place of a real extract is common...
Chinese Tongkat Ali is about 100 dollars a kilo, so astronomical profits can be made selling these possibly fake/adulterated/untested extracts even at low prices. In many cases, they are not what they state and some wholesalers never have them tested, which is how they find their way into big stores and brands.
Side by side to look at Tongkat Ali and extracts such as Tribulus are identical, the shade may sometimes vary but that is normal with both herbs. They both taste bitter and are both reported to raise libido, so to someone who has never tried real Tongkat Ali before, they would think the Tribulus was indeed Tongkat. Those who have tried both should be able to tell however as the taste and smell is quite different but often do not open the capsules to find out.
FDA and other health organization registration numbers are not proof a product is real...
The most common tactic used by a seller of a fake product is to show you an FDA registration number or The Health Ministry of Malaysia registration number or similar, or to display them in a prominent place on their site as if they actually mean something. Neither are recognized by the actual FDA or Malaysian Health Ministry as proof of a genuine product in any way, shape or form.
The FDA does NOT test any herbal product AT ALL before it goes to market or after, unless someone is harmed by the product or reports an adverse side effect (by which time it is to late). If you send them a product for testing because you believe it to be fake or adulterated, they will return it and tell you to find your own lab and pay for your own tests and report it to the BBB or Trading standards if you think it is fake, they are not interested in testing herbal supplements as this is not their job. Their main focus is prescription drugs.
See below link for evidence of this...
Anybody anywhere in the world can obtain an FDA reg number for free HERE.
Numbers as far as i know are issued by a computer automatically and not after any kind of inspection is done. The FDA will routinely inspect food facility's, but they will only make sure the facility is up to hygiene and safety standards and that accurate records, batch numbers etc are kept, things like that, they will not lab test the actual supplements to see if they are real without good reason, such as people reporting strange or adverse side effects.
COA stands for "Certificate Of Analysis", it does NOT stand for "Certificate Of Authenticity".
A COA will show the results for whatever the substance submitted was tested for, e.g. Salmonella, Heavy metals etc. It does not prove a product is "Authentic".
An HPLC test or similar type of test is the only sure way to know for sure if a product is real and potent or just fake/weak, but most COA's do not contain any HPLC information as they only have the bare minimum of legal tests carried out. Just because a company has a COA does not mean it is real, and many Asian sellers, especially in China, will present a fake COA that is not possible to check because they issue it themselves and have someone who works for their company to sign or verify it, so you can't even be sure it is safe, never mind real, and China is where the vast majority of Tongkat Ali sold cheaply comes from. A TLC test or DNA test can also prove a product is at least partially real, for example, it could prove it contains eurycomanone, meaning it does contain real Tongkat Ali, but not how much.
One quick look on Alibaba.com will find hundreds of Chinese suppliers offering what they claim to be real Tongkat Ali for as little as $50 per kilo complete with a fake COA. In my experience most of the time if it is real, it is extract taken from the leaf of the plant then re-labeled as root extract, or just crushed root powder not even extracted, neither of which are of any real benefit and the latter if not treated could be harmful taken raw. If it is not real it is usually Tribulus with a false label on it.
Peptides what? The word eurypeptides suggests that somebody is talking about peptides within the Eurycoma plant, but it is not explained on websites that sell Tongkat Ali extract standardized to eurypeptides, what these peptides are supposed to be.
Not a single scientific source or study on Tongkat Ali in the history of mankind, other than the one or two studies provided by the very people who are trying to sell you these eurypeptides, has ever referred to or mentioned eurypeptides. So, products claiming to be standardized to eurypeptides are standardized too something nobody in the Tongkat industry is bothered about other than the retailer, with good reason.
Peptides of course are short chains of amino acids, held together by peptide bonds. When the chains of amino acids become longer (e.g. more than 50), then we no longer refer to them as peptides, but as proteins instead. If it is the peptides found in eurycoma longifolia jack they are talking about, and one can only assume it is, based on the name, then why would you ever want to standardize a Tongkat Ali extract to peptides? If you want peptides just go and buy yourself some amino acid powder and get all the peptides you want for a few dollars...
Quassinoids such as eurycomanone and eurycomalactone, and various glycoproteins are used as standards for the aqueous extract of Tongkat Ali, not eurypeptides. There are plenty of scientific studies and sites online that refer to the active constituents of Tongkat Ali, and they do not mention eurypeptides at all ever!
The people that "invented" the word Eurypeptides, HP Ingredients, at one point tried to trademark the word but didn't, which proves the word is made up since it is impossible to trademark a word that is already in use, or already exists in any language. For example you can't trademark the word peptides, because peptides are something that already exist in all plants and many people use and sell. Simply adding the word Eury at the beginning doesn't make them special or different so maybe they gave up or maybe it was refused, who knows..
Proof of this HERE
Go to a lab and tell them you want some Tongkat testing for eurypeptide content, they will probably look at you with some confusion and say it cannot be done as they cannot test for something that does not exist, did you mean peptides?
Eurypeptides are basically a marketing gimmick used to overcharge people for what is actually just a normal or below par extract that like all plants contains peptides, in my opinion.
Customer reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt!
You should Ignore any and all good reviews that may accompany any Tongkat product. These tend to be written by people looking to pay a small amount of money for a high-end product, they buy what is often Tribulus, thinking it is Tongkat, because it is brown like Tongkat and it is bitter like Tongkat, so it seems to their inexperienced eye and tongue to be Tongkat. They do not know any better.
They then use the product, and just like Tongkat can raise libido, so can Tribulus for many people (though not all), so they assume it is real based on their rise in Libido and leave a positive review, helping the seller deceive more people.
Many sellers also install their own comments script on their site and then periodically write fake reviews for themselves, as well as giving them a star rating to make them look good in Google.
Even if a product is real it does not mean you will get the same results the writer did, you may see no result at all. The same goes for bad reviews because the review might have been from someone who does not feel any effect, but you might feel an effect if you tried it. When it comes to Tongkat Ali and many other herbs, results can vary wildly between users. A bad review does NOT mean a product is fake and a good review does NOT mean it is real.
Avoid liquid extract as it is WEAK and mostly WATER or ALCOHOL.
Liquid extract is much much weaker than a true herbal extract in the case of Tongkat Ali and most other herbs.
To remove the active ingredients from the TKA plants root a liquid must be used, e.g. water or alcohol. Traditional methods involve soaking the roots in this liquid for 48 hours and then repeatedly boiling it. This releases the extract from the roots into the liquid.
Once this is done the roots are removed from the liquid which is then evaporated, which removes the useless liquid and also other pointless constituents such as cellulose etc, and a concentrated extract is all that remains in the form of crystal-dry flakes. The flakes are then milled, spray dried or freeze dried into a pure fine powder which is basically a very concentrated extract.
Liquid extracts are just overpriced extracts which still contain the inactive water or alcohol liquid that hasn't been evaporated, or more likely, one or two capsules have been dissolved in a small glass tincture so that they can be sold as a liquid extract by dishonest sellers looking to make a massive profit from buyers who think liquid extract is better because they have never researched what they are buying.
Empty 1 or 2 caps into a small tincture bottle, fill with water or ethanol, price it at ¬£20 and you have just made yourself an astronomical profit margin. Add a no returns policy and congratulations! Easy money! Of course the customer will probably need to consume an entire bottle every day twice a day before they feel any effect, unless of course they are susceptible to the placebo effect which, good news for scammers, many are.
Whilst it may be true that liquid extracts are often better than a herbal powder (which is just a herb that has been dried and pulverized into powder) they are NOT better than a powdered EXTRACT. Powdered herbs and powdered EXTRACTS are very different things.
it only takes one 400mg capsule of Tongkat Ali to turn a cup full of water the color of the extract, and it will taste very bitter despite only having 1 capsule dissolved in it, so do not be fooled by sellers claiming their liquid extract is good just because it is bitter.
Beware of high Eurycomanone content claims...
Since we started selling standardized extract, other companies are very stupidly claiming anything from 25 - 85% Eurycomanone content in a possible attempt to compete and look good, but such high percentages are not possible in a supplement!
85% would not only poison anybody that used it at the doses they recommend but would also require several whole trees just to produce one single capsule, since on average the most eurycomanone you will find in a high-quality extract for public consumption is 3% or less.
25% and 85% Eurycomanone can only be found in research laboratories, is almost snow white in color since it is so pure, and 85% is around $100 just for 10mg, which is $10,000 per gram! It is highly illegal to sell to the public as a supplement because of the dangers involved with such a pure substance, as well as being far too expensive anyway. Stay away from anybody claiming ridiculous percentages of Eurycomanone, they are obviously either A) Clueless and being scammed by their supplier or B) Deliberately lying to customers.
Also, Tongkat Ali contains hundreds of active constituents, not just Eurycomanone, so it would be pointless to use a high percentage of Eurycomanone in a supplement even if you could, since many of the other constituents are also needed and these would have to be reduced by a large amount if you went too high.
Only buy ROOT extract!
You should be aware that many many people sell extract that is from other parts of the plant, e.g. the bark or the leaves or even the seeds, and not the root. Whilst technically this is still genuine Tongkat Ali, It is only the root that is useful and it is only the root extract that Tongkat studies are based upon.
Whilst other parts of the plant may contain some of the needed constituents, there will be so few of them present that it would be pointless to consume it. Basically, if you see an extract for sale that does not state ROOT it will likely be from other parts of the plant. Even if it does state root, it could still be from other parts of the plant but the dodgy manufacturer in Asia just labeled it as root extract.
It must also state root EXTRACT since if it just says root, or pure Tongkat Ali, it is very likely to just be the root ground into a powder. When they say pure they simply mean they took the root, crushed it and bagged it up without adding anything or taking anything away. Pure does not mean strong when it comes to herbal products.
I have seen people purchasing bags of root powder on ebay, hundreds in fact, and I doubt they realize they will need to boil it and then remove the powder and drink the water once boiled to use it. Simply consuming the root powder would require the user to consume an incredible amount, at least 35 grams daily, more than would be safe to do so.
If you are worried you have been sold root powder pretending to be an extract or a mixture of the two, simply heat up some water and add the powder to it and stir. Make sure the water is warm. An extract should dissolve into the water and appear to fully vanish after a few minutes of stirring. Root powder will not dissolve very much at all, hence when an extract is made the roots are boiled and then removed from the water, as the water will now contain only the soluble parts of the root.