Black Tongkat Ali Buyer’s Guide: Should You Even Try It?

Are you buying Black Tongkat Ali for the first time?

In this article, we’ll explain and explore all you need to know about Black Tongkat Ali; everything from its origin, benefits, safety, and whether you should even consider getting yourself some.

Overview

Black Tongkat Ali (Polyalthia bullata) is often rare and highly sought after due to its purported superior health benefits. You may find Malaysian or Indonesian Black Tongkat Ali sold in US or UK in raw root slices, but also in the form of extract powder, ground root powder, or capsule supplements at selected online store on Amazon.

Many believe that Black Tongkat Ali is more potent than Yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) due to its higher eurycomanone content, but, in truth, the presence of any eurycomanone in Black Tongkat Ali is disputed in a 2023 study on the 3 subspecies of the plant. Moreover, there are higher risks from its excessive heavy metal content as reported in other research studies.

Despite its popularity amongst herbal purists, our analysis showed that almost 95% Black Tongkat Ali products sold on Amazon or in Malaysia are not lab-tested, as it often fail to meet the dietary supplement safety compliance set by FDA and other regulatory agencies.

Origin:

Most Black Tongkat Ali are found in the Southern states of Malaysia, Borneo, and in the wild in Indonesia, often near the swampy areas. Exported raw, Black Tongkat Ali extract is often produced in China without regulatory oversight before being sold in the US, UK, and Europe as finished goods.

Benefits of Black Tongkat Ali:

There are reported traditional health benefits from taking Black Tongkat Ali (Polyalthia bullata) such as improving testosterone, sexual health, libido and muscle growth. However, these benefits are not backed by human clinical evidence or from any clinical studies to date.

According to Biotropics Malaysia Head Scientist Dr. Annie George, “There are less than 10 research studies on Black Tongkat Ali and the claimed health benefits to men and women are not scientifically validated”.

Black Tongkat Ali contains low levels of eurycomanone at 0.008%, which is not sufficient to produce any desired benefits.

A research study published by Tropical Journal of Natural Product Research (TJNPR) in 2023 showed that Black Tongkat Ali (Polyalthia bullata) contains the least bioactive content at 0.0008% eurycomanone and lower crude protein compared to Yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) based on test results conducted using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

Our analysis determined the health benefits of Black Tongkat Ali as reported in blogs may be considered deceptive, contain half-truths, and warrant further critical research. Further investigation revealed the potential benefits of Black Tongkat Ali (Polyalthia bullata) species are derived from anecdotal health benefits taken from research studies or human clinical studies conducted on Yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia). This may not reflect the truth behind the benefits of Black Tongkat Ali, which often creates confusion and distrust amongst consumers.

Here are potential health benefits of Black Tongkat Ali as claimed based on our research:

Testosterone

Black Tongkat Ali may improve your total testosterone and free testosterone, making you feel energized via the presence of bioactive peptides. Since Black Tongkat Ali  contains no eurycomanone and a lower level of bioactive proteins compared to Yellow Tongkat Ali, the effect on human testosterone levels vis-à-vis other safety parameters has not been validated or proven with clinical research.

Sexual Health / Libido

Black Tongkat Ali may improve your sexual desire due to the effect of higher sex hormone (i.e testosterone) and many believe Black Tongkat Ali is more potent as a libido booster to enhance sexual health. In reality, Black Tongkat Ali may cause only mild libido effects as most the Black Tongkat Ali supplements sold in the market are not standardized nor are they clinically-tested on humans.

Reduces Stress & Anxiety

The claim that Black Tongkat Ali may reduce stress or anxiety is not true and has not been validated. Since studies on mood improvements uses Yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) hot water extract, but you may not gain and stress reduction from taking Black Tongkat Ali. The side effects caused from high toxic heavy metal content from Black Tongkat Ali may negate all the positive effects or gains from stress or anxiety.

Muscle Growth

Black Tongkat Ali may contain bioactive proteins to support higher protein synthesis and promote fat loss. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence on the effects on muscle growth or to aid post-exercise muscle recovery. Due to safety heavy metal concerns, Black Tongkat Ali is not sold as sports supplements or used by athletes, sports amateurs and bodybuilders like Yellow Tongkat Ali. 

Quality:

Black Tongkat Ali contains major bioactive ingredients found in other species such as eurycomanone, eurypeptides and saponin. However, most Black Tongkat Ali powder extracts sold in the UK and US do not meet dietary supplement or quality standards found in 3rd party lab tests.

Lack of regulatory control, standards and raw supply issues means buying Black Tongkat Ali exposes higher health risks as it does not meet Tongkat Ali Malaysian Standards MS2409 which are derived from Yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia). Unfortunately, current MS2409 quality standards do not apply to Black Tongkat Ali (Polyalthia bullata) production.

In other words, Black Tongkat Ali supplements, powder extract or other finished goods do not have the levels of quality standards set by FDA or other regulatory agencies. If you need to buy one (out of curiosity and at your own risks), Black Tongkat Ali raw root slices sourced from Malaysia is an ideal choice due to its quality harvest. However, this does not guarantee that it meets any dietary supplement quality standards.

Safety:

Black Tongkat Ali’s safety standards have not been established, and it is advisable to avoid consuming Black Tongkat Ali due to high levels of mercury, which is highly toxic to humans and animals alike.

Black Tongkat Ali is not safe as a daily dietary supplement for bodybuilders, sports, libido or testosterone due to high mercury levels.

The Malaysian Health Drugs Authorities (NPRA) has prohibited the sale of Black Tongkat Ali in recent years and due to high mercury content of 0.53 – 2.35 parts per million (ppm), which exceeds the FDA’s allowable safety limit of 0.5 ppm. 

According to health experts, Black Tongkat Ali is often viewed as less safe for long-term consumption and is not preferred amongst functional health coaches, healthcare professionals, and nutritionists. 

Black Tongkat Ali supplements are not sold in any pharmacies in the US, UK, Australia or even in Malaysia as it has higher risks of liver and kidney injuries attributed to high levels of heavy metals (i.e. arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead) found in most Black Tongkat Ali roots, powders, and extracts.

Warning:

Tongkat Ali supplements containing Black Tongkat Ali may cause liver injuries and severe side effects such as vomiting and nausea.

Whilst USFDA has not issued any ban on Black Tongkat Ali, please check if the product is 3rd party lab-tested and meets the FDA dietary supplement guidelines when buying Tongkat Ali.

Should I buy Black Tongkat Ali?

You may buy Black Tongkat Ali if you want the strongest, making potency is your only criteria and whilst you are not relatively worried about safety, side effects or long-term use. Alternatively, Yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) using standardized hot water extract is considered potent, offering superior bioavailability and often regarded as the preferred option if you are seeking quality premium Tongkat Ali.

Consumers opting for quality Tongkat Ali, it is advisable to buy supplements containing Yellow Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia), a type of species that is scientifically proven to benefit libido, testosterone, muscle growth, energy, immunity and mood based on 300+ research studies and human clinical studies.

Black Tongkat Ali: Can I spot difference?

At first glance, it is difficult to tell if your Tongkat Ali supplement contains traces of Black Tongkat Ali extract, unless it is stated clearly on the product label. Honest reliable Tongkat Ali brands will ensure the products are 3rd party lab-tested by reputable companies (e.g. EUROFINS) and the source of the Tongkat Ali extract must be clearly stated on the bottle or box.

If you are buying pure Black Tongkat Ali extract or raw slices, you can tell the difference by the dark black outer layer with a hint of dark brown overtones in the inner root, or as a root powder that is a darker shade of brown, as depicted in the images below.

Black Tongkat Ali Brands:

Malaysian-based Ayu Flores sells pure Black Tongkat Ali that offers worldwide delivery. Other brands such as Black Mamba Tongkat Ali and Black Horse Tongkat Ali may use Black Tongkat Ali extract in its products despite the fact that it is not included on the label or lab tested to meet regulatory safety standards.

Here are some of the top best-selling Black Tongkat Ali supplements that are confirmed to contain Polyalthia bullata raw slices, capsules, and powder extract:

Parting Thoughts:

While there is some traditional evidence that Black Tongkat Ali can boost vitality, libido, energy, testosterone, and more, no human clinical research exists to back up these claims. Unlike Yellow Tongkat Ali, which has been extensively studied, Black Tongkat Ali’s commercial history is also riddled with quality concerns, half-truths, and deadly heavy metal contamination. The lack of regulatory oversight along with unscrupulous online sellers has created a dangerous scenario where it is more important than ever for consumers to be able to distinguish the difference between the Black and Yellow Tongkat Ali. 

It is also worth noting that since there is evidence that Black Tongkat Ali contains no eurycomanone at all, most health claims related to it may simply be derived from its bioactive protein content, which is higher in Yellow Tongkat Ali. In fact, out of the 3 subspecies of Tongkat Ali (Yellow, Black, and Red), only Yellow Tongkat Ali has been found to have a high level of eurycomanone. This, along with its high eurypeptides content, as well as rich levels of glycosaponins and polysaccharides, accounts in large part for the various health benefits associated with Yellow Tongkat Ali.

If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of Malaysian single-origin standardized hot-water Yellow Tongkat Ali root extract for yourself, you can try our potent and pure products here, available in the form of convenient capsules, flexible pure powder, or delicious infused coffee. We offer worldwide international delivery with DHL!

Author

Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a researcher and investigative journalist, Naressa is all about creating, deconstructing, and reassembling meaningful content through words and facts. With this approach always in mind, she eagerly explores the nuances in life via the aspects of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and wellness in Malaysia .

Our articles are third party reviewed by our panel of experts and medical advisors to ensure the facts are accurate and credible. These are validated against multiple source references which include but not limited to research studies, peer-reviewed journals, pre-clinical studies, clinical tests and other credible publications.

Our panel of medical advisors and experts are highly experienced in their individual fields. However, they do not provide any medical advice or recommendations arising from content published in this article.

Disclaimer: 

The content published on this website is for educational purposes and should not be viewed, read, or seen as a prescription or constitute any form of medical advice. We recommend you consult your nearest GP or doctors before consuming Tongkat Ali or any products which contain Tongkat Ali. For further information, kindly refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.

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