10 things to look out for when buying Tongkat Ali

There are many things to look out for when buying Tongkat Ali to ensure it is legit, pure and authentic.  This article provides a buying guide and things to look out for when you are buying Tongkat Ali in the UK, US and Australia.

Summary:

Here are ten things to look out for when buying Tongkat Ali supplements in the US, UK and Australia.

  1. Look for standardized extracts
  2. Choose hot water extract
  3. Check the dosage
  4. Check for 3rd party lab tests and certifications
  5. Read reviews
  6. Check the source
  7. Check for authenticity
  8. Check for purity
  9. Check for the expiration date
  10. Consult a healthcare professional

Overview

Consuming authentic, legit, and high-quality Tongkat Ali supplements may minimize the risks of short-term and long-term side effects of Tongkat Ali. Whether you are buying on Amazon or eBay, high-quality reliable Tongkat Ali brands adhere to standardized extraction protocols that are clinically tested and 3rd party lab-tested by reputable organizations such as EUROFINS, SGS and others.

In reality, your buying experience is often limited by what you hear about Tongkat Ali in the US podcast, Youtube and social media channels.

When commenting on Tongkat Ali products which are widely sold in the US, Stanford Professor Dr. Andrew Huberman said “The supplement market is filled with garbage”.

It says a lot about the current Tongkat Ali market and what consumers should be aware of when it comes to finding real authentic pure Tongkat Ali supplements.

Our 10-point check from health and dietary experts provides a comprehensive assessment when buying quality Tongkat Ali products.

1. Look for standardized extracts

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

When buying in Tongkat Ali in UK, USA or Australia, it is highly recommended to purchase Tongkat Ali supplements that contain standardized root extract that meets a threshold of bioactive ingredients such as eurycomanone and eurypeptides that are viewed as potency markers.

According to health and herbal experts, standardized Tongkat Ali extract offers a good balance of potency and safety compared to a non-standardized extract, which does not provide consistent bioavailability from batch to batch.

A standardized Tongkat Ali extract is reported by many health coaches to be the gold standard of any herbal extraction method as it delivers a consistent level of bioavailability from Tongkat Ali compounds, namely eurycomanone, eurypeptides, glycosaponin and polysaccharides.

If you are in doubt, choose Tongkat Ali brands that adhere to Malaysian Tongkat Ali standards, MS2409.

The Malaysian Standard MS2409 prescribes the Tongkat Ali standardized root extract protocol using freeze-dried water extract, making it the only country in the world with quality standards for Tongkat Ali extraction.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Malaysian Standard (MS) 2409 for Tongkat Ali was published by the Malaysian Department of Standards in 2019 to fulfill the needs of the herbal industry to adhere to a set of quality standards. The MS2409 was first drafted in 2011 with years of refinements based on inputs from the multiple Ministries, Government agencies, medical experts, scientists and private sectors.

Authenticity, safety, quality and efficacy parameters and details for the production of the standardised extracts and limits of indicative substances were also included.

The MS2409 serves as the basis for the technical specifications used for regulatory and trade purposes in compliance with international practices.

Our recommendation is to avoid buying 200:1 Tongkat Ali extract despite being lab-tested as it may not contain the minimum concentration of bioactive ingredients compared to standardized extract.

The best standardized Tongkat Ali extract is currently held by the US-patented AKARALI Physta®, which is reported as more potent and safer than generic or non-standardized Tongkat Ali extract.

On the other hand, non-standardized extracts are mainly produced by low quality Tongkat Ali manufacturers in Indonesia or China due to cheap production costs.

2. Choose hot water extract

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

The most preferred extraction method for Tongkat Ali is considered to be water-based extraction. Hot-water extract is highly regarded by doctors and reported to be more potent and safer to be used at high dosages compared to ethanol, or alcohol-based extract.

UK consumers prefer to purchase hot-water Tongkat Ali extracts that are reported to contain minimal impurities and toxic metals compared to ethanol-based Tongkat Ali that is used by brands such as Applied Nutrition, British Tongkat Ali supplements and even Solaray Tongkat Ali.

The hot water extract method is considered to be more effective at preserving the active compounds in the root, as it uses heat and pressure to extract the compounds, rather than solvents or chemicals which are found in alcohol-based extracts. This makes hot water Tongkat Ali extract a better choice amongst UK and American buyers who prefer premium quality supplements.

Additionally, water-based Tongkat Ali extract is considered to be a more sustainable method, as it uses less resources and produces less waste than other methods.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

AKARALI Physta® Tongkat Ali is a patented hot water extract technology (US Patent : 7132117 and US Patent : 11166998) that was highly sought after in the US and UK. It is formulated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) back in 2003, backed by 20 years on clinical studies and research to date.

Physta® is reported to be the world’s first clinically tested Tongkat Ali formulation using water extract with more than 26 clinical tests on humans.

This water extract technology pioneered the global growth of Tongkat Ali in the USA, UK and Europe and sold in more than 32 countries to date.

It’s important to note that the water extraction method should be done carefully and by skilled professionals to ensure that the end product is of good quality and contains the desired active compounds.

3. Check the dosage

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

It is recommended to buy dosage-optimized Tongkat Ali supplements that are formulated based on clinical studies (i.e clinically tested), which may work better than Tongkat Ali brands with excessive ingredients (eg: 400mg, 500mg or 1,000mg per capsule). 

While Dr. Andrew Huberman from Stanford University recommends between 200-400mg of Tongkat Ali per day, users are cautioned when Tongkat Ali at high dose, or when buying Tongkat Ali that contains excessive adulterants such as maltodextrin, which may cause side effects such as headache, nausea, migraine or diarrhea.

Avoid buying or taking high Tongkat Ali dosage of 500mg or 1,000 mg per capsule which are offered by many Tongkat Ali brands in the US and UK if you have a history of liver or kidney disease. Experts have warned that taking a high dose of Tongkat Ali may not necessarily improve your testosterone as evidenced by Dr. Chris after taking 400mg of Solaray Tongkat Ali for 40 days.

It is advisable to start with a low dosage (of 100mg or 200mg per day) to allow your body to absorb the nutrients and respond to the bioactive ingredients from Tongkat Ali. This makes 200mg Tongkat Ali supplements a relatively safer option when buying Tongkat Ali for the first time.

You may increase your dosage depending on your health objectives, but dosage-optimized Tongkat Ali products usually works better.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

AKARALI are few Tongkat Ali products in the market that are carefully formulated from years of clinical studies.

This results in an optimized daily dosage of 200mg per capsule that appeals to a wide range of demographics (eg: from 24 to 75 years of age). Such formulation is clinically tested to be optimal, i.e delivering quantifiable and noticeable health benefits at a minimum of 200mg per day.

One should be careful not to consume higher than required dosage in order to gain more benefits. As herbal supplement is unregulated, it is recommended to seek for professional advice or by referring to our daily dosage guide for optimal results.

Higher dosages may not translate to better results. Please check our daily dosage guide for various Tongkat Ali applications to achieve your health goals.

4. Check for 3rd party lab tests and certifications

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

If you are buying quality Tongkat Ali in the US or UK, it is essentially to choose 3rd party lab tested Tongkat Ali supplements that are certified by a reputable organization such as EUROFINS to ensure purity, adulterant-free and adherence to FDA’s approved cGMP 21CFR111 dietary safety standards.

AKARALI is amongst the few reliable Tongkat Ali brands in the UK and US that are third party tested by EUROFINS to ensure the product is free from contaminants, adulterants or illegal substances (such as sildenafil or tadalafil). The brand has undergone extensive tests each year and is compliant to the cGMP 21CFR111 and Tongkat Ali standards, MS2409.

Other Tongkat Ali certifications to look out for include GMP certification, Halal Certification and Kosher certifications.

Senior Nutrition Scientist and Director of Operation Supplement Safety from the US Department of Defense Dietary Supplement, Andrey Lindsey, mentioned that “Without laboratory testing there is no way to know the actual ingredients (or their amounts) in a Tongkat Ali product”.

In her article on Tongkat Ali, she further cautioned US consumers and those in the US military to check the label to see if the Tongkat Ali products has been evaluated by an independent, third-party organization.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Whilst lab-tested certificates are the normal standards in any herbal supplement industry, some premium Tongkat Ali products go beyond that.

Clinically tested Tongkat Ali products are certified and recognized by many scientists and medical doctors to be more superior, potent and safer.

Our recommendation is to purchase Tongkat Ali brands that are certified by third-party reputable organizations such as EUROFINS and contain root extracts that are clinically tested in human studies. AKARALI is amongst few Tongkat Ali brands that allow consumers to download its 3rd-party lab tests and certification of analysis, offering greater transparency when buying in the UK, US and Europe.

5. Read reviews

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Read more in-depth long-term and short-term reviews of Tongkat Ali from other consumers.

Many of us respond differently after taking Tongkat Ali supplements, Tongkat Ali coffee or even Tongkat Ali effervescent.

Learning how Tongkat Ali may revitalize your health from consumer reviews provides a greater learning experience and to avoid any pitfalls.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

If you are unsure, you may check other global consumer reviews and how they have benefitted from Tongkat Ali.

6. Check the source

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Almost 90% of Tongkat Ali brands in the US (including Momentous Huberman Tongkat Ali and Solaray) are sourced from Indonesian suppliers. As the Indonesian Government does not regulate or publish any quality standards, it is best to check further or avoid from buying Indonesian Tongkat Ali. 

In comparison, American consumers prefer buying Malaysian Tongkat Ali, which is reported to have higher quality and safety standards which are derived from the Malaysian Tongkat Ali Standards known as MS2409. Most exporters of Malaysian Tongkat Ali brands adhere to the international FDA-approved dietary supplement standards which makes it a safer option if you are buying imported Malaysian Tongkat Ali brands in the US or UK.

Due to the unregulated herbal industry in the US or UK, you should always check or ask where the Tongkat Ali is harvested from by checking the labels or directly from the manufacturer before buying. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  1. Potency: Malaysian Tongkat Ali is often considered to be more potent than Indonesian Tongkat Ali, due to the fact that the root is harvested from older trees, which contain higher levels of active compounds.
  2. Quality Control: Malaysian manufacturers are known for having strict quality control measures in place. With Malaysian Standard (MS2409), this ensures that the Tongkat Ali supplements produced are of high quality and free from contaminants.
  3. Extraction Method: Malaysian Tongkat Ali is often extracted using a patented water-based extraction method, which is considered to be more effective at preserving the active compounds in the root.
  4. Purity: Malaysian Tongkat Ali is considered to be purer than Indonesian Tongkat Ali, as the former is often grown in remote and untouched areas, whereas the latter may be grown in regions with heavy pollution or pesticide use.
  5. Sustainability: Malaysian Tongkat Ali is often sustainably sourced and the manufacturers take care to not over-harvest the root, which helps to ensure that the Tongkat Ali population is not depleted.

Quality Tongkat Ali products are sourced from Malaysia. Find out why Malaysian Tongkat Ali is considered the best Tongkat Ali that you should buy.

7. Check for authenticity

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Look for Tongkat Ali products that have a certificate of authenticity. Premium Tongkat Ali supplements with authentic handpicked mature Tongkat Ali roots are considered rare and expensive, but worth the money.

Head scientist Dr. Annie from Biotropics Malaysia said that “Authentic Tongkat Ali is often refers to mature Tongkat Ali roots that are harvested at least for 5 years as the plant retains the highest bioavailability to meet the goals of a standardized extract”.

She advised American users to purchase authentic Tongkat Ali from reputable brands such as AKARALI, which is known for sourcing real Tongkat Ali roots from Malaysia.

On the other hand, buying cheap Tongkat Ali supplements in the US and UK may be an option for buyers on a tight budget but often the extract is deemed less authentic, often sourced young Tongkat Ali plants from Kalimantan, Indonesia – which are then processed in extraction facility in China.

You may buy authentic Tongkat Ali supplements in the US and UK from reputable global brands that are clinically tested and 3rd-party lab-tested but it is often priced higher between $50 (GBP 50 pounds) for 60 capsules of 200mg per capsule of pure root standardized extract.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Most Tongkat Ali products in the USA are less authentic than buying directly from the country of origin (where Tongkat Ali is sourced).

USA are highly dependent on China imports. This opens up to further exploitation amongst herbal manufacturers to obtain the cheapest Tongkat Ali which is less authentic, and prone to abuse.

Avoid Tongkat Ali products which are excessively marketed by influencers or third parties. These are tell-tale signs that it is not authentic products, but merely driven by highly paid marketers, or brand ambassadors.

8. Check for purity

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Choose Tongkat Ali products that have been lab-tested for purity. Tongkat Ali root extract with less than 10% filler in a vegan capsule is considered almost 100% pure whilst some opt for pure Tongkat Ali powder with zero fillers (or zero maltodextrin).

Consuming pure 100% Tongkat Ali root extract is considered more potent and helps with long-term use with minimal side effects as it is relatively healthy for your liver provided you take within the recommended dosage. 

On the other hand, avoid buying Tongkat Ali that contains impurities such as contaminants and adulterants which are known to cause moderate to severe side effects. 

It is recommended to purchase pure Tongkat Ali supplements that are 3rd party tested for purity by reliable organizations such as EUROFINS. The company offers adulterant lab tests on Tongkat Ali supplements that provide greater safety confidence if you are buying one in the US.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Look out for yellow Tongkat Ali and this is highly regarded as pure compared to Red Tongkat Ali or Black Tongkat Ali
  • Pure tongkat ali may change colour when exposed to humidity and temperature change, indicating that the extract is 100% pure.
  • Choose root-only extract that is highly potent.
  • Look out for reputable Tongkat Ali suppliers and manufacturers
  • Compliance with Malaysia Standard MS 2409, i.e Tongkat Ali extraction standards

Pure unadulterated Tongkat Ali products that comply with the Malaysian Standard MS 2409 are generally pure, authentic, potent and legit.

Best selling Tongkat Ali supplements in the USA such as AKARALI contains pure Tongkat Ali root extract that is extremely bitter in its original form. This is due to standardized extract from mature plants that are harvested in the wild rainforests of Malaysia.

9. Check for the expiration date

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Always find Tongkat Ali which is freshly produced from the factory with an expiration date of more than 12-24 months from the date it was produced.

As Tongkat Ali is a natural plant, and the level of bioavailability may degrade over time due to oxidation, exposure to sunlight, temperature and humidity.

It is not recommended to consume Tongkat Ali beyond it’s expiry date as the level of bioactive ingredients and efficacy may be lower.

It is best to check for the expiry date before you make your purchase. Make sure the product is not expired or near its expiration date as it may change its efficacy or potency over time.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Most Tongkat Ali products can last up to 24 months (or 2 years) if it is stored in room temperature between 20 – 25C.

Some Tongkat Ali products may have longer expiration date of more than 2 years, however it is best to consume within less than 20 months. If you are buying larger amounts to stock up for longer periods and live in a warm climate, don’t keep it longer than 12 months.

After you have bought one, please ensure Tongkat Ali is stored in a warehouse away from sunlight. More so if you are buying Tongkat Ali powder.

Exposure to sunlight may have affect on the expiry date. Pure yellow Tongkat Ali may change colour more significantly compared Black or Red Tongkat Ali due to humidity and sensitive to temperature changes.

10. Consult a healthcare professional

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Before purchasing Tongkat Ali supplement, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you are taking other medications or have pre-existing medical conditions.

As many medical professionals, nutritionists and experts have recorded growing reviews on Tongkat Ali, buying it as a dietary supplement should not be viewed as a medicinal drug to treat any form of disease.

You should not trust Huberman Tongkat Ali protocol or subscribe to Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Tongkat Ali Fadogia Agrestis or any form of poly-herbal cocktail formulation as he is not a healthcare professional. Content aired on his Huberman Podcast may not reflect a comprehensive medical view or risks when taking Tongkat Ali with other medications and wrongly dosed Tongkat Ali or mixing it with other herbs such as Fadogia means you need to exercise extra precaution before buying Tongkat Ali.

We recommend reading medical views on Tongkat Ali by healthcare professionals (including general doctors, urologists, andrologists and specialists) to ensure if you should even buy Tongkat Ali in the first place.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Dr. Andrew Huberman (Stanford University), Dr. Rena Malik (urologist from the University of Maryland School of Medicine), Dr. Andrea Millitelo (Top Doctor and Urologist from Rome, Italy) and Dr. Ismail Tambi (Clinical Consultant Andrologist, Pantai Hospital Malaysia) are amongst top doctors who have covered in great details on the merits of Tongkat Ali.

Whilst their views on Tongkat Ali are based on clinical and scientific evidence, consulting your respective GP or specialists on Tongkat Ali is the best medical advice to suit your needs. Tongkat Ali does not require any doctor’s prescription as it is considered as a dietary supplement, and not to be used to treat any diseases or illnesses.

We recommend that those undergoing treatment, pregnant woman or those having underlying medical conditions to consult your doctors before consuming Tongkat Ali.

Parting Thoughts

Amongst the top 10 things to look out for before you purchase any Tongkat Ali supplements, choosing a brand that uses standardized hot water extract may bring the greatest benefit to consumers. This represents the greatest form of purity and authenticity as long as it is 3rd party lab tested or clinically tested.

Urologist Dr. Rena Malik from the University of Maryland recommends using standardized Tongkat Ali hot water root extract if you want the best Tongkat Ali for your health. The standardized hot water extract ensures the bioavailability of Tongkat Ali meets the bio-marker threshold for it to induce health benefits and achieve hormonal balance without compromising safety or quality.

AKARALI is a time-tested Tongkat Ali supplement that went through decades of scientifically-backed clinical studies using standardized hot water extract with extensive reviews by researchers, doctors, functional health coaches and professional athletes.

Author

Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a researcher and investigative journalist specializing in nutrition and natural wellness, 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, scientists 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 doctor before consuming Tongkat Ali or any products which contains Tongkat Ali. We will not be responsible if the prescribed daily dose is suitable for you, your health, or if it cause any severe side effects that may jeopardize your existing or future state of health. For further information, kindly refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more information.

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