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Yellow, Black or Red Tongkat Ali: Which is the best for you?

Are you searching for the best Tongkat Ali? Or are you comparing Yellow vs Black Tongkat Ali, or Yellow vs Red Tongkat Ali before deciding which one is the best?

There are three types of Tongkat Ali roots and each come from different plants:

  • Yellow Tongkat Ali – Eurycoma Longifolia
  • Black Tongkat Ali — Polyalthia Bullata
  • Red Tongkat Ali — Stema Tuberosa

Choosing the best type of Tongkat Ali can be a daunting task when there are more than 200+ brands that contain either Yellow, Black or Red Tongkat Ali sold on Amazon today.

A quick search on Amazon produced 280 results based on the keyword “Tongkat Ali” and 138 results based on the keyword “Long Jack”.

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Tongkat Ali products
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Long Jack products

In this article, we perform our assessment on various types of Tongkat Ali roots that form the majority of brands that are currently sold in the market today.

Our assessment on Yellow, Black and Red Tongkat Ali will provide a better perspective and guidance in your purchasing decision.

Assessment Criteria

Our objective evaluation to determine the best Tongkat Ali is based on six criteria by our panel of independent experts and scientists. This is based on score of 1-5 (Low to Very High) and each criterion is explained below:

1. Popularity

How popular based on the number of products sold in the market (including online-platforms), number of social media mentions, search enquiries and media coverage.

2. Availability

Are these raw herbs widely available from the source or the country of origin? Are these herbs easily obtained or purchased from raw suppliers? Are there regulations or restrictions imposed for exporting Tongkat Ali outside the country of origin?

3. Potency

The level of potency is largely based on the volume of bio-active compounds that can be safely extracted that benefit your body. The potency varies from traditional methods (eg: boiling, heat-dried) or advance extraction technologies (eg: freeze-dried, etc)

4. Proven Benefits

The number of potential or proven health benefits based on credible sources such as scientific studies, clinical trials, and research publications.

5. Research Publications

The number of research and scientific papers published to date and other public documents related to the research and development activities.

6. Health Risks

Measuring the health risks based on the ingredients, content and side-effects collected from scientific studies and other public information.  We also investigate the level of mercury and lead that can be detrimental to your health.

So let’s take a look at the facts and our top pick!

Yellow Tongkat Ali

Plant Name: Eurycoma Longifiolia

Yellow Tongkat Ali comes from a plant known as Eurycoma Longifolia. The plant grows naturally in remote rainforests of Malaysia, Indonesia and some smaller parts of Southern Thailand. The commercialization into the world of natural herbs took place since early 2000s, led by the Malaysian Government – making it one of the key industries in Malaysia today.

Fast forward, majority of the Tongkat Ali sold in the market today comes from yellow Tongkat Ali which are harvested widely in Malaysia. This is the most widely researched Tongkat Ali with more than 100 published papers to date as the potential health benefits continued to attract scientists from around the world. We have compiled 12 potential scientific-backed health benefits here.

Yellow Tongkat Ali has the most bitter taste compared to red or black Tongkat Ali variants. The reason of its extreme bitterness is due to the high level of eurycomanone — a key marker to measure potency level of Tongkat Ali.

Eurycomanone is the prominent bioactive quassinoid present in Tongkat Ali – widely proven by scientists to increase testosterone whilst exhibiting anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Yes, check out the ingredient in the brand of Tongkat Ali – does it say Eurycoma Longifolia? If yes, than it is definitely Yellow Tongkat Ali.

Here is our final verdict:

Popularity
4/5
Availability
5/5
Potency
4.5/5
Proven Benefits
4/5
Research Publications
4/5
Health Risks
1/5

Black Tongkat Ali

Plant Name : Polyalthia Bullata

Black Tongkat Ali comes from a plant known as Polyalthia bullata with a small root at 2-3 cm in diameter, which is a significantly smaller diameter than yellow Tongkat Ali. Also known as Wild Black Gorilla, Tongkat Ali Baginda and Tongkat Ali Hitam, the Black Tongkat Ali is found along the rivers in the lowland forest of Peninsular Malaysia such in the state of Pahang.

How does it taste like? Black Tongkat Ali smells fishy (perhaps due to the location where it is generally found – i.e near the river), but generally tastes less bitter than Yellow Tongkat Ali.

Production of Black Tongkat Ali is rare although it is found to be exported in raw slices. While its healing efficacy is touted to be much better than Yellow Tongkat Ali, it is traditionally used by the indigenous as a natural aphrodisiac for men’s health. 

Beyond it’s only health claim, there was lack of research or published papers associated with Black Tongkat Ali found to date. This makes it less popular amongst those seeking for scientific validation and proof of its health benefits.

At the same time, we found no-approval by the Malaysian Health Drugs Authorities on Tongkat Ali products sold in pharmacies that carry the title “Black Tongkat Ali”.

A research study showed that 26% out of 100 Black Tongkat Ali (or Tongkat Ali Hitam) products contain high mercury content between 0.53 — 2.35 ppm — higher than the allowable limit of 0.5 ppm.

Could the high level of mercury and soil-borne lead found in Black Tongkat Ali be the reason behind this ban?

Here is our final verdict:

Popularity
3/5
Availability
2/5
Potency
4/5
Proven Benefits
2/5
Research Publications
0/5
Health Risks
3.7/5

Red Tongkat Ali

Plant Name : Stema Tuberosa

Now this Red Tongkat Ali or Malaysian Red Ginseng comes from a scientific plant known as Stema Tuberosa. This comes from a species known as Jackiopsis Ornate from the family of Rubaceae. This rare tree is found growing along rivers, sandy or swampy soil in virgin rainforests up to 400 metres altitude in Peninsular Malaysia.

The plant is similar to Stemona Tuberosa is also found in remote parts of China, Indonesia and Thailand. The root has it’s name due to its distinct strong red colour and after drying, usually it turns into light red. This root is also known by other name such as Akar Haji Samat by locals.

The only reason why it continued to be popular amongst locals is the acceptable taste.  The Red Tongkat Ali smells and taste like any ginseng. It can taste somewhat sweet, a total opposite compared to Yellow and Black Tongkat Ali. It also means that the level of eurycomanone is the lowest in the Red Tongkat Ali.

Has there been any research or scientific evidence done on Red Tongkat Ali to validate its health benefits? After hours of researching, we have found none! Most of the Tongkat Ali clinical trials and scientific studies were based on Eurycoma Longifolia (i.e Yellow Tongkat Ali).

The red ginseng is consumed as regular herbal tea or coffee to give a dose of energy by the Chinese. We cannot ascertain the level of lead or mercury in red ginseng, but it is believed to be safe as it is widely sold in raw slices (instead of capsules).

Aside from this, we did not find any approved brands sold in pharmacies that carries “Red Tongkat Ali” title. Due to lower acceptance and trust, perhaps you should consider twice from buying it from Amazon stores!

Here is our final verdict:

Popularity
4/5
Availability
3.5/5
Potency
3/5
Proven Benefits
3/5
Research Publications
1/5
Health Risks
2/5

Our Top Pick

Tongkat Ali has been in the market for almost 20 years now, but every now and again, we have customers looking for an objective evaluation to pick the best Tongkat Ali. And that is the reason we chose to publish this article. We aim to assist millions of people to choose the best herbal supplement to revitalize their health.   

Our clear winner is the Yellow Tongkat Ali due to high scores in every criterion described above. 

Judging against criteria such as potency, a wide range of proven benefits, a wide number of research publications and with no reported death or minimal health risks, Yellow Tongkat Ali is deemed to be the most popular and the best Tongkat Ali.

It is no surprise that Yellow Tongkat Ali (i.e Eurycoma Longifolia) continues to be the best choice for centuries.

The versatility of Yellow Tongkat Ali enables you to enjoy the health benefits on every occasion. You can consume at any time of the day, use it as a functional ingredient with other herbs, coffee, tea or simply enjoy Tongkat Ali with your favourite drink!

Staying healthy naturally means your body deserves the best bio-active ingredients from Yellow Tongkat Ali.

With quality handpicked herbal roots and the right extraction method, yellow Tongkat Ali is widely used in many applications including functional ingredients in coffee, tea, dietary supplements and others. 

If you are in doubt which is the best yellow Tongkat Ali brand, we compile a list of 20+ trusted Tongkat Ali brands that use Yellow Tongkat Ali. 

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

Disclaimer: Content published in this article is not intended to promote any brands nor to provide any form of recommendations to purchase or consume medication, drugs or herbal supplement brands directly or indirectly. By reading this, the sole responsibility and decision lies on the reader to perform their own assessment and / or to arrive at an informed decision based on publicly available information. By reading the content published on this website means you are aware on the risks involved in purchasing any of the products or brands mentioned in this article. We highly recommend you and the readers to consult your nearest doctor before making any purchase from this website or any other websites or social platforms after reading this article.

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