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The case against tongkat ali standardization for eurycomanone

By Serge Kreutz

Tongkat Ali Research, 2019

More and more websites selling tongkat ali, or alleged tongkat ali, claim that their product is standardized for eurycomanone. As if this would be a mark of superior quality. But it isn't.


Tongkat ali's bioactive constituents

Potentially active compounds in tongkat ali (scientific name: Eurycoma longifolia) are many. See below for a rough idea.


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While there has been a lot of research into tongkat ali extract, it is still unclear which of the 50 or so biochemical constituents works on the human hormonal system. It may well be that the effectiveness is in a combination of several tongkat ali phytochemicals, in that one constituent is the main effector, and others work as catalysts.


Eurycomanone is not linked to tongkat ali's testosterone and libido enhancement powers

There are many scientific studies linking tongkat ali extract to elevated testosterone and heightened libido. How about eurycomanone and testosterone, or eurycomanone and libido?

Let's run a search on PubMed, or Medline (alternative names for the same institution). Medline (or PubMed) is the medical database of the National Institute of Health of the US government. The criteria for an inclusion on Medline are more stringent than for Google Scholar, which is prone to the commercial manipulation with non-scientific publications. Medline contains the abstracts or full texts of more than 25 million scientific medical studies.

So, what do you get if you search for: eurycomanone testosterone

Nothing. Zero.

Eurycomanone hasn't been studied even just once for a connection to testosterone. Not in genuine research.

So, how about: eurycomanone libido

Same story. Zero results.

Again, there isn't even just a single scientific study that would have examined a link between eurycomanone and libido.

But a lot of research is being done on eurycomanone and cancer. Eurycomanone is cytotoxic to certain cancer cells. This means: eurycomanone kilks these cells. But the research is preliminary. It is done on isolated cells (in vitro), not on living organismes (in vivo), not in rats, and certainly not in humans.

Eurycomanone in pharmaceutical dosages kills certain cancer cells. Nobody knows whether it also kills healthy cells, and if yes, which. Even if you have cancer, you don't want to be a guinea pig.


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But as far as testosterone and libido goes, eurycomanone is the hype of Internet scammers who want to sell inferior or fake tongkat ali for a high profit. The same scammers also often claim GMP certification, or academic credentials from Swedish universities, with both untrue.


Tongkat ali is traditionally boiled as tea

Tongkat ali has a long tradition as folk medicine in Southeast Asia, the only part of the world where it grows. The conventional method of preparation and ingestion is to boil the root for about half an hour or longer, and then drink the resulting tea. Root chips are often boiled for several rounds.


This liquid essentially is an extract, though one that is highly diluted because of a large quantity of water. The dilution as a tea doesn’t make the tongkat ali less effective, it is just dissolved or suspended in more water.

Many prominent people in Southeast Asia consume tongkat ali. Best-known among them is Mohamad Mahathir, a medical doctor (MD) and prime minister of Malaysia. That guy is in his mid-90s, and is fit as if he were in his 50s. He was re-elected prime minister of Malaysia in 2018 at age 92, after having held the post in his relative youth from 1981 to 2003 (age 56 to 78). Does tongkat ali tilt the odds of reaching 100 in your favor?

As for Dr. M's virility: he has seven children, and it's easy to lose count on the number of his grandchildren, as there is constant upward fluctuation.


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Here some advice on preparing a tongkat ali tea from another Southeast Asian politician, the former Singaporean presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian. Mr. Tan Kin Lian was apprehended for tongkat ali smuggling (tongkat ali is a protected plant in Malaysia). He is only in his 70s. Thus, his intetest in sex is quite natural (by Asian standards, anyway).


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More recipies for tongkat ali tea:



How much eurycomanone is in tongkat ali tea or aqueous tongkat ali extract

The traditional method of consuming tongkat ali is by boiling it for a long time. Substantial heat over considerable time is needed to dissolve tongkat ali phytochemicals in water. Boiling over time will result in a brown fluid (an aqueous extract) with its characteristic miserable (and I do mean MISERABLE) taste.

Cold, even lukewarm, water will not dissolve anything in tongkat ali root. You can try this yourself by placing tongkat ali root chips in a bowl of cold or tepid water for a day or two. Nothing will happen. No brown fluid, for sure.

You could also apply some simple logic. Tongkat ali roots are tree roots. The function of tree roots is to absorb water and water-dissolved nutrients, even chemicals. That would be strange if roots, or species-defining phytochemicals in roots, would dissolve in water. They don't.

Heat is an essential component of any water-based (aqueous) tongkat ali root extract.

Scientific studies were mostly done with an aqueous extract of tongkat ali. And this, per se, means that root particles were boiled for considerable time. The studies were then conducted with a cocktail of phytochemicals which resulted from boiling tongkat ali root particles.

But now, be aware of this: the eurycomanone in tongkat ali is NOT heat-resistent. When tongkat ali root particles are boiled, the eurycomanone quickly degrades due to the heat.

Even when just drying roots at 70 degree Celsius (158 Fahrenheit), a large portion of the eurycomanone in tongkat ali will already be destroyed. See the conclusion of the following study.



This, again, indicates that the multiple positive effects of tongkat ali, observed in traditional use and scientific studies with aqueous tongkat ali extract, are NOT due to eurycomanone. The eurycomanone will have been degraded in the preparation process.


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