Index of all articles, click here
By Serge Kreutz (2010)
As a herbal supplement that strongly enhances testosterone levels and can sexualize men and women like no other as herbal or pharmaceutical product, tongkat ali obviously has the dangerous potential to be used as a date rape drug. On the other hand, the high degree of bitterness of the extract does provide a certain degree of security.
Tongkat ali marketing
Some Internet retailers refer (or have referred) to our work to promote the sale of so-called LJ100 capsules.
We do want to point out that we do not endorse LJ100 capsules; to the contrary, we have specific doubts about this particular product.
Herbal supplements are a darling of such Internet marketing specialists, as well as the whole multi-level marketing community, because the content of such herbal products is poorly controlled, and the profit margins are potentially huge.
Tongkat ali root powder, for example, can be purchased over the Internet at some 25 US dollars per kg. You can fill some 200 mg into a 00 size capsule. That makes about 5000 capsules per kg. Pack 100 capsules into a bottle, and give such a bottle a consumer price of 49.95 US dollars.
The 1 kg, packed into 5000 capsules, that has cost 25 US dollars, sells for roughly 2500 US dollars. With such profit margins, manufacturers can afford to offer not just 50 percent discount to resellers, but easily 80 percent. It still turns 15 US dollars into 500 US dollars, and leaves plenty of room for marketing enhancement, such as beautifully labeled bottles, or nicely designed websites.
For good reasons, I distrust products for which the emphasis is on marketing, not on the product itself.
The best bet, definitely, is to buy tongkat ali only from companies that sell their own product, never from merchants. When you buy from websites look at hints whether they are a real company are just a Internet trader. Check their graphic illustrations. Are the photos of their own facilities or just stolen on the Internet. Is the company name visible in photos?
Tongkat ali extract chemistry
Plants, of course, are mostly made of cellulose, the material that builds cell walls. Cellulose is not pharmacologically active in animals, including those of the species homo sapiens. Beyond that, cellulose also is very difficult to digest (unless you are a cow or another kind of animal that can live of foliage).
Many plants, including eurycoma longifolia (the Latin, scientific name of tongkat ali), also do contain pharmacologically active substances, and this has been the mainstay of traditional medicine for tens of thousands of years.
No culture has researched pharmacologically active ingredients as consistently as has Chinese medicine. Even modern Chinese science focuses much more on the use of pharmacologically active plants than does modern science in the West. Much of the scientific research into tongkat ali has been done by Chinese scientists, and even though the plant grows in Malaysia and Indonesia, the most intensive users in both countries are probably the local Chinese.
Chinese herbal medicine has also applied for thousands of years the techniques of extracting the pharmacologically active substances of plants.
The basics of making extracts are very simple and straightforward: soak and cook in water, throw out the solid material, and you have an aqueous extract (a tincture). The solid material primarily is cellulose, while the tincture contains the pharmacologically active substances; the worldwide most widely used aqueous extract, or tincture, obviously is tea. You brew it to obtain the pharmacologically active ingredients (caffeine, theobromine) and discard the solid material (the leaves).
Liquid tongkat ali extract is produced in the same manner. You need about 10 liters of water for 1 kg of chipped root. Soak it for a day, then bring to a boil and cook for half an hour or an hour. Thereafter the pharmacologically active ingredients are in the water, and the boiled root material (practically just cellulose) can be discarded.
Up to this level, producing an extract doesn't need any high-tech equipment. But now, you have 10 liters of water, which are difficult to sell to potential buyers who are spread throughout the world. You have to get rid of the H2O, and that is where you can apply technologies that are either basic or advanced. You can evaporate the water by simply heating the tincture (which will take days). Or you can intensify evaporation by heating the tincture in a pressurized chamber, or by having dry air passing over the tincture's surface.
The technologies that are applied to evaporate the water of an aqueous extract may be crude or refined, but water evaporation really is all what it's about. If you have evaporated all the water, you have a dry extract, which can be filled into capsules and easily shipped to wherever you want to. (per)
Index of articles, click here.
Copyright Serge Kreutz