The truth about tongkat ali products sold in Singapore’s pharmacies: Guardian, GNC, Watsons

By July 3, 2013Tongkat ali

 

Tongkat ali is a popular male enhancer in South East Asia. In Singapore it is also very well known, however many of the products you can find off the shelves mix tongkat ali with other herbs, and/or the quantity of tongkat ali may be too low to be even effective. Just because you bought it in Guardian, GNC or Watson’s doesn’t mean that it will work well. Next time you find yourself in one of these pharmacies, keep the following points in mind:

Beware of possible scams

You may remember a product named “XP Tonkat Ali Supreme”, which HSA banned and made public in this press release. This product contained tadalafil as the main active ingredient and marketed as tongkat ali. Today you can shop another product by the same company “XP Tonkat Ali Xtreme”. This matter was already covered by Serge Kreuz in Why Singapore is dangerous for tongkat ali, and I couldn’t agree more with it. Even if you have the guts to buy the “new version”, you are paying quite a high price point fot it. We will discussing that in “how much tongkat ali?”.

Avoid the “all-in-one” formula

More often than not herbal male enhancement supplements contains a mix of different ingredients. Although these ingredients may have more or less evidence to support their male enhancement effect, the truth is that most of the well-known natural products just don’t have enough evidence. Tongkat ali is one of the rare ones that has been well studied and its effect has been proven so it’s better to stick to it rather than taking it with other herbs that may not work at all.

How much tongkat ali?

Tongkat ali is taken as extract. Normally, the extract is not concentrated. There are however some tongkat ali extracts that are concentrated 1:50 or 1:200, meaning, 50g or 200g of tongkat ali root was used to make 1g of final product, respectively. I have never seen concentrated tongkat ali extract in any pharmacy in Singapore. All the brands I have seen carry anything from 20mg to 200mg of tongkat ali per capsule (and often with many other herbs).

Out of all the products I examined, the one with most tongkat ali in it was the infamous “XP Tonkat Ali Xtreme” with 500mg of extract per capsule. Now, you pay S$40 for 5 grams of tongkat ali extract (10 capsules of 500mg). If you were to compare this with herbolab’s 1:200 tongkat ali, you would have paid S$99 for 30 grams of tongkat ali extract concentrated 200 times (100 capsules of 300mg), which equals 6000 g (6kg) of tongkat ali. In other words, for a bit more than double the price you get 1200 times more tongkat ali extract… and without the risk of undeclared substances included.