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By Serge Kreutz (2010)
Tongkat ali is a herbal that has long been show to increase libido. However, some people who have been buying Malaysian tongkat ali (know for lead contamination) may have done the opposite of what they intended to do.
This is because a decrease of libido is one of the earliest signs of lead poisoning. On Wikipedia, one can read:
An unusual taste in the mouth, loss of appetite, and personality changes are early signs. Other early signs in adults include malaise, fatigue, irritability, decreased libido, headache, and problems with sleep.
In previous years, it was believed that there were tolerable amounts of lead. However, that belief has since been discarded. Also from Wikipedia:
These dangers [of lead] have long been known, though the modern understanding of their full extent and the small amount of lead necessary to produce them is relatively recent; blood lead levels once considered safe are now considered hazardous, with no known threshold.
Malaysia is a proud industrialized country, a tiger economy just as Singapore and Taiwan. Furthermore, at least in Western Malaysia there isn't much uninhabited countryside. This is the case because of Malaysian building laws that allow constructing warehouses and factories practically anywhere. The only limitation is that on land that is considered "agricultural" there may only be one building per acre. This building may be a house or a chemical workshop.
More than a third of the Malaysian population is Chinese, and heavily inclined to small-scale manufacturing, whatever the cost to the environment. This, in combination with specifically Malay building regulations, has indeed left very little unpolluted countryside in this country.
Furthermore, tongkat ali is a tree, not a vegetable. It grows 20 years to a size when it is suited for harvesting. Ample of time to accumulate lead, for which there is no way out of the plant organism.
A prime concern when buying tongkat ali should therefore be the lowest possible contamination by lead and other heavy metals. Clearly, tongkat ali harvested in the wild, far from any civilization, is the best quality.
Now, in Malaysia you no longer find this. Malaysia has started with tongkat ali plantations, but they aren't in the wild (there is no wild in Western Malaysia), but, of course, close to roads, and close to agricultural land that is used for manufacturing units.
Wild tongkat ali is found in sufficient quantities only in one country of the world, Indonesia. And from there, you should get your tongkat ali if you don't want it to have the opposite effect of what you are looking for.
But be careful. Because Malaysian tongkat ali companies are meanwhile aware of the bad reputation their home-grown tongkat ali has, some have resorted to branding themselves "Indonesia".
When looking for Indonesian tongkat ali on the Internet, look for proof. Is the company from which you are buying located in Indonesia indeed. Or is it a spam site that sells with the Indonesia claim? Does the company have proper Indonesian business licenses and permits, or is Indonesia just an empty claim?
Be careful with lead. Lead, overall, may just be a slow killer (and you may expect to die of other causes earlier). But nevertheless, lead is a rather fast libido killer. And as a tongkat ali buyer, you do not want this side effect.
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Copyright Serge Kreutz