- How to separate the Frauds from the Good Stuff
- When Hormonal Herbs can be Too Powerful
- Tongkat Ali and Pheromones?
- Which Hormonal Pathways Tongkat works on
- The Benefits of Testosterone, the Success Hormone
- The Multipronged Sexual Activity of Longjack
- Tongkat’s Anxiety and Cortisol Lowering Effects
- How Tongkat can Work for Women too, especially Older Women
- Tongkat’s Bitter Taste and How to Help Get Use to It
Click the link below to access the complete transcript.
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Logan: Welcome back to the Vital Way. I’m Logan Christopher along with Cloud here on this call and we are going to be devoting this episode to one of our favorite herbs of them all. There are a lot of good ones but since we’ve started using tongkat ali, it has quickly risen to the top of just about everyone’s list. I know it’s definitely one of my favorites. Yours too, Cloud?
Logan: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing stuff. So in this call here, we’re going to go into some of the details of how and why it’s working and why it does what it does. So tell me a little bit about your experience. We’ve only been really working with this one for about less than a year, right?
Cloud: Oh yeah, I think it’s only been maybe eight months? We’ve had other’s tongkats we tried and through testing we found out they were not so good. I know speaking to a lot of customers, they’ve actually tried tongkat from a lot of different places before and a lot of them say it didn’t really help. So we know there are a bunch of fakes out there basically and just like any other herb, you’ve got to find the quality stuff which…
Logan: To add a point on that, because tongkat works so amazingly well it’s developed this reputation so if you’re getting the quality, obviously it will work for most people anyway. There are always some exceptions to that. But because it works so well, it developed this reputation so people are now seeing that, marketing it and it’s included in all kinds of stuff where you may be getting the less than optimal tongkat, if it’s even that at all which I’m sure there are a lot of different supplements out there that claim to have tongkat but really don’t have it in there unfortunately.
Cloud: Yeah and like the first one we tested, it turned out to be half malto-dextran and we never felt anything from it. So you’ve definitely have got to be careful.
Logan: Yeah. As always, that’s one thing. This is stuff we personally take so we’re always searching for the best. I heard a little bit about the shilajit we have. We had good stuff before but we found even better stuff so we’re switching over our supply on that. If we find even better tongkat in the future, we’ll do the same but our stuff definitely works well. That’s our guarantee. We’re not going to carry stuff that isn’t good because we personally use all the different herbs we have, not every single one necessarily but at some point in our life.
Cloud: Now we have too much stuff it seems like sometimes.
Logan: We’ve got to rotate them.
Cloud: Yeah. Basically, my first experience, I remember the first time I took it and the first reaction is how bitter it is. Just the bitterness lingers there forever. I definitely got used to it. Now I actually I crave the taste now when I take my breaks on weekends. When Monday comes around, I can’t wait to take it again. Personally, I just remember leaving the office, going to the store after I had taken it in the morning and I just felt so good and more of a man instantly. I remember just staring at women, not staring creepy but just whoa, holy crap! Look at her! I haven’t been like that since I was a teenager. That was my first thing that just blew me away. I couldn’t believe it took me back to that time. One dose did that.
Logan: I was talking to a person. He was having similar effects and described it the same way but with the pine pollen. He was taking both the powder and the tincture and said, “It feels like I’m 18 again.” What I’ve been telling people is I didn’t even feel it that strongly when I was 18. Being on the tongkat, it’s stronger than ever before. It’s pretty crazy. This kind of sounds bad and I guess you could probably go too far with the tongkat. One day, I just saw a woman with an attractive butt and I found myself just walking towards her until my conscious mind kicked in. It was like, what am I doing? I’m trying to shop today. It’s powerful stuff so be careful with it, guys.
Cloud: Yeah, speaking of that I’ve had a bunch of people I’m talking to, telling them about tongkat and my experience and they were like well, I’m married; I don’t want that. I’m just like well, it’s a matter of willpower and doing the right thing and applying it where it needs to be applied.
Logan: Actually interestingly enough, when I was doing massive research on testosterone, I came across some study or statistics that looked at men with higher testosterone do cheat more than guys without it. Once again, it is the thing you should definitely take into consideration but don’t sacrifice your masculinity just to not cheat. There are other ways around that issue of course.
Cloud: Yeah, I now remember Zane when we first started taking it. Zane would mentioned how he just seemed to exude this masculinity and maybe it was the tongkat making him notice the females more but he seemed to think that they noticed him more because the tongkat had increased his testosterone and his masculinity.
Logan: That would make sense. Some of the production which we’ll get a little more into how the different hormones work but from testosterone the body can then break that down or transfer into the pheromones which are androsterones. There’s a bunch of them that start with “andro” because a there are couple of those that are precursors to the testosterone like androstenedione but there are other ones like androsterones that are pheromones that women can pick this up. There has been more research coming out on just how much the scents of both sexes can help attract or repel other sexes.
Cloud: Yeah, it helps with pheromones and that kind of stuff was what Zane was noticing.
Logan: So let’s get into some detail on the different hormonal actions that tongkat has. It’s a pretty cool one because it seems to be doing multiple different things. Hormones are kind of complex. Even among men where it’s way simpler than women, because women have the monthly cycle and things where they rise or fall, which are much more a bit more steady, it’s still not a simple matter. It’s not like you just need more testosterone and that’s it. I wish it were that simpler. That would make things easier but unfortunately there are several mechanisms going on.
What tongkat seems to do is in some ways it’s triggering your body to produce more of its own testosterone which is a really good thing. It sort of theoretically. They don’t have quite the science to detail all that out. It’s proving that the Luteinizing Hormone which is the hormone that comes from the pituitary gland travels down through the testicles to get them to produce the testosterone from other hormones and if we go back further from cholesterol. It also makes increased Follicle-Stimulating Hormone which is another which actually then goes to the testicles and that’s what triggers the sperm production. Tongkat ali also has some effects on that region as well. Are you following me so far?
Cloud: I’m following you.
Logan: In addition to increasing the testosterone, tongkat ali has two other main effects. Basically, it’s keeping that testosterone freely available. If you’ve ever had blood work done, you may see some different numbers, one of which would be total testosterone and another which is free testosterone. Now both these numbers are important just in sort of different ways. If your total testosterone but free testosterone is really low, you may not feel like you have a lot of testosterone because it is being either converted or bound to a different things so there isn’t really that free testosterone traveling around your body and able to exert its androgenic effects. On the flip side, if you have a good ratio of free testosterone but overall your total testosterone is isn’t really high, you still probably won’t be in the best off case. So you want both of these numbers reasonable high.
For men, ideally it looks like the number would be over 1,000 but being in 600, 700 or 800, somewhere in that range for total testosterone seems to work pretty well for most guys. It’s theorized that people long ago had much higher testosterone levels than we do so some guys are pushing the numbers up to over 1,000 and it’s working pretty well for them. Once again, you’ve got to find what works for you.
Cloud: From what I’ve seen, you were saying over 1,000 or maybe 1,200 is good today and I’ve seen theories that it was in the 1,300 to 1,500 back in the days so for those guys, even higher?
Logan: Possibly. You have to find what works. With the free testosterone, that’s going to be a much smaller amount. Usually that’s measured in nanograms/deciliter. Free testosterone is somewhere around the 10 range, a little bit higher but if it goes lower than that it could be an issue. Once again, free testosterone is going to give you more of the androgenic benefits that you want. Tongkat ali helps through two other pathways here.
Besides treating your body to produce more of its own testosterone, it also limits aromatization. Aromatization is a process where the enzyme aromatase converts testosterone directly to estrogen. Now of course estrogen is known as the woman’s hormone and they have that, too but men have estrogen just in smaller amounts just like women do have testosterone as well in smaller amounts. So you do need for estrogen for certain things.
The problem is when you have too much estrogen. Generally in the environment we live in, estrogen is a much bigger problem because we get it from the various xenoestrogens, phytoestrogens, everything else, all the toxic things that are around us in the environment today. We need a certain amount of estrogen once again. If your testosterone is great but more of it is getting converted over to estrogen, it’s not necessarily a good thing so we want to make sure that that doesn’t happen too much. Tongkat is one thing that helps with that.
The other pathway that it helps on is testosterone can become bound by something known as sex hormone-binding globulin. This basically renders the testosterone inert so it can’t exert its androgenic effects. Tongkat ali helps to limit the sex hormone-binding globulin so that once again the testosterone can be free so not only do you have more total testosterone from your body’s ramped up production but you have more free testosterone by lowering the aromatase and the sex hormone-binding globulin.
Cloud: Basically, you could have a really high total testosterone but up to 98% to 99% of it can be bound by the sex hormone-binding globulins so your total is really high but your free testosterone is really low because they’re all bound up and inert by the globulins. Then when tongkat hits, it breaks them apart and make the globulins inert, all of a sudden you have this dramatic rise in free testosterone.
Logan: I’d say probably in general that’s going to be when people feel more of the effects of feeling great, feeling more attractive women and them being more attracted probably with that free testosterone occurring.
Cloud: Yeah, definitely what I felt.
Logan: I mentioned around 10. That’s an all right number with the free testosterone but going up towards 20 would be even more ideal. The thing is we have all these normal reference ranges. The problem is those reference ranges come from the average population which is not that healthy. If we look back a long time, it’s hard to really see. There is some research looking what actual indigenous people, the few of them that are still around, what sort of blood work they have because they’re more of a natural human than all of the stuff that we’ve got going on. On any of these reference ranges you’re looking at, generally with something like testosterone, it’s probably still good to be in that reference range but somewhere towards the higher end of that is going to be much more optimal. Because you don’t want to be normal, right? You want to be optimal.
Cloud: What are some of the benefits you’ll get with increased testosterone? We know it’s good but what are some of them besides increased libido and noticing the opposite sex? What else can come with that?
Logan: Well, just about everything. Testosterone is known as the success hormone. Basically, it can help you be more successful in life. You’ll feel more of this sort of masculine energy which is the driving force that allows you to go out and accomplish things, to achieve which we definitely put on a high pedestal here in the Western society. So you’ll have better energy so you can be more productive. Your thinking will be better. One of the things that occurs with excess estrogen as well is the mind can get cloudy, brain fog and that sort of thing. Testosterone works on the brain, not just on the muscles of the rest of the body. The muscle mass, that’d be another thing. Having and supporting any sort of workouts and gaining and keeping lean muscle mass is part of testosterone’s action as well.
Cloud: And also helping to burn fat and producing more red blood cells is another effect of higher testosterone levels.
Logan: Pretty much everything is better.
Cloud: Yeah. That’s what I tell people. Once you raise your testosterone levels, everything gets better. It should just be easier with higher T levels.
Logan: You mentioned the libido thing but in addition, tongkat ali has some other effects. Evan called it Ali’s walking stick when I first heard about that. It’s not that it was actually a walking stick although the tree’s roots are used and you could certainly make a walking stick out of it. They were saying that it wasn’t referring to any sort of stick. It’s just that Ali was hung. Basically, it helps your penis to get better erect. That’s why it’s one of the things I’m working with in the formula that we’re putting together. It’s great for this. I already mentioned the sperm production. I know something I’ve personally noticed—I don’t know about you; we haven’t talked about this subject specifically—but orgasms seem to be better when on tongkat as well.
Cloud: Maybe. I haven’t really noticed. I do know from talking to people, from just the first time they take it, it also kind of helps with endurance in that area, I would say. Basically, it just makes sex better for both parties I would say.
Logan: This is mostly a male herb but it definitely works for women as well. What we found was certain women really like it, other ones don’t like it. That seems to be kind of the thing. Just try it out and see if it works for you. If you go for its sort of energetic action, it’s a really hot herb and it may be too hot for some people. I’d say especially for some women, it might be too much for them.
Cloud: Yeah and in my experience talking to customers, some of the female customers have had great success taking it, especially when they’re training hard. But what I’ve noticed is it tends to be that older women seem to get more benefit out of tongkat because their hormones are all over the place and I think testosterone, definitely when they add a little bit more testosterone at that time in their life, it helps to get rid of let’s say estrogen, the bad estrogens and stuff. I’ve had some women tell me that basically they feel like they’re 20 years younger again.
Logan: I’d be very interested to see the hormonal actions, what’s going on with women but there’s basically no research on that. All of the research was done basically on rats and there are some limited men’s’ studies but I don’t think there are any that go into detail on women. Research is just one thing to see how it works and give you some ideas but the ultimate thing is to try it out and see how it works for you. Anecdotal stuff also gives you that similar sort of evidence.
One of the other things we haven’t really mentioned here is that tongkat ali also seems to lower cortisol which is well known as the stress hormone. I don’t know what action it’s lowering this through but it does seem to have some sort of anxiety-lowering effect so maybe it’s working similarly to some of the better known adaptogenic herbs. It’s just another effect. By lowering cortisol, that also can be one of the ways through which the other hormones are much better supported. If your cortisol is through the roof as occurs in our very high stress world from everything going on then that’s definitely going to tank your other hormones. This is just one other piece of the tongkat and what it’s doing for the human body.
Cloud: Yeah, and one of the best studies that I’ve seen where they did a study on men, it was saying that within one hour of ingestion, they took blood levels after exercising and taking tongkat and in one hour, the tongkat group testosterone was raised by 32% and the cortisol levels were lowered 16%. Obviously, that’s really good for training, working out and stuff if you can up your testosterone and lower your cortisol levels at the same time.
Logan: Speaking of studies, let’s talk about one that I’ve pulled up. Some of this information, you can find out a lot more on the website, on the tongkat ali page because we also have a few articles on the blog. There’s one study where clinical measurements showed that total testosterone levels, both free and bound, increased by over 70%. I should note that this was in people who had low testosterone which is where unfortunately where a lot of people are at these days. If you already have optimal testosterone, is tongkat ali going to do a whole lot for you? Probably not as much. You might have some different effects but like I said, most people aren’t here.
Going on, DHEA which turns into testosterone in the body increased by 47%. Sex hormone-binding globulin was reduced by 66% which results in more testosterone in the bloodstream. After three weeks, free testosterone available in the bloodstream increased in 73% of the participants. Those are some pretty big numbers.
Cloud: Yeah, and numbers don’t lie.
Logan: So if you haven’t tried tongkat and you listened this far, I think it’s worth trying. For most people, not for everyone though. Any final words that you’ve got, Cloud?
Cloud: Yeah, I definitely think tongkat, like I said, is one of my favorite herbs now especially if you’re training, working out or you know you have certain sexual problems. It can definitely helped. I have helped some customers fix problems they’ve had for a long time in some of them just by adding tongkat to their herb repertoire so definitely give it a try and see how it goes for you.
Logan: Yeah, I’d say it’s definitely the most powerful hormonal herb we have. I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to say. That or the pine pollen tincture are both very powerful in somewhat different ways and this is a question we get often kind of often: Can we combine tongkat and pine pollen? The answer is yes, you can. If you did tongkat ali and the pine pollen tincture and the pine pollen powder, it can be very powerful stuff.
Cloud: The ultimate stack.
Logan: Yeah. It might be, like you said, too powerful at times so just be warned with that and the taste of tongkat.
Cloud: Well, there’s a little trick I learned through a cooking show for tongkat. If you throw a little salt on your tongue, it will fill up your bitter taste buds. Then you throw the tongkat in and it definitely lessens the bitterness, not all of it but it will definitely work a little better for someone that cannot handle it yet, I would say.
Logan: Or you can do the drinking trick which is on that video on the blog. Put some water in your mouth, throw the tongkat in there then swallow it down without really tasting it. Sometimes, you get a little bit of the taste but that can be a good way to kind of build up to it because really after you taste it for a while even it’s a little bit. That way it’s not completely taking over your mouth for an hour which can be unpleasant the first time around. You get a little bit of that taste but then your body starts to become used to it and like Cloud said, you can even begin to crave the taste. As we like to say, bitter is better.
Cloud: Definitely for tongkat.
Logan: Yeah. Okay, I think that’s going to wrap it up for today’s show. If you guys have any questions, we’re probably going to be putting out some stuff, a specific place to ask questions for the podcasts. We’ll be doing some specific Q & A episodes as well as we’ll have a number of interviews lined up, some different people coming on so we should have some cool stuff for the future.