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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Aquilaria Habitat & Population


Habitat availability.

The fast disappearing of the low-land forests in Sumatra and Borneo (either by land clearing, forest fire and forest exploitations) gives a great impact on these species. Furthermore, reports from collectors showed that now it is more difficult to find agarwoods compared to the previous years. Agarwood collectors are now also collecting from the protected areas.

Irian Jaya as a region producing Aquilaria audate and Gyrinops versteegii. Some islands in Indonesia (Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba, Sulawesi and Moluccas) were also the origin of the Gyrinops.

Plantation of agarwood producing species was reported from some agarwood producing areas. However, no significant production has been reported. Artificial inoculation to produce agarwood only give a very limited results.


Population status.

The species of Aquilaria malaccensis currently listed in Appendix II has been considered threatened according to the IUCN Red List. Species considered to be globally at risk from overexploitation for agarwood include: A. beccariana (Vulnerable), A. hirta (Vulnrable) and A. microcarpa (Vulnerable) (Hilton-Taylor, 2002). No current information on population is available. Listing one species out of more than 15 species producing agarwood appeared to create worldwide problems on look alike products in trade (Soehartono, 2003). This is because the specimens in trade are in the forms of wood chips, powder and oils. When the collectors are looking for agarwood, all agarwood producing species they found will be harvested, not only the A. malaccensis. It is then very difficult to distinguish whether the products in trade are derived from Aquilaria or Gyrinops. Therefore, virtually all species of Aquilaria and Gyrinops are threatened by trade (Soehartono and Mardiastuti, 2002).


Aquilaria and Gyrinops are typical understorey tree. Pattern of seedling distribution indicates that few seeds are dispersed more than a few meters from the adult tree. Under nursery conditions, seeds of Aquilaria spp. germinated rapidly and a relatively high proportion of seed eventually germinated (more than 50%).

Formerly only infected agarwood producing trees were harvested, however recently when the infected agarwood trees are not easily found, the healthy plants were also cut down eventhough only a low quality of agarwoods were obtained.

The field data on the population trend is not available. However, the trade in the gaharu products seems to be declining. Indonesia exported more than 300 tons in 1997, dropped to 125 tons for what so called Aquilaria filaria. Since 2003 the quota remains at the level of 125 tons for the species.


Geographic trends



Demand on agarwood is increasing for years. Indonesia regulate export of agarwood through yearly quotas. There are two different groups of export quota from Indonesia, Aquilaria malaccensis group (including A. hirta, A. beccariana and A. microcarpa) from western part of the country and A. cumingiana and Aquilaria audate group (including Gyrinops versteegii) from eastern part of the country.

In Malaysia, producing agarwood species are A. hirta and A. beccariana. Trades in agarwood are originated from Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah. In Sabah, activities of gaharu collectors was a major threat to the area, as not only did the collectors cut down potential agarwood-producing trees. Most Aquilaria trees found in this area had either already felled or had been ‘notched”.

Vietnam and Cambodia have also been important sources of agarwood to supply international markets. However, the proportion of how much the countries have been supplying international markets is unknown.


Role of the species in its ecosystem

Aquilaria species have adapted to live in various habitats, including those that are rocky, sandy or calcareous, well-drained slopes and ridges and land near swamps. This shade tolerant plants when young may regenerate in almost pure patches underneath mother trees. Pattern and seedling distribution indicate that few seeds are distributed more than a few meters from the adult tree. The species are never found in a single dominant stands, but they are mostly been found in uneven dispersal throughout the habitat. Therefore, finding the tree (by collectors) would probably need special experiences.


Threats



Uncertainty about the size or age of trees when they contain agarwood has caused speculation that the current practice of harvesting adult trees is likely to be detrimental to the viability of the population.

Identification problem for Aquilaria malaccensis in Brunei Darussalam suggested that possible exploitation of A. beccariana which has been confirmed to be A. audate in Brunei Darussalam.

Some species of Aquilaria. were reported to be found at national parks in Kalimantan such as Bukit Baka National Park, Gunung Palung National Park,Betung Kerihun National Park, Mandor Nature Reserve and Gunung Niut (Soehartono and Mardiastuti, 2002). However, at Gunung Palung, Gunung Niut and Mandor they are now almost completely depleted due to illegal logging and gold mining activities. Traders have confirmed that Aquilaria spp. are thought to be no longer in existence in Mandor area.

Indiscriminate felling of infected and uninfected trees and habitat degradation and loss due to forest fire and forest conversion to settlement and agriculture areas is another threats to agarwood species.

Aquilaria species


Aquilaria hirta Ridl.

Distributes in Malay Peninsula (Trengganu, Pahang, Johore), Singapore and east Sumatra (Senamaninik), Riau and Lingga islands. This species grows on hill slopes, from the lowland up to 300 m.

Aquilaria microcarpa Baill
Distributes in Malay Peninsula, Sumatra (Sijunjung, Palembang and Lampung), Belitung, Bangka and throughout Borneo. Grows on lowland forest up to 200 m

Aquilaria cumingiana (Decne) Ridl
Distribution areas: South Borneo (Sampit region), Philippines (common), and Moluccas (Morotai and Halmahera), in primary forest at low and medium altitudes.

Aquilaria grandiflora Bth.
Distribution area China

Aquilaria secundana D.C.
Distribution area Moluccas

Aquilaria moszkowskii Gilg
Distribution area Sumatra

Aquilaria tomentosa Gilg
Distribution area New Guinea

Aqularia baillonii Pierre ex Lecomte
Distribution area Cambodia

Aquilaria sinensis Merr.
Distribution area China

Aquilaria apiculata Merr.
Distribution area Philippines (Mindanao)

Aquilaria acuminate (Merr.)Quis.
Distribution area Philippine

Aquilaria yunnanensis S.C. Huang
Distribution area China

Gyrinops versteegii (Gilg.) Domke
Distribution areas: Lesser Sunda Islands (Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba); North Celebes (Minahasa) and West New Guinea. This species scattered from the lowland up to 900 m. This species closely related to Gyrinops podocarpus which also found in West New Guinea

Gyrinops moluccana (Miq.) Baill.
Distribution area Buru and Halmahera, in rain-forest

Gyrinops decipiens Ding Hou
Distribution area Central Celebes (Wavatoli, Palarahi), in rain-forest, 100 m.

Gyrinops ledermanii Domke
Distribution area New Guinea (Sepik R., Mt. Pfingst), at slope in dense virgin forest, foot of the mountain, at 0-200 m

Gyrinops salicifolia Ridl.
Distribution area Western New Guinea (Utakwa, Nabire), in fringing rain-forest, 300 m.

Gyrinops audate (Gilg) Domke
Distribution area New Guinea (Sidai, Mt. Arfak) at primary forest 5-20 m.

Gyrinops podocarpus (Gilg.) Domke
Distribution area West New Guinea (Ramoi, Sorong, Monep, Idenburg), in primary forest, from lowland up t Distribution area Distribution area 750m.


Sustainable Agarwood Production in Aquilaria Trees

Agarwood, aloeswood, eaglewood, jinkoh, gaharu are names for the world’s most valuable incense. This resinous material is produced by tropical rainforest trees and has been used for centuries as incense and in traditional medicine. In the past, old growth Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees were indiscriminately cut to find the resin (usually hidden within the center of only a few old trees). Today in many countries of Southeast Asia where the tree was once native, it has become very rare due to increased harvesting. The resinous wood or oil extracted from the inside of some trees is extremely valuable since it is highly regarded for use during Buddhist and Islamic cultural activities as well as an important ingredient in many traditional medicines. It is also an extremely important component in traditional Japanese incense ceremonies. Although most people in the United States and Europe are not familiar with this aromatic resinous wood, its use as incense (called aloeswood) is mentioned several times in the bible. People in the United States, Europe and other countries that have had the opportunity to smell the fragrance of this extraordinary incense find it very appealing and pleasant.

Aquilaria trees are now protected in most countries and the collection of agarwood is illegal from natural forests. International agreements, such as CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), accepted by 169 countries, is designed to ensure trade in agarwood products from wild trees does not threaten the survival of Aquilaria. Despite these efforts agarwood products from illegally cut trees continues to be sold and unknowing consumers create a demand that helps to destroy the last old growth Aquilaria trees in existence.

What triggers agarwood to form in some old growth trees has been an unsolved mystery. Our research investigation over the last 12 years in cooperation with The Rainforest Project Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the worlds forests http://www.agarwood.org.vn, has studied the formation of resin in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees and found a method to produce the resin in plantation grown young trees. This technique consists of wounding trees in a specific manner and applying treatments to accelerate the natural defense responses of the tree. The technique allows a sustainable yield of resin to be produced in relatively young trees. Agarwood is a high value forest product that is easy to store and ship. Our newly developed methods to cultivate agarwood is providing a new economic, non-timber forest product for Southeast Asia and other tropical regions of the world. This new economy in rural areas will help many of the world’s poorest people. The sustainable production of agarwood in plantation grown trees eliminates the need to cut old growth forest trees for the resin and will help save this endangered tree from possible extinction. This work also provides a source of cultivated agarwood so this magnificent aromatic resin can be enjoyed by people throughout the world. The world's first cultivated agarwood produced using our technology by farmers in Vietnam is now available and can be purchased from distributers and from the internet.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tongkat Ali 'not harmful or toxic but beneficial'

KUALA LUMPUR: The authorities have denied a Taiwanese claim that the plant extract Tongkat Ali poses a health risk.

According to FRIM director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Razak Mohd Ali (picture), the Forest Research Institute Malaysia has been researching Tongkat Ali for 20 years and no toxic or harmful components have been found.

"In fact, Tongkat Ali has known medicinal properties. It also has aphrodisiac properties. It enhances the male libido," he said.

He was commenting on a German Press Agency report that Taiwan’s capital city Taipei has banned the sale of the popular Malaysian Tongkat Ali coffee.

In the report, a spokesperson for the city government’s Department of Health said it has not been tested, so they do not know whether it affects other ingredients in the coffee or causes side effects.

Dr Abdul Razak said Tongkat Ali has been used here for generations, and there have never been any complaints of side effects.

It is commonly used as treatment for dysentery, glandular swelling, fever, malaria and other ailments.

In the old days, the roots, found only in the jungles of Southeast Asia, had to be brewed for long hours to get a bitter extract. Tongkat Ali now comes in pills or tea bags and is mixed with regular coffee or tea for an extra lift.

Tongkat Ali coffee and tea are widely sold at roadside hawker stalls, supermarkets and even eateries in posh hotels. It is also a popular drink in many other countries.

"There are no side effects for those who consume Tongkat Ali coffee," stressed Dr Abdul Razak.

The Health Ministry’s Public Health Department Food Quality Control division director Dr Abdul Rahim Mohamad said the amount of Tongkat Ali extract used in drinks and food is less than 20 per cent.



He said the ministry has had no complaints from consumers of any side effects after consuming Tongkat Ali.

"We will have to check with the Taiwan authorities on what grounds they have banned Tongkat Ali coffee and what side effects they have found," said Dr Rahim.

Bright future for Tongkat Ali

SEREMBAN: High quality Tongkat Ali could well make its way to the shelves of internationally known Harrods of London one day, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Felda Biotechnology Centre at Bandar Enstek in Negeri Sembilan would carry out cloning of the TongKat Ali, which contains the active ingredient eurycomanone

New facility: Najib (centre) visiting the biotechnology centre yesterday. With him is Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan. He said it would be easy to market the product overseas once quality was maintained through cloning.


“One day, Tongkat Ali Felda will be marketed internationally, even in Harrods of London. The Westerners will be impressed with the quality of Felda products,” he said yesterday when opening the RM25mil centre.

The centre, he added, would also be involved in secondary metabolites research focussing on Tongkat Ali.

“The research is meant to produce the active ingredient of Tongkat Ali without having to grow it in the plantation.”

The centre is the largest biotechnology facility in South-east Asia and also the largest oil palm seed tissue culture centre in the world.

Najib said the facility would also be used to produce banana clones of the Berangan species and other plants.

Later, he told a press conference that oil palm production would remain the mainstay of Felda, although the cloning of plants such as herbs would provide settlers with additional income.

Najib, who is also the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Felda, said the centre would be able to contribute to Felda becoming a leader in oil palm cloning, with the production of one million cloned plants yearly by 2010, and three million yearly beyond that.

“This will fulfil the vision of Felda to become a global leader and transform its people into a more prosperous community.”

He said the clones would also be able to yield a higher oil extraction rate.

Najib added that a Felda biotechnology advisory committee comprising local and international scientists had been formed and there were currently 120 local scientists at the centre. There are plans to increase the number to 200.

Heading off Hair Loss

Good nutrition, low stress and invigorating
scalp massages may help you keep your locks longer.


The men in my family have stoically accepted their early hair loss.Finding no suitable alternative, my father and brother compensate by sporting dashing beards. But when my mother’s once thick hair began to thin, around age 50, she anxiously searched for a solution. “My doctor told me my thyroid medication would take care of it, but it didn’t,” she says. “So I picked up a bottle of Rogaine; but after reading the label for possible side effects, I said, ‘No thanks, I’ll leave the facial hair [a potential side effect] to the men.’” The most common form of hair loss is hereditary (androgenetic alopecia), so my family’s fate could eventually affect me and more likely my two sons. While men have a 50 percent chance of losing their hair by age 50, up to 25 percent of premenopausal women and 38 percent of postmenopausal women will lose some, too. Men typically lose it from the temple and crown, known as male pattern baldness (MPB), while women lose it diffusely over the front and top of the scalp, known as female pattern baldness (FPB).
New research published in the American Journal of Human Genetics finally identified the culprit a gene variant related to male sex hormones that is located in the X chromosome, so we really can blame mothers, at least partially. “The problem is that even if you are in perfect health, you can still lose your hair from MPB or FPB because, no matter what you do, it’s genetically programmed to happen,” says Ted Daly, MD, dermatology director at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, N.Y. If balding is part of your family history, take heart. Hereditary hair loss happens gradually, so attacking the problem early can sometimes slow the process. In addition, not all hair loss is hereditary, so hair loss that looks like MPB or FPB may actually have a combination of causes many of them reversible. For example, the root cause of my mother’s thinning hair could be heredity, or it could be her hypothyroidism coupled with certain medications she takes. Dietary deficiencies could also exacerbate it. Hair loss is a common side effect of prescriptions like oral contraceptives, acne medications, antidepressants, blood thinners and a host of others.

Trauma and deep-rooted stress can cause hair to fall out by the handfuls (called telogen effluvium), and an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata causes hair to fall out in patches.
In addition, tight hairstyles like cornrows and over-processing such as frequent straightening can damage hair follicles or fibers, resulting in hair loss. Different causes call for different solutions, so see a health practitioner wellversed in hair loss issues for an accurate diagnosis. Feed your follicles While no one solution exists for every type of hair lossa well-balanced diet is key for normal growth. “If you’re eating too much or too little protein, or if you’re eating bizarrely, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all day, all the time, that by itself can lead to hair loss,” Daly explains. After testing for deficiencies, Daly often recommends supplemental zinc, copper, iron, vitamin B-12, biotin (vitamin B-7, also known as vitamin H) and/or calcium. “We know that in certain types of hair loss the zinc level is normal, but a low normal,” Daly says, although scientists have yet to clarify the link.

The typical dosage (what is known as the dietary reference intake or DRI) for zinc is 15 mg but, when hair loss is an issue, Daly often recommends 50 to 80 mg per day for six months. A copper deficiency can also cause hair loss. "We don't usually screen for copper, but if you take high doses of zinc to help with your hair, it can actually induce a copper deficiency," Daly adds. The DRI for copper is 3 mg, but for people taking zinc for more than six months, he often prescribes a zinc supplement with added copper (1.5 mg of copper per day). Iron, too, is important: "Often the cause is low ferritin, and I've seen good growth in two months for many people after improving iron stores," Daly says. His prescription usually contains the standard iron DRI (10 to18 mg). "People with hair-loss problems also tend to be deficient in vitamin B-12, even though they don't show other symptoms," he adds. Along with the DRI of B-12 (3 to 4 mcg), Daly recommends a multivitamin that contains the DRI of other B vitamins for balance. “Biotin, part of the vitamin B complex known for thickening nails, has never been scientifically measured for thickening hair, but nails and hair are the same type of keratin (a cellular protein), so it's becoming standard practice to add biotin for hair growth—it's safe, water soluble and has no side effects, even at extremely high doses,” Daly says. The DRI is 300 mcg, but Daly often prescribes as much as 2,400 mcg per day. Calcium is also a component of nails and hair. “There is some thought that a hormone made by the thyroid, called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), helps hair to grow. Taking calcium helps keep your thyroid in good shape because the cells that make CGRP also make calcitonin, which is a hormone that regulates calcium,” Daly says. The DRI for calcium is 800 to 1,500 mg. Daly prescribes 600 mg twice per day along with the DRI for vitamin D, 400 IU per day, for absorbency.

When low thyroid is the problem, the minerals iodine and selenium may help, according to Phyllis Light, an herbalist in Birmingham, Ala. Iodine is not assimilated easily, so Light suggests getting iodine from the sea vegetable kelp. “People with low thyroid alsogenerally have problems with digestion,so they can also benefit from a good digestive enzyme, too,” Light says.A pinch of preventionGood thyroid function also depends on a healthy liver. “When our livers aren’t healthy, we don’t metabolize thyroid hormones,” says Light, who recommends supporting the liver with 350 mg to 425 mg milk thistle (Silymarin) three times per day and 500 mg yellow dock (Rumex crispus) once a day. “These herbs will also help moderate low blood sugar, which can increase energy levels,” she adds. Other organs also play a role in hair health. Long-term stress can

If you’re going into menopause all stressed out, hair loss

weaken the kidneys and adrenals. According to Light, “During deep and long-standing stress, the body’s resources get diverted to the organs and hair comes way down on the priority list for nutrients and energy.” Mineral dense herbs that support the kidneys and adrenals are ashwagandha (Withania somnifera); chickweed (Stellaria media); cleavers (Galium aparine); horsetail (Equisetum arvense); parsley root (Petroselinum crispum); queen of the meadow (Filipendula ulmaria); and eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), formerly known as Siberian ginseng. Herbs also can prevent hair loss in men and women by balancing hormones. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), which protects the prostate, may have a strong ability to slow the progression of MPB. “How strong is unknown, but clearly it does have an effect similar to finasteride [with the brand names of Propecia and Proscar], the FDA-approved hair loss drug for men,” Daly says. Light also recommends stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), another mineralrich herb that supports the prostate and helps balance male hormones (in both men and women).

For women, phytoestrogen herbs like black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) and dong quai (Angelica sinensis) can help ease menopausal discomforts, including thinning hair. “In menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen and the adrenals and fatty tissue start making it, so if you’re going into menopause all stressed out or with adrenal insufficiency, hair loss is a real possibility,” Light says. Massage your mane The Indian medical system of Ayurveda looks at hair health in terms of balancing the life energies within the three body constitutions or doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. “Ayurveda identifies the problem as excessive Pitta dosha, and its hair loss prevention strategy is aimed toward reducing Pitta dosha in the hair follicles,” explains Scott Gerson, MD, PhD, medical director of the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine in Brewster, N.Y. Gerson suggests pacifying Pitta dosha is a real possibility.

The Side Effects of Kacip Fatimah Extract

Introduction

Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila) has been widely used by the traditional practitioners as the remedial for involution of birth channel, delay fertility and to regain body strength. Kacip Fatimah is also used to reduce excessive gas in the body, treat flatulence, dysentery, dysmenorrheal, gonorrhea and “sickness in the bones” (Burkill, 1935). Apart from those, the extract from the plant is also used as a drink to gain energy and medicinal usage. Unfortunately the scientific data to support the claims are still scarce. There is no available international publications regarding this plant is effect in human reproduction.

Although Kacip Fatimah is generally assumed as safe and sound for human consumption, this study is carried out to determine the side effects of petroleum-ether extract of Labisia pumila var. alata on liver and kidney of white rats by histological examination.
Abstract In Malaysia, most traditional practitioner would recommend Kacip fatimah (Labisia pumila) for the treatment of flatulent, dysentery and post-partum herbs.

Although some herbs contain hazardous compound that might be harmful to the host system, Kacip Fatimah is known to be safe for human consumption. This study was conducted to determine the side effects of petroleum-ether extract of Labisia pumila var. alata on liver and kidney of white rats. Thirty-six female Albino Winstar rats were equally divided into four groups.
Group A was set as the control untreated group, while Group B, C and D were subjected to subcutaneous injection of the extract at 0.1 mg/ml, 0.05 mg/ml and 0.025 mg/ml respectively. Three animals from each group were euthanized at days 1, 3 and 7 post-treatment. Samples of liver and kidney were collected and fixed in 10% buffered formalin overnight before being processed for histology. Liver impairment was indicated by the development of hydrophic degeneration in sinusoid area as early as day 1 post treatment.

The lesion progress more severe on day 3 and 7. Inflammatory of the renal tubules were also observed during the development of lesion in the liver. Glomerulonephritis and nephrosis of the kidney were observed until day 7. This abnormality in the liver and kidney tissue suggested the presence of toxin compound from Kacip Fatimah.
Correspondence: Mohd Effendy Abd Wahid, Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu D. I. Malaysia Material and methods Labisia pumila var. alata (Kacip Fatimah) samples were freshly collected from Setiu Reserve Forest in Terengganu. The roots of were separated and dried before grinding into fine powder. The powder were then soaked into the petroleum-ether for three consecutive days at room temperature for extraction. The process was repeated twice before the whole extract containing the solvent was collected, filtered and evaporated to dryness under reduces pressure in a rotary evaporator at 40oC. Concentrated extracts of the roots were place in glass container for future use.

Thirty-six female Albino Winstar rats were equally divided into four groups; Group A was used as untreated group,
while Group B was treated with 100% (0.1 mg/ml) of Labisia pumila petether extract dilute inside 1ml solvent. Group C and D were treated with 50% (0.05 mg/ml) and 25% (0.025 mg/ml) of Labisia pumila pet-ether extract dilution inside 1 mL solvent. Rats in Group B, C and D were given subcutaneous injection by using 23-gauge needle and euthanized at days 1, 3 and 7 post-partum. Liver and kidney samples were collected and fixed in 10% buffered formalin for histology preparation. Histopathological changes were examined by using research compound microscope with computerized Image Analyzer Software (Leica DM LB2-Image analyser) to determine the lesions in those organs. Results Liver Histology examination of the liver and kidney of rats in Group A showed no abnormal changes from day 1 until day 7. On contrary, abnormalities were observed in Group B, C and D. Hydropic degeneration of the liver progress severely from day 1 to day 3 and continuously progress until the last day of experiment that is on day 7. Other abnormalities observed in the liver were hyaline degeneration, fatty changes and necrosis of the hepatocytes. Kidney No significant changes were observed in the kidney of rats in Group A at day 1, 3 and 7. However, rats in Group B, C and D showed mild to moderate hemorrhage lesions in their kidneys. Inflammation was observed in the cells tubule and progressed to more severe condition at day 7.

The lesions were more severe when red blood cells were observed outside the blood vessels almost every part of the kidney tubule. Results showed that the extract of Kacip Fatimah contains one or more active compound that may injure and caused irritation to the liver and kidney tissues. This irritant toxic compounds produce cellular damage either morphologically or biochemically (Donovan, 1985).
The development of lesions in the liver and kidneys of rats suggested that Kacip Fatimah could be poisonous and hazardous if it is consumed in large quantity in a short period of interval. As the second largest organ and gland in the body, liver is recognized as the most important organ for excretion of drugs or other metabolites. It performs many functions, such as transferring and accumulating metabolites, aiding food digestion, controlling the production, storage of glucose and producing blood-clotting factors. The most vital function of the liver is to neutralize and elim inates toxic substances from the body (Runnells et al., 1995). Some of the available chemotherapy drugs are toxic and have the potential to cause liver damage. Liver will remove toxins and chemicals from the blood stream and changes them into products that can be readily removed through the bile or urine through the kidney. If toxins accumulate in the body faster than the liver can process them, then liver damage will result.

The development of the lesions in the liver highly suggested that Kacip Fatimah extract contains toxin material that is harmful to the liver filtering system. Early evidence of liver damage is usually manifested by the fatty change which is indicated by the form of cytoplasmic vacuoles in the liver cells. The vacuoles will displace the nucleus to one side. When the metabolic disruption is becoming more severe, hydropic degeneration will be noticed and cells will become swollen. Unless the restoration of the normal functions is in pla ce, the liver function will be impaired.


Eventually, the affected cells will undergo necrosis or die. Kidney is the second target in the body after the liver. The main functions of the kidney are the excretion of the by-products of the metabolism, foreign substances such as body pigments (Runnells et al., 1965) and maintaining homeostasis. Exposure to circulating toxins will lead to pathological changes and disruption of glomerular functions.
Subsequently, the renal tubular functions will also be affected. The results showed varying degree of irritation to the glomerulus and tubular structures, indicating harmful metabolic activity.Phytotoxins are also potential to cause glomerulonephritis and nephrosis.

This study highly suggested the presence of toxin compound in Kacip Fatimah extract which will cause lesions in liver and kidney in the model animal.
Observation showed that petroleum-ether extract of Kacip Fatimah can caused lesion in the endothelium and tissue of kidney and liver. The most severe lesion occurred in Group B which was treated with high dose (100%) 0.1 mg/ml. Group C had moderate lesion whereas Group D showed mild lesion. Future study needs to carry out to eliminate the presence of harmful compound in Kacip Fatimah for the safety and soundness of the herb. Labisia pumila (Myrsinaceae), popularly known as "Kacip Fatimah", has been used by many generation of the Malay women to induce and facilitate childbirth as well as a post-partum medicine (Burkill, 1935). Three varieties of L. pumila had been identified and found in Malaysia, they are var. alata, var. pumila and var. lanceolata (Stone, 1988). It is imperative to differentiate the three varieties in terms of their physical and chemical characteristics as well as biological activity, in order to determine the proper plant material for use, hence producing quality herbal medicines with proven safety and efficacy.

The current high rate of demand and methods of harvesting medicinal plants, particularly from the wild, for the herbal market has lowered natural population sizes for many species. Even for wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), regardless of its historical abundance, in some locations it has been reduced to populations of a few dozen individuals (Van der Voort, 1998). This has made research on the propagation of medicinal plants more urgent than ever.There is, presently, a great local market demand for Kacip fatimah especially as afterbirth tonics, however, a paucity exists in technical information on plant identification, propagation techniques, agronomy and sivicultural aspects (Jaganath & Ng, 2000).According to Stone (1988), there exists three varieties of Kf in Malaysia, namely, Labisia pumila var. alata, L. pumila var. pumila and L. pumila var. lanceolata. Each variety commands a different use and thus, it is important to ensure that the right variety is used in each case.
Species identification is made difficult by the lack of difference in the leaves and petioles between var. alata and var. pumila. Thus, an efficient method of authentification need to be developed.

Preliminary studies had been conducted previously on Kf using the agroforestry approach involving intercropping of Kf under rubber and rattan (pers. Comm. Khozirah Shaari). However, the planting of Kf as a monoculture crop has yet to be studied but nonetheless, these studies showed that Kf was best propagated by seeds or root cuttings. The plants thrive best in shady areas and non-waterlogged, humus rich soil.Kacip Fatimah (KF) has also been used by the indigenous people of the Malay archipelago for menstrual irregularities and post partum .

The plants are usually boiled and water soluble extract taken as a drink. Interest has recently been shown in the herbal preparation to determine its mode of action and potential pharmacological application.
In the mean time commercial preparations as can drinks have been marketed without knowledge of the mode of action, potential toxicity and side effects. Because it is given to women post-partum, the possibility of it being a phytoestrogen was considered highly likely. An earlier in-vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extract of the roots of L. pumila var. alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase.

Aquilaria Crassna Pierre

Taxonomy and Nomenclature
Family: Thymelyaceae
Synonyms: none

Vernacular/common names: agar wood, eagle wood (Eng), bois d’eaigle, bois daloes (France), tram huong, Do bau (Vietnam), kritsanaa (Thailand, Laos). Related species of interest: Aquilaria is represented by a number of species in SE Asia - Pacific. The taxonomic status of some of them is uncertain. Some important species are A beccariana van Tiegham, A. banaensis Pham Hoang Ho, A. subintegra Ding Hou and A. malaccaensis Lam.

Distribution and habitat
Naturally distribution signifi cantly reduced by selective cutting. Mainly occurring south of 19ยบ N in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. In Vietnam widely distributed, from central Vietnam southwards to Phu Quoc island (Kien Giang province). It is light demanding, occurring scattered in natural forest on rocky, shallow ferralitic soil, often along streams. Altitude range mainly 300-900 m.a.s.l. Annual rainfall around 1200 mm.

Uses
The main product is agar wood or eagle wood, which is a deposit of dark brown aromatic resin in the wood. Agar wood is produced in some old trees (at least 15-20 years old), presumable by some stress factors such as mechanical injuries, bacterial or fungal attack. Agar wood is used e.g. in temples as perfume wood. Aquilaria wood can be destilled and then yield an essential oil, which is used in the perfume industry. Both agar wood and Aquilaria oil is very much sought after and the species is disappearing from many of its original growth sites. However, the species is also cultivated, frequently planted around houses and home gardens, and large scale industrial plantations have been initiated in Vietnam.


Botanical description
Large evergreen tree, 15-20 (-30) m, and diameter up to 40-60 (occasionally 100) cm. Bark greyish-brown, slightly fi ssured, easy to peel off, smooth. Inner bark wet with much water. Branches nearly horizontal, not straight. Crown open. Leaves alternate, coreaceous, elliptical, petiole 4-5 mm, blade 8-13 cm long 3.5-5.5 cm wide, upper surface glossy and green, lower surface light coloured. Infl orescence umbellate, axillary or terminal. Flowers small, pale blue-yellow, fragrant, fi ne-haired, pedicel up to 1 cm long, fl oral tube campanulate, 4 mm long.

Open fruit with two seeds.

Fruit and seed description
Fruit: fl attened, dehiscent, obovoid capsules, 3-3.5 cm long, 2.5-3 cm wide with 2 valves, each with 1 seed. Capsule hard or leathery when dry, with short greyish-yellow hairs and persistent calyx. When capsules open on the tree, the seeds hang from a 5-6 cm long prolonged funicle. Seed: glossy black, ovoid, about 5-6 mm diameter, 4 cm long including a 3-3.5 cm long, twisted, tail like pubescent appendage. There are about 4500-5000 seeds per kg. Nearly mature still closed fruits

Flowering and fruiting habit
In southern Vietnam the tree flowers in February and fruits in May-June. In Central Vietnam (Quang Binh) it flowers in March and fruits in July Acquilaria crassna. From: Vietnam Forest Trees
Harvest
Fruits are harvested from the trees when they turn from green to yellow but before the capsules open. Harvest time is crucial because the seeds have very short viability after acquiring maturity.

Processing and handling
Capsules are dried under shade or moderate sun until they open. The seeds are fragile and remain attached to the capsule by the funiculus, and are therefore usually detached by hand. It is recommended to remove the arils before storage as it tends to absorb moisture and cause rotor fungal attack.



Storage and viability
The seeds are oil rich, recalcitrant with very short viability. In a storage experiment seeds the best storage condition was 25% moisture content and 8°C in folded plastic bags. After 1 months storage at these conditions viability declined from 41% to 22 %; the viability was ‘0’ after 2.5 months of storage. The experiment also showed that storage time is significantly prolonged when the seed is stored cold, i.e. at 8°C.

Dormancy and pretreatment
There is no dormancy and pretreatment is not necessary.

Sowing and germination
Germination is epigeal. Because of the recalcitrant nature, sowing should be as soon as possible after collection. Seeds are sown shallow in sand or nursery soil with only the seed part covered, the tail remaining above the soil. Germination starts after 10 days and may be spread over one month.

Phytosanitary problems
Seeds without the arilus removed tend to collect moisture and decompose rapidly.

Vegetative propagation
Root cuttings as well as air layering appear easy provided application of rooting hormones and appropriate microclimate. Also propagated by tissue culture.

Kacip Fatimah - Labisia pumila

The traditional herb, Labisia pumila or better known locally as "Kacip Fatimah", are used by Malay women much in childbirth in inducing and ease delivery and as a postpartum medication to help contract the birth channel, to delay conception and to regain body strength 2. Other claimed traditional uses of the plants include used effectively to treat dysentery, rheumatism and gonorrhoea. It is also used as antiflatulence by helping to drive away and prevent the formation of gas. It has been claimed to be used as an anti-dysmenorrhoea, helps in cleansing and avoiding painful or difficult menstruation.

The plant will also help to firm and tone the abdominal muscles. All these properties and biological activity is due to the presence of phytoestrogens that is naturally found in the plant. Not much work or scientific studies have been done on this plant. Two studies have shown that the plant exhibit oestrogenic properties.
Jamal et al. (1999)2 in vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extracts of the roots of Labisia pumila var alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase. Husniza et al. (2000)3 shows the water extracts of the Kacip Fatimah were able to displace estradiol binding to antibodies raised against estradiol, making it similar to other estrogens such as estrone and estradiol.Thus this study is proposed to assessed the toxicological aspect of the traditional herb and evaluate the safety and efficacy of the standardised preparation of Kacip Fatimah and thereby to be used as a herbal medicine. Kacip Fatimah (KF) or Labisia pumila, a plant from the family Myrsinaceae, has been used by the indigenous people of the Malay archipelago for menstrual irregularities and post partum .

The plants are usually boiled and water soluble extract taken as a drink. Interest has recently been shown in the herbal preparation to determine its mode of action and potential pharmacological application. In the mean time commercial preparations as can drinks have been marketed without knowledge of the mode of action, potential toxicity and side effects. Because it is given to women post-partum, the possibility of it being a phytoestrogen was considered highly likely. An earlier in-vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extract of the roots of L. pumila var. alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase .

Recent studies in the Institute for Medical Research, the water extracts of the KF were able to displace estradiol binding to antibodies raised against estradiol, making it similar to other estrogens such as estrone and estrio. Binding to estrogen receptors are being investigated. If they were phytoestrogens, the extract should also displace estradiol binding to the estrogen receptors. These phytoestrogens will then have certain effects on the animals depending on whether they are full estrogen agonists, or antagonists, or partial agonists like clomiphene. It is also possible that KF acts as estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) like Tamoxifen or Raloxifene which is active at certain tissues only . For example, Reloxifene being active only at the bones and lipids and not the breasts and uterus, common target tissues for estrogen action.


Summary of health benefits
  • Firming and toning of abdominal muscles.
  • The biological activities of the phytoestrogen which is naturally found in the plant assist women to achieve fuller and firmer breasts and tighten vaginal muscles.
  • Anti-dysmenorrhoea; cleansing and avoiding painful or difficult menstruation.
  • Used effectively to treat dysentery, rheumatism and women's ailments associated with childbirth.
  • Anti-flatulence; drive away and prevent the formation of gas.
  • Administered as a post partum medication to help contract the birth channel and help the new mother to regain body strength.
Contents in every 250ml Taurine 1000mg, D-Gluconolactonet 500mg, 1,3,7 Trimethylxanthine 50mg, Lysine 50mg, Dexpanthenol 5mg, Choline Bitartrate USP 50mg, Inositol 50mg, Nicotinamide 20mg, Vitamin C 5mg, Vitamin B6 5mg, Vitamin B12 5mg.

Aquilaria (Agarwood, Karas or Gaharu)

What is Aquilaria?

Aquilaria is a genus of eight species of trees in the Thymelaeaceae native to southeast Asia. They occur particularly in the rain forests of Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Northern India. The trees grow to 6-20 m tall. The leaves are alternate, 5-11 cm long and 2-4 cm broad, with a short acuminate apex and an entire margin. The flowers are yellowish-green, produced in an umbel; the fruit is a woody capsule 2.5-3 cm long.

The genus is best known as the principal producer of the resin-inpregnated agarwood, especially Aquilaria malaccensis. The depletion of wild trees from indiscriminate cutting for agarwood has resulted in the trees being listed and proteced as an endangered species. Projects are currently underway in some countries in southeast Asia to infect cultivated Aquilaria trees artificially to produce agarwood in a sustainable manner.


Species

  • Aquilaria acuminata (Merr.) Quisumb., 1946, originally Gyrinopsis acuminata
  • Aquilaria apiculata Merr., 1922
  • Aquilaria baillonii Pierre ex Lecomte & Leandri, 1949
  • Aquilaria crassna Pierre ex Lecomte, 1915
  • Aquilaria filaria (Oken) Merr., 1950
  • Aquilaria grandiflora Benth., 1861
  • Aquilaria malaccensis, Lam., 1783, synonyms A. agallocha and A. secundaria[1]
  • Aquilaria ophispermum Poir.
  • Aquilaria pentandra Blanco, 1837
  • Aquilaria rugosa K.Le-Cong & Kessler, 2005
  • Aquilaria sinensis Gilg, 1894
  • Aquilaria yunnanensis S.C.Huang, 1985

Agarwood is a resinous wood that sometimes occurs in trees belonging to the Aquilaria genus, Thymelaeceae family. Aquilaria is a fast-growing, archaic tropical forest tree, which occurs in South and Southeast Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. The tree grows in natural forests at an altitude of a few meters above sea level to about 1000 meters, and it grows best around 500 meters. It can grow on a wide range of soils, including poor sandy soil. Seedlings need a lot of shade and water. Trees grow very fast, and start producing flowers and seeds as early as four years old. At least fifteen species of Aquilaria trees are known to produce the much sought-after Agarwood. In South Asia Aquilaria achalloga is found, particularly in India, Aquilaria malaccensis is mostly known from Malaysia and Indonesia, and Aquilaria crassna principally grows in Indochina. A number of other species are known such as Aquilaria grandfolia, Aquilaria chinesis etc.

Usage

The “Wood of the Gods” has been traded and highly appreciated for thousands of years. Resinous wood is used as incense, for medicinal purposes, and pure resin in distilled form is used as perfume and perfume component. Outside native countries it is most widely known in the Middle East, China, Taiwan and Japan. A strong connection exists between use, religion and curative properties, and elaborate traditional and religious ceremonies are known from around the world. Faith healers in the Middle East use it at curative ceremonies, Japanese pilgrims donate flowers and Agarwood oil to Shinto-Buddhist temples, and Vietnamese religious groups are obliged to bring Agarwood to ceremonies at their temples in Mekong delta communities.

Value

The value of first-grade Agarwood is extremely high. A whole range of qualities and products is on the market varying with geographical location and cultural deposition. Prices range from a few dollars per kilo for the lowest quality to over thirty thousand US dollars for top quality oil and resinous wood. Aquilaria crassna is listed as an endangered species in Viet Nam, and A. malaccensis is listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, IUCN.

Extinction

Resin producing trees are endangered throughout their known habitat all across Southeast Asia. The main driving force, which initiated this project, was the recognition of unsustainable Aquilaria harvesting in natural forests that resulted in the near extinction of this tree genus in Viet Nam and elsewhere. Aquilaria crassna is now listed as a protected species in Viet Nam, and Aquilaria malaccensis is a CITES red data book listed tree. Trade and harvesting restrictions will be virtually impossible to achieve if no alternative is developed to forest-based harvesting. In addition, both in the short and long-term, a natural resource base needs to be maintained to supply present and future Aquilaria plantations with genetic source material, in order to prevent plant decease, maintain diversity and possibly improve resin production.

Substitutes

Development of synthetic substitutes usually arises when sustainable supplies of the natural product are not available. One of the first questions pursued when contemplating the previous pilot project was: “is it possible to synthesize Agarwood and Agarwood oil?” The answer is a qualified no. Agarwood cannot be synthesized. Chemical substitutes are already available for perfume; these are cheap and constitute the least profitable end of the market. In addition, these products do not come even close in mimicking the natural product and thus do not pose a threat to producing naturally based Agarwood products. The major chemical components responsible for the characteristic scent of Agarwood products, sesquiterterpenes, can in principle be synthesized. However, these are very complicated structures that will be extremely expensive to synthesize, which makes it commercially completely unattractive.

Eurycoma longifolia Jack

Tongkat Ali

(Payong Ali, tongkat ali, bedara pahit, tongkat baginda, petala bumi, setunjang bumi, penawar pahit (Malaysia), Pasak bumi (Indonesia), cay ba binh (Vietnam)

It is a small evergreen tree growing to 15 m tall, with spirally arranged, pinnate leaves 20-40 cm long with 13-41 leaflets. The flowers are dioecious, with male and female flowers on different trees; they are produced in large panicles, each flower with 5-6 very small petals. The fruit is green ripening dark red, 1-2 cm long and 0.5-1 cm broad.

It has become popular for its testosterone-enhancing properties. Because of that, it is included in certain herbal supplements for bodybuilders. Historically, it has been used by the folk medicine in its countries of origin as a libido
enhancer and to treat various sexual dysfunctions. Numerous scientific studies performed by Malaysian Universities, including University Science Malaysia (USM) have confirmed its effects on enhancing sexual characteristics in animal models.[1] Currently, it is being researched for its possibilities as an anti-cancer supplement.

In Southeast Asia it is used as a post partum medication, as well as for its antimalarial, antipyretic, antiulcer, cytotoxic and aphrodisiac properties.

In both animals and humans, tongkat ali extract increases muscle mass. The British Journal of Sports Medicine published the results of a scientific study in 2003, which showed that Eurycoma longifolia caused increased muscle strength and size when compared to a placebo.[2] This demonstrates the anabolic properties of tongkat ali. Thanks to this discovery, a growing number of Asian athletes and body builders now use tongkat ali extract as an androgen, to improve muscle size and strength, and to enhance sports performance. In densely shaded greenery in the sweltering hot Malaysian rainforest, I watched three aboriginal men chop a mature Tongkat Ali root, one of the most powerful aphrodisiac plants on earth, out of dense soil. Researching sex-enhancing plants often puts me in marvelous and remote places. In this instance, the trail led me to Malaysia to research Tongkat Ali. For this I can thank Annie Eng of Herbal Powers, who first introduced me to this plant, and who accompanied me to Southeast Asia.

Tongkat Ali is a popular folk name for Eurycoma longifolia, a medium size slender tree reaching 10 metres in height. The name Tongkat Ali means “Ali’s walking stick.” Another folk name for the plant is Longjack. Tongkat Ali is native to Malaysia, lower Burma, Thailand, and Indonesia. The root is employed as a traditional remedy for the treatment of malaria, high blood pressure, fevers, fatigue, loss of sexual desire, and impotence. Tongkat Ali enjoys both a long history of traditional use, and a growing body of serious science corroborating its efficacy.

The difficulty of harvesting Tongkat Ali in the wild is one very good reason to cultivate the trees in plantations. Additionally, as this traditional plant remedy becomes more popular, supplies of Tongkat Ali in the wild will inevitably decrease. Over time, this tree could become endangered. To preserve the natural environment, and to protect remaining wild specimens of Tongkat Ali, Malaysia is currently establishing plantations of this tree. The Malaysian government is enthusiastic about the future of Tongkat Ali, and is providing economic support for its development. To every appearance, Tongkat Ali is a market volcano of Krakatoa proportions, ready to blow. The Testosterone Builder.

Tongkat Ali is a scientifically studied plant which holds up brilliantly under close scrutiny. The root contains a plethora of beneficial compounds, including potent protective antioxidants which inhibit cellular aging. Other phytochemicals in Tongkat Ali are anti-viral, anti-malarial, and anti-cancerous. Others combat high blood pressure, and quell dysentery. Quassinoids in the root prove twice as potent as aspirin against fevers.

Even with its other serious medical applications, what excites most people about Tongkat Ali is that the root significantly boosts sex drive and function in both men and women, by building testosterone. Agents identified as glycoproteins appear to be the sex-promoting ingredients in the plant. This discovery, and years of painstaking research, is the work of Dr. Johari Saad , who is called by many the King Of Tongkat Ali. Dr Johari has conducted the definitive animal research on Tongkat Ali, and developed a novel and proprietary method of extracting the beneficial compounds from the root. His extract, LJ100, has been used in both human and animal studies.

“In our studies, we looked at what was happening with animals when we gave them a specially made water soluble extract of Tongkat Ali.” Joe explained to me. “It basically came down to four categories, increased testosterone, increased energy, inhibition of SHBG, and increased muscle mass.” Joe explained that when given Tongkat ali extract, animals copulate three to four times more frequently than normal. This is due, as it turns out, to a significant increase in testosterone. In fact, testosterone levels in animals given Tongkat Ali increase an unprecedented three to four times on average. While animal results do not always guarantee similar activity in people, the same testosterone-boosting effect does occur in human studies. In laboratory tests on human testicular tissue, Tongkat Ali extract increased the formation of testosterone fourfold.

Increasing testosterone is the big objective from a sex drive standpoint. Testosterone is the most important of the male sex hormones, which are known as androgens, and are produced in the gonads. Testosterone plays a key role in the development and maturity of male sex organs. The hormone promotes secondary sex characteristics including the appearance of facial hair, enlargement of the larynx (producing a deeper voice), sexual desire and sexual behavior. But testosterone is not just a sex booster for men. Women also produce testosterone, about 5 – 10% the amount produced in men. In women, this vital hormone also fans the flames of ardor, and increases sensitivity in the erogenous zones. In both sexes, testosterone stimulates metabolism, promotes lipogenesis (burning of fat), increases the formation of red blood cells, and accelerates muscle growth.

From age thirty or so, blood levels of the hormone decline at a rate of about 2% per year. The level will vary from one person to another. Regular exercise helps to keep a somewhat higher level of testosterone. Those who smoke or drink heavily will lose more of this hormone more quickly. As testosterone decreases in the body, muscle tone, energy and sex drive all begin to decline. In both sexes, sex drive, function, fat metabolism and energy decline into middle age, as blood testosterone drops.

With Tongkat Ali extract you can boost your testosterone levels back up to more youthful levels. Dr Johari also found that Tongkat Ali extract inhibits Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. By inhibiting this agent, more free testosterone remains in the blood. This additionally stems the aging process, improving energy and sexual function, helping to reduce body fat, and reducing risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

In both men and women, pharmaceutical testosterone has been successfully used as a therapeutic aid in cases of low sex drive. The hormone has also been used to treat some cases of erectile dysfunction in men. In the case of Tongkat Ali, we have a safe, natural plant agent which causes the body to produce its own testosterone, thereby boosting sexual desire and function. Tongkat Ali gets to the absolute essence of human sex drive, and improves it. An Athletic Edge.

As if increasing testosterone weren’t enough, Tongkat Ali extract also greatly increases ATP production. ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the basic unit of energy in the body, responsible for keeping us alive and going. By increasing ATP, overall energy and vitality are increased. Most people want more energy, and Tongkat Ali provides it, without hyperstimulation, jittery nerves, or insomnia. This is the holy grail of human energy production, and is a valuable enough health benefit by itself to make Tongkat Ali an enduring superstar on the medicinal plant stage.

Athletes and body builders will employ any agent which boosts performance or muscle mass. In both animals and humans, Tongkat Ali extract increases muscle mass. In a study of men, half of the subjects ingested Tongkat Ali extract and half did not. In an eight week physical training program, the men who consumed Tongkat Ali extract experienced greater gains in muscle mass and strength than those who did not. This demonstrates the powerful anabolic properties of Tongkat Ali. Thanks to this significant discovery, a growing number of Asian athletes and body builders now use Tongkat Ali extract as an androgen, to improve muscle size and strength, and to enhance sports performance.
The Sex Doctor

In the Malaysian capitol of Kuala Lumpur, I met with Dr Ismail Tambi, who runs the Human Reproduction Specialist Center. Dr. Tamby is one of the foremost experts on reproductive health in all of Southeast Asia, and is also the leading medical expert on the effects of Tongkat Ali root extract on human subjects. In his work with men, Dr Tamby has found that use of Tongkat ali extract significantly increases testosterone production. “In our studies, we found that Tongkat ali extract increased the serum level of testosterone considerably.” I asked Dr Tamby if the men in his study experienced renewed sexual vitality, or heightened sexual desire. “Oh, yes, most definitely. The men found that Tongkat Ali boosted their sex drive quite a lot. I think that for low libido, Tongkat Ali extract is very valuable. I have seen this result for myself, and can say that this plant really works.” I asked Dr Tamby if the same would apply to women, who secrete only about 5 – 10% as much testosterone as men. “Yes, it certainly should boost libido in women as well, as testosterone is essential to a woman’s sexual desire. Women have used Tongkat Ali for a very long time in this culture,” he added.

Dr. Tamby conducted the PADAM study, in which he investigated Partial Androgen Deficiency In Males. He selected thirty adult males of various ages, assessed their testosterone levels, and then gave them 100 mg of Tongkat Ali extract daily. The testosterone levels of all the subjects rose, resulting in a 91% improvement in libido, a reported 73% improvement in sexual function, and an 82% psychological improvement relative to sex among the men who participated in the study.
Using Tongkat Ali

Other experts involved with this plant recommend around 100 milligrams of concentrated Tongkat ali standardized to approximately 22% glycoproteins daily for men, and around 50 milligrams for women.

Friday, May 11, 2007

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