Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that grows in West Africa in Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, and Gabon. The bark of the tree contains active compounds called alkaloids. The main alkaloid is called yohimbine. The Latin name for the herb Yohimbe is Pausinystalia yohimbe .
Yohimbe bark extracts are also sold in health food stores and online. It is not approved for use in Germany. Yohimbe can cause dangerous high blood pressure, as well as anxiety and other side effects .
What is yohimbe used for?
Traditionally, yohimbe has been used in Africa for fever, cough, leprosy, and as an aphrodisiac. There is no scientific evidence yet to support the possible benefits of yohimbe .
Yohimbe bark extracts are widely advertised online and in health food stores as a natural aphrodisiac to boost libido and treat erectile dysfunction. However, there is no evidence that herbal supplements are effective. Most clinical studies have looked at yohimbine instead of the herbal yohimbe extract.
Studies on the efficacy of yohimbine have yielded conflicting results. Some research suggests that for organic erectile dysfunction (erectile dysfunction due to physical problems), it may be beneficial for men with organic erectile dysfunction. In other studies, it may not be more effective than a placebo .
A German study investigated whether 30 mg of yohimbine per day for four weeks would help men with erectile dysfunction in addition to physical problems. Yohimbine was found to be more effective than placebo (71 percent vs. 45 percent) .
In preliminary studies, yohimbine was found to increase lipolysis by increasing the release of norepinephrine available to fat cells and blocking alpha-2 receptor activation. However, a controlled study found that 43 mg of yohimbe per day had no effect on body weight, body mass index, body fat, fat distribution, and cholesterol levels .
Yohimbe has been touted as a treatment for depression because it blocks an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. However, this is only found in higher doses (more than 50mg / day), which is potentially unsafe .
Possible side effects.
Despite the purported benefits of yohimbe, the serious health risks mean you shouldn't take it unless directed by a qualified physician.
In Germany, yohimbe is on the Commission E (the country's regulatory agency) banned herb list due to concerns about the herb's safety and efficacy. In the United States, the FDA has received several reports of seizures and kidney failure after yohimbe use.
Side effects of the usual doses can include dizziness, nausea, insomnia, restlessness, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure .
As little as 40 mg a day can cause serious side effects, such as dangerous changes in blood pressure, hallucinations, paralysis, liver, kidney and heart problems, and can even be fatal.
Because yohimbine blocks the enzyme monoamine oxidase, people taking yohimbine should avoid all foods that contain tyramine (such as liver, cheese, red wine) and over-the-counter foods that contain the ingredient phenylpropanolamine, such as nasal decongestants.
People with kidney or liver disease, stomach ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, PTSD, and panic disorder should not take yohimbe.
Pregnant or nursing women, children or the elderly should not take yohimbe.
Yohimbe should not be combined with antidepressants unless under the supervision of a physician.
The safety of yohimbe supplements has not been tested, and note that the safety of the supplement for pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and people with medical conditions or taking medications has not been established.
Dosage and preparation
There is no recommended dosage for yohimbe. Yohimbe is not recommended because it has a very narrow therapeutic index. There is a relatively small dose range: below it the herb does not work and above it the herb is toxic .
What to look for
If you have erectile dysfunction or another medical condition that you plan to take yohimbe for, talk to your doctor. There are other medications and treatments with fewer side effects and safety concerns .