Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that is native to western Africa. Historically, the bark of the tree has been used as an aphrodisiac.[1,2] It is also interesting enough to mention that African warriors traditionally used the bark as a stimulant before battles.
Today, yohimbe is popularly used as a fat burner, stimulant, and sexual aid for both men and women.[3,4] The active component in yohimbe bark is an alkaloid called yohimbine, which has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a prescription medication.[2,3,4,5,6] Because of its ever increasing popularity as a prescription drug and supplement, there is a growing fear that the yohimbe tree is over harvested.[3,7]
One of the most popular uses for yohimbe is as a sexual enhancement stimulant. But it's also been identified as a stimulant and may help burn fat.
Yohimbe acts as a stimulant because of its ability to increase adrenaline and noradrenaline, two very potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulants.[8,9]
One study claims that "yohimbine supplementation appears to be suitable as a fat loss strategy in elite athletes." A different study, done on lean and obese mice, demonstrates that it is useful as an appetite suppressant.
Aphrodisiac and sexual enhancement
Double blind trials have found yohimbe to be effective at treating erectile dysfunction (ED). Studies on rats provide evidence that it may increase sex drive.[12,13] Even castrated rats had an increased sex drive after being administered yohimbe. Another study on rats proves that it is effective at diminishing or reversing sexual exhaustion.
Who should use it
Men and women, athletes and non-athletes, can all potentially benefit from supplementing with yohimbe.
Yohimbe can be dangerous when taken in large amounts for long periods of time. Many product labels have been found to be untrue in regards to the amounts of yohimbe in the formula. Some yohimbe supplements that were tested by the FDA actually contained little to no yohimbe at all. More importantly some of the products tested positive for contamination.[1,3] According to a few major studies, the overall safety may be arguable.[16,17,18]
Yohimbe is available in its whole form, or you can purchase yohimbine hydrochloride (HCL), an extract of the active chemical found in the bark. Common forms of yohimbe and yohimbine HCL include:[1,3,7]
- Raw bark (used to make tea)
There are concerns that even when used responsibly and taken at the recommend dose, yohimbe may cause high blood pressure, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, anxiety, nausea, and hyperstimulation.[6,7] Other side effects that may occur include: skin flushing, sweating, nervousness, headaches, mild tremors, sleeplessness, and irritability.[1,3,19]
Today, yohimbe is popularly used as a fat burner, stimulant, and sexual aid.
Do not use yohimbe products if you experience high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, anxiety, or any other nervous disorders. Do not combine with MAOI inhibitors, also known as antidepressants.[1,3] If you are using any prescription medications, consult with your doctor before using yohimbe, as there may be risk for possible health contraindications.
Where to buy
All the resources you need to make an educated purchasing decision are right here at PricePlow. Check out our product guides and third party reviews. Also, make sure you use our platform to compare prices before you make your final purchase, to ensure you are getting the best deal possible!
- National Institutes of Health; National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM); "Herbs at a glance: Yohimbe;" Updated July 2012
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; "Yohimbe;" Updated December 2013
- American Cancer Society; Herbs, vitamins and minerals; "Yohimbe;" Updated November 2008
- Riley AJ.; The British journal of clinical practice.; "Yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder;" May - June 1994
- Giampreti A., et al.; Clinical toxicology; "Acute neurotoxicity after yohimbine"
- NYU Langone Medical Center; "Yohimbe;" Updated August 2013
- University of Michigan Health System; "Yohimbe"
- Szemeredi K., et al.; Brain research; "Simultaneous measurement of plasma and brain extracellular fluid concentrations of catechols after yohimbine administration in rats;" February 1991
- Cameron OG., et al.; Psychosomatic medicine; "Effects of yohimbine on cerebral blood flow, symptoms, and physiological functions in humans;" July-August 2000
- Ostojic SM.; Research in Sports Medicine; "Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players;" October – December 2006
- Callahan MF., et al.; Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior; "Yohimbine and rauwolscine reduce food intake of genetically obese (obob) and lean mice;" April 1984
- Clark JT., et al.; ScienceNew York, N.Y.; "Enhancement of sexual motivation in male rats by yohimbine;" August 1984
- Clark JT., et al.; Neuroendocrinology; "Evidence for the modulation of sexual behavior by alpha-adrenoceptors in male rats;" July 1985
- Clark JT., et al.; Physiology & Behavior; "Testosterone is not required for the enhancement of sexual motivation by yohimbine;" October 1985
- Rodriguez-Manzo G., Fernandez-Guasti A.; Behavioural brain research; "Reversal of sexual exhaustion by serotonergic and noradrenergic agents;" June 1994
- Kearney T., et al.; The Annals of pharmacotherapy; "Adverse drug events associated with yohimbine-containing products: a retrospective review of the California Poison Control System reported cases;" June 2010
- Haller C., et al.; Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology; "Dietary supplement adverse events: report of a one-year poison center surveillance project;" June 2008
- Tsai HH., et al.; International journal of clinical practice; "Evaluation of documented drug interactions and contraindications associated with herbs and dietary supplements: a systematic literature review;" November 2012
- University of Maryland Medical Center; "Yohimbine (By mouth);" Updated June 2013