Pausinystalia yohimbe syn. Corynanthe yohimbe

Herbs gallery - Yohimbe

Common names

  • Yohimbe
  • Yohimbine

Yohimbine is an alkaloid derived from the bark of an evergreen tree yohimbe native to Africa, especially found in Cameroon in West Africa. This alkaloid is a proven aphrodisiac and stimulant, whose original name is rather tongue-twisting - 17 aplha-hydroyyohimban-16 alpha-carboxylic acid methyl ester, more popularly known as yohimbine.

In effect, yohimbe and yohimbine are significantly important in traditional medicine in the form of aphrodisiacs - a medication that arouses sexual craving and performance.

According to one recommended formula, boil about six to ten teaspoonfuls of the shavings from the inner bark of the yohimbe in a pint of water for a few minutes, strain the liquid, sweeten it and drink the beverage.

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The alkaloidal salt yohimbine hydrochloride is generally taken in doses of 5.4 mg. This is available in the form of a prescription medication in an assortment of amalgamations along with other supposed sexual stimulants, counting thyroid, strychnine and methyl testosterone.

According to a number of authors, sniffing yohimbine helps in stimulating as well as generating a gentle hallucinogenic or mind-altering impact.

Yohimbine helps to widen the blood vessels of the skin as well as mucous membranes. However, at the same time, this medication raises the blood pressure.

Such dilation of the blood vessels in the sexual organs is said to be responsible for the medication's supposed aphrodisiac actions. In addition, the enhanced reflex excitability in the lower or sacral part of the spinal cord is also attributed to its aphrodisiac actions.

In effect, the results of the initial studies undertaken by the scientists to examine the aphrodisiac attributes of yohimbine had not been impressive at all.

Subsequently, a study undertaken on male rats in 1984 found that comparatively small doses of the medication certainly enhanced sexual desire in the animals that were administered this medication.

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At the end of their study, the scientists came to the conclusion that their findings were different from the results of the previous researches, since the large doses of the medication used in those studies actually led to interactive changes in the animals involved in the tests.

However, the fact remains that it is still not possible to come to any definite conclusions concerning the sexual arousing actions of yohimbine and yohimbe in humans. Nevertheless, many researches present optimistic hints of the value of this medication as an effective aphrodisiac.

Yohimbe belongs to the class of drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitor, but is quite weak. Nevertheless, it also helps in enhancing the production of monoamine and, therefore, its general result is equivalent to a practically vigorous MAO inhibitor.

In other words, this denotes that foods containing tyramine, for instance, cheese, liver, red wine and so, as well as nasal decongestants or specific dietary supplements enclosing phenylpropanolamine ought to be strictly avoided, if you are using this medication.

People enduring hypotension, liver ailments, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes should also keep away from this medication. In effect, yohimbine may really trigger some kind of phobia or obsession in patients suffering from schizophrenia.

Such undesirable and probably dangerous reactions make recommending yohimbe virtually unfeasible for self-treatment. Whatever may be the case, the fact is that both yohimbine and yohimbe are not easily available as a non-prescription (over-the-counter) medication in the United States.

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In addition to the FDA, even the health authorities in Germany do not advocate using yohimbe therapeutically, primarily on two grounds - the hazards of dangerous side effects of using this substance and owing to the lack of adequate evidence regarding the efficacy of yohimbe.

In fact, products containing yohimbe are still marketed in the United States, but in the form of dietary supplements, which have proved to be of very inferior quality.

It has been found that many such yohimbe products necessarily lack yohimbine as well as other alkaloids that are normally expected to be present in the genuine bark of the yohimbe tree.

In the United States as well as in Britain, reputed medical journals often carry advertisements of yohimbe tablets.

As the latest prescription drug Viagra has recently practically replaced all other types of treatments for male impotence with tremendous accomplishment, which was seen seldom earlier in any synthetic or herbal medication, it is likely that there will be little hope for any fresh research on yohimbe. Yet, it would be really good to learn more regarding the safety and effectiveness of this medication.

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Parts used



Yohimbe is primarily employed in the form of an aphrodisiac to stimulate sexual desire. In addition, this medication is also used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), common sexual disorders among men and woman as well as to cure sexual disorders attributed to taking medications to treat depression, such as selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Other uses of yohimbe comprise enhancing athletic performance, treating chest pain, fatigue, and weight loss, low blood pressure that happens when one is standing up, high blood pressure, depression, and nerve pain attributed to diabetes. Often yohimbe is used in combination with other specific medications.

Habitat and cultivation

As aforementioned, yohimbe is indigenous to the forests in the western region of Africa, particularly Cameroon, Gabon and Zaire. The bark of the tree is collected throughout the year.

Yohimbe flourishes in scarcely humid and not damp loamy soil. Yohimbe plants are propagated by their seeds.


Chemical analysis of yohimbe has revealed that the plan encloses approximately 6 per cent of indole alkaloids (counting yohimbine) and pigments (for instance, tannins).

The alkaloids present in yohimbe work as a stimulant for the brain when used in reasonable doses, but they are noxious when taken in excessive amounts. People have been employing yohimbine in traditional herbal medicine to cure impotence in males as well as females.

Usual dosage

Therapeutically, yohimbe is used in the form of a tincture to treat impotence. A tincture prepared with the inner bark of the tree is taken in the dosage of 5 to 10 drops thrice every day.

In addition, you may also obtain standardized yohimbe products in the market for use for the same purpose. Normally, a safe daily dosage of any yohimbe product is about 15 mg to 30 mg. It is advisable that you should always use yohimbine under the monitoring of a doctor who is nutritionally oriented.

Side effects and cautions

Patients using yohimbe ought to exercise certain precautions, especially those enduring kidney ailments or peptic ulcer. This medication should not be given to women during pregnancy as well as to nursing mothers.

Even the use of yohimbe in regular or normal doses may result in side effects, such as nausea, nervousness, light-headedness and insomnia (sleeplessness).

When this medication is used in large doses of 40 mg in a day, it may cause hazardous and serious side effects, counting chills, loss of muscle functioning and vertigo.

A number of people taking yohimbe in large amounts may also experience hallucinations. People who are taking yohimbe should strictly keep away from foods that contain rich amounts of tyramine, for instance, liver, cheese and red wine, since taking such foods may cause acute hypertension (high blood pressure) and additional health problems.

Likewise, yohimbe should only be taken in combination with other anti-depressant drugs under the close monitoring of a physician. However, according to the recommendations of one study undertaken on yohimbe, this medication is likely to be beneficial for individuals who do not respond to serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac.

How it works in the body

Yohimbe encloses a chemical compound known as yohimbine that has the aptitude to augment the flow of blood as well as the nerve impulses to the vagina or penis. In addition, this chemical also facilitates in neutralizing the sexual side effects of specific medicines used for treating depression.


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