Yohimbe: Uses, Benefits & Safety
Yohimbe is a dietary supplement extracted from the bark of the African evergreen tree Pausinystalia johimbe. It’s been utilized for centuries in traditional medicine in West Africa as a potent aphrodisiac and its use has been rising in popularity lately in developed countries.
Not only does yohimbe work as an all-natural treatment for erectile dysfunction, but it has also been trending among bodybuilders as a way to burn fat quickly. Below we’ll go over everything you need to know about using yohimbe safely and effectively.
What Is Yohimbe and How Does It Work?
Yohimbe is the bark of an African tree that has a long history as an herbal medicine used to help improve sexual performance. One of its main active ingredients is yohimbine, an alkaloid sometimes incorrectly labeled as Yohimbe HCI on herbal preparations. Yohimbine has been shown to work by blocking the activity of alpha-2 adrenergic receptors which inhibit erections and boosts blood flow to both male and female sexual organs.
Yohimbine, or Yohimbe HCI, is only one of many constituent chemicals in yohimbe, however. There are more than 55 different alkaloids that are contained in yohimbe bark, including rauwolscine, a central nervous system stimulant, and ajmalicine, a compound also found in kratom. Together, all the alkaloids in yohimbe bark work synergistically to enhance libido and increase sensitivity in both male and female genitals.
Does Yohimbe Really Work?
There are many anecdotal reports of yohimbe being an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction and a potent aphrodisiac, but does the science really back up these claims?
There haven’t been many studies conducted on a whole yohimbe bark due to lack of financial incentives for pharmaceutical companies to study an unpatentable herbal preparation. However, there is a whole library of research on the efficacy of yohimbine, yohimbe’s pure compound extract.
A systematic review of 7 studies found that yohimbine is a safe and effective natural alternative to pharmaceutical erectile dysfunction medications.
Another double-blind study examined the effects of yohimbine hydrochloride (HCL) on 86 patients with erectile dysfunction over an 8 week period. At the end of the trial, 71% of participants reported significant improvement in their condition and only 7% experienced any kind of adverse effects. Most side-effects were quite mild, however, and there were no serious reactions reported.
Research has also shown yohimbine to be an effective weight-loss aid. One double-blind study followed 20 obese females on a restricted calorie diet for three weeks. Half were given yohimbine while the other half received a placebo. The study found that the ones taking yohimbine lost significantly more weight than the ones on placebo, 7.8 lbs vs 4.9 lbs.
Should You Take Yohimbe?
While yohimbe has been shown to be safe for most users, there are a number of people who shouldn’t take yohimbe. If you suffer from heart, kidney or liver disease, you probably shouldn’t use yohimbe. Pregnant women and people under 18 should also refrain from using yohimbe.
Most studies point to the efficacy and moderate safety profile of yohimbine, validating the long history of use of yohimbe in African traditional medicine for sexual performance. If you’ve been suffering from erectile dysfunction but are otherwise healthy, this all-natural and time-tested remedy might be for you.
note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.