Yohimbe

Nutritional Compound

OVERVIEW

Summary

Shown to have a potent impact on male sexual function, yohimbe has what many consider a “one-two punch” — increasing blood flow as well as boosting libido. Like ephedra and caffeine, yohimbe is also used as a mild stimulant and has even been shown in research to help increase fat loss, especially from the so-called “problem areas.”

Other names for Yohimbe

yohimbine, pausinystalia

Where to find Yohimbe

Yohimbe is found in the bark of the African tree, Pausinystalia yohimbe.

PERFORMANCE BENEFITS

Why athletes use Yohimbe

Yohimbe is used overwhelmingly by people hoping to enjoy sexual enhancement. Because of yohimbe’s effects on blood flow, it may help boost libido while improving the mechanics of sexual performance. Yohimbe’s so effective, it’s even used to aid some men who experience sexual dysfunction and impotence.

Of interest mainly to women who are more likely to hold on to fat in the hip and thigh areas is yohimbe’s potential ability to mobilize the fat in these regions.

Ways that Yohimbe can enhance Fat Loss:
  • Stimulate fat loss by increasing fatty acid mobilization
Ways that Yohimbe can enhance Energy & Endurance:
  • Increase energy production as a mild stimulant

HEALTH BENEFITS

Signs of Yohimbe deficiency

No deficiency conditions are known to exist.

Potential uses for Yohimbe

Research indicates that Yohimbe may be useful in the treatment of:

  • Low libido (sex drive)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Depression (mild)

DISCUSSION

More about Yohimbe

Yohimbine, the active component derived from the bark of the African yohimbe tree, may literally get your blood pumping and get you ready for action. Research has shown yohimbine has a potent impact on male sexual function, appearing to increase the flow of blood into the penis and thus potentially increasing libido. Yohimbine has, in fact, been used by the medical community for a number of years to treat cases of impotence.

Interestingly, this herb has also been shown in research to help stimulate fat loss while suppressing the body’s ability to store fat because it helps mobilize fat stores, especially in some of the typical problem areas in women — their hips and rears.

How it works

Despite the contentions of some manufacturers, yohimbe does not appear to do its “magic” by raising testosterone levels. In fact, research indicates it has no effect on testosterone production. Instead, it blocks certain receptors that are part of the nervous system and dilates blood vessels.

It also appears to increase catecholamine, such as epinephrine, levels. Loosely translated, this means yohimbe may increase our bodies’ own fat-burning agents. Like ephedra and caffeine, yohimbe is also a stimulant that may increase blood flow and help mobilize fatty acids out of their storage areas, so they can be burned for fuel.

In addition, yohimbe may help lower blood pressure and prevent arteries from becoming clogged. It also appears to have some ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO) and may help boost mood and relieve depression and anxiety.

Let’s just say yohimbe appears to help “pump you up” in more ways than one. It seems yohimbe can be used to boost libido, in both women and men, “doubling the pleasure,” so to speak.

In conclusion

Yohimbe is used overwhelmingly by people hoping to enjoy sexual enhancement. Because of yohimbe’s effects on blood flow, it may help boost libido while improving the mechanics of sexual performance. So effective is yohimbe, it’s even used to aid some men who experience sexual dysfunction and impotence. Of interest mainly to women who are more likely to hold on to fat in the hip and thigh areas is yohimbe’s potential to mobilize the fat in these regions — helping reduce fat in the so-called “problem areas.”

NOTES ON USAGE


Amount

The amount of yohimbine HCL (the active ingredient in yohimbe) typically used in research studies is about five milligrams three times per day. It is logical to conclude that products that provide a similar standardized amount from the herb may be effective (e.g., a capsule that contains 250 mg of yohimbe bark extract, standardized for 3% yohimbine, would contain 7.5 mg of yohimbine).

Tip

Some experts recommend staying at or below this amount of yohimbine, as increased amounts have been shown in research to actually be less effective. More is definitely not better in this case.

Timing

Yohimbe may be more effective when taken with solid food, especially high-protein foods, such as chicken, beef, or fish because it appears that the longer it remains in the stomach, the more yohimbe is available to the body.

Synergists of Yohimbe

Yohimbe combined with zinc, ginkgo, and/or arginine is reportedly effective for enhancing sexual function in men.

Some experts contend that sexual benefits may be increased when yohimbe is used with Tribulus terrestris.

Taken with yohimbine (the active ingredient in the herb yohimbe), arginine has been shown to alleviate mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. A recent study found in European Urology found this is true even when this combination is taken “on demand.” (A one-time administration before desired activity.)

Safety of Yohimbe

People who do not tolerate stimulants well should probably avoid yohimbe use; because of increased blood flow, too much yohimbe may cause anxiety, sweating, and nausea.

Yohimbe is not recommended for people with low blood pressure or diabetes.

If you are pregnant or lactating, yohimbe should not be used.

Use caution when using yohimbe in combination with foods that contain tyramine (e.g., red wine, liver, and cheese).

If you are using or considering using prescription drugs, please consult with your health practitioner about possible contraindications with this herb.

Drugs that interact with Yohimbe

Yohimbe should not be used with MAO-inhibiting drugs, such as tranquilizers and antidepressants, because it may also inhibit MAO.

Yohimbe is believed to interact with numerous other drugs, so if you are on any medications, it is important to consult with a nutritionally oriented physician before using even low amounts of yohimbe.


Toxicity of Yohimbe

Do not exceed 40 mg per day because yohimbine can cause negative side effects.

Bans and restrictions

Sales are prohibited in the state of Georgia.

Yohimbe is available only by prescription in the UK.

RELATED RESEARCH

  • Berlan, M., et al., “Plasma Catecholamine Levels and Lipid Mobilization Induced by Yohimbine in Obese and Non-Obese Women,” Int J Obes 15.5 (1991) : 305-15.
  • Carey, M.P., and Johnson, B.T., “Effectiveness of Yohimbine in the Treatment of Erectile Disorder: Four Meta-Analytic Integrations,” Arch Sex Behav 25.4 (1996) : 341-60.
  • Ernst, E., and Pittler, M.H., “Yohimbine for Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials,” J Urol 159.2 (1998) : 433-6.
  • Kucio, C., et al., “Does Yohimbine Act as a Slimming Drug?” Isr J Med Sci 27.10 (1991) : 550-6.
  • Lebret, T., “Efficacy and Safety of a Novel Combination of L-Arginine Glutamate and Yohimbine Hydrochloride: A New Oral Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction,” European Urology 41 (2002) : 608-13.
  • Muller-Wieland, D., et al., “Inhibition of Fatty Acid Synthesis by Stimulation of Alpha- and Beta-Adrenergic Receptors in Human Mononuclear Leukocytes,” Horm Metab Res 26.4 (1994) : 169-72.
  • Musso, N.R., et al., “Yohimbine Effects on Blood Pressure and Plasma Catecholamines in Human Hypertention,” Am J Hypertens 8.6 (1995) : 565-71.
  • Sturgill, M.G., et al., “Yohimbine Elimination in Normal Volunteers Is Characterized by Both One- and Two- Compartment Behavior,” J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 29.6 (1997) : 697-703.