July 24, 2016

Yohimbe

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What other names is Yohimbe known by?

11-hydroxy Yohimbine, Alpha Yohimbine HCl, Coryanthe Yohimbe, Corynanthe Johimbe, Corynanthe johimbi, Corynanthe yohimbi, Johimbi, Pausinystalia yohimbe, Pausinystalia johimbe, Yohimbehe, Yohimbehe Cortex, Yohimbine, Yohimbine HCl, Yohimbinum Muriaticum.

What is Yohimbe?

Yohimbe is the name of an evergreen tree found in parts of central and western Africa. The bark of yohimbe contains a chemical called yohimbine, which is used to make medicine. Yohimbine hydrochloride (Aphrodyne, Yocon) is a form of yohimbine that is a prescription drug in the US.

Yohimbe supplements often list yohimbe bark extract or yohimbine as the active ingredient. However, some of these products might not provide accurate information about the amount of yohimbine in the supplement. Also, some yohimbe supplements list yohimbine hydrochloride as an active ingredient. Yohimbe products containing man-made yohimbine hydrochloride as an ingredient are not legal to sell as a dietary supplement in the US.

Yohimbe is taken by mouth arouse sexual excitement, for erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual problems caused by medications for depression called selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and general sexual problems in both men and women. It is also used for athletic performance, weight loss, exhaustion, chest pain, high blood pressure, low blood pressure that occurs when standing up, diabetic nerve pain, and for depression along with certain other medications.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Anxiety. There is mixed evidence about the effectiveness of yohimbine, the active ingredient in yohimbe, for treating anxiety related to phobias. Some research suggests that it does not improve anxiety when combined with therapy. However, other research suggests that it reduces fear related to certain phobias.
  • Depression. Early research suggests that taking yohimbine, the active ingredient of yohimbe, daily for 10 days does not improve depression symptoms.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED). There is evidence that yohimbine, the active ingredient of yohimbe, can be helpful for ED. Some herbalists suggest that the yohimbe bark actually works better than the yohimbine ingredient alone. However, so far yohimbe bark has not been evaluated in research studies.
  • Exercise performance. Early research suggests that taking yohimbine, the active ingredient in yohimbe, daily for 21 days does not improve exercise performance or build muscle mass in soccer players.
  • Head rush (orthostatic hypotension). Early research suggests that taking a single dose of yohimbine, the active ingredient in yohimbe, increases blood pressure in people with a head rush due to low blood pressure. However, other early research suggests that it does not improve blood pressure.
  • Sexual problems caused by selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). There is evidence from many studies that yohimbine, the active ingredient of yohimbe, can improve sexual problems associated with this class of medications used for depression. However, this benefit has not been described specifically for the yohimbe bark.
  • Dry mouth. Early research suggests that taking yohimbine, the active ingredient in yohimbe, improves symptoms of dry mouth in people taking antidepressants. The effect of the yohimbe bark on dry mouth is not clear.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Chest pain.
  • Diabetic complications.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate yohimbe for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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