Yohimbe or Pausinystalia yohimbe is found abundantly in many African countries like Zaire, Gabon and Cameroon. Bark of this evergreen tree contains tryptamine alkaloid yohimbine, which displays various medicinal properties. The bark has been used to treat depression, hypertension, hypotension (that occurs when standing up) and various sexual problems by native Africans since hundreds of years. Although yohimbe bark or yohimbe extract is easily available as over-the-counter herbal medicine, it is necessary to consult your physician for correct dosage. Otherwise, you might have to face serious health complications.
Most studies used doses of 15 mg to 30 mg of yohimbine a day. Generally, 15 to 30 mg daily of yohimbine is recommended to treat most conditions including erectile dysfunction. 5-10 drops, three times daily of yohimbe bark tincture is a common supplementation.
Some study reports suggest safe dosage of yohimbe for fat loss. According to a recent study report, a 20 mg dose of yohimbe, taken twice daily, for 20 days, promotes fat loss in athletes. Study reports say that yohimbe has no side effects. But one should always confirm this with a doctor.
After consulting your doctor and after referring to the amount recommended on the product label, you may start with a 'reasonable' amount and then, you may watch how your body reacts to that amount. If you notice any side effects, you should lower the dosage. If you think that it is not working well enough, you may try a higher dosage, but never more than that recommended on the label.
Yohimbine in Yohimbe Bark
It is a misunderstanding that all herbal remedies are safe and they don't have any side effects. Overdose of any medicine generally results in certain side effects.
In case of yohimbe, you should first take into consideration the difference between yohimbe and yohimbine. Whatever research has been done, was done with yohimbine. You get yohimbine hydrochloride on prescription only. You get yohimbe bark extract in any health food store, as it is an over-the-counter medicine. Remember, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the production and sale of supplements as strictly as it does that of prescription medications. So, you cannot predict the amount of yohimbine present in yohimbe bark powder. The amount may vary from brand to brand.
Amount of yohimbine in yohimbe bark powder is not standardized, but standardized extracts of yohimbe which are more powerful are available in stores. Extracts with various potencies are available, for example, yohimbine 2%, 4%, 8%, up to 20%.
You need to know how much yohimbine you require to get the expected effect. Yohimbe bark is made up of 6% of alkaloids, and 10-15% of that is yohimbine which means yohimbe extract contains a very small amount of yohimbine. Different yohimbe products may contain vastly different amounts of the active component yohimbine. So, a single standard dose of yohimbe cannot be recommended. Taking into consideration your overall health, only your physician can determine the safe yohimbe dosage for you.
Health Benefits of Yohimbe Bark
- It dilates blood vessels, so it is used to treat clogged arteries.
- It can dilate pupils.
- It helps lower the risk of heart attack.
- It helps alleviate chest pain from angina.
- It helps improve blood circulation.
- It relieves depression and makes you energetic and active.
- It works as a powerful antioxidant and protects you from various diseases.
- Local people of Africa have used yohimbe bark to treat leprosy, fever and coughs.
- It was used as an anesthetic in ancient times.
- Traditionally the bark was smoked and used as a hallucinogen.
- It promotes supply of adrenaline to nerve endings and so it is used to treat erectile dysfunction.
- It works as an aphrodisiac for both men and women. It reduces cases of impotency due to stress, tension and fatigue.
- It blocks alpha-adrenoreceptors. This reduces the hormonal effect which makes blood vessels constrict along with aging.
- It promotes weight loss
- Yohimbe supplements help increase the stamina of athletes.
An overdose of yohimbe can cause:
- Loss of appetite
- Anxiety disorders
- Stomach problems
- Rise in blood pressure level and heart rate.
- Rise in body temperature and sweating.
- It may worsen or stimulate schizophrenia and depression.
- Before opting for medicinal herbs, one should know how they work. For example, yohimbe raises blood pressure levels, so those diagnosed with hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, prostatic hyperplasia, or kidney diseases, should avoid taking yohimbe extract.
- This traditional medicine can interfere and destroy the effects of some other medicines that you might be already taking, so you should consult your doctor before taking yohimbe.
- No research has yet scientifically proven the medicinal properties of yohimbe or yohimbine. So, it is better that pregnant and lactating women avoid taking it. It might cause birth defects or miscarriages.
- As mentioned above, use of yohimbe may result in anxiety disorders, so children, adolescents and breast-feeding women should not use it.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.