The Yohimbe tree is a tall evergreen that is native to southwestern Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, and the Congo. The bark of this West African tree provides a number of medicinal uses. Some researchers and botanists believe that the yohimbe tree may be endangered due to over-harvesting.
Orginally, yohimbe bark was used by west Africans for a variety of conditions including fever, cough, and even leprosy. Yohimbe has also been used to dilate pupils, prevent heart disease, and could be an effective anesthetic. More recently yohimbe has been used as an aphrodisiac and hallucinogen.
Yohimbe bark is harvested during the rainy season, May to September, when its alkaloid content is highest. Since stripping the yohimbe tree of its bark eventually kills the tree, new yohimbe trees are planted regularly. New trees grow relatively fast and can even sprout from the stump of a dead yohimbe tree.
The main active constituent in yohimbe bark is the alkaloid yohimbine, although yohimbe bark also contains a number of other important alkaloids. Yohimbine blocks alpha-2 adrenergic receptors which are part of the sympathetic nervous system. It has also been reported that yohimbine dilates blood vessels and may even inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO), whereby preventing a number of depressive disorders. However, unlike St. John's wort and other popular herbs, yohimbe does not have the research to support its medicinal claims.
Today yohimbe is considered effective to use in connection with erectile dysfunction in men. It also believed to have the ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO) and therefore may be beneficial when used in connection with certain depressive disorders.Dosage and Administration
The recommended dosage of yohimbine for use with erectile dysfunction and most other conditions is 15 to 30 mg per day. When supplementing with a tincture of yohimbe bark, taking 5 to 10 drops three times a day is a common dosage.Precautions & Side Effects
Although most of these are rare, side effects of yohimbe and yohimbine include dizziness, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, increased blood pressure, and rapid heart beat. It is strongly recommended that individuals with kidney disease, peptic ulcers, or that are pregnant not supplement with yohimbe. It is also recommended that children not use yohimbe since it has been associated with anxiety disorders in adolescents. Never take more than 40 mg per day or you may experience serious side effects.
As there are a number of side effects associated with yohimbe we high recommend consulting a qualified healthcare professional before using this herb.