Nutritional Supplement

Yohimbe

Parts Used & Where Grown

Yohimbe is a tall evergreen forest tree native to southwestern Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, and the Congo. The bark of this African tree is used medicinally. There are concerns, however, that the tree may be endangered due to over-harvesting for use as medicine.

How It Works

The alkaloid known as yohimbine is the primary active constituent in yohimbe, although similar alkaloids may also play a role. Yohimbine blocks alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, part of the sympathetic nervous system.1 It also dilates blood vessels. Yohimbine inhibits monoamine oxidase (MAO) and therefore may theoretically be of benefit in depressive disorders. However, it does not have the clinical research of other herbs used for depression, such as St. John’s wort.

Yohimbine has been shown in double-blind trials to help treat men with erectile dysfunction.2,3 Although, negative studies have also been reported.4,5

References

1. Riley AJ. Yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder. Br J Clin Pract 1994;48:133-6.

2. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Yohimbine for erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Urol 1998;159:433-6.

3. Carey MP, Johnson BT. Effectiveness of yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder: Four meta-analytic integrations. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:341.

4. Kunelius P, Häkkinen J, Lukkarinen O. Is high-dose yohimbine hydrochloride effective in the treatment of mixed-type impotence? A prospective, randomized, controlled double-blind crossover study. Urol 1997;49:441-4.

5. Mann K, Klingler T, Noe S, et al. Effect of yohimbine on sexual experiences and nocturnal tumescence and rigidity in erectile dysfunction. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:1-16.

6. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Yohimbine for erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Urol 1998;159:433-6.

7. Carey MP, Johnson BT. Effectiveness of yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder: Four meta-analytic integrations. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:341.

8. Kunelius P, Häkkinen J, Lukkarinen O. Is high-dose yohimbine hydrochloride effective in the treatment of mixed-type impotence? A prospective, randomized, controlled double-blind crossover study. Urol 1997;49:441-4.

9. Mann K, Klingler T, Noe S, et al. Effect of yohimbine on sexual experiences and nocturnal tumescence and rigidity in erectile dysfunction. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:1-16.

10. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Yohimbine for erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Urol 1998;159:433-6.

11. Carey MP, Johnson BT. Effectiveness of yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder: Four meta-analytic integrations. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:341.

12. Kunelius P, Häkkinen J, Lukkarinen O. Is high-dose yohimbine hydrochloride effective in the treatment of mixed-type impotence? A prospective, randomized, controlled double-blind crossover study. Urol 1997;49:441-4.

13. Mann K, Klingler T, Noe S, et al. Effect of yohimbine on sexual experiences and nocturnal tumescence and rigidity in erectile dysfunction. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:1-16.

14. Kucio C, Jonderko K, Piskorska D. Does yohimbine act as a slimming drug? Isr J Med Sci 1991;27:550–6.

15. Sax L. Yohimbine does not affect fat distribution in men. Int J Obes 1991;15:561-5.

16. Swann AC, Lijffijt M, Lane SD, et al. Norepinephrine and impulsivity: effects of acute yohimbine. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2013 Sep;229(1):83–94.

17. Mosqueda-Garcia R, Fernandez-Violante R, Tank J, et al. Yohimbine in neurally mediated syncope. Pathophysiological implications. J Clin Invest 1998;102:1824-30.

18. Goldberg MR, Robertson D. Yohimbine: a pharmacological probe for the study of the alpha 2-adrenoceptor. Pharmacol Rev 1983;35:143-180

19. Galitzky J, Taouis M, Berlan M, et al. Alpha 2-antagonist compounds and lipid mobilization: evidence for a lipid mobilizing effect of oral yohimbine in healthy male volunteers. Eur J Clin Invest 1988;18:587-94.

20. Zahorska-Markiewicz B, Kucio C, Piskorska D. Adrenergic control of lipolysis and metabolic responses in obesity. Horm Metab Res 1986;18:693-7.

21. Waluga M, Janusz M, Karpel E, et al. Cardiovascular effects of ephedrine, caffeine and yohimbine measured by thoracic electrical bioimpedance in obese women. Clin Physiol 1998;18:69-76.

22. Sax L. Yohimbine does not affect fat distribution in men. Int J Obes 1991;15:561-5.

23. Goldberg KA. Yohimbine in the treatment of male erectile sexual dysfunction—a clinical review. Today's Ther Trends J New Dev Clin Med 1996;14:25-33.

24. Duke J. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 351.

25. Goldberg KA. Yohimbine in the treatment of male erectile sexual dysfunction—a clinical review. Today's Ther Trends J New Dev Clin Med 1996;14:25-33.

26. Drug Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis: Facts and Comparisons, 1998, 3659.

27. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 382-3.

28. Goldberg KA. Yohimbine in the treatment of male erectile sexual dysfunction—a clinical review. Today's Ther Trends J New Dev Clin Med 1996;14:25-33.

29. Friesen K, Palatnick W, Tenenbein M. Benign course after massive ingestion of yohimbine. J Emerg Med 1993;11:287-8.

30. Bremner JD, Innis RB, Ng CK, et al. Positron emission tomography measurement of cerebral metabolic correlates of yohimbine administration in combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1997;54:246-54.

31. Charney DS, Woods SW, Goodman WK, Heninger GR. Neurobiological mechanisms of panic anxiety: Biochemical and behavioral correlates of yohimbine-induced panic attacks. Am J Psychiatry 1987;144:1030-6.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2022.