Yohimbe is an evergreen tree found in Zaire, Cameroon, Gabon and other parts of Africa.
Its Botanical name is Pausinystalia yohimbe and it is known with other names like johimbe, corynanthe yohimbe and yohimbehe cortex etc. It is a prescription drug in the names of Yohimar, Yoman, Yohimex, Aphrodyne and Actibine. Yohimbe tree grows as tall as 100 feet and the average height is 50 feet.
They grow in warm and semi tropical environment. It has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac.
What are the Benefits?
The bark of yohimbe contains an alkaloid called yohimbine. It contributes up to 6% of the weight of the bark. It is yohimbine that is responsible for the health benefits of yohimbe.
Erectile Dysfunction in Men
Yohimbe has been used as a home remedy for erectile dysfunction for more than 1000 years. How does yohimbe treat erectile dysfunction? It dilates the peripheral blood vessels of the erectile tissue present in the sides of the penis. When these vessels are dilated, it results in an engorgement. The ultimate result is the erection of penis. A study conducted proves that yohimbe is more effective than placebo in treating erectile dysfunction. The success rate is 71% for yohimbe, whereas it is 45% for placebo.
It has been traditionally used by the Africans as an aphrodisiac to increase the libido. Yohimbine found in the bark of yohimbe releases nonrepineprhine which increases the libido. Moreover, it is a nervous system stimulant and it stimulates the nerves responsible for sensual desire in the brain.
Sensual Stimulation in Women
Although, yohimbe is used extensively to treat sexual problems in men, it is also found to be effective in stimulating women erotically. Studies report that women have an increased sensation in their clitoris that helps them to get an orgasm.
MAOI or monoamine oxidase inhibitors are used to treat depression. Yohimbine, the alkaloid found in yohimbe acts as MAOI and therefore considered to be one of the herbal remedies for depression.
Some experts believe that yohimbe prevents arteries from getting clogged. Clogged arteries are one of the main causes for heart attack.
The extracts of yohimbe bark are helpful in boosting the metabolism and energy of an individual. That is why it is used in health supplements.
Yohimbe is also used in diet supplements because it suppresses appetite. One of the studies conducted suggests that yohimbe reduces the intake of carbohydrates and fat, but not protein. Protein foods give a full feeling. This in turn decreases the intake of calories. More over yohimbe helps in breaking down fat cells. These functions of yohimbe make it an useful herb to lose weight.
Losing of body fat and increases protein intake not only helps in losing weight, but also in bodybuilding.
- Although yohimbe is helpful in treating depression, it may worsen some mental problems like anxiety because of the increased blood flow to the brain.
- When taken orally it can cause side effects like tremors, problems in digestion, sleep problems, nausea, rash, bloated abdomen, headaches, increased urination, increased heartbeat and anxiety etc.
- Over dosage may cause difficulty in breathing, paralysis and in rare cases death.
- To avoid side effects it is better to avoid taking yohimbe for longer period of time and in larger doses.
Who Should Avoid it?
- Pregnant and lactating women should avoid it.
- It should also be avoided by patients suffering from kidney problems and liver problems.
- It should not be taken by people who are taking antidepressant medications and medications for diabetes and high blood pressure.
In which forms is Yohimbe used?
- The extracts of the bark is available in the form of capsules and tablets.
- The dried bark can also be used as tea. The bark should be added to boiling water. Let the water simmer to let the nutrients seep through. Let it cool and strain. This can be stored in fridge for two weeks.
Yohimbe is a wonderful home remedy for many health issues, but it should not be used without consulting with health care provider.