A Closer Look at Yohimbe Benefits and If It’s Safe to Use

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Yohimbe is a popular herbal supplement that has gained attention for its potential health benefits, particularly in the realms of sexual health and weight loss. However, before incorporating any supplement into your routine, you must understand what it is, how to use it correctly, and whether or not it’s safe.

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of yohimbe, examining its benefits, potential side effects, and the safety considerations associated with its use.

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What Is Yohimbe?

Yohimbe, scientifically called Pausinystalia yohimbe, is an evergreen tree found in western and central Africa. Its bark, also referred to as yohimbe, is an earthy, brown color that typically wouldn’t stand out from other barks.

However, yohimbe contains one key chemical in yohimbe that’s the active ingredient, and it has caught the most attention, which is the chemical compound called yohimbine. People have been harnessing its “powers” for thousands of years. You may have even spotted a bottle of yohimbe recently if you frequent supplement stores or websites. Yohimbe supplements are commonly available in the form of capsules, tablets, or extracts.

What Is Yohimbe Used For?

Traditionally, Yohimbe was used as an aphrodisiac. This bark extract was seen as a sexual tonic, as it was thought to enhance sexual performance and increase libido in men. Some say that it may even be a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

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Products containing yohimbe are now being promoted for a variety of other health benefits, particularly in the all-natural and homeopathic health market. You might see this product marketed toward people with diabetic neuropathy, high blood pressure, and erectile dysfunction, just to name a few.

Additionally, Yohimbe has gained attention for its possible role in weight loss, athletic performance, and cardiovascular health. Those who use it in these roles claim improved results in their physical pursuits.

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A Quick Look at Medical Research Behind Yohimbe

Research on Yohimbe and its benefits is still limited, and most of the evidence available comes from animal studies or small-scale human trials. However, the existing research provides some insights into the potential effects of Yohimbe supplementation for certain medical conditions. Keep in mind that there may be conflicting studies in this research. 

There have been some studies conducted on yohimbe bark extract and its potential health benefits. However, it is important to note that the research is limited, and the evidence is not robust enough to make definitive conclusions.

Some studies have investigated the effects of yohimbine (the active compound in yohimbe bark extract) on erectile dysfunction (ED). A review published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that yohimbine was more effective than a placebo in treating ED. However, the overall evidence is mixed, and we need more in-depth studies to establish its effectiveness and safety.

Yohimbine has also been studied for its potential effects on weight loss. A study published in Research in Sports Medicine found that yohimbine supplementation led to a small but significant reduction in body fat percentage compared to a placebo in trained soccer players. However, other studies have shown conflicting results, and the overall evidence is limited and inconsistent.

Some research has explored the potential benefits of yohimbe bark extract in reducing fatigue and improving mood. A study published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior found that yohimbine supplementation improved mood and reduced fatigue in healthy subjects. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the appropriate dosage and long-term effects.

It’s important to note that while these studies show some potential benefits of yohimbe bark extract or yohimbine, they are limited in scope, and further research is necessary to fully understand its effects, optimal dosages, and potential risks. It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or medication.

9 Potential Yohimbe Benefits and Uses

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Now that you’ve seen some of the research surrounding yohimbe and its potential benefits, let’s look at them a little more in-depth.

1. Aphrodisiac–Improves Sexual Performance

Yohimbe has long been used to address sexual concerns, such as erectile dysfunction. It is believed to enhance blood flow to the genital area, potentially improving sexual performance and desire. Improved erectile function may be a direct result.

It’s important to note that research on yohimbe’s effect on sexual performance only shows results for moderate erectile dysfunction. 

2. Potential Weight Loss

Yohimbe has gained popularity as a weight loss aid. It is thought to increase fat burning by blocking certain receptors in fat cells, leading to increased metabolism and potential weight loss.

3. May Boost Athletic Performance

Some athletes use Yohimbe to improve their performance. It is believed that Yohimbe’s ability to enhance blood flow and increase adrenaline levels may contribute to improved stamina and exercise capacity.

4. Could Reduce Risk for Blood Clots

Those at risk for blood clotting may benefit from taking yohimbe. It has been studied for its potential anticoagulant properties. It may help prevent the formation of blood clots, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

5. May Have Positive Health Effects

Yohimbe is believed to possess antioxidant properties, which can help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. The effects of yohimbe may have a positive impact on overall health.

6. Could Naturally Help Blood Pressure Problems

Yohimbe may assist in regulating blood pressure levels. It is believed to dilate blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow and potential benefits for individuals with hypertension.

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7. May Minimize Side Effects of Some Medications

Yohimbe has shown potential in reducing certain side effects associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressant medications. It may help counteract sexual dysfunction caused by these drugs.

8. Could Promote Energy

Yohimbe has stimulant properties and may increase alertness and energy levels. Some people use it as a natural energy booster.

9. Potential Circulation Improvement

Yohimbe is known for its vasodilatory effects, which means it can widen blood vessels and improve circulation. This effect may have implications for various health conditions.

Potential Side Effects of Yohimbe Supplementation

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While Yohimbe offers potential benefits, it is crucial to be aware of its potential side effects. Some individuals may experience adverse reactions, although it’s rare to see severe side effects. Still, be aware of any of the following.

Possible Drug Interactions

Yohimbe may interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and medications for erectile dysfunction. If you’re using yohimbe to treat any condition for which you already have a prescription drug, it may decrease its effectiveness. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking Yohimbe if you are on any medications.

Rapid Heartbeat and Resulting Anxiety

Some turn to yohimbine as a cognitive enhancer to boost their mental health. It may be used to treat mental health conditions like depression.

Yohimbe can increase heart rate and potentially induce anxiety in some individuals, particularly those who are sensitive to stimulants. Those with anxiety disorders may feel more anxious after taking yohimbine. 

Insomnia

Yohimbe’s stimulant properties may cause sleep disturbances, leading to insomnia or difficulty falling asleep. This is likely due to the increased heartbeat and potential anxiety you may experience while yohimbe is in your system. Be sure to discuss sleeping supplements or medications you might use to help you sleep while you’re using yohimbe.

Dizziness or Nausea

Some individuals may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, or gastrointestinal discomfort after taking Yohimbe. If you work in heavy machinery, make sure yohimbe doesn’t make you dizzy before you try it.

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Is Yohimbe Safe?

Determining the safety of Yohimbe is a complex task. Yohimbine as a compound has been approved by the FDA for certain medical purposes. However, that does not extend to all Yohimbe supplements. The quality of supplements may vary, and since the FDA often doesn’t regulate dietary supplements, be wary.

Before buying yohimbine supplements, do your research. Read reviews and check for third-party research that verifies the safety and effectiveness of the substance. 

The Label May Not Be Accurate

One important consideration is that the actual yohimbine content in Yohimbe supplements can vary significantly from product to product. Some supplements may contain inaccurate labeling, making it challenging to determine the exact dose and potential risks.

In essence, don’t trust every yohimbine bottle you come across. The potential toxicity of yohimbine and other ingredients that may be in the supplement but not listed on the label.

So don’t trust the labeling of yohimbe products alone. Do your own research to ensure the yohimbe you find online or in local health food stores is safe and effective.

Yohimbe May Affect People Differently

Individual responses to Yohimbe can vary. Some people may tolerate it well and experience the desired benefits, while others may be more susceptible to side effects.

While there are not many dangerous side effects of yohimbe, it may affect you differently. There may be adverse side effects for some and none for others. 

The best advice we offer is to speak with your doctor about how different amounts of yohimbine might affect you. Regardless, start with a small dose and work your way up.

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Yohimbe Dosage Guidelines

If you decide to try Yohimbe, it is crucial to follow the recommended dosage guidelines and start with the lowest effective dose. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.

Most people start with 15-30mg of yohimbine each day. It’s best to take it first thing in the morning for the best effects. 

Keep in mind that there will be differences between yohimbe supplements, and the dosage may vary. Take a look at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s information to see their recommendations on yohimbe dosage. 

FAQs About Yohimbe Bark Extract

To address common questions surrounding Yohimbe, here are some frequently asked questions.

Are Yohimbe and Yohimbine the Same?

In essence, yes, but there are technical differences. Yohimbe refers to the bark extract from the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree, while yohimbine is the active compound derived from the bark.

So the two terms are used interchangeably, but in technical terms, they have slightly different meanings.

Is Yohimbe FDA Approved?

Yohimbine hydrochloride, a prescription medication derived from Yohimbe, has been approved by the FDA for certain medical purposes. However, Yohimbe supplements are not FDA-approved.

It’s important to recognize that supplements, including commercial yohimbe, are often not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, there may be acute differences in oral yohimbine supplements. Do your research to ensure the safety of efficacy of yohimbine before you try it.

Can Yohimbe Boost Testosterone?

Yohimbe’s potential effects on testosterone levels are not well-established. Some studies suggest a possible increase in testosterone, but more research is needed to confirm these claims.

There’s a common belief among those looking for organic erectile dysfunction treatment that yohimbe will boost testosterone. However, there’s not enough research to support it scientifically.

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How Long Does It Take for Yohimbe to Kick In?

The time it takes for Yohimbe to take effect can vary among individuals. We recommend following the instructions provided by the manufacturer, allowing sufficient time for the supplement to work.

Experts recommend taking it in the morning for optimal results. They say it should take 15-60 minutes for you to notice some effects, but not everyone notices.

Why Is Yohimbe Banned in Some Countries?

Yohimbe or its active compound, yohimbine, may be banned or restricted in some countries due to concerns about its safety and potential side effects.

The biggest reason for these bans is that there’s not enough scientific evidence to support its effectiveness, nor is there enough regulation in the industry.

How Often Can You Take Yohimbe?

The frequency of Yohimbe supplementation depends on the individual and their specific needs. We suggest consulting with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and frequency for your circumstances.

Do Yohimbe Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

The decision to use Yohimbe should be based on a careful evaluation of potential benefits and risks. 

Some believe that yohimbine makes an excellent alternative treatment for conditions like erectile dysfunction, certain mood disorders, and even weight loss. Others report little to no effects when taking the supplement. 

Some say the side effects outweigh the benefits, and they’d rather not take it. 

It is advisable to discuss your specific health situation with a healthcare professional to make an informed decision. Your physician can counsel you on whether or not you should try it, how much to take, and how to know if you should stop. 

Should You Take Yohimbe?

Here’s what we know: 

Yohimbe offers potential benefits in areas such as sexual health, weight loss, and athletic performance. However, its safety and effectiveness may vary among individuals, and it can have potential side effects and interactions with certain medications.

If you’re considering using Yohimbe, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it is safe and appropriate for you. They can provide personalized guidance and help you make an informed decision regarding its use.The decision is a personal one. Let us know if you’ve tried yohimbe and if you’d recommend it to others.

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About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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