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What is yohimbe? What is it used
Yohimbe is a species of evergreen tree found in Cameroon,
Gabon and the French Congo. Once found throughout western
Africa, the plants future is in some doubt due to severe
harvesting for use as a local medicine. The bark is used medicinally.
The active constituent in yohimbe is yohimbine, an alkaloid
that dilates blood vessels and blocks alpha-2 adrenergic receptors
located in the reproductive organs. For these reasons, yohimbe
has often been used to treat male sexual dysfunction. Traditionally,
it was used to treat fevers, coughs and leprosy; modern uses
include the treatment of cardiovascular disease and pupil
dilation. It may also be of some benefit to patients with
clinical depression, and is considered an aphrodisiac by some
How much yohimbe should I take?
Most practitioners recommend 15-30 milligrams of yohimbe
per day. It is recommended that only products using standardized
amounts of yohimbe be used.
What forms are available?
Yohimbe bark tinctures can be found at some specialty stores
and African markets. Standardized yohombine extracts are also
What can happen if I take too much
yohimbe? Are there any interactions I should be aware of?
What precautions should I take?
Using more than 40 milligrams of yohimbine per day can bring
about numerous negative side effects, including loss of muscle
function, chills, dizziness, nausea, increased blood pressure
and vertigo. Higher amounts can cause palpitations, anxiety
and hallucinations. It should not be taken by pregnant or
lactating women, patients with kidney disease or peptic ulcers,
or patients taking heart medication or antidepressants.
Foods with high amounts of tyramine (such as cheese, red
wine and liver) should not be eaten while taking yohimbe,
as they may theoretically cause high blood pressure or other
conditions. Some medications (such as brimonidine, bupropion
and fluxovamine) may interact negatively with yohimbe.
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