Aphrodisiac, sexual performance booster, libido enhancer, these are just some of the touted health benefits of yohimbe. Yohimbe is the name of an evergreen perennial tree under the genus Rubiaceae. Formerly called Corynanthe yohimbe, Pausynistalia yohimbe is a tree whose bark is utilized by natives as a sexual performance booster. There are thirty two yohimbane alkaloids found in yohimbe, with one in particular, yohimbine which has many medicinal uses.
The tree can be found in Western Africa, particularly in Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo. Its bark is usually obtained on the onset of the rainy season, when the alkaloids present in it are at their maximum level. Obtaining the bark to get yohimbine would generally kill the tree, and with the high demand for sexual performance drugs, yohimbe tree numbers are experiencing a sharp decline.
Yohimbe has many health benefits. It has been touted as an aphrodisiac due to the potency of yohimbine and other alkaloids found on it. There are some clinical studies that verify yohimbine’s role in sexual performance. In fact, yohimbine hydrochloride is used to treat erectile dysfunction in the United States. It is effective in some but not to all who take it. However, if the person’s problem is non-physical, the effectiveness of yohimbine increases dramatically. It is also taken to enhance, increase and extend libido. Since it is such a promising drug and improvement of sexual performance is such a lucrative business, various studies have been performed with varying results. In animals, it has been shown to reduce after sex recovery time, improve the ability to perform again, and increase the semen load ejected. It has also been tested for its ability to cure orgasmic dysfunction.
The health benefits of yohimbe are said to include fat loss and displacement. It increases lipolysis rates, and it is sometimes applied topically to fat prone areas. However, there is lack of scientific studies to back this claim.
In Africa, yohimbe has been used as a treatment for depression as well as a hallucinogen. This uses have translated into modern times, with yohimbe being used to treat post traumatic stress disorder by aiding in recall of difficult memories. Yohimbe has a synergistic effect with the antidepressants fluoxetine and venlafaxine, improving their potency. However, taking yohimbe if you have depression and mental disorders may further aggravate your condition.
To achieve the health benefits of yohimbe, doses of 10 mg to 30 mg per day is recommended. The aphrodisiac properties of yohimbe are due to its role as a vasodilator. However, it can have many side effects. Palpitations, seizures and kidney damage can be caused by large doses of yohimbe. Other associated side effects of taking yohimbe include dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, and increase in heartbeat rate and blood pressure. Due to the potency of its compounds, yohimbe should never be taken by children, pregnant women and the elderly. Additionally, those with heart, kidney and stomach problems should not take this drug too. Yohimbe can aggravate cases of mental instability. Taking yohimbine or yohimbe should be done under a doctor’s supervision or guidance since there is a narrow avenue between correct and over dosage.
Although it has a multitude of health benefits, the use of yohimbe should be dealt with carefully. Its potency as an aphrodisiac may also lead to several complications that would, needless to say, prematurely terminate any sexual situation. More studies should be performed on the components of yohimbe that bestow upon it such benefits. Proper extraction and purification methods should be researched to improve quality and dosage, so that someday, the health benefits of yohimbe would be enjoyable to all.___