Yohimbe is a plant whose bark was largely used by the natives of Africa to cure a number of problems, like cough, fever and even leprosy. Today, this remedy usually comes in a form of extract, available in specialized stores, and it is mainly used to treat male and female impotence and sexual dysfunction.
The scientific name of yohimbe is Pausinystalia yohimbe, although it is also known by the name Corynanthe yohimbe. It is a tree that grows mainly in Africa and it has psychoactive properties due to its tryptamine alkaloid called yohimbine.
The bark of this evergreen tree is used for different medical purposes, and today its main use is that of a herbal aphrodisiac.
In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, yohimbine increases the blood flow to the penis, thus favoring an erection. Other uses of the extract obtained from yohimbe bark include depression, hypertension, pupil dilation and it can be used as an anesthetic. Yohimbe extract can also be used as a hallucinogenic substance to induce altered states of mind.
Benefits of yohimbe extract
It is believed that because it inhibits monoamine oxidase and dilates blood vessels, yohimbe extract can be used as a supplement in the treatment of depressive disorders. It is also recommended for people who have heart problems, clogged arteries, and to reduce chest pain in angina patients.
Yohimbe extract is largely used as an herbal aphrodisiac for both men and women. It increases libido, fights impotence and improves sexual performance and stamina.
Because of its high antioxidant content, yohimbe extract improves the function of the immune system, helps to fight infections and reduces the risk of cancer by eliminating free radicals.
Side effects of yohimbe extract
As beneficial as it may be for healthy people, yohimbe extract is not recommended for those who suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, prostate and kidney problems and it is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women.
Improper use or large doses of yohimbe extract may cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headache, stomach problems, high blood pressure, increase in heart rate, fever and sweating. Several cases have been registered where yohimbe extract triggered or worsened schizophrenia and depression.
It is recommended to see a doctor before taking yohimbe extract supplement. It should also be noted that yohimbe and yohimbine are not the same thing. Yohimbine is an alkaloid and it is much more potent than yohimbe, which is just a bark extract containing about 10% to 15% of that alkaloid. Taking too much pure yohimbine can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.