Yohimbine - Yohimbe Information


Yohimbe (Yohimbine) and Viagra are the only two substances that have ever been approved by the FDA for the treatment of impotence. Yohimbe differs from Viagra in that it is a natural herb available to everyone and costing much less than the prescription drug Viagra.

Yohimbe is derived from the inner bark of the African evergreen tree (Pausinystalia yohimbe) that grows throughout the African nations of Cameroon, Gabon and Zaire. (A similar plant in South America is called Quebracho.)

Yohimbe has long been anecdotally acclaimed for its stimulating effect. For centuries, African natives have ingested both the crude bark and purified compound as a tonic to enhance sexual prowess and as an aphrodisiac. Yohimbine was also prescribed in Europe over 100 years ago for male sexual dysfunction. Recent experiments show that yohimbe may successfully treat impotence associated with diabetes as well as both organic and psychogenic impotence due to fatigue, tension and stress.

The bark has been smoked as a hallucinogen and has been used in traditional medicine to treat angina and hypertension. The herb is a sensual stimulant for healthy men and women. Today, doctors prescribe an extract from the tree to treat organic impotence.

Yohimbe's effects are derived from it's ability to increase blood flow to the genitals of both men and women. It stimulates the pelvic nerve ganglia and is helpful for men with erection problems. In fact a prescription drug, yohimbine hydrochloride, is the only FDA approved drug for impotence. Benefits are enhanced libido, heightened sensation and improved stamina. Women have also experienced similar effects and general pleasant sensations.

A combined analysis of more than a dozen studies involving hundreds of subjects, published in the Journal Archives of Sexual Behavior in August 1996, concluded that yohimbine can help many men who have problems getting an erection. It appears to work by increasing blood flow to the penis, and may affect brain chemistry as well.

A recent clinical study in Rhode Island (published in the Journal of Urology) tested the active ingredient in yohimbe on a group of men who had experienced chronic sexual dysfunction. For those who had been impotent for less than two years the improvement rate was an astounding 81% as a direct result of consuming a moderate dosage over a period of one month.

The Rhode Island study also showed that two thirds of the men who had reported having only a partial erection or erections of a short duration, and had failed in normal intercourse at least 50% of the time, reported fuller and longer lasting erections, leading to consistently successful love making.

In a 1994 Italian clinical study, half the patients received the active tablets for eight weeks and half received placebos. The yohimbe group showed a 71% positive recovery rate, compared to the placebo group's 22% rate. The placebo group was changed to yohimbe and scored a 74% success rate. Something in yohimbe obviously stimulates the male libido.

Currently yohimbe is the only drug with enough credible evidence to be listed as a sensual stimulant and sexual booster in The Physician's Desk Reference. As a prescribed drug, yohimbe is available under the brand names Yocon, Yohimex, and Aphrodyne. Potent and raw yohimbe bark extract is also available without a prescription in most states.

The effects of yohimbe start around 30 minutes after ingestion and last around two hours; however, the full beneficial effect begins after 2 to 4 weeks of continuous daily use.

Taking more than the recommended amount will not improve results (i.e. super-human erection) and may cause adverse reactions, therefore remember that moderation is the best policy.


Yohimbine is an alkaloid prescription drug extracted from yohimbe bark which functions as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, thereby increasing serum levels of norepinephrine.


Yohimbe bark is approximately 6% yohimbine which is an indole alkaloid classified as an alpha-2-adrenergic blocking agent. The herb has a general nervous system stimulatory effect,dilating blood vessels. It can increase heart rate, raise body temperature and increase blood pressure. Higher dosages can produce a mild psychotropic effect.


Yohimbe inhibits MAO (monoamine oxidase) and should be used with caution, especially with high blood pressure. As an MAO inhibitor, yohimbe should not be taken with the amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine.

Yohimbe should not be taken with tyramine-containing foods (red wine, aged meats, beer, chocolate, nuts, liver, cheese). High blood pressure can result from the body's inability to extract the tyramines from these foods.

Nasal decongestants or diet aids containing phenylpropaanolamine should be rigorously avoided when yohimbine is used to prevent a hypertensive crisis. People who have hypotension, diabetes, or heart, liver or kidney disease should not take yohimbine.

Potential Side Effects

There is no clinical proof of these reactions to yohimbe. They are listed here as a matter of disclosure:

  • Anxiety
  • Exanthema
  • Frequent urination
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney disorder
  • Liver disorder
  • Queasiness/nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tachycardia
  • Temporary priapism
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting


Lacomblez, L., et. al., Effects of Yohimbe on Blood Pressure in Patients with Depression and Orthostatic Hypotension Induced by Clomipramine, Clin Pharmacol Ther 1989;45:241-51.

Steers, W.D.; McConnell, J.; Benson, G.S., Some Pharmacologic Effects of Yohimbine on Human and Rabbit Penis, Journal of Urology April, 1984, Vol. 131.

Riley, A.J., et. al., Double Blind Trial of Yohimbine Hydrochloride in the Treatment of Erection Inadequacy, Sexual and Marital Therapy, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1989.

Montorsi, F., et. al., Effect of Yohimbine-Trazodone on Psychogenic Impotence: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study, Urology, Vol. 44, No. 5, November, 1994

Susset, J.G., et. al., Effect of Yohimbine Hydrochloride on Erectile Impotence: A Double-Blind Study, Journal of Urology, Vol. 141, June, 1989.

Morales, A., et. al., Is Yohimbine Effective in the Treatment of Organic Impotence? Results of a Controlled Trial, Journal of Urology, Vol. 137, June, 1987.

Reid, K., et. al., Double-Blind Trial of Yohimbine in Treatment of Psychogenic Impotence, Lancet, August 22, 1987.