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3 Benefits and Side Effects of Yohimbine (4 Contraindications To Be Noted)[Updated Feb/2023]

Yohimbine is a medicinal herb that has been regarded as an aphrodisiac in Africa for centuries, and its main ingredient is Yohimbine, an alkaloid (derived from the bark of the Central African yohimbe tree)

Today, yohimbine is considered to be beneficial to sexual health (stimulating and improving sexual dysfunction) and a common ingredient in weight loss products, but due to its potentially dangerous side effects, most countries are regulated as prescription drugs, so caution should still be exercised

What are the benefits of yohimbine in empirical medicine? Are there any side effects of yohimbine? See the latest analysis in the text for details


What are the recommended benefits of yohimbine?

  1. Yohimbine is beneficial for erectile dysfunction in men?

Erectile dysfunction is defined as a man’s persistent or repeated inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity, which occurs due to insufficient blood flow.

Its prevalence increases with age, with an estimated 40% of men aged 70 to 52 years. The prevalence is highest in men over 70 years of age, between 50% and 75%.

A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (8 randomized controlled trials, 1033 people with erectile dysfunction) suggested that yohimbine alone and in combination with other supplements improved erectile and sexual function. Note 1

However, the analysis noted that yohimbine alone was not significant in improving sexual function and must be used as an adjunct to other treatments.

*Conclusion: Yohimbine may be a positive help for erectile dysfunction, but due to the heterogeneity of the samples included, more studies are needed to evaluate patients of different severity to determine the ideal dose and method of administration

  1. Yohimbine assists in weight loss

Weight loss is not only to add points to the appearance of most people, but also to improve health, according to the World Health Organization, about 2.3 billion people worldwide are overweight (over 15 years old), and another 0.7 billion people are obese.

Globally, diseases related to overweight and obesity indirectly kill 34 million people each year, which translates to about 3.9% of the lost life years (if life expectancy is 100 years, obese people will live 4 years less). Note 5

A double-blind controlled study (6-month, 37 adult men) showed that yohimbine did not improve any of the variables set in the experiment, including weight, body mass index, body fat, and total cholesterol. Note 4

Another double-blind controlled study (21 days, 20 professional football players) found that yohimbine (20 mg daily) had a reduced effect on body fat, but did not help weight, muscle mass, and athletic performance measures. Note 3

The mechanism behind yohimbine fat burning is related to its thermogenic effect, adrenaline release, and regulation of adenylate cyclase activity.

*Conclusion: The cellulite effect of yohimbine is only seen in people who are combined with exercise or fasting, and there is no obvious fat burning and weight loss effect for the average person

  1. Yohimbine improves specific phobias

Phobias is an overwhelming and unreasonable sense of anxiety about low-risk objects or situations that makes the person involuntarily want to avoid it.

Phobias can be broadly divided into five broad categories, such as animals (insects, snakes, dogs), natural environments (darkness, storms, height), situations (enclosed spaces, elevators, flight), blood injection injuries (seeing blood or injections), and others (choking, noise, specific clothing).

One randomized controlled study (7 days, in 20 people with claustrophobia) showed that yohimbine increased the improvement of exposure-based treatment. Note 6

Another double-blind controlled study (in 76 people with fear of flight) found that yohimbine did not improve the results of virtual reality exposure therapy. Note 7

The mechanism behind this is related to increasing norepinephrine levels and increasing tolerance to stress responses.

*Conclusions: To date, there is no clear evidence that yohimbine improves phobias, and the effect is inconsistent, pending further confirmation


Are there any side effects of yohimbine?

Yohimbine is a prescription medication in North America (used to improve peripheral blood flow or dilated pupils), meaning it needs to be used with the approval of a healthcare professional. Due to possible dangerous side effects, it is banned in some countries.

Possible side effects or adverse reactions that take oral (low dose) include: gastrointestinal discomfort, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, abnormal excitement, tremors, sleep disturbances, anxiety, sinus pain, irritability, headache, frequent urination, rash, nausea, vomiting…

Large doses (hundreds of milligrams) can cause breathing difficulties, paralysis, plummeting blood pressure, heart problems and death.

Safety precautions

1. Do not use if you are pregnant, nursing women, children, liver and kidney dysfunction, schizophrenia, prostate problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, cardiovascular disease, abnormal blood pressure, depression, anxiety, diabetes (due to potential danger)

2. Do not use anticoagulant drugs or 2 weeks before surgery (may affect blood clotting function)

3. Do not use in combination with hypertension, diabetes, psychiatric drugs (may affect the effect of the drug, cause poor effect or enhance the effect)

4. There have been cases of abnormal erection after use. Note 1

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