Yohimbine is a substance from traditional African medicine that has found its way into conventional medicine. Although not all its properties have been fully demonstrated scientifically, there are several recognized benefits and associated risks that should not be overlooked.
What is yohimbine?
Yohimbine belongs to the group of indole alkaloids, which are active ingredients in the yohimbe or yohimbehe plant. Long used by Cameroonians, Congolese, Nigerians, Gabonese and other Africans to treat various ailments, yohimbine is also used as a dietary supplement. It is also used in over-the-counter products to enhance sexual performance.
A little history
- Before the advent of Viagra and Cialis, yohimbine was sold in standardized form: capsules or tablets containing yohimbine hydrochloride.
- At the time, it was one of the only drugs available for men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
The effects of yohimbine
Numerous studies have shown that yohimbine helps reduce body fat in athletes. It also stimulates the body’s production of catecholamines.
Cardiovascular effects of yohimbine
In terms of heart health, yohimbine helps treat arterial hypertension and orthostatic hypotension. Its vasodilatory properties and inhibitory effect on alpha2 adrenergic receptors are primarily responsible.
Yohimbine and memory
According to a study conducted on 36 adults, yohimbine improves long-term memory.
Effects of yohimbine on male and female libido
libido refers to sexual desire or appetite. Although it is often associated with erectile function, it is not limited to it.
- In men, studies have shown that the benefit/risk ratio of yohimbine hydrochloride is satisfactory for treating erectile dysfunction.
- In women, the yohimbine/arginine combination stimulates vaginal nerve impulses and improves sexual arousal in post-menopausal subjects.
Precautions and contraindications
To ensure that taking yohimbine doesn’t harm your health, it’s important not to overuse it. Here are a few contraindications:
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding
- Anxiety or anxiety disorders
- Kidney or liver problems
- Prostatitis or benign prostatic hypertrophy
- Heart disease (ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice)
Side effects and interactions
In normal doses, yohimbine may cause, among other things:
- agitation, tremors, insomnia
- Anxiety, irritability
- High blood pressure, heart palpitations, dizziness
- Headaches, gastrointestinal disorders
At doses that are too high, you risk respiratory problems, a drop in blood pressure, even paralysis and death.
Avoid combining yohimbine with caffeine or ephedrine, as well as with the following medications:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Central nervous system stimulants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Blood pressure-lowering drugs (beta-blockers and clonidine)
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