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Yohimbine

Yohimbine (Yohimbe, Corynanthe Yohimbe, Yohimbe Bark, Pausinystalia Yohimbe) is an indole alkaloid that is extracted from the Yohimbe tree in Central Africa. It has long been used as a potent energizing, libido-enhancing, and metabolism-supporting supplement. [1]

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Yohimbine Reviews

 

 

 

At a Quick Glance

 

Also Known As

Yohimbe
Yohimbe Bark
Corynanthe Yohimbe
Pausinystalia Yohimbe

How It Works

Interacts at the CYP2D6 enzyme
Alpha-2-adrenergic receptor inhibitor
Increases norepinephrine levels
Inhibits adenylyl cyclase enzyme

Is Used For

Libido-boosting effects
As a pre-workout booster
Support for an active metabolism
Enhancing mental focus
Stimulatory effects

Medical Disclaimer

This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Use with caution.
WARNING: Excessively large serving sizes can cause a FATAL overdose. Do not exceed the recommended serving size.
SPECIAL CAUTION: People with anxiety disorders should NOT use this product as it may trigger anxiety attacks.

 

 

 

Benefits and Effects on Humans

Based on Available Scientific Research and Anecdotal Evidence

 

 

Used For: [1] [2] [3] Efficacy
Enhancing libido ★★★★★
Vitality ★★★★★
Appetite Suppressor ★★★★
Energy Booster ★★★★
Increased Fat Burning ★★★★
Pre-workout Support ★★★
Enhanced Mental Focus ★★★

 

 

How to Use

Recommended Serving Size, Intervals, Cycling, Forms Available, and Application

 

Yohimbine HCl is a very potent energizing and aphrodisiac supplement, with beneficial effects that can be felt even at very low serving sizes. In addition, the benefits do not necessarily increase with increased serving size.

CAUTION: Overstimulation is very unpleasant and the negative experience of exceeding the serving size will be more noticeable than any benefits. DO NOT EXCEED 8 mg per serving or 20 mg per day.

The recommended serving size for this supplement is one to two servings of 4 mg, taken once or twice per day. LiftMode’s Yohimbine HCl is 98% pure and it is very strong. We recommend starting with a lower serving of about 4 – 8 mg in order to assess how your body responds to it. Some research has shown that positive effects may diminish after up to two weeks of daily use so it may be beneficial to use Yohimbine in two-week interval cycles (i.e., two weeks or less “on”, followed by two weeks “off”). [4]

Furthermore, Yohimbine’s benefits have been noted most significantly in fasting subjects, thusly it is recommended to take a serving prior to breakfast or about 20 minutes before exercising. [2]

 

Application

 

 ‘Toss-and-wash’ method:

  1. Measure the correct serving size of Yohimbine with a measuring scoop or scale.
  2. Pour this onto a credit card, spoon, or piece of paper.
  3. Toss the powder into the back of your mouth.
  4. Wash it down with a glass of water.


 

Evidence-Based Research

 

 

 

1. Summary

Yohimbine HCl (Yohimbe, Corynanthe Yohimbe, Yohimbe Bark, Pausinystalia Yohimbe) is the active ingredient that is found in the bark of the Yohimbe tree, endemic to Central Africa. It has potent energizing effects and it is effective at boosting libido and sexual vitality while helping to improve energy levels. [1] [2] [3] Yohimbine effectively inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine, producing noticeable energizing and cognition-enhancing effects. [1] It also supports the activity of the adenylyl cyclase enzyme to help promote a healthy metabolism. [1]


The beneficial effects of Yohimbine supplementation in humans has been studied for a long time. More specifically, nearly 60 years of research has focused on Yohimbine, although most of this research has involved animal studies. As reported in a 2000 analysis, there is little incentive for further research into the human benefits of Yohimbine supplementation and this is most likely because it does not have the potential to be patented unless it is chemically altered. However, the limited amount of human research does not signify a lack of efficacy, but more likely a lack of financial incentive for further research and development (R&D) projects. [3]

Please note: Yohimbine HCl is extremely powerful. Exceeding the recommended serving size is not recommended and it may also be unsafe to take when using prescription medication, especially neurological medication or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

 

The recommended serving size for this supplement is one to two servings of 4 mg, taken once or twice per day. Do not exceed the recommended serving suggestion. Taking more than 20 mg in a day may result in unpleasant side effects. Larger servings can cause an overdose, and fatal overdoses have occurred with very large servings. Side effects may include increased blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate, sleep problems, anxiety, headache, and irritability at normal serving sizes.

 

Yohimbine is a great natural libido booster

 

2. Human Effects

 

2.1. Natural Libido-Booster

Yohimbine is an aphrodisiac supplement. Both human and animal studies have shown that it is capable of producing an increase in libido and sexual vitality. More specifically, research indicates that Yohimbine may be effective at improving sexual performance and stamina without affecting hormone levels, most likely as a result of its effects on alpha-2-adrenergic receptor activity.[2]

In 1998, researchers published a meta-analysis examining all of the available data about the effects of Yohimbine HCl used for male sexual vitality. The meta-analysis focused on the results of seven studies that met the inclusion criteria and marked the first analysis of this kind on Yohimbine’s effects in humans. The results showed a significant improvement in libido and sexual vitality in comparison to the placebo. Yohimbine also had a relatively low rate of adverse effects that were experienced by around 3-7% of participants, depending on the study. The researchers concluded that Yohimbine supplements have the potential to improve sexual stamina with a low level of side effects.[3]

In 2002, researchers published another study with similar results. In the study which involved 18 men, half of the participants achieved clinically significant results after 4 weeks of use. Serving sizes used in this study were 5.4 mg of Yohimbine, up to 10.8 mg per serving, taken three times daily and the side effects were negligible. The study findings add to the body of research which indicates that Yohimbine is a relatively safe and effective dietary supplement for the support of healthy sexual vitality in men.[4]

In 2010, a study involving the examination of Yohimbine supplementation for men’s sexual health was published in the Iran Journal of Psychology. Forty married men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction took part in the study. The results showed a significant improvement in sexual function after four weeks of use in comparison to the placebo. The incidence of adverse effects was low, with no significant difference between the placebo and active groups. [5]

 

2.2. Supports a Healthy Metabolism

Research has repeatedly shown that Yohimbine HCl is an effective dietary supplement that assists weight-management. [1] It acts as an antagonist (inactivator) of alpha-2-adrenergic receptors, which lower the activity of the adenylyl cyclase enzyme and reduce cAMP levels. By allowing continued function of the adenylyl cyclase enzyme as well as greater levels of cAMP, Yohimbine HCl disrupts processes that hinder fat-burning, making it an effective supplement for supporting a healthy metabolism. [6] [7]

In one human study, twenty healthy male soccer players were divided into two groups and given either Yohimbine (40 mg per day) or a placebo over a three-week period. After the three-week study, the Yohimbine group was found to have a significantly greater reduction in body fat percentage than the placebo group (9.3% loss vs 7.1% loss, respectively).[8]

In another study which assessed the effects of the topical application of Yohimbine, researchers found that the Yohimbine-containing lotion was effective at reducing fat percentage in the thighs of women. After the application of the Yohimbine cream three to four times per week, over a four-week period, the percentage fat in their thighs decreased significantly.[9]

Most importantly, studies have found that the metabolism-enhancing effects of Yohimbine supplementation are most effective when taken in a fasting-state, such as in the morning before breakfast or about 20-30 minutes before exercising.[10]

 

2.3. Mild Appetite Suppressor

Animal studies have indicated that apart from its metabolism-enhancing properties, Yohimbine is also effective at reducing the appetite in both lean and overweight mice.[11] [12] In one study, food intake in the Yohimbine group was reduced by 49-62% in comparison to the control group. However, these effects persisted for up to 2 weeks after which it began to decrease. These results show that, at least in small mammals with similar physiological functions to humans, Yohimbine may reduce appetite in both overweight and lean subjects. [16]

In another similar study, the appetite-suppressing effect of Yohimbine was compared to that of guanfacine. Although guanfacine was much more effective than Yohimbine, both reduced calorie intake significantly when compared to a placebo, thereby resulting in less adipose (fat) tissue as well as a beneficial effect on blood lipid profiles. [16]

 

2.4. Effects on Mental Focus

One of the benefits that people often talk about is Yohimbine’s ability to improve mental focus and attention. This is another property that relates to Yohimbine’s ability to temporarily inhibit alpha-2-adrenergic receptors, thereby promoting the accumulation of norepinephrine, an important stress hormone and neurotransmitter with beneficial effects on attention and focus. [13] [14] 

Together, [norepinephrine’s] effects on network gating, plasticity and memory consolidation demonstrate a huge breadth of effects on cognition. By actively streamlining which inputs have priority in a given behavioral state, [norepinephrine] controls [the] immediate potentiation of synapses and overlays a level of expectation on the system.” (O’Donnell et al., 2012).[15]

Importantly, a number of pharmaceuticals that are used to improve attention (for example, Methylphenidate) have similar effects on the pre-frontal cortex as Yohimbine.[16] [17] As an example, an animal study found that 1mg/kg Yohimbine taken alongside Methylphenidate doubled the firing of neurons in the prefrontal cortex.[18]

In one recent study, researchers demonstrated Yohimbine’s ability to improve arithmetic task performance while simultaneously enhancing mental energy. In this particular study, some participants experienced anxiety and while their task performance was still increased, they made more errors than those who didn’t feel anxious.[19] This reflects the contraindications of Yohimbine supplementation for people with anxiety (please make sure that you read the note of caution before using this product). In another study, researchers found that Yohimbine HCl improved cerebral blood flow and adrenergic activity. [17]

 

Yohimbine boosts energy levels

 

3. Safety and Toxicity

 

3.1. Side Effects

Yohimbine HCl is a potent energizing supplement and it can cause increased blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate, anxiety, headache, and irritability, at normal doses.[20] Very large serving sizes can cause low blood pressure, heart problems, difficulty breathing, and pose a risk of overdose.

Through its effects on the adrenergic system, and especially its ability to increase norepinephrine levels, Yohimbine HCl may increase impulsivity. These effects have been noted in one human clinical trial. [21] Despite its energizing effects, Yohimbine HCl does not appear to affect sleep quality. [22]

In 2001, researchers published a study regarding the efficacy and toxicology of Yohimbine. In the article, the researchers reviewed the results of numerous clinical studies on human participants with either normal blood pressure or high blood pressure. Overall, serving sizes varied (up to 20 mg) and typically had little to no effect on heart rate or blood pressure, with few mild adverse effects being reported, if any at all. Similarly, the participants’ blood pressure increased mildly due to Yohimbine supplementation, with no effect on heart rate. [23]

 

3.2. Overdose

Although rare, overdoses have been reported for Yohimbine HCl. In a 2010 retrospective study in California, researchers examined all the cases of serious side effects that were reported to the Poison Control System (CPCS) between 2000 and 2006, which was a total 238 cases. The researchers found that around half of these overdoses required monitoring and the symptoms alleviated within a few hours. Around 10% required de-contamination therapy with charcoal and benzodiazepines (tranquilizers). Just under 4% of the cases required medication to reduce blood pressure, and 2% of the cases required supportive care in a hospital.[24]

In 2013, two cases of fatal overdose were reported in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology. The authors found that the typical servings of around 5 – 15 mg resulted in a Yohimbine blood concentration of roughly 40 – 400 ng/mL, which is potent enough to confer the positive benefits that users seek. The two fatal overdose cases reported blood concentrations of 5’000 – 7’400 ng/mL, thereby indicating a much larger serving than normal, presumably consumed by accident. [25]

WARNING: A FATAL overdose can occur at large servings. While the amount required to produce fatal effects is far greater than the recommended serving size, negative effects can be felt at any serving larger than around 20 mg. DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED SERVING SIZE.

 

3.3. Interactions

If you are taking any medication, it is important that you first consult with your physician before using this supplement. By increasing norepinephrine in the brain, Yohimbine may increase the effects of certain medications and lower the serving size at which negative effects are felt. The most important medications to avoid are: [27]

  • Antidepressants, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). MAOIs also increase the amount of catecholamines in the brain and can increase the effects of Yohimbine, reduce the required amount that produces negative effects, and increase the risk of overdose.

  • Blood pressure medication – for example, Clonidine, an antihypertensive medication. Yohimbine may reduce the effectiveness of antihypertensive medications.

  • Stimulants like caffeine – Yohimbine has powerful stimulatory effects and it is not advisable to combine it with other stimulants. Overstimulation of the nervous system is extremely unpleasant and involves feelings of jitteriness, nervousness, irritability, anxiousness, as well as problems with focus, attention, and sleep.

 

3.4. Mental health and existing medical conditions

Similarly, Yohimbine should not be used by people with a number of medical conditions. Most importantly, Yohimbine should not be used by people with anxiety. Studies have found that this supplement may increase the risk of panic attacks and aggravate symptoms of anxiety.[26] This would imply that anybody with related mental health issues, for example, depression, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should also avoid using Yohimbine.

In addition, Yohimbine may increase blood pressure and should not be used by people with bleeding disorders, heart disease, or hypertension. [17]

There is insufficient research regarding Yohimbine use for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Do not use this supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Finally, Yohimbine may affect blood flow, which could potentially cause problems during surgery. [17] [27] Do not use this supplement for up to 2 weeks prior to surgery. If you have any questions about Yohimbine and its safety, please consult your physician before using this supplement.

 

Yohimbine aphrodisiac benefits

 

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How We Research Our Content

Our content is written using meticulous research methods and claims are backed by links to scientific references, wherever possible. The author and editors of Liftmode's Research Team have strong academic backgrounds in microbiology, physiology, and biochemistry.

Content Updated On: February 14thth, 2019

 

 

Content By:

Written By: Tristan Pelser, B.Sc. in Molecular Biology
Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Karen Vieira, PhD in Biomedical Sciences

 

Scientific Support and References:

[1] Arthur, J. M., Casañas, S. J., & Raymond, J. R. (1993). Partial agonist properties of rauwolscine and yohimbine for the inhibition of adenylyl cyclase by recombinant human 5-HT1A receptors. Biochem Pharmacol, 45(11), 2337-41.

[2] Clark, J.T., Smith, E.R., & Davidson, J.M. (1985). Testosterone is not required for the enhancement of sexual motivation by Yohimbine. Physiol Behav, 35(4), 517-21.

[3] Ernst, E., & Pittler, M.H. (1998). Yohimbine for erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Urol, 159(2):433-6.

[4] Guay, A.T., Spark, R.F., Jacobson, J., Murray, F.T., & Geisser, M.E. (2002). Yohimbine treatment of organic erectile dysfunction in a dose-escalation trial. Int J Impot Res, F4(1), 25-31.

[5] Akhondzadeh, S., Amiri, A., & Bagheri, A. H. (2010). Efficacy and Safety of Oral Combination of Yohimbine and L-arginine (SX) for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: a multicenter, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Iranian journal of psychiatry, 5(1), 1-3.

[6] Doxey, J.C., Lane, A.C., Roach, A.G., & Virdee, N.K. (1984). Comparison of the alpha-adrenoceptor antagonist profiles of idazoxan (RX 781094), yohimbine, rauwolscine and corynanthine. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol, 325(2), 136-44.

[7] Carmen, G.Y., & Victor, S.M. (2006). Signalling mechanisms regulating lipolysis. Cell Signal, 18(4), 401-8.

[8] Ostojic, S.M. (2006). Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Res Sports Med, 14(4), 289-99.

[9] Greenway, F.L., & Bray, G.A. (1987). Regional fat loss from the thigh in obese women after adrenergic modulation. Clin Ther, ;9(6), 663-9.

[10] McCarty, M.F. (2002). Pre-exercise administration of yohimbine may enhance the efficacy of exercise training as a fat loss strategy by boosting lipolysis. Med Hypotheses, 58(6), 491-5. 

[11] Callahan, M.F., Beales, M., & Oltmans, G.A. (1984). Yohimbine and rauwolscine reduce food intake of genetically obese (obob) and lean mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 20(4), 591-9.

[12] Dudek, M., Knutelska, J., Bednarski, M., Nowiński, L., Zygmunt, M., Mordyl, B., Głuch-Lutwin, M., Kazek, G., Sapa, J., … Pytka, K. (2015). A Comparison of the Anorectic Effect and Safety of the Alpha2-Adrenoceptor Ligands Guanfacine and Yohimbine in Rats with Diet-Induced Obesity. PloS one, 10(10), e0141327.

[13] Cameron, O.G., Zubieta, J.K., Grunhaus, L., & Minoshima, S. (2000). Effects of yohimbine on cerebral blood flow, symptoms, and physiological functions in humans. Psychosom Med, 62(4), 549-59.

[14] Xing, B., Li, Y. C., & Gao, W. J. (2016). Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex. Brain research, 1641(Pt B), 217-33.

[15] O’Donnell, J., Zeppenfeld, D., McConnell, E., Pena, S., & Nedergaard, M. (2012). Norepinephrine: a neuromodulator that boosts the function of multiple cell types to optimize CNS performance. Neurochemical research, 37(11), 2496-512.

[16] Li, B. (1999). Alpha-2 Adrenergic Modulation of Prefrontal Cortical Neuronal Activity Related to Spatial Working Memory in Monkeys. Neuropsychopharmacology, 21(5), 601-610.

[17] Arnsten, A. F. T. (2009). Toward a New Understanding of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Pathophysiology. CNS Drugs, 23(Supplement 1), 33–41.

[18] Gronier, B. (2011). In vivo electrophysiological effects of methylphenidate in the prefrontal cortex: Involvement of dopamine D1 and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 21(2), 192-204.

[19] Mizuki, Y., Suetsugi, M., Ushijima, I., & Yamada, M. (1996). Differential effects of noradrenergic drugs on anxiety and arousal in healthy volunteers with high and low anxiety. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 20(8), 1353-67.

[20] Yohimbe. (2018). WebMD.com [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-759/yohimbe

[21] Swann, A.C., Birnbaum, D., Jagar, A.A., Dougherty, D.M., & Moeller, F.G. (2005). Acute yohimbine increases laboratory-measured impulsivity in normal subjects Biol Psychiatry, 57(10), 1209-11.

[22] Gentili, A., Godschalk, M.F., Gheorghiu, D., Nelson, K., Julius, D.A., & Mulligan, T. (1996). Effect of clonidine and yohimbine on sleep in healthy men: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 50(6), 463-5.

[23] Tam, S.W., Worcel, M., & Wyllie, M. (2001). Yohimbine: a clinical review. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 91(3), 215-243.

[24] Kearney, T., Tu, N., & Haller, C. (2010). Adverse Drug Events Associated with Yohimbine-Containing Products: A Retrospective Review of the California Poison Control System Reported Cases. Annals of Pharmacotherapy 44(6), 1022-1029.

[25] Anderson, C., Anderson, D., Harre, N., & Wade, N. (2013). Case Study: Two Fatal Case Reports of Acute Yohimbine Intoxication. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 37(8), 611-614.

[26] Charney, D.S., Heninger, G.R., & Breier, A. (1984). Noradrenergic function in panic anxiety. Effects of yohimbine in healthy subjects and patients with agoraphobia and panic disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 41(8), 751-63.

[27] Kenney, W.L., Zappe, D.H., Tankersley, C.G., & Derr, J.A. (1994). Effect of systemic yohimbine on the control of skin blood flow during local heating and dynamic exercise. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 266(2), H371-H376.

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