Yohimbe for Erectile Dysfunction
Yohimbe is derived from the bark of a West African tree – and contains a chemical
called yohimbine which has been made into a pharmaceutical medicine and is usually only available under prescription.
Most of the supplements available for treating erectile dysfunction and general sexual difficulties in men and women are made from the bark extract, yohimbe. It is also used to reduce the side effects of depression medications called SSRI’s (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors.)
Yohimbe Not Legal in Australia
Yohimbe is not approved for sale in Australia under the Therapeutics Goods Act, possibly because it has been associated with some severe side effects including high blood pressure, increased heart rate and headaches.
Yohimbe bark has traditionally been used in Africa as an aphrodisiac (to increase sexual desire). Currently it is used as a folk or traditional remedy for sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction in men.
How Yohimbe Works
Yohimbe is believed to work by increasing blood flow to the penis and nerve impulses to the penis and vagina.
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to a scale with ratings from effective to insufficient evidence to judge.
Under the Database ratings system, yohimbe is considered possibly effective for both:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED). There is evidence that the active ingredient, yohimbine, can be helpful for ED. Some herbalists suggest that the yohimbe bark actually works better than the yohimbine ingredient alone. However, so far yohimbe bark has not been evaluated in research studies.
- Sexual problems caused by selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). There is evidence from many studies that the active ingredient, yohimbine, can improve sexual problems associated with this class of medications used for depression. However, this benefit has not been described specifically for the yohimbe bark.
The Natural Medicines group considered there was insufficient evidence for stating it was effective for increasing sexual desire.
Cautions With Yohimbe Use
Yohimbe is not recommended and can be unsafe for use for a large number of groups, including pregnant or lactating women and should not be taken if you have any of the following conditions:
Schizophrenia (Can spark psychosis), Prostate problems, (Can make the symptoms of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) worse), Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), kidney and liver disease, high and low blood pressure, chest pain or heart disease, anxiety, depressions and diabetes.
It also interacts with a number of commonly prescribed drugs, in particular medications for depression dubbed MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
Alternatives to Yohimbe for ED
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