Yohimbe 101: Sources, Pros, Cons and More

What Is Yohimbe?

“Yohimbe” translates from a West African language. It refers to the Pausinystalia yohimbe – an evergreen tree that grows throughout Central and West Africa. The bark of the Yohimbe tree is considered to be an aphrodisiac. It is used as a way to increase sexual performance, but also to boost athletic ability, increase energy, and to aid post-workout recovery. Yohimbe is also sometimes used as an aid in weight loss, to reduce high blood pressure, and to relieve diabetic neuropathy.

Yohimbe’s primary plant compounds can balance hormone levels that increase muscle gain and reduce fat (primarily through the regulation of testosterone). The plant compounds also contain a rich source of alkaloids that can block the uptake of a neuro-chemical that interacts at Alpha-2 receptor sites to help prevent cognitive decline. These alkaloids may also help with dieting and weight management. [1]

When you purchase a Yohimbe supplement, it is the constituents of the tree’s bark that are most beneficial. A Yohimbe tree’s bark contains an herbal compound called yohimbine which has been synthesized by pharmaceutical companies to treat erectile dysfunction. This compound (yohimbine hydrochloride) is not the same as the plant compound yohimbine in its natural form.

Other Names You May Find for Yohimbe

You may also find Yohimbe supplements and Yohimbe herbs referred to in the following ways:

  • 11-hydroxy Yohimbine
  • Alpha Yohimbine HCl
  • Coryanthe Yohimbe
  • Corynanthe Johimbe
  • Corynanthe johimbi
  • Corynanthe yohimbe
  • Johimbi
  • Pausinystalia yohimbe
  • Pausinystalia johimbe
  • Yohimbehe
  • Yohimbehe Cortex
  • Yohimbine
  • Yohimbine HCl
  • Yohimbinum Muriaticum [2]
  • Corynanthe yohimbe

How Yohimbe is Sourced

When sourcing your Yohimbe, you should consider if the supplement you are getting is straight from the compounds of the tree or synthetic.

The FDA removed yohimbine from prescription status in the 1990s due to its potential for harm, but it has never been banned in the U.S. It is now found in many herbal supplements and dietary products.

Yohimbe is normally sourced from the bark of the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree. Be sure that your supplement is from this source, and not a chemically-altered version made in a pharmaceutical lab. 

Key Features

Yohimbe can aid both men and women that suffer from sexual dysfunction, but more importantly (or at least just as important), a quality Yohimbe supplement can help to dilate blood vessels, resulting in vasocongestion.

Bodybuilders, specifically, take Yohimbe supplements to help them lose fat during their pre-competition cutting cycles. “Cutting” refers to dropping excess boy fat so that existing muscle stands out visually.

Yohimbe 101: Sources, Pros, Cons and More

With the aid of a Yohimbe supplement, you can reduce your body fat percentage and reveal a more ripped, muscular physique.

It can also be used pre-workout as an energy booster.

Scientific documentation of Yohimbe’s ability to reduce body fat (even in elite athletes) and improve sexual dysfunction is undeniable. Other claims, such as energy-boosting are purely anecdotal. [3]

Pros & Cons of Yohimbe

Pros

  • Increased blood flow
  • Energy boost
  • Reduced body fat with approximately 5 drops or 50 mg daily
  • Targeted fat loss (in the hard-to-diminish belly and waist)
  • Improved sexual performance (especially for those who experience erectile dysfunction or ED, but for women also)
  • An aid to healthy weight management

Cons

  • Yohimbe might be a lot more potent than you would guess. According to Harvard Health there could be some that are too strong to be safe for consumption.  [4]
  • There are not standardized formulas for Yohimbe since it is an herbal supplement and not regulated as strictly by the FDA so you don’t always know what you are getting.

Top Yohimbe Products

Finding a good Yohimbe supplement is as easy as clicking a link to some of the most popular, already-vetted products below. As you can see, they all contain between 2-5 mg per tablet (roughly the same dosage) so you don’t need to worry about taking too much, but also get an effective dosage that will allow you to reach your muscle-cutting, weight-loss, or libido-improvement goals.

Nutricost Yohimbe – 5 mg

Nutricost Yohimbe - 5 mg

Puritan’s Pride Yohimbe 2000 – 2 mg

Puritan’s Pride Yohimbe 2000 - 2 mg

MTS Nutrition Yohimbine HCL – 2.5 mg

MTS Nutrition Yohimbine HCL - 2.5 mg

Puritan’s Pride is the least expensive of the three products but they are all quality sources of Yohimbe and each in an affordable price range.

Coming up is a Yohimbe supplement buyer’s guide for more product features you can choose from. The best supplements are selected based on user reviews, ingredients used, and price. Watch out for its release soon!


[1] Medicinal plants Useful in the Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/802a/f2071a7b6376f5c6c5feda37406ca1e2c56a.pdf

[2] Yohimbe: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-759/yohimbe

[3] Ostojic, S. M. (2006). Yohimbine: The Effects on Body Composition and Exercise Performance in Soccer Players. Research in Sports Medicine, 14(4), 289-299. doi:10.1080/15438620600987106

[4] Harvard Health Publishing. (2015, November 18). Yohimbe supplements found to be dangerously strong. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/in-the-journals-yohimbe-supplements-found-to-be-dangerously-strong