Yohimbe And Yohimbine

AKA: Actibine, Aphrodyne, Baron-X, Corynanthe yohimbe, Dayto Himbin, lizard tail, Pausinystalia yohimbe, Prohim, Thybine, yerba del pasmo, yerba mansa, Yocon, Yohimar, yohimbine hydrochloride, Yohimex, Yoman, Yovital.

Effects: Yohimbe is said to produce a tingling feeling along the spine, followed by a mild, pleasant, and euphoric high lasting four to six hours. In high enough doses, it can produce mild hallucinogenic-like effects. It contains a number of psychoactive alkaloids, including yohimbine, and has shown positive results in treating both psychological and physiological impotence; it even increases the sex drive of men with normal libido. It may have the same effects on women, with the added benefit of helping them lose weight. According to Ward Dean, M.D., it "is the only substance with a specific FDA-approved indication as an aphrodisiac." The active compound, called yohimbine or yohimbine hydrochloride, is isolated and sold as a prescription medication, and is much safer.

Works synergistically with 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C, which quickens its effects and reduces the nausea.

Precautions: It should not be used by those with an allergy to yohimbine or any of the Rauwolfia alkaloids, angina pectoris, hepatitis, hypoglycemia, blood pressure disorders, ulcers, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Those suffering from or being treated for depression, any psychiatric disorder, any other allergy, or those taking any drugs that interfere with norepinephrine's neuronal uptake or metabolism (including Selegiline) should use yohimbe only under a physician's guidance; in fact, many herbalists caution that the potent herb should never be used without the advice of a physician or herbalist.

According to James A. Duke, Ph.D., using the herb in its natural form (dried bark) is dangerous. The amount of yohimbine in herbal products can vary considerably.

There are no known life-threatening or common side effects. Less common side effects include anxiety, rapid heart rate, lack of coordination, overstimulation, increased blood pressure, dizziness, salivation, hallucinations, panic attacks, and headache. Rare side effects include nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, sweating, and tremors. There are no known overdose symptoms; an overdose is not generally considered life-threatening, though a trip to the hospital or doctor is recommended in such cases. The doses needed to produce the hallucinogen-like effects are very high and potentially toxic. It is not physically addictive, but can create a psychological dependence. The whole herb is a complex combination of adrenergics, cholinergics, yohimbine alkaloids, and reserpine alkaloids, substances which act counter to each other and which could cause serious health risks.

While yohimbine is not an MAO inhibitor, yohimbe is, and so should not be combined with tyramine-rich foods or MAO inhibitors. The effects of yohimbe can be decreased by alcohol. Yohimbe can decrease the effects of antidepressant and antihypertensive drugs. It should also not be combined with antihistamines, tranquilizers, diet pills, narcotics, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, or any mood-altering drug. W. Nathaniel Phillips does not recommend taking it with meals.

Some supplements may contain little or no active yohimbine.

Dosage: Six to ten teaspoons of shaved bark boiled in a pint of water for five minutes. Mark Mayell recommends 15 to 20 drops of tincture, 250 to 500 mg of the dried herb in capsules, or one cup of tea a day. Sheldon Saul Hendler, M.D., Ph.D. recommends one 5.4 mg tablet three times a day for up to ten weeks, with the dosage cut in half and gradually built up to a full dose if side effects occur. It may take two to three weeks for any effects to occur.

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