Yohimbe is a tree that grows in Africa. The bark has been used to promote weight loss and to lower blood pressure. Yohimbe has also been used to improve sexual and athletic performance. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.
There are no advised doses for yohimbe.
What Research Shows
There is not enough data to support that yohimbe is helpful in treating health problems. We will review future studies as they are published.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It may not be safe to take yohimbe. Seizures, stomach upset, and heart attacks are possible. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children should not take yohimbe.1-5
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:
- People taking antidepressants and people with heart problems or high blood pressure should talk to their doctors before taking yohimbe. It may interact with their medicines.4-5
1. Fugh-Berman A. Herb-drug interactions. Lancet. 2000 Jan 8;355(9198):134-138.
2. De Smet PA. Herbal remedies. N Engl J Med. 2002 Dec 19;347(25):2046-2056.
3. Pittler MH, Schmidt K, et al. Adverse events of herbal food supplements for body weight reduction: systematic review. Obes Rev. 2005 May;6(2):93-111.
4. Kearney T, Tu N, et al. Adverse drug events associated with yohimbine-containing products: a retrospective review of the California Poison Control System reported cases. Ann Pharmacother. 2010 Jun;44(6):1022-1029.
5. Brown AC. Heart Toxicity Related to Herbs and Dietary Supplements: Online Table of Case Reports. Part 4 of 5. J Diet Suppl. 2018 Jul 4;15(4):516-555.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 3/26/2020