According to The New York Times of September 29, 2015, people who use the herbal food supplement yohimbe may be getting more (or less) than they bargain for.
Yohimbe Food Supplement: Possible Harm
Little evidence of effectiveness
Yohimbe, the alkaloid derived from the bark of the African yohimbe tree and the active ingredient in yohimbe supplements, is sold as a help for such problems as: weight-loss, erectile dysfunction, depression, and low libido in women. There is, however little evidence of its effectiveness in dealing with any of these problems.
Generally unreliable info about contents and possible adverse effects
A study in Drug Testing and Analysis evaluating 49 brands of supplements presumably containing yohimbe, found only 11 brands that listed the actual quantity of yohimbe on the label. Most were inaccurate. Nine of the products provided no info about adverse effects. Only two offered accurate info about both the quantity of the herb and its possible side effects.
Possible side effects
Typical dosage: High blood pressure, tremor, sleep problems, stomach upset, anxiety, racing heart beat, bloating, vomiting, frequent urination, dizziness, drooling, sinus pain, and more.
Large dosage: Difficulty breathing, paralysis, very low blood pressure, heart problems, and death.
Note: Yohimbe is banned in The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. In the United States, however, it is widely sold under many different brand names.
For more information:
• nytimes.com - recent info on Yohimbe -
• webmed.com - Yohimbe - side effects
• wikipedia.org - Yohimbe background
• onlinelibrary.wiley.com - study on contents and effects