Pausinystallia yohimbe bark/Yohimbe

Family: Rubiaceae


This tall (up to 30m), evergreen tree is found mostly in forests in western and central Africa, including Cameroon, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The tree has a straight trunk that rarely grows larger than 60 cm in diameter. The bark is grey to reddish-brown on the outside and pinkish and fibrous on the inside with longitudinal fissures, easy to peel and bitter-tasting.

Herb uses

The bark of this tree has a long history of use as a herbal medicinal supplement in West Africa for the improvement of sexual performance and treating erectile dysfunction. It is considered a stimulant and vasodilator and more recently it is gaining interest for weight-loss and body-building. However, there is very little research or clinical evidence, and what does exist is conflictual and inconclusive, on the effects of yohimbe bark. The active ingredient in the bark is an alkaloid called yohimbine and is thought to work by blocking the body’s alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, which are responsible for inhibiting or preventing erections. The bark is also smoked as a hallucinogenic. Yohimbine containing products should be avoided by those with kidney problems or psychiatric conditions and used with caution when taken with medicines for high blood pressure, depression and schizophrenia.

Common Names: Aphrodien, Aphrodyne, Johimbi, Yocon, Yohimbe, Yohimbehe, Yohimbine