Check out the label of any male sexual enhancement supplement, and the odds are better than even that it contains yohimbe or yohimbine. The latter is an alkaloid that is derived from the bark of the yohimbe tree. Despite its wide use in male enhancement products, the scientific verdict on yohimbe and its derivatives does little to inspire confidence of its effectiveness against erectile dysfunction.
In fact, according to WebMD.com, yohimbe can in some cases prove hazardous to your health. It may interact adversely with certain medications, including blood thinners and many drugs prescribed for the treatment of diabetes and heart, kidney, and liver problems. Its side effects can include elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, breathing difficulty, flushing, rash, tremors, genital pain, and priapism, an erection that lasts for four hours or more.
Against those unpleasant side effects, one must weigh yohimbe’s potential benefits, which according to most scientific studies are mediocre at best. While these scientific studies have been limited and relatively small in scale, they offer scant evidence of the herbal ingredient’s efficacy in treating ED.
A study published in a 2002 issue of the “International Journal of Impotence Research” concluded that “yohimbine will never be a first-line drug for erectile dysfunction but may be useful in subsets of men with mild disease or few risk factors.” An earlier study published in the June 1989 issue of “The Journal of Urology” found that only 14 percent of the impotent study participants given yohimbine hydrochloride regained full erectile function while another 20 percent reported partial improvement. The rest of the study participants reported no improvement at all.
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