Yohimbe and Penis Health

Sexual health could easily be considered a subset of penis health; certainly the health of the penis is going to play a role in the functional aspects of sexual health. Many men who experience sexual health issues involving weak or absent erections try various strategies to achieve or maintain an erect state. In many cases, men turn to over-the-counter options, often sold as “supplements” or “natural enhancers.”

Yohimbe is a supplement believed by some to help address erectile dysfunction. But does it actually do this? And if it does, does it do so safely?


Made from the bark of an African tree, yohimbe is sold as both an herbal supplement by itself and as an ingredient in other over-the-counter products. Though it has long been marketed as a way to overcome erectile dysfunction, it has in recent years also been used by bodybuilders seeking to hurry along fat loss.

Yohimbe has been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of years by people in Africa who believe it has power as an aphrodisiac and as an erection booster. It has a good reputation for effectiveness among those who promote herbal medicines. But what about among the standard medical community?


There have been several studies focused on trying to determine whether yohimbe is actually effective at improving sexual health and, in particular, erectile issues. Although the studies do not conclusively prove or disprove the thesis, some studies do indicate there is a potential benefit in terms of sexual health.

For example, one study which looked at 82 men with erectile dysfunction examined treatment with yohimbe versus treatment with a placebo. Only seven percentof those taking the placebo reported any improvement. However, in the group taking yohimbe, 34% reported a small improvement and 20% reported that they were functioning successfully.


There are side effects which may occur after using yohimbe. This is important to consider because, as an over-the-counter herbal supplement rather than a drug, yohimbe is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

High blood pressure, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems and an increased heart rate are among the more commonly reported sided effects associated with yohimbe or with products containing yohimbe. Kidney injury, seizures and heart attacks have also been reported, although much less commonly.

The fact that over-the-counter yohimbe is not regulated by the FDA adds to this problem. It means that the product may have inaccurate labeling. So, for example, it may claim to include 10mg of yohimbe in a tablet when it fact it contains maybe 1mg or even 100 mg instead. Or there may be other ingredients included which are left off the label. It’s also important to realize that many supplements present yohimbe in a much more highly concentrated form than is found in nature.

So should a man with sexual health issues use yohimbe? That is a personal decision, but he would be well advised to consult with a doctor before doing so – and to be aware of any potential risks that might be associated with using it.

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