Yohimbe bark (Yohimbehe cortex)

Published October 15, 1987; Revised February 1, 1990.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Yohimbehe cortex, yohimbe bark.

Composition of Drug

Yohimbe bark consists of the dried bark of the trunk and/or branches of Pausinystalia yohimbe (K. Schumann) Pierre ex Beille [syn. Corynanthe yohimbi Schumann] [Fam. Rubiaceae], as well as preparations thereof.

The bark contains alkaloids. The main alkaloid is yohimbine.


Yohimbe bark is used for sexual disorders, as an aphrodisiac, and for feebleness and exhaustion.

The effectiveness of this herb and its preparations for the claimed applications is not documented.


Therapeutic administration of yohimbine can cause nervous excitation, tremor, sleeplessness, anxiety, increased blood pressure, and tachycardia, as well as nausea and vomiting. In case of existing liver and kidney diseases, yohimbe preparations should not be used.

Interactions with psychopharmacological herbs have been reported. Corresponding observations for preparations are not documented.


The therapeutic administration of yohimbe bark and its preparations is not recommended because of insufficient proof of efficacy and the unforeseeable correlation between risk and benefit.