Yohimbe: Viagra Au Natural


Like a snake, the problem first reared its head in the Garden of Eden. Don’t you imagine there were a few nights when Adam couldn’t get it up with Eve? By what mystical power did he rise to the occasion?

The scenario may have been bleak. Or perhaps he discovered yohimbe, a home grown aphrodisiac that does the trick.

It really works

“I’ve taken yohimbe and I’ve given it to men and it definitely works,” says Ken Rifkin, a Portland, Ore., naturopathic physician and acupuncturist.

Pick your potion, yohimbe or Viagra? Rifkin says you can’t compare the two. Yohimbe comes from the bark of a West Africian tree. It’s been widely used in Europe for the last 75 years and became popular in this country in the last 30. Viagra is the product of the giant pharmaceutical house, Pfizer.

Although both increase blood flow to the penis, Viagra does it by relaxing the muscles that line the arteries of the penis. Yohimbe works by stimulating production of the hormone norepinephrine, essential for erections.

Yohimbe bark combines several compounds, however yohimbine is where it’s strength lies.

The whole herb yohimbe is sold as a dietary supplement, but for best results Rifkin advises, “Look for products that contain yohimbe and yohimbine hydrochloride, which is the main alkaloid.”

People shouldn’t take yohimbe lightly. Side effects include elevated blood pressure and heart rate, irritability, sweating, nausea, vomiting and headaches.

“You can get pretty revved up because much of the yohimbe you buy is mixed with ginseng and caffeine,” Rifkin says. “People taking blood pressure medicine should be especially cautious.”

Unfortunately, yohimbe doesn’t do a thing for women. Rifkin says it works fairly quickly for men. He advises taking it 30 to 60 minutes before having sex.

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