Yohimbe is a type of evergreen tree that grows in areas of Africa including Cameroon, Zaire and Gabon. The bark of the tree may help men treat erectile dysfunction by increasing the amount of blood flow to the penis and stopping the blood from leaving the penis. The treatment may be helpful when treating impotence associated with psychological problems that cause the erectile dysfunction. The herb is available as a tea or supplement at health food stores, or as a prescription medication called yohimbine hydrochloride, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Always consult with a health care professional before taking any herb or herbal supplement.
Purchase yohimbe from a health food store or ask your doctor for a prescription. The prescription version, yohimbine hydrochloride, is available as a tablet.
Swallow the yohimbe tablet or capsule with a glass of water. A typical prescription for yohimbine is 15 to 30 mg to help increase sexual performance, according to RxList.com. Depending on your doctor's instructions, you may be able to take yohimbine three times each day. Brew the tea and drink up to three times each day.
Take yohimbe on an empty stomach and avoid eating foods containing tyramine when taking the supplement. Common foods that contain tyramine include chocolate, nuts, aged or smoked meats, cheese, sauerkraut and yeast. Beverages such as beer and red wine also contain tyramine. Both yohimbe and tyramine may raise blood pressure, so dangerously high blood pressure may occur if you take the supplement and these foods.
Inform your doctor of any other medications you are taking before using yohimbe. Yohimbe should not be taken with an MAOI, or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, which are used to treat depression. These medications include tranylcypromine and phenelzine. Additionally, this supplement can cause adverse reactions when taken along with high blood pressure medications.
Report any bothersome side effects to your physician. Possible side effects may include an irregular heartbeat, confusion, dizziness, headache, anxiety and tremors. Additional side effects include nausea, vomiting and sleeplessness. The supplement may also cause severe side effects such as a heart attack or seizures, according to MedlinePlus.
Pregnant women and children should not take yohimbe.