Yohimbe Bark (Yohimbine-HCL) Extract, Herb, Root - Side Effects - Page 2

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Yohimbe Bark (Yohimbine-HCL) Extract, Herb, Root - Side Effects - Page 2

Yohimbe and Yohimbine HCL
Corynanthe yohimbe is the botanical name for a tree that grows in West Africa.  For centuries, perhaps millennia, the folk medicine practiced by tribes in this region and the nearby West Indies islands has included a tea distilled from the inner bark of this tree.  The brew is used to help with male virility.  It is the traditional fuel for intense tribal ceremonies reported to last as long as half a month -- rituals which might never have been possible without the power of this concoction.

Yohimbe's primary path of action duplicates a key biochemical role in male sexual response.  Yohimbe acts upon a specific network of nerve cells called the alpha-2 adrenergic system (a subsystem of the adrenergic system, so named because its functions are closely tied to the hormone adrenaline).  Yohimbine shuts down the alpha-2 adrenergic system by blocking receptor sites for the neurotransmitters that stimulate its activity.  This is like putting tape over a light switch to prevent the lights from being turned off.

A natural alpha-2 adrenergic blockade performed by the body's own chemicals is part of the normal physiology.  Inhibition of the alpha-2 adrenergic system increases the positive side effects of blood flow through arteries into the penis, while at the same time decreasing the flow of blood from the penis through veins.  It also results in higher levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter closely associated with male erections.

In addition to promoting erections, yohimbe's blockade of alpha-2 adrenergic receptors is the central means by which this compound helps with sex drive.

Yohimbine also increases blood levels of the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine (as does phenylalanine).  Norepinephrine stimulates the brains sex center in the hypothalamus and is considered one of the body's natural pro-sexual chemicals.

The proportion of men showing positive side effects to yohimbine has consistently been in the range of thirty-three to forty-six percent.

It is important to remember that suppressed sex drive occurs for a variety of reasons -- it would be unrealistic to expect one substance to be universally effective.  Given the low incidence of adverse reactions and the drawbacks of some other options (for instance, surgical implants and drugs), yohimbine has been recommended by some as an alternative.

Rising to the Challenge
Vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells surround arteries and arterioles, contracting and relaxing the arteries.  The given state of smooth muscle cells, and their effect on health, understandably have a profound effect on the male sexual organ.  Let's examine how this process works.

Normally, in the presence of sexual stimulation, blood flow is directed into pockets known as the corpus cavernosum, contained within the shaft of the penis.  The resulting inflow of blood leads to the enlargement and stiffening of the penis.  This engorgement is triggered by nitric oxide (NO), a short-lived neurotransmitter.  Nitric oxide, synthesized from the oxidation of the amino acid l-arginine, activates an enzyme that manufactures cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), a biochemical signaling enzyme.  Under normal circumstances, cGMP, directs the smooth muscle cells to relax, leading to the dilation of penile arteries.  However, immediately following release of NO and production of cGMP; another enzyme, cGMP phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5), is activated.  PDE-5s main activity is to destroy cGMP almost as fast as it is formed.  The result of this breakdown of cGMP by PDE-5 is a rapid decrease in smooth muscle relaxation and a loss of blood flow to the penis.  Subsequently, the penis returns to its flaccid state.

Warnings Information:
Yohimbe is also a short term MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor and should be used with caution, especially if you have high blood pressure.  Being an MAO inhibitor, yohimbe should not be taken with any food or drink containing tyramines (cheese, chocolate, beer, aged meats, nuts, etc.) and particularly not with the amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine.  A rise in blood pressure can result from the body not being able to remove the tyramines from these foods.  It may be dangerous if used with anti-depressants, sedatives, antihistamines, caffeine, or amphetamines.  Yohimbe may have other side effects such as racing heart rate, irritability, headache, nausea, sweating, dizziness and frequent urination.  Anyone with a heart condition, kidney disease, glaucoma or history of gastric or duodenal ulcers should avoid this herb.

Yohimbe Bark (Yohimbine HCL) - Page 1 | Sex Drive - Choline/Vitamin B5 |
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