Yohimbe is a tall evergreen forest tree native to southwestern Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, and the Congo. The bark of this African tree is used medicinally.
Historically, yohimbe bark was used in western Africa for fevers, leprosy, and coughs. It has also been used to dilate pupils, for heart disease, and as a local anesthetic. It has a more recent history of use as an aphrodisiac and a hallucinogen.
The ability of yohimbine, a chemical found in yohimbe bark, to stimulate the nervous system, and to promote the release of fat from fat cells, has led to claims that it might help weight loss by raising metabolic rate, reducing appetite, or increase fat burning. Although a preliminary trial found yohimbine ineffective for weight loss, a double-blind study found that women taking 5 mg of yohimbine four times per day along with a weight-loss diet lost significantly more weight than those taking a placebo with the same diet after three weeks.
However, a similar study using 18 mg per day of yohimbine for eight weeks reported no benefit to weight loss compared with a placebo. A double-blind study of men who were not dieting reported no effect of up to 43 mg per day of yohimbine on weight or body composition after six months.All of these studies used pure yohimbine; no study has tested the effects of yohimbe herb on weight loss.