Yohimbe, is a plant species native to western and central Africa (Nigeria, Cabinda, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea). Extracts from yohimbe have been used in traditional medicine in West Africa as an aphrodisiac and have been marketed in developed countries as dietary supplements.
Yohimbe is one of five Pausinystalia evergreen species growing in West and Central Africa in lowland forests. The tree grows about 30m tall, with a straight bole that is rarely larger than 50-60 cm in diameter. The bark is grey to reddish-brown, with longitudinal fissures, easy to peel and bitter-tasting. The inner bark is pinkish and fibrous. The sapwood is yellowish and the heartwood is ochre-yellow; the wood is fine-grained and relatively dense and moderately hard. The leaves grow in groups of three, with short (about 2 cm) stems. The blades are oval-shaped, 11-47 cm long and 5 – 17 cm wide.
The demand for Yohimbe bark has led to over-exploitation, with a possibility of long-term threat to sustainability of the species. Cameroon is the biggest exporter. Yohimbine is used in veterinary medicine to reverse sedation in dogs, elk or deer.