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Pausinystalia yohimbe

SynonymsCortex yohimbe, Pausinystalia johimba (K.Schum.)Pierre
Common namesyohimbe, yohimbe bark, yohimbin
Ecocrop code83552

DESCRIPTION: It is a tree reaching 9-30 m in height. Bark usually occurs in channeled pieces, 4-10 mm, thick with a varying tinge of red in the grey-brown or brown outer and inner surfaces. The outer surface is longitudinally furrowed and bears numerous narrow, transverse cracks at fairly regular intervals of 1-2 cm. Leaves 24-47 x 10-17.5 cm glabrous, obovate, cuneate or rounded. USE: The wood is used as fuel and the bark contains tannin. Poisonous doses of the bark are reported to paralyze respiration and the drug can cause severe hypotension, abdominal distress and weakness. It can also be used as a fish poison. The bark contains up to 6% of a mixture of alkaloids, the principle one being yohimbine, which is also known as aphrodine. It is the source of the only clinically-proven cure for impotence and has long been used as a traditional stimulant in Africa. It is also used as a local anaesthetic, a mild stimulant to prevent drowsiness, a hallucinogen, a treatment for angina, a hypotensive and as a performance enhancer for athletes. The tree is used in agroforestry. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: yohimbe. FURTHER INF: It occurs mostly in the Atlantic Evergreen Forest with Caesalpiniaceae, an extensive forest formation extending from S.E. Nigeria to Congo. The species occurs mainly in closed canopy forest. Most common in coastal forest, although not widespread throughout its range.
SOURCE: ICRAF Agroforestree Database (01.07.02) E83552