General Description: Yohimbine is probably the most controversial
substance I regularly use. Yohimbine is the primary active ingredient
in Yohimbe Bark which is a tree native to Africa. Although it was
initially used by weightlifters to increase blood flow during a workout,
it is primarily used today to combat male impotence. Although
Yohimbine is classified as a mild MAO (Monoamine Oxidase)
inhibitor, its main function is as an alpha-2 adrenergic antagonist.
This function blocks norepinephrine from binding with alpha-2
receptors and results in an increase in norepinephrine levels in the
brain. At the dose typically taken for impotence, the levels of
norepinephrine build up so much in the brain that a phenomenon
occurs referred to as overflow. Overflow is the process where
norepinephrine flows from the brain through the blood brain barrier
and into the bloodstream. It is the high levels of norepinephrine in the
blood (not the brain) that can be used be to counteract impotence but
also cause a host of negative side effects. Keep in mind that another
name for norepinephrine is noradrenalin which is the direct precursor
to adrenaline (also called epinephrine). These substances are
referred to as fight or flight substances because they are responsible
for that nervous tension you get right before a confrontation.
When in the blood it is common to experience sweaty palms and feet,
increased heart rate and pressure, butterflies in your stomach, a
slight ache in your joints, anxiousness, and so on. As lucid dream
enthusiasts we neither need nor want for overflow to occur. This
requires a significant reduction in dose from what is commonly used.
When in the brain, norepinephrine improves mood, alertness, focus,
as well as working memory and has proven to have profound effect
on dreaming and lucid dreaming. I have found the ideal dose to be
~1/20 of the dose typically found in single pill. Since my lucid
dreaming method consists of attempts on an every other day basis, it
would take over a month before I would use up a single dose
(assuming that I used Yohimbine on every attempt, which I don’t). At
these small doses two facts stand out: (1) I suffer no negative side
effects and (2) the effect on dreaming and lucid dreaming is
profound. Another misconception is that Yohimbine is a male only
herb. This is not the case and studies have shown that Yohimbine
has essentially the same effects on men and women with no increase
Mechanism of Action: Yohimbine is an alpha-2 adrenergic
antagonist. The alpha-2 receptors are responsible for controlling the
production of norepinephrine within the brain. When the alpha-2
receptors are antagonized the brain naturally produces more
norepinephrine within the brain.
Concentration Curve: Yohimbine is characterized by quick
absorption and a short elimination half-life. It reaches its peak plasma
Effect on Dreams: Yohimbine has a profound effect on dreaming.
Dream vividness and memory are perhaps even better than with the
acetylcholine boosting supplements. However sleep is possible only
with very small doses. The dreams I have had using Yohimbine have,
for the most part, been very pleasing although I have felt some
anxiety during the dreams if the dose is greater than about 1 mg.
There is one subtle point that I have noticed with Yohimbine: it does
not seem to initiate REM sleep, but rather must work in conjunction
with it. During normal REM sleep the norepinephrine system
essentially shuts off and having elevated norepinephrine levels does
little to push you into a dream state. However, if you are naturally
entering a dream state the dreams become much more vivid and
strong if norepinephrine levels are increased. This implies that
Yohimbine is much more effective when taken in the early morning
hours when much more time is spent naturally in REM sleep.
Effect on Lucid Dreams: I consider Yohimbine to be one of the
most powerful supplements available for lucid dream development.
Yohimbine can be used as a lucid dream trigger if taken under the
right conditions and acts much the same way as Galantamine in this
respect. The downside of using Yohimbine as a trigger, is that you
must be naturally entering REM sleep very soon after you take it.
Also the doses that work best as triggers are incredibly close to the
dose that will cause insomnia. For these reasons, I commonly use
Galantamine as the main trigger and much smaller doses of
Yohimbine as a complimentary substance. When used in this way the
results are remarkable. Galantamine initiates REM sleep which
initiates the effects of the Yohimbine. Once lucid the norepinephrine
improves attention, focus, and working memory (a type of short term
memory) far more than with Galantamine alone. These
characteristics significantly boost the ability to reason within the
dream. The mind stays clearer and does not get as easily distracted.
This allows one to go deeper into the dream world in order to search
for hidden potential and knowledge. It also improves the connection
between the dream memory and the physical memory. Within the
dream, memories can be recalled and even relived much easier than
without it. This improved connection also helps to ensure that you
carry out your entire set of dream experiments while within the
Side Effects: At the doses I recommend side effects are extremely
rare, but keep in mind that everyone is different. If overflow should
occur (a sign you need to reduce the dose) you may feel hot,
experience increased heart rate and pressure, feel a nervous ache in
your joints as well as experience sweaty palms and feet. In more
extreme cases anxiety, tremors, dizziness, and vomiting may be
experienced. Yohimbine may trigger anxiety or panic attacks in prone
individuals. An overdose of Yohimbine may be deadly – watch out for
salivation, enlarged pupils, irregular heartbeat, and low blood
pressure. An overdose needs to be treated immediately by
emergency medical professionals.
Dosage: I consider the 9mg dose of Yohimbine that is typically
included in a single capsule as insanely high. The first dose I took
was 3 mg and I experienced significant overflow. For me, overflow
typically stops at about 1.5 mg however it is literally impossible to fall
to sleep on this high of dose. At about 0.75 – 1 mg, Yohimbine can
be used as a lucid dream trigger. To use Yohimbine synergistically
with Galantamine, I typically use 0.35 – 0.5 mg. Using a 0.35 dose
implies that you divide a single 9 mg tablet into ~ 25 pieces.
Special Notes: Yohimbine is available as an over the counter the
supplement. It is sold either as pure Yohimbe Bark or as a more
concentrated form that is either standardized to 2%, 4%, or 8%
Yohimbine. Remember that it is the Yohimbine that boosts
norepinephrine. All of the standardized forms usually contain 9 mg of
Yohimbine per tablet. I don’t recommend buying the pure Yohimbe
Bark because you don’t know exactly how much Yohimbine is in
each capsule and in fact it can vary greatly from capsule to capsule. I
prefer the 8% Yohimbine form because it comes in a solid tablet
instead of a powder filled capsule. This makes it easier to cut it into
smaller pieces using a razor blade rather than trying to divide up a
Summary: Yohimbine is an alpha-2 adrenergic antagonist which
means that it can boost norepinephrine levels in the brain. Typical
doses are 20 – 25 times too strong for the lucid dream enthusiast
which will require dividing up the tablet into much smaller pieces.
Yohimbine can act as lucid dream trigger around a dose of 1 mg but
this borderlines on a dose that can cause insomnia. Using 0.5 mg or
less simultaneously with Galantamine can produce extremely high
level lucid dreams. This combination seems to work better than all
others when the goal is a search for knowledge within the dream.
This combination also seems to make your physical memories more
accessible within the dream.