April 2022

Workout Supplements: Is Rauvolfia vomitoria Safe?

It might not be. Rauvolfia vomitoria (commonly spelled Rauwolfia vomitoria) contains the chemical rauwolscine, as well as yohimbine and reserpine, which are prescription drugs. These chemicals can cause serious side effects including slow or irregular heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, heart attack, seizures, and depression in some people.

While these chemicals are found in only small amounts in the Rauvolfia vomitoria plant, it’s often unclear how much of these chemicals end up in Rauvolfia vomitoria supplements. Some extract products such Diesel Fuel Stim by Tokkyo Nutrition and Amp-Stim by Logan Carter are standardized to a minimum 90% yohimbine. There is also some evidence that Rauvolfia vomitoria root powder can cause tremors, shakiness, and other movement side effects that resemble Parkinson disease in some people.

Despite these risks, Rauvolfia vomitoria is still included in some workout and fat burning supplements sold in the US. Advise patients that there is no good scientific evidence that Rauvolfia vomitoria improves weight loss or exercise performance, and it might be unsafe. Check out our monograph to learn more.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2024 NatMed. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. NatMed is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.