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Rauwolscine is a plant-based molecule with fat-burning and stimulant effects. Similar to yohimbine, it improves sexual function and lessens anxiety. But rauwolscine may be more powerful, which equally adds to its benefits and side effects.
Rauwolscine is a molecule mainly found in two groups (genera) of plants: Rauwolfia and Pausinystalia. Sometimes it is called alpha yohimbine or isoyohimbine. Structurally, rauwolscine is very similar to yohimbine [1, 2].
Both rauwolscine and yohimbine are alkaloids found in the yohimbe plant (Pausinystalia johimbe), used traditionally as a stimulant and aphrodisiac. Rauwolscine appears to have similar effects as yohimbine but may be more potent and has anti-cancer potential [2, 3, 4].
Like yohimbine, rauwolscine is primarily taken for boosting fat loss, improving physical performance, and enhancing libido and sexual function. Both are ingredients in various pre-workout supplements.
Rauwolscine is what is known as a diastereoisomers of Yohimbine. There are 3 diastereoisomers, the other two being corynanthine and 3-epi-alpha-yohimbine. Basically, it is an alternate form of it with slightly altered properties.
It’s mechanisms of action are very similar to yohimbine, as it can act as an Alpha(2)Adrenergic antagonist and thus aid in fat burning (not so much by inducing fat loss, but by alleviating pressures the body exerts to preserve fat mass; its like preventing the body from stopping the fat loss, but doesn’t induce it directly). Rauwolscine shows some promise in being more effective due to higher potency on the same receptor.
Basically, Rauwolscine is a type of indole alkaloid. It is primarily a stimulant of potent degree classified as Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant. Other studies also site aphrodisiac and anaesthetic effects. The compound can be harvested from Rauwolfia serpentina, a flowering plant of the Apocynaceae family that can be found typically in South and East Asia.
Like yohimbine, rauwolscine may increase fat burning by blocking alpha-2 receptors. Both probably work by activating the fight-or-flight system, which mobilizes fats from stores and uses them for energy [14, 24, 25, 26].
Obese and lean mice given rauwolscine consumed up to 33% less food than mice who didn’t receive it. Rauwolscine achieved the same effect as yohimbine at one-third the dose. By reducing appetite, it may support fat loss .
Whilst this may have some benefit to sportspeople or those with high blood pressure, this does not mean that it will improve body composition. Alpha-2 receptors tell your body to store fat. The idea is that by inhibiting them you are essentially telling your body to increase lipolysis – the breakdown of fat to be used as energy. This would then lead to weight loss.
The problem is that you’ll find it very difficult to find any research linking rauwolscine to weight loss though. There is a patent application from 1986 that suggests rauwolfia alkaloids may assist in weight loss, but in the application it is claimed that the rate of weight loss will vary from patient to patient, and is not consistent .
If anything, the only time weight loss is mentioned in the research is as a side effect in hypertensive subjects .
In a systematic review of a wide variety of clinically tested dietary supplements, rauwolscine was nowhere to be seen. Yohimbine was though, but didn’t come out with a glowing report. The authors concluded that yohimbine (as well as other alkaloid supplements such as yerba mate and garcinia cambogia) had “no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that any of the specific dietary supplements in the review were effective for reducing body weight” .
- Indirectly, Rauwolscine will help with lipolysis (fat-burning) by preventing the work of alpha receptors, which work to turn off the body’s fat burning state.
- Along with Yohimbine, Rauwolscine is also thought to be a cognitive/mood enhancer. These ingredients have shown to increase serotonin levels, which will provide a nice boost in mood.
- Natural appetite suppressant
Think of Rauwolscine as a heater. It’s going to keep your body running at a higher metabolic rate, thus burning more fat throughout the day and especially during your workouts.
Much like yohimbine HCL, alpha yohimbine has several potential uses. Patients may consume alpha yohimbine for:
- Sexual dysfunction – Alpha yohimbine may increase libido, especially when sexual dysfunction is associated with the consumption of an SSRI.
- Orthostatic hypotension – Alpha yohimbine may be used to increase systolic blood pressure and standing diastolic blood pressure in patients with orthostatic hypotension.
- Exercise performance – Some patients may use alpha yohimbine to increase exercise performance and build muscle mass.
- Fat burning – Because alpha yohimbine improves lipid mobilization, patients may use it to burn fat and boost weight loss.
- Erectile dysfunction – Alpha yohimbine may be beneficial to men with psychogenic, organic and mixed erectile dysfunction.
- Dry mouth – Alpha yohimbine may relieve the symptoms of dry mouth among patients on antidepressant medication.
- Depression – Some patients have taken alpha yohimbine to improve the symptoms of depression.
- Anxiety – Alpha yohimbine may reduce the severity of phobia-based anxiety.
Unlike its cousin the Yohimbine, Rauwolscine doesn’t cause anxiety and panic attacks. In fact, some studies, mild to moderate dosages of Rauwolscine didn’t produce side effects compared to Yohimbine. Several studies also showed that Rauwolscine didn’t raise the resting blood pressure as compared to Yohimbine.
Still, the increase of norepinephrine will mean a lot of sleepless nights if taken too late in the day/evening. That’s a given for any stimulant! You can avoid this side effect by timing your dosage and by using it during day time. If you are a night person or work out at night, Rauwolscine will be a great help.
However, Rauwolscine is contraindicated to the people with the following health history:
- High blood pressure
- Incidences of stroke
- Liver problems
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid disorders and diseases
- Diabetes mellitus
As discussed earlier, you want to start off on a relatively low dose to minimize any potential side effects. A 1g / day dose would be a great start. If you have a high stimulant tolerance, you could go as high as 3g / day.
It wouldn’t be recommended to go much higher than a 1 – 3g dose when first starting to supplement with Rauwolscine.