What is Tribulus Terrestris?

Tribulus Terrestris is a leafy plant that has other names as goat’s head, caltrop, puncture vine, and Gokshura. After a period of one to two years, this plant grows to fifty centimeters. Small yellow leaves tend to grow on these plants with the length up to 5 cm. These flowers have smooth, felt hair.

History of Tribulus Terrestris

This plant is native to the areas of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. According to Indian Ayurveda medicine and Chinese traditional medicine, both the fruit and root of this plant have medicinal uses.
In the past, this plant had benefits for:

  • increasing levels of testosterone,
  • reducing the swelling of the urinary tract,
  • improving sexual health,
  • keeping the urinary tract medically healthy

In ancient medicine, these extracts were beneficial as tonics, diuretics, and aphrodisiacs. Tribulus terrestris leaves contain some highly-effective ingredients. The ingredients like saponin, are present in leaves. Saponin has an important place in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, which uses it either dried or raw.

Tribulus terrestris gained its popularity in the 70s.

According to the Bulgarian study in the 70s, 212 men participated in the study to find the effect of Tribulus terrestris for erectile dysfunction and to improve the sexual desire among men.

This study created the high Tribulus Terrestris demand for improvement of the symptoms.

Uses of Tribulus terrestris:

There are different uses of Tribulus terrestris for improving human health.

In this article, we will discuss the most common benefits of Tribulus terrestris.

  1. Angina Pectoris (chest pain)

    Angina Pectoris is chest pain due to cardiac issues. According to researches, Tribulus Terrestris extracts can help to reduce angina symptoms if we take it orally.

  2. Erectile Dysfunction

    According to some pieces of evidence, Tribulus Terrestris can improve sexual health among men with the three months course. Men suffering from problems related to sexual health can have erectile dysfunction. Following other researches, intake of Tribulus Terrestris along with chitosan and brown algae for about three months can improve the sexual health among men who have erectile dysfunction.

  3. Menopausal symptoms

    According to researches, Tribulus Terrestris supplements or extracts can improve menopausal symptoms like tiredness, agitation, anxiety, and depression among women. A standard course for Tribulus Terrestris to treat these symptoms is for four weeks and twice a day. Whereas, there is no satisfactory evidence for improvement in vaginal dryness among women suffering from menopausal symptoms.

  4. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

    APCOS is a disorder related to hormones that result in ovaries’ enlargement. According to researches, the intake of Tribulus Terrestris for three months can:
    • Improve your quality of life
    • Decrease the weight of the body among women
    • Improve the regularity in the menstrual cycle
    This intake can improve the probability of being pregnant among women.

  5. Enhancement of athletic performance:

    According to researches, Tribulus terrestris can help to produce strength gain and gain in lean muscle mass in about one to two months.

  6. Lowers blood sugar levels:

    According to a study, one gram Tribulus Terrestris dose fo three months can reduce the levels of fasting blood sugar. In the participants of the study, levels of LDL cholesterol also decreased. LDL is bad cholesterol, which clogs the arteries resulting in heart dysfunctions. In other terms, you can have a constant bout of energy and less intensity of restlessness while taking this supplement.

  7. Treats infertility

    In light of some scientific studies, this dietary supplement can help to improve the quality of sperms among men who have infertility. There are results of two studies that showed an increase in sperm motility and concentration among men, which is necessary for fertility.

  8. Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

    According to some researches, oral intake of Tribulus Terrestris in combination with other herbs can help to:
    • Reduce the skin redness
    • Reduce the skin outbreaks among children and adults
    However, some researches do not prove this claim.

  9. BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia)

    BPH is a condition related to prostate enlargement. According to researches, supplements of Tribulus Terrestris in combination with Murraya koenigii (curry leaf) for about 12 weeks can induce the same effects like that with tamsulosin to treat enlarged prostate among men. While other studies suggest that supplements of Tribulus Terrestris along with chitosan, saw palmetto, and brown algae for about two months. This combination can help to improve the symptoms and quality of life among men who are suffering from BH. This combination is also beneficial for men who have urinary tract symptoms either in the presence or absence of BH.

Drug interaction:

There is no interaction of Tribulus terrestris with other herbs and foods and health supplements.

But, in some cases or drugs, it can interact with them. You should be careful while taking medications for blood pressure and heart problems.

These medications include

  • Nitrates
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Diuretics
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Neta lockers
  • Digoxin

If you have these anti-diabetic medications, then Tribulus terrestris can decrease your blood sugar levels below the optimum levels.

Besides, Tribulus terrestris can also increase the steroidal effects on your body.

Always make sure to tell your physician while taking these supplements.

According to FDA Food and Drug Administration, Tribulus terrestris is a food rather than medicine. But, still, a higher intake of Tribulus terrestris can be harmful in some cases.

The most common adverse effects associated with Tribulus Terrestris are:

  • Irregularity in menstrual periods among women
  • Trouble while sleeping
  • Stomach upset among individuals who take this supplement orally.

According to lab tests, studies on animals showed some problems in the development of fetuses among animals, which were having Tribulus Terrestris supplementation. So, you should avoid the intake of Tribulus terrestris extracts if you are going through pregnancy or breastfeeding a child.

According to some researches, other than its benefits, there can be a link between Tribulus Terrestris extracts and prostate problems among men.

Where can you get it?

According to the FDA, Tribulus terrestris is a dietary supplement, so it is available in food forms online or in markets. 

Mostly, dietitians recommend Tribulus terrestris intake through capsules because this plant is bitter, which makes it challenging to eat.  These supplements are available on Amazon and other trustworthy sites online so you can purchase them easily.

While purchasing Tribulus Terrestris extracts or supplements, you must take care of:

  • Products and its ingredients
  • Source of purchase
  • Dosage and quantity of the extract

Dosage:

There are different dosages of Tribulus Terrestris for various purposes as:

  • For diuresis

    Three grams of Tribulus terrestris with water can improve the volume of urine by 200ml daily.

  • For erectile dysfunction

    1.5 2.25 grams of Tribulus terrestris extracts or 6 grams of Tribulus terrestris roots can treat erectile dysfunction among men.

  • Infertility

    About 2.25 to 6 grams of Tribulus terrestris intake daily can improve the sperms count and treat infertility among men.

  • • Blood glucose levels

    For treating high blood glucose levels, you should take 1 g/d of Tribulus terrestris while taking postprandial glucose.

Conclusion

Tribulus Terrestris is a herb or plant which has several health benefits. These plant extracts are available either as a food supplement or in capsule forms to treat different body problems. If you want to take these supplements, you must refer to your physician or dietitian. Avoid higher intake of these extracts as they can cause some side-effects on high doses.