Tribulus terrestris is a flowering plant in the family Zygophyllaceae, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Old World in southern Europe, southern Asia, throughout Africa, and Australia. It can thrive even in desert climates and poor soil. Like many weedy species, this plant has many common names, including bindii, bullhead, burra gokharu, caltrop, cat’s head, devil’s eyelashes, devil’s thorn, devil’s weed, goathead, puncturevine, and tackweed.
In traditional Chinese medicine Tribulus terrestris is known under the name bai ji li (白蒺藜). According to Bensky and Clavey, 2004 (Materia medica 3rd edition, pp. 975–976) Tribulus terrestris is ci ji li (刺蒺藜). “Confusion with Astragali complanati Semen (sha yuan zi) originally known as white ji li (白蒺藜 bai ji li), led some writers to attribute tonifying properties to this herb…”
T. terrestris has long been a constituent in tonics in Indian Ayurveda practice, where it is known by its Sanskrit name, “gokshura/ sarrata” It is also used in Unani, another medical system of India.
Apart from its claims for improvement of sexual functions in men, the puncturevine plant (Tribulus terrestris: TT) has long been considered as an energizer and vitalizer in the indigenous system of medicine. Sexual behavior and intracavernous pressure (ICP) measurements were taken in rats to scientifically validate the claim of TT [containing protodioscin (PTN)] as an aphrodisiac.
Tribulus has chemicals that might increase some hormones in animals. However, it doesn’t appear to increase male hormones (testosterone) in humans.
Chemical control is generally recommended for home control of T. terrestris. There are few pre-emergent herbicides that are effective. Products containing oryzalin, benefin, or trifluralin will provide partial control of germinating seeds. These must be applied prior to germination (late winter to midspring).
After plants have emerged from the soil (postemergent), products containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (“2,4-D”), glyphosate, anddicamba are effective on T. terrestris. Like most postemergents, they are more effectively maintained when caught small and young. Dicamba and 2,4-D will cause harm to most broad-leaved plants, so the user should take care to avoid over-application. They can be applied to lawns without injuring the desired grass. Glyphosate will kill or injure most plants, so it should only be used as a spot treatment or on solid stands of the weed.
Simmer 500 mg of powered tribulus in organic milk or almond milk, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. You can add 500 mg of standardized maca to enhance the effect. This blend is particularly nourishing and is recommended for both men and women who have lowered libido
Tribulus is a plant that produces fruit covered with spines. Rumor has it that tribulus is also known as puncture vine because the spines are so sharp they can flatten bicycle tires. People use the fruit, leaf, and root as medicine for wide-ranging complaints.
Tribulus is used for kidney problems, including kidney stones, painful urination, a kidney disorder called Bright’s disease, and as a “water pill” (diuretic) to increase urination; for skin disorders, including eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, andscabies; for male sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction (ED), involuntary release of semen without orgasm (spermatorrhea), and to increase sexual desire; for heart and circulatory system problems, including chest pain, high blood pressure,high cholesterol, and “tired blood” (anemia); for problems with digestion, including colic, intestinal gas (flatulence), constipation, and to expel intestinal parasitic worms; for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the tissue lining the mouth (stomatitis) andsore throat; and for cancer, especially nose tumors.
Women use tribulus to tone muscles before childbirth, to cause an abortion, and to stimulate milk flow.
Some people use tribulus for gonorrhea, liver disease (hepatitis), inflammation, joint pain (rheumatism), leprosy, coughs, headache, dizziness (vertigo), chronic fatiguesyndrome (CFS), and enhancing athletic performance. It is also used for stimulating appetite and as an astringent, tonic, and mood enhancer.
Tribulus terrestris, also known as puncture vine, is a herb that has been used in the traditional medicine of China and India for centuries.
In the mid-1990s, tribulus terrestris became known in North America after Eastern European Olympic athletes said that taking tribulus helped their performance.
The active compounds in tribulus are called steroidal saponins. Two types, called furostanol glycosides and spirostanol glycosides, appear to be involved with the effects of tribulus. These saponins are found primarily in the leaf.
Why Do People Use Tribulus?
Tribulus is most often used for infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. In the last decade, it has become popular to improve sports performance.
Tribulus has been marketed these conditions because research performed in Bulgaria and Russia indicates that tribulus increases levels of the hormones testosterone (by increasing luteinizing hormone), DHEA, and estrogen. The design of these research studies, however, has been questioned.
A more recent study found that four weeks of tribulus supplements (at 10 to 20 milligrams per kg of body weight daily) had no effect on male sex hormones testosterone, androstenedione, or luteinizing hormone compared to people who did not take tribulus.
1) Erectile Dysfunction
Preliminary animal studies found that tribulus heightened sexual behavior and increased intracavernous pressure. This was attributed to increases in testosterone. There haven’t been any well-designed human studies to confirm these early findings.