Tribulus Terrestris

Last Updated: February 1 2023

Tribulus terrestris is a plant from Ayurveda where the root and fruits are used for male virility and general vitality, respectively. The roots enhance libido and sexual well being without affecting testosterone while the fruits appear to be potently protective of organ function.

Tribulus Terrestris is most often used for

What is Tribulus terrestris?

Tribulus terrestris is an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of eye trouble, edema, stomach ailments, and sexual dysfunction. It is also used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of impotence and infertility, urogenital disorders, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, and chronic pain.[96]

Of the more than 70 compounds found in Tribulus terrestris, the most common include steroidal saponins and flavonoids, which are contained in the root and the fruit of the plant and appear to be largely responsible for its potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-aging properties.[97] The composition of Tribulus terrestris largely depends on its geographical origin.[98]

What are Tribulus terrestris’ main benefits?

Tribulus terrestris is commonly claimed to have aphrodisiac properties. There is indeed some evidence that it can improve sexual desire, increase sexual satisfaction, and reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men[99][100][101][102] and enhance libido in women.[103][104] These effects seem to be most prominent in people who are experiencing some form of sexual dysfunction. Current evidence fails to support that claim that Tribulus terrestris elevates testosterone levels, as has been hypothesized.[105][106]

Tribulus terrestris may also have benefits for reducing blood pressure and cholesterol[107][108] and for reducing blood glucose in people with diabetes,[109][110] though evidence in humans is limited.

What are Tribulus terrestris’ main drawbacks?

None of the clinical trials that have studied the effects of Tribulus terrestris have reported an increase in adverse side effects when compared to placebo treatments.[98] While no toxicology studies have been conducted in humans, rodent studies that have administered Tribulus terrestris at a dose of 500 mg per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) for 28 days (equivalent to a human dose of 80 mg/kg) failed to observe any toxic side effects.[111] In vitro studies have shown cytotoxic, genotoxic, and endocrine-disrupting effects of Tribulus terrestris, but it is unknown how this may translate to humans.[112]

How does Tribulus terrestris work?

The mechanism by which Tribulus terrestris improves erectile function may involve an enhancement in the relaxation of penile smooth muscle tissue, increased intracavernous pressure, and elevated penile blood flow. These effects seem to be dependent on a greater release of nitric oxide (NO) from the endothelium of blood vessels.[113][114][115]

Tribulus terrestris and its extracts may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. Tribulus terrestris scavenges hydrogen peroxide and superoxide free radicals[116] and increases the activity of the superoxide dismutase antioxidant enzyme.[117] Furthermore, Tribulus terrestris might inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-𝛼, IL-6, and IL-10.[118]

What else is Tribulus Terrestris known as?
Note that Tribulus Terrestris is also known as:
  • Trib
  • Puncturevine
  • Protodioscin
Dosage information

If rodent research applies to humans, then the dosage of 5mg/kg of tribulus terrestris saponins should be effective.

Traditional dosages of the basic root powder are in the 5-6g range while the fruits are in the 2-3g range.

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