Tribulus Terrestris

Last Updated: December 5 2022

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.[82]

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.[83] The composition of Tribulus terrestris largely depends on its geographical origin.[84]

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[85][86]PMID:28364864][87] and enhance libido in women.[88][89] 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.[90][91]

Tribulus terrestris may also have benefits for reducing blood pressure and cholesterol[92][93] and for reducing blood glucose in people with diabetes,[94][95] 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.[84] 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.[96] In vitro studies have shown cytotoxic, genotoxic, and endocrine-disrupting effects of Tribulus terrestris, but it is unknown how this may translate to humans.[97]

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.[98][99][100]

Tribulus terrestris and its extracts may also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. Tribulus terrestris scavenges hydrogen peroxide and superoxide free radicalsreference and increases the activity of the superoxide dismutase antioxidant enzyme.[102] Furthermore, Tribulus terrestris might inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-𝛼, IL-6, and IL-10.[103]

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.

Join our supplement information course

Examine Database: Tribulus Terrestris
What works and what doesn't?

Unlock the full potential of Examine

Get started

Don't miss out on the latest research

References
2.^Xu YJ, Xu TH, Zhou HO, Li B, Xie SX, Si YS, Liu Y, Liu TH, Xu DMTwo new furostanol saponins from Tribulus terrestrisJ Asian Nat Prod Res.(2010 May)
9.^Temraz A, El Gindi OD, Kadry HA, De Tommasi N, Braca ASteroidal saponins from the aerial parts of Tribulus alatus DelPhytochemistry.(2006 May)
10.^El-Tantawy WH, Temraz A, El-Gindi ODFree serum testosterone level in male rats treated with Tribulus alatus extractsInt Braz J Urol.(2007 Jul-Aug)
11.^Dinchev D, Janda B, Evstatieva L, Oleszek W, Aslani MR, Kostova IDistribution of steroidal saponins in Tribulus terrestris from different geographical regionsPhytochemistry.(2008 Jan)
15.^Conrad J, Dinchev D, Klaiber I, Mika S, Kostova I, Kraus WA novel furostanol saponin from Tribulus terrestris of Bulgarian originFitoterapia.(2004 Mar)
16.^Su L, Chen G, Feng SG, Wang W, Li ZF, Chen H, Liu YX, Pei YHSteroidal saponins from Tribulus terrestrisSteroids.(2009 Apr-May)
17.^Hammoda HM, Ghazy NM, Harraz FM, Radwan MM, Elsohly MA, Abdallah IIChemical constituents from Tribulus terrestris and screening of their antioxidant activityPhytochemistry.(2013 Aug)
18.^Aggarwal A, Tandon S, Singla SK, Tandon CA novel antilithiatic protein from Tribulus terrestris having cytoprotective potencyProtein Pept Lett.(2012 Aug)
20.^Chen G, Liu T, Lu X, Wang HF, Hua HM, Pei YHNew steroidal glycosides from Tribulus terrestris LJ Asian Nat Prod Res.(2012)
23.^Xu T, Xu Y, Liu Y, Xie S, Si Y, Xu DTwo new furostanol saponins from Tribulus terrestris LFitoterapia.(2009 Sep)
24.^Liu T, Lu X, Wu B, Chen G, Hua HM, Pei YHTwo new steroidal saponins from Tribulus terrestris LJ Asian Nat Prod Res.(2010 Jan)
25.^Liu T, Chen G, Yi GQ, Xu JK, Zhang TL, Hua HM, Pei YHNew pregnane and steroidal glycosides from Tribulus terrestris LJ Asian Nat Prod Res.(2010 Mar)
26.^Li JX, Shi Q, Xiong QB, Prasain JK, Tezuka Y, Hareyama T, Wang ZT, Tanaka K, Namba T, Kadota STribulusamide A and B, new hepatoprotective lignanamides from the fruits of Tribulus terrestris: indications of cytoprotective activity in murine hepatocyte culturePlanta Med.(1998 Oct)
27.^Byun E, Jeong GS, An RB, Min TS, Kim YCTribuli fructus constituents protect against tacrine-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cellsArch Pharm Res.(2010 Jan)
28.^Zhang X, Wei N, Huang J, Tan Y, Jin DA new feruloyl amide derivative from the fruits of Tribulus terrestrisNat Prod Res.(2012 Oct)
29.^Kostova I, Dinchev D, Rentsch GH, Dimitrov V, Ivanova ATwo new sulfated furostanol saponins from Tribulus terrestrisZ Naturforsch C.(2002 Jan-Feb)
30.^Jarald EE, Kushwah P, Edwin S, Asghar S, Patni SAEffect of Unex on ethylene glycol-induced urolithiasis in ratsIndian J Pharmacol.(2011 Jul)
32.^Iacono F, Prezioso D, Illiano E, Romeo G, Ruffo A, Amato BSexual asthenia: Tradamixina versus Tadalafil 5 mg dailyBMC Surg.(2012)
34.^Orhan I, Sener B, Choudhary MI, Khalid AAcetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of some Turkish medicinal plantsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2004 Mar)
37.^Heidari MR, Mehrabani M, Pardakhty A, Khazaeli P, Zahedi MJ, Yakhchali M, Vahedian MThe analgesic effect of Tribulus terrestris extract and comparison of gastric ulcerogenicity of the extract with indomethacine in animal experimentsAnn N Y Acad Sci.(2007 Jan)
41.^Zhang S, Li H, Yang SJTribulosin protects rat hearts from ischemia/reperfusion injuryActa Pharmacol Sin.(2010 Jun)
42.^Dong S, Teng Z, Lu FH, Zhao YJ, Li H, Ren H, Chen H, Pan ZW, Lv YJ, Yang BF, Tian Y, Xu CQ, Zhang WHPost-conditioning protects cardiomyocytes from apoptosis via PKC(epsilon)-interacting with calcium-sensing receptors to inhibit endo(sarco)plasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalkMol Cell Biochem.(2010 Aug)
43.^Zhang J, Bian HJ, Li XX, Liu XB, Sun JP, Li N, Zhang Y, Ji XPERK-MAPK signaling opposes rho-kinase to reduce cardiomyocyte apoptosis in heart ischemic preconditioningMol Med.(2010 Jul-Aug)
44.^Murthy AR, Dubey SD, Tripathi KAnti-hypertensive effect of Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris Linn.) - A clinical studyAnc Sci Life.(2000 Jan)
45.^Somanadhan B, Varughese G, Palpu P, Sreedharan R, Gudiksen L, Smitt UW, Nyman UAn ethnopharmacological survey for potential angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors from Indian medicinal plantsJ Ethnopharmacol.(1999 May)
48.^Ponnusamy S, Ravindran R, Zinjarde S, Bhargava S, Ravi Kumar AEvaluation of traditional Indian antidiabetic medicinal plants for human pancreatic amylase inhibitory effect in vitroEvid Based Complement Alternat Med.(2011)
50.^Amin A, Lotfy M, Shafiullah M, Adeghate EThe protective effect of Tribulus terrestris in diabetesAnn N Y Acad Sci.(2006 Nov)
51.^Antonio J, Uelmen J, Rodriguez R, Earnest CThe effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained malesInt J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab.(2000 Jun)
52.^Rogerson S, Riches CJ, Jennings C, Weatherby RP, Meir RA, Marshall-Gradisnik SMThe effect of five weeks of Tribulus terrestris supplementation on muscle strength and body composition during preseason training in elite rugby league playersJ Strength Cond Res.(2007 May)
56.^Martino-Andrade AJ, Morais RN, Spercoski KM, Rossi SC, Vechi MF, Golin M, Lombardi NF, Greca CS, Dalsenter PREffects of Tribulus terrestris on endocrine sensitive organs in male and female Wistar ratsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2010 Jan 8)
62.^Saudan C, Baume N, Emery C, Strahm E, Saugy MShort term impact of Tribulus terrestris intake on doping control analysis of endogenous steroidsForensic Sci Int.(2008 Jun 10)
64.^Brown GA, Vukovich MD, Reifenrath TA, Uhl NL, Parsons KA, Sharp RL, King DSEffects of anabolic precursors on serum testosterone concentrations and adaptations to resistance training in young menInt J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab.(2000 Sep)
65.^Brown GA, Vukovich MD, Martini ER, Kohut ML, Franke WD, Jackson DA, King DSEffects of androstenedione-herbal supplementation on serum sex hormone concentrations in 30- to 59-year-old menInt J Vitam Nutr Res.(2001 Sep)
66.^Brown GA, Vukovich MD, Martini ER, Kohut ML, Franke WD, Jackson DA, King DSEndocrine and lipid responses to chronic androstenediol-herbal supplementation in 30 to 58 year old menJ Am Coll Nutr.(2001 Oct)
68.^Dimitrov M, Georgiev P, Vitanov SUse of tribestan on rams with sexual disordersVet Med Nauki.(1987)
69.^Lakshmi GD, Kumar PR, Bharavi K, Annapurna P, Rajendar B, Patel PT, Kumar CS, Rao GSProtective effect of Tribulus terrestris linn on liver and kidney in cadmium intoxicated ratsIndian J Exp Biol.(2012 Feb)
74.^Talasaz AH, Abbasi MR, Abkhiz S, Dashti-Khavidaki STribulus terrestris-induced severe nephrotoxicity in a young healthy maleNephrol Dial Transplant.(2010 Nov)
75.^Schmidt M, Thomsen M, Bone KTribulus terrestis-induced nephrotoxicityNephrol Dial Transplant.(2011 Sep)
78.^Anand R, Patnaik GK, Kulshreshtha DK, Dhawan BNActivity of certain fractions of Tribulus terrestris fruits against experimentally induced urolithiasis in ratsIndian J Exp Biol.(1994 Aug)
79.^Rajendar B, Bharavi K, Rao GS, Kishore PV, Kumar PR, Kumar CS, Patel TPProtective effect of an aphrodisiac herb Tribulus terrestris Linn on cadmium-induced testicular damageIndian J Pharmacol.(2011 Sep)
80.^Frydrychová S, Opletal L, Macáková K, Lustyková A, Rozkot M, Lipenský JEffects of herbal preparation on libido and semen quality in boarsReprod Domest Anim.(2011 Aug)