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Tribulus Terrestris

    eSupplements.com Tribulus Terrestris

    Tribulus terrestris is a plant that produces spine-covered fruit. Consequently, it is also known as devil’s thorn and puncture vine.[1]

    Its use as medicine is wide reaching and longstanding, and it received a lot of attention after medal-winning Olympians from Bulgaria attributed their performance to the plant.[2]

    Its three active phytochemicals dioscin, diosgenin, and protodioscin are often identified as tribulus terrestris’ mechanism of action.[3]

    Its inclusion in sport and male support supplements is becoming a prevalent practice. Although ongoing, research surrounding tribulus terrestris is promising.

    Tribulus terrestris is most studied for its effects on hormone responses and production; however, this does not mean to say clinical research doesn’t support its use for other purposes.


    A tribulus terrestris dietary supplement (625 mg) was administered 3 times a day to athletes over a 20-day study. At the study’s end, researchers noticed blood testosterone concentration had increased reliably during the first 10 days.[4]

    Researchers discovered tribulus terrestris boosts testosterone because it amplifies gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which then triggers luteinizing hormone production.[5]

    Sexual Parameters

    Research reveals tribulus terrestris appears to influence sexual function.

    One study looked at tribulus terrestris’ effects on oligozoospermia, a condition in which semen has a low sperm concentration. It is often a cause of infertility.

    Test subjects suffering from oligozoospermia were recruited from the Outpatient Department of the Institute for Postgraduate Teaching and Research Hospital. A total of 72 patients were assigned to a placebo or a tribulus terrestris group.

    Researchers administered 6 g placebo or tribulus terrestris 2 times a day for a 60-day period. Consequently, the study’s end revealed Gokshura [tribulus terrestris] is effective in the management of kshina shukra [oligozoospermia], with lifestyle modification.”[3] The outcome is believed to be a result of tribulus terrestris’ phytochemicals triggering luteinizing hormone production.

    An animal studies also lends support to tribulus terrestris’ ability to improve sexual function and behavior.

    Sprague-Dawley rats were split into 4 groups, 3 of which received varying doses of tribulus terrestris over an 8-week period. Researchers noted increases in intracavernous pressure –a proerectile property –and mount frequency.[6]


    Tribulus terrestris is clinically proven to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

    During this study, tribulus terrestris was administered in 3 g per day as a water extract to test subjects for 4 weeks. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased as well as serum cholesterol. Consequently, researchers say “this plant diuretic can be safely recommended for a longer period to the patients of mild to moderate hypertension.”[7]

    Tribulus terrestris appears safer for humans than animals.

    According to online medical authorities and academics, no significant side effects have been observed during any human clinical studies.[1][2]

    However, it was shown to have a toxic effect on sheep, causing a chronic, irreversible dopamine circuit disorder. This resulted in impaired muscle function.[8]

    Those pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid tribulus terrestris use because “animal research suggests tribulus might harm fetal development.[1] Continual tribulus terrestris use may alter hormones as well.

    Also, if you have prostate problems or prostate cancer, researchers believe tribulus terrestris may worsen prostate conditions by increasing prostate weight.[1]

    A typical tribulus terrestris dose ranges from 85 – 250 mg and is taken around 3 times a day with food.[2]

    Some tribulus terrestris products may be standardized to 40% furostanol saponins and are generally taken in 115 mg doses about 2-3 times a day.[2]

    • [1] “Tribulus.” WebMD
    • [2] “Tribulus Terrestris.” NYU Langone Medical Center.
    • [3] Sellandi TM, Thakar AB, Baghel MS. “Clinical study of Tribulus terrestris Linn. In Oligozoospermia: A double blind study.” Ayu. 2012 Jul;33(3):356-64.
    • [4] Milasius K, Dadeliene R, Skernevicius J. “The influence of the Tribulus terrestris extract on the parameters of the functional preparedness and athletes’ organism homeostasis.” Fiziol Zh. 2009; 55(5):89-96.
    • [5] Pandya K, Solanki B, Maniar K, Gurav N, Bhatt S. Natural herbal supplements- A study on their nutritional value and their phytochemical constituents. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research.2011;2:1480–94.
    • [6] Gauthaman K et al. “Sexual effects of puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) extract (protodioscin): an evaluation using a rat model”. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 9.2 (2003):237-65.
    • [7] Murthy A.R., et al. “Anti-hypertensive effect of Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris Linn.) A clinical study.” Vol. No XIX (3&4) January, February, March, April 2000 pages 139 – 145.
    • [8] Bourke CA. “A novel nigrostriatal dopaminergic disorder in sheep affected by Tribulus terrestris staggers”. Research in Veterinary Science. 43.3 (1987):347-50.

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