Tribulus Terrestris is a plant with leaves and brightly yellowed flowers. It is an annual plant of the Caltrop family (Zygophyllaceae) widely distributed around the world. It is adapted to grow in dry climate locations in which few other plants can survive i.e. it can be xerophytic. In North America, it is an invasive species. Tribulus is a plant that produces fruit covered with spines.
Benefits Of Tribulus Terrestris
- Taking Tribulus extract by mouth has been shown to be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of angina i.e. chest pain.
- Animal studies have shown that it reduces blood sugar levels, helps protect against blood vessel damage and prevents increases in blood cholesterol. Case study; After 3 months, women with type 2 diabetes taking the supplement experienced lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Early research shows that taking Tribulus for 4 weeks improved sexual desire, satisfaction, pain and lubrication in women with low sexual desires
- Helps in fluid balance by acting as a diuretic and increasing urine production.
- Other early research shows that taking Tribulus Terrestris for 90 days improves sexual desire, arousal, sensation, lubrication, ability to reach orgasm, and sexual comfort in postmenopausal women with sexual problems.
Effect of Tribulus Terrestris on Testosterone Level.
It was found that Tribulus Terrestris, when focused on boosting testosterone, does not actually increase testosterone level.
It is found to be beneficial for increasing testosterone levels in some animals but usually not in humans.
Case study; according to the study done on the effect of Tribulus Terrestris on sex hormones and gonadotropin levels in addicted male rat carried out by Mohammad Hassan Ghosian Moghaddam. It was found in the testosterone analysis that the addicted group had the least amount of testosterone due to morphine Suppression. The treated addicted group had a significant lower hormone level.
Why is Tribulus Terrestris used to improve libido and sexual performance?
We humans, if asked, generally say “yes, we love sex”. But when our sex life does not function as it should because of various reasons, like underdevelopment of the reproductive system or deficiency in certain hormones our emotional well being is affected. Based on research in men with reduced sex drive and women with low libido, when they used Tribulus Terrestris for two months or more their sexual desire increased by 79% and 69% respectively. Also, it showed significant improvement in erection and sexual satisfaction. Although it doesn’t increase testosterone, Tribulus Terrestris may improve libido in men and women.
Studies have also reported that supplements containing the herb enhanced sexual desire, arousal and satisfaction
On the sexual side of things, Tribulus does appear to be a relatively reliable and potent libido enhancer in rats. While it is not exactly known how Tribulus Terrestris works, it is known to enhance androgen receptor density in the brain (muscle tissue not confirmed) which may enhance the libido enhancing properties of androgens. Limited evidence also suggests that it is weak to non-effective in enhancing fertility.
So it just improves sexual functions such as arousal excited behavior but the levels of testosterone produced by the testis remains the same and unchanged.
Tribulus Terrestris Side Effects
- Uncommon side effects: Stomach cramps
- Study in rats raised concerns of potential kidney damage though
- Heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Eating spine covered fruit of Tribulus is likely unsafe, there has been a report of a serious lung problem linked to its consumption.
- Taking Tribulus Terrestris during pregnancy is unsafe, animal research suggest it might cause fetal developmental harm.
- For diabetic patients, Tribulus might decrease blood sugar level too much.
The Bottom Line
While most research shows that this supplement is safe and causes only minor side effects, there have been isolated reports of toxicity.
Just as with all natural health supplements, you should consider the potential benefits and risks before taking Tribulus Terrestris.
- Testosterone suppression in opioid users: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Phytopharmacological overview of Tribulus terrestris
- A systematic review on the herbal extract Tribulus terrestris and the roots of its putative aphrodisiac and performance enhancing the effect.