Natural Extracts

Health Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris Extract

Tribulus terrestris is an annual plant in the caltrop family (Zygophyllaceae) widely distributed around the world, that is adapted to grow in dry climate locations in which few other plants can survive. Its extracts are widely used by body builders.

It is an invasive species in North America. Like many weedy species, this plant has many common names, including goat’s-head, bindii, bullhead, burra gokharu, caltrop, small caltrops, cat’s-head, devil’s eyelashes, devil’s-thorn, devil’s-weed, puncture vine, puncturevine, and tackweed.

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.

Some people use tribulus for gonorrhea, liver disease (hepatitis), inflammation, joint pain (rheumatism), leprosy, coughs, headache, dizziness (vertigo), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and enhancing athletic performance. It is also used for stimulating appetite and as an astringent, tonic, and mood enhancer.

Health Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris Extract

Angina pectoris

Tribulus terrestris has been studied in China and found to reduce the frequency of angina pectoris attacks.

Athletic performance, exercise

Does tribulus terrestris have an influence on testosterone release or enhance testosterone production? One study in rodents indicates that tribulus has an influence on androgen receptors located on brain cells in the hypothalamus. Another animal study found TT use did increase testosterone levels. However, a human study done in Australia in 2007 did not find the herb to have a major influence on muscle mass growth, nor did tribulus seem to influence blood testosterone levels in humans to any great extent. Animal and human studies have shown conflicting results in regards to its influence on testosterone levels. This herb is legal to use in all professional sports. I doubt that it offers any significant athletic performance benefits.

Weight lifting or training

I have been told that tribulus terrestris is good to use when weightlifting and that the testosterone in it is helpful for building muscle. Is it effective for body building purposes for a man.There are no studies to prove this herb is effective for weightlifting or bodybuilding.I am a 63 yr old male. I am lifting weights to maintain body strength. I was advised to take two Tribulus Terrestris capsules before and two after my work out. I work out every other day. I have high blood pressure controlled by medication. Was the advice I was given correct. We don’t think this herb is a good option for those considering weight lifting or body building. Creatine and protein supplements are more appropriate.

Blood pressure effect

Antihypertensive and vasodilator effects of methanolic and aqueous extracts of Tribulus terrestris in rats.J Ethnopharmacol. 2006. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait.It was concluded that extracts of Tribulus terrestris possess significant antihypertensive activity in spontaneously hypertensive rats. The antihypertensive effects appeared to result from a direct arterial smooth muscle relaxation possibly involving nitric oxide release and membrane hyperpolarization.

Cholesterol and lipids

Effect of saponin from Tribulus terrestris on hyperlipidemiaZhong Yao Cai. 2003.The preventive and therapeutic effects of saponin on diet-induced hyperlipidemia in mice have been studied. It showed that in preventive experiment the tribulus terrestris saponin could significantly lower the levels of serum total cholesterol and triglyceride.

Energy and fatigue fighter

Tribulus has some energy boosting abilities, as do ginseng, cordyceps, maca, and tongkat ali. MultiVit Rx multivitamin formula is a great option for energy enhancement. As with most herbs, I recommend taking breaks from use.

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Cancer influence

Breast cancer

The inhibitory effect of saponins from Tribulus terrestris on Bcap-37 breast cancer cell line in vitro Zhong Yao Cai. 2003.Saponins from tribulus terrestris had potent inhibitory effect on Bcap-37 cell line in a concentration-dependent manner.

Kidney cancer

Experimental study of saponins from Tribulus terrestris on renal carcinoma cell line Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2005. Saponins can significantly inhibit the growth of renal carcinoma cell in vitro, partially, by apoptosis.

Prostate surgery, cancer

I am six years post prostatectomy with a 0.01 PSA level. Is there a risk in taking tribulus? The research seems unclear. I am not aware of any research specifically on its role after prostate removal and prostate cancer, but I do not suspect the occasional use will have much of an influence.

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