Tribulus terrestris is a herb from Ayurveda that is mostly recommended for male health including virility and vitality, and specifically more catered towards cardiovascular and urogenital health. It is a common supplement for its libido enhancing properties and supposed testosterone boosting properties.
On the sexual side of things, tribulus does appear to be a relatively reliable and potent libido enhancer in rats and the lone human study assessing this has confirmed an increase in sexual well being and erectile function. While it is not exactly known how tribulus 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 suggests that it is weak to non-effective in enhancing fertility.
Tribulus terrestris has long been a constituent in tonics in Indian ayurveda practice, where it is known by its Sanskrit name, “gokshura.”It is now being promoted as a booster for the purpose of increasing sex drive. Its use for this purpose originated in Eastern Europe in the 1970’s. It was popularized in America by 1970’s strong-man Jeffrey Petermann. Independent studies have suggested that Tribulus terrestris extract slightly increases hormone levels, though leaving them in the normal range. Some have compared the tonic properties of Tribulus terrestris to the effects of ginseng, but these occur due to entirely different mechanisms.