What is Tribulus (Tribulus Terrestris)?
Tribulus terrestris is a ground-hugging plant with spiny fruit, which grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Tribulus terrestris has a long history of use in folk medicine. Traditionally, it has been used for a variety of reproductive conditions, such as infertility and impotence, as well as for muscle strength and general health.
Tribulus is cooling, sweet and strengthening. It is common throughout India and found to be growing as weed along roadside and waste places.
Description: Tribulus is a prostrate, annual herb grows upto 90 cm in length with paripinnate leaves. The flowers are small, yellowish, and solitary. The fruits of tribulus are typically five angled and spinous. The fruits of Tribulus contain alkaloids, resins, tannins, sugars, sterols, essential oil, peroxidase, diastase and glucoside.
Tribulus terrestris is a herb that has been used in the traditional medicine of China and India for centuries.In the mid-1990s, tribulus terrestris became known in North America after Eastern European Olympic athletes said that taking tribulus helped their performance.Tribulus Terrestris contains steroidal saponins, alkaloids, and flavanoids. The active compounds in tribulus are called steroidal saponins. Two types, called furostanol glycosides and spirostanol glycosides, appear to be involved with the effects of tribulus. These saponins are found primarily in the leaf. Its protodioscins content is believed to be responsible for its effects on hormone, libido and body composition.
Action Uses of Tribulus:
People from around the world have used the Tribulus Terrestris plant to promote overall health, support healthy libido function already in normal range and increase muscle tone.
Because of the plants reputed benefits, athletes have used Tribulus Terrestris extract dietary supplements to boost energy levels, to promote healthy hormone function, to enhance muscle tone and to support athletic training. Although its unclear how Tribulus Terrestris extract exerts its effects, scientific research has suggested several possible mechanisms of action.
Clinical research suggests that Tribulus Terrestris may support healthy libido function in humans, and that it may also support healthy blood pressure and healthy cholesterol profiles already in normal range.
Tribulus is most often used for infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. In the last decade, it has become popular to improve sports performance. Tribulus has been marketed for such conditions because research performed in Bulgaria and Russia revealed that Tribulus increases the levels of hormones testosterone (by increasing luteinizing hormone), DHEA, and estrogen.
Preliminary animal studies found that tribulus heightened sexual behavior and increased intracavernous pressure. This was attributed to increases in testosterone. There havent been any well-designed human studies to confirm these early findings.Tribulus has been widely used for sexual dysfunction in both; males and females.
In China and India, the herb Tribulus terrestris has been touted as liver, kidney, urinary, and cardiovascular remedies.
In Ayurvedic science, the herb is considered to be a general health tonic and urinary tract disinfectant .Tribulus is non-irritant diuretic and urinary antiseptic. It is used in case of dysurea, urinary stone and incontinence of urine. Tribulus Terrestris is used in various herbal formulas to treat headaches, eye problems such as itching, conjunctivitis and weak vision, and nervousness. It is also used to treat high blood pressure and rib pain.
The hormone balancing effects of Tribulus Terrestris for women makes this herb suitable for premenstrual syndrome and menopausal syndrome.
Tribulus contains Sterols like betasitosterols or stigma. These substances protect the prostate from swelling and in combination with the X steroidal saponins, protect the prostate from cancer. Tribulus is used in case of impotence and spermaturia as it helps to increase the level of the luteinizing hormone in the body and improved the synthesis of the testicular male sex hormone. So it is being aphrodisiac in nature.
Erectile dysfunction and low libido are thought to be aided by the home herbal remedy. Use of the herb may create prolonged erections as well. Some men take the supplement to increase their sexual stamina and vigor. The remedy may also serve as a diuretic as well as a remedy for side effects associated with male menopause. Levels of testosterone, estrogen, and DHEA may possibly be increased through the use of puncture vine. The active compounds that make tribulus terrestris effective are found within the herbs leaves.
The herb has been used in mainstream European medical treatments since 1981.
Traditionally use of Tribulus is found to be effective in case of gout. Tribulus powder is effective against improving liver function, stamina and endurance is particularly beneficial to athletes and bodybuilders.
Tribulus powder increases appetite and is an aphrodisiac. It also promotes plumpiness and cures urinary stones. Tribulus powder is indicated against pre menstrual and menopausal syndrme.
Body Composition and Exercise Performance:
Although tribulus has become popular as a sports performance aid, one small but well-designed study found it has no effect on body composition or exercise performance. In athletic use, tribulus terrestris has been used in North America, Europe, and other areas. During the mid-1990s, Olympic athletes from Eastern Europe admitted to using the herb. Though Bulgarian athletes have used the herb for sports performance for many years, use of the herb has been found to have no bearing on actual sports performance or body composition within clinical trials.
Tribulus terrestris is often taken at a dose between 85 to 250 mg three times daily, with meals.
-Pregnant or nursing women should not use tribulus. People with breast cancer, prostate cancer, or other hormonal conditions should refrain from using tribulus terrestris. Nursing or pregnant women should avoid the herb as well.
-No toxic side effects have been identified with tribulus terrestris use. Reported cases of adverse effects are very rare and mild. Some takers of the remedy report experiencing upset stomach, usually from having taken the supplement without food. General excitation, gynecomastia (abnormal enlargement of breasts in men), increase in prostate weight, insomnia, menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity from injury to the lung) and reduced levels of glucose and total cholesterol.
Reactions / Interactions:
Beta-blockers, blood pressure medications, calcium channel blockers, diabetes medications, digoxin, diuretics, hormones, steroids, and other herbs and supplements with similar effects.