Library of Nature: Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is an invasive flowering herb from the family Zygophyllaceae. Even though the long, sharp spines on its woody fruit have earned it the reputation of a noxious weed and the common name of puncture vine, the herb has a very long history of use in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbalists have long prized the herb for its aphrodisiac and energizing properties. Today, it is also widely used as a general health supplement. It is also a key ingredient in many modern testosterone boosting supplements.[1]

Tribulus terrestris is known with different common names in different parts of the world. Some of the common names of tribulus terrestris include goat’s head, cat’s head, devil’s weed, devil’s thorn, tackweed, and caltrop.

What Does Tribulus Terrestris Contain? The Chemical Profile of Tribulus Terrestris

Several bioactive phytochemicals have been identified in Tribulus terrestris through scientific research that work both on their own and together to provide the health benefits the plant is known for. These include flavonoids, tannins, steroidal saponins, terpenoids, phytosterols, glycosides, amino acids, proteins,[2] and alkaloids.[3]Of these, flavonoids and steroidal saponins are considered the most important phytochemicals.[4]

A Brief History of Tribulus Terrestris’ Use

For centuries, tribulus terrestris has been used in traditional medicinal systems in China and India as a natural health booster and an aphrodisiac. It has also been used for stomach ache, urinary infections, high blood pressure, and to remove excess water from the body.[5] The dried fruit of tribulus terrestris has been traditionally used to alleviate various disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and eyes.[6] In Ayurveda, the fruit and root of the plant are also believed to have cardiotonic properties.[7]

Even though the use of tribulus terrestris has been chiefly associated with TCM and Ayurveda, it’s also used in Unani medicine, which is the Perso-Arabic traditional medicinal system.

Health Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris offer a range of health benefits and is considered a powerful natural antidote for several health issues. Some of the major benefits of tribulus terrestris include:

·       It Can Help Boost Libido

As mentioned above, tribulus terrestris has always been known for its aphrodisiac properties in alternative medicine. Over the years, many scientific research studies have also found supporting evidence for it.

Research has found that tribulus terrestris can help increase sexual desire in both men and women. Although tribulus terrestris’ mechanism of action isn’t fully understood yet, there is evidence that it helps improve libido by increasing androgen receptor density in the brain.[8] The plant is also considered effective for sexual dysfunction in men.[9]

·       It Can Help Reduce Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels

Several animal and human research studies have found positive evidence regarding blood sugar and lipid lowering properties of tribulus terrestris. One such research study conducted on women with type 2 diabetes found that the participants who were given tribulus terrestris exhibited significant reductions not only in blood glucose levels but also in the levels of total cholesterol and LDL.[10]

There is also some scientific evidence that tribulus terrestris may also offer protection against blood vessel damage.[11]

·       It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

In addition to helping lower blood cholesterol, tribulus terrestris can also relax blood vessels. Together, these properties of tribulus terrestris make it effective for lowering blood pressure.[12]

·       Tribulus Terrestris Helps Improve Athletic Performance

This has been one of the most touted benefits of tribulus terrestris, from ancient times till today. The plant has been known to help increase endurance, stamina, energy, and physical strength. These benefits are believed to come from the bioactive compound called protodioscin, which is a type of steroidal saponin. This chemical compound helps increase the flow of oxygenated blood to muscles,a property that has earned tribulus terrestris huge popularity among trainers and bodybuilders.[13]

The plant is also believed to help with post-workout recovery.[14] 

The Sum Up

Tribulus terrestris may be an infamous plant due to its spiny fruits. But, it is packed with numerous chemical compounds that are beneficial for human health in various ways. Due to its unique chemical composition, the plant has been valued by the practitioners of traditional medicine for centuries.

If you also want to take advantage of this powerful herb, get your hand on organic tribulus tincture.

 

References:

[1]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tribulus-terrestris

[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503856/

[3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931200/

[4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503856/

[5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931200/

[6]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931200/

[7]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931200/

[8]https://examine.com/supplements/tribulus-terrestris/

[9]https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tribulus-terrestris

[10]https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2156587216650775

[11]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19269683/

[12]https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/tribulus-terrestris

[13]https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/tribulus-terrestris

[14]https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/tribulus-terrestris

 

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