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TRIBULUS

Other Names:

Abrojo, Abrojos, Al-Gutub, Baijili, Bulgarian Tribulus Terrestris, Caltrop, Cat's-Head, Ci Ji Li, Common Dubbletjie, Croix-de-Malte, Devil's-Thorn, Devil's-Weed, Espigón, Épine du Diable, Escarbot, German Tribulus Terrestris, Goathead, Gokhru, G...
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TRIBULUS Overview
TRIBULUS Uses
TRIBULUS Side Effects
TRIBULUS Interactions
TRIBULUS Dosing
TRIBULUS Overview Information

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.

Tribulus is used for kidney problems, including kidney stones, painful urination, a kidney disorder called Bright’s disease, and as a “water pill” (diuretic) to increase urination; for skin disorders, including eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, and scabies; for male sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction (ED), involuntary release of semen without orgasm (spermatorrhea), and to increase sexual desire; for heart and circulatory system problems, including chest pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and “tired blood” (anemia); for problems with digestion, including colic, intestinal gas (flatulence), constipation, and to expel intestinal parasitic worms; for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the tissue lining the mouth (stomatitis) and sore throat; and for cancer, especially nose tumors.

Women use tribulus to tone muscles before childbirth, to cause an abortion, and to stimulate milk flow.

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.

How does it work?

Tribulus has chemicals that might increase some hormones in animals. However, it doesn't appear to increase male hormones (testosterone) in humans.

TRIBULUS Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Ineffective for:

  • Enhancing athletic performance. Taking tribulus by mouth, alone or in combination with other herbs and supplements such as androstenedione, doesn't seem to enhance body composition or exercise performance in athletes.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Chest pain (angina). Developing research suggests a tribulus extract taken by mouth might reduce symptoms of angina.
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Tribulus taken by mouth in combination with 9 other herbs (Zemaphyte) might reduce redness and skin outbreaks in adults and children with a certain type of eczema called nonexudative atopic eczema. However, other research shows no effect.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED).
  • “Tired blood” (anemia).
  • Cancer.
  • Coughs.
  • Intestinal gas (flatulence).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tribulus for these uses.


TRIBULUS Side Effects & Safety

Tribulus supplements are POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for a short period of time. They have been used safely in research studies lasting up to 8 weeks. The long-term safety of tribulus is unknown.

Don’t eat the spine-covered fruit. There has been a report of a serious lung problem linked to eating the fruit.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking tribulus during pregnancy is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Animal research suggests tribulus might harm fetal development. Not enough is known about the safety of using tribulus during breast-feeding. It’s best not to use tribulus if you are pregnant or nursing.

Prostate problems or prostate cancer: There is a concern that tribulus might make prostate conditions such as benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) or prostate cancer worse. Developing research suggests that tribulus can increase prostate weight.

Surgery: Tribulus might affect blood sugar levels. This might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using tribulus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

TRIBULUS Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Lithium interacts with TRIBULUS

    Tribulus might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking tribulus might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with TRIBULUS

    Tribulus might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking tribulus along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

    Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.


TRIBULUS Dosing

The appropriate dose of tribulus depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tribulus. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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