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.
People use tribulus for conditions such as chest pain, eczema, enlarged prostate, sexual disorders, infertility, and many others, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work?
Tribulus has chemicals that might increase levels of some hormones. However, it doesn't appear to increase male hormones (testosterone) in humans.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Enhancing athletic performance. Taking tribulus by mouth, alone or with other herbs and supplements, doesn't seem to enhance body composition or exercise performance in athletes.
- Chest pain (angina pectoris). Early research shows that taking tribulus extract by mouth might reduce symptoms of angina.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Taking tribulus by mouth in combination with 9 other herbs might reduce redness and skin outbreaks in adults and children with a certain type of eczema. However, some research shows no benefit.
- Enlarged prostate (Benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH). Early research shows that taking a supplement containing tribulus and curry leaf (Murraya koenigii) for 12 weeks improves symptoms similar to the prescription drug tamsulosin in men with an enlarged prostate. Other early research shows that taking a supplement containing tribulus, brown algae, chitosan, and saw palmetto for 2 months improves symptoms and quality of life in men with lower urinary tract symptoms, with or without BPH.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED). Some early research shows that taking tribulus for 3 months improves erections in men with a condition called partial androgen deficiency. Men with this condition often have ED. Other early research shows that taking a supplement containing tribulus, brown algae, and chitosan for 3 months improves sexual satisfaction, desire, ability to ejaculate, and sexual quality of life in men with ED. However, other research shows that taking tribulus for 30 days does not improve erections in men with ED.
- Infertility. Research on tribulus for infertility is conflicting. Some early research shows that taking tribulus for 60 days does not improve sperm count in men with low sperm count. However, other research shows that taking a specific tribulus product for 30 days improves ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, and sperm movement in men with low sperm count and defective sperm movement. Other research shows that taking the same tribulus product for 1-2 months may increase sexual desire and erections in some men with infertility due to low levels of testosterone.
- Sexual problems in women. Early research shows that taking tribulus for 4 weeks improves sexual desire, arousal, satisfaction, orgasm, pain, and lubrication in women with low sexual desire. Other early research shows that taking tribulus for 90 days improves sexual desire, arousal, sensation, lubrication, ability to reach orgasm, and sexual comfort in postmenopausal women with sexual problems.
- "Tired blood" (anemia).
- Intestinal gas (flatulence).
- Other conditions.
TRIBULUS Side Effects & Safety
Tribulus supplements are POSSIBLY SAFEfor most people when taken by mouth for a short period of time. Tribulus has been used safely in research studies lasting up to 90 days. Side effects are usually mild and uncommon but might include stomach pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, excitation, difficulty sleeping, or heavy menstrual bleeding. In rare cases, reports of kidney damage have been linked to taking tribulus. The long-term safety of tribulus is unknown.
Eat the spine-covered fruit of tribulus is LIKELY UNSAFE. 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 that 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.
Diabetes. Tribulus might decrease blood sugar levels. Dose of diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Surgery: Tribulus might affect blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This might interfere with blood sugar and blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using tribulus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
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.
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.