Abrojo, Abrojos, Al-Gutub, Baijili, Bindii, Bulgarian Tribulus Terrestris, Caltrop, Cat's-Head, Ci Ji Li, Common Dubbletjie, Croix-de-Malte, Devil's-Thorn, Devil's-Weed, Épine du Diable, Escarbot, Espigón, German Tribulus Terrestris, Goathead, Gokantaka, Gokhru, Gokshur, Gokshura, Nature's Viagra, Puncture Vine, Puncture Weed, Qutiba, Small Caltrops, Tribule, Tribule Terrestre, Tribulis, Tribulis Terrestris, Tribulus, Tribulus terrestris.
Overview InformationTribulus is a plant that produces fruit covered with spines. Rumor has it that tribulus is also known as puncture vine because its sharp spines 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.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Sexual problems that prevent satisfaction during sexual activity. Research shows that taking tribulus can improve the sexual experience in women who have sexual dysfunction or low sexual desire. Taking tribulus seems to improve sexual desire, arousal, sensation, ability to reach orgasm, lubrication, and sexual comfort. Early research also shows that taking tribulus can improve sexual satisfaction in men with erectile dysfunction.
Possibly Ineffective for
- 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.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Chest pain (angina). 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 or 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). The effect of tribulus for erectile dysfunction is unclear. Some early research shows that taking tribulus for 3 months improves erections and sexual satisfaction in men with and without 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.
- Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Research on tribulus for infertility is conflicting. Some early research shows that taking tribulus for up to 3 months does not improve sperm count in men with low sperm count or men with unexplained infertility. 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 who have infertility due to low levels of testosterone.
- Symptoms of menopause. Early research shows that taking a supplement containing tribulus and other ingredients twice daily for 4 weeks improves some menopausal symptoms such as depression and tiredness, but not other symptoms like vaginal dryness. The effect of tribulus alone on menopausal symptoms is unknown.
- A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). Early research shows that taking tribulus and other ingredients for 3 months might improve menstrual cycle regularity, improve quality of life, and decrease body weight in women with PCOS. Although women taking this combination had a higher rate of becoming pregnant, this did not make them more likely to give birth. The effect of taking tribulus alone for the treatment of PCOS is unknown.
- Early orgasm in men (premature ejaculation). Early research shows that taking a supplement containing tribulus and other ingredients daily for 3 months improves time to ejaculation by 30 seconds. However, the effect of taking tribulus alone for the treatment of premature ejaculation is unknown.
- "Tired blood" (anemia).
- Intestinal gas (flatulence).
- Overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Tribulus supplements are POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken for 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. There isn't enough reliable information available to know if tribulus is safe to use for longer than 90 days or what the side effects might be.
Eating 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. There isn't enough reliable information to know if Tribulus is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
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.
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 following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For sexual problems that prevent satisfaction during sexual activity: 250 mg tribulus powdered extract three times daily taken after meals for 3 months has been used for women. Also, tribulus extract 7.5 mg daily for 4 weeks has been used for women. 500 mg three times daily for 3 months has been used for men.
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- Sansalone S, Russo GI, Mondaini N, Cantiello F, Antonini G, Cai T. A combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts is able to improve sexual quality of life in patient with premature ejaculation. Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2016;88(3):171-176. View abstract.
- Santos CA Jr, Reis LO, Destro-Saade R, et al. Tribulus terrestris versus placebo in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a prospective randomized, double blind study. Actas Urol Esp 2014;38(4):244-8. View abstract.
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- Deng, Y., Yang, L., and An, S. L. [Effect of Tribulus terrestris L decoction of different concentrations on tyrosinase activity and the proliferation of melanocytes]. Di Yi.Jun.Yi.Da.Xue.Xue.Bao. 2002;22(11):1017-1019. View abstract.
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- Fung AY, Look PC, Chong LY, et al. A controlled trial of traditional Chinese herbal medicine in Chinese patients with recalcitrant atopic dermatitis. Int J Dermatol 1999;38:387-92 . View abstract.
- Gauthaman K, Adaikan PG, Prasad RN. Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus Terrestris extract (Protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats. Life Sci 2002;71:1385-96. View abstract.
- Gauthaman K, Adaikan PG. Effect of Tribulus terrestris on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase activity and androgen receptors in rat brain. J Ethnopharmacol 2005;96:127-32. View abstract.
- Gauthaman K, Ganesan AP. The hormonal effects of Tribulus terrestris and its role in the management of male erectile dysfunction-an evaluation using primates, rabbit and rat. Phytomedicine 2008;15(1-2):44-54. View abstract.
- Glastonbury, J. R., Doughty, F. R., Whitaker, S. J., and Sergeant, E. A syndrome of hepatogenous photosensitisation, resembling geeldikkop, in sheep grazing Tribulus terrestris. Aust Vet J 1984;61(10):314-316. View abstract.
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