Tribulus has chemicals that might increase levels of some hormones. But it doesn't appear to increase male hormones (testosterone) in humans. Tribulus is also known as puncture vine because its sharp spines can flatten bicycle tires.
People use tribulus for sexual disorders, infertility, chest pain, enlarged prostate, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
Possibly Ineffective for
Eating the spine-covered fruit of tribulus is likely unsafe. There have been reports of serious lung problems due to eating the fruit.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Eating the spine-covered fruit of tribulus is likely unsafe. There have been reports of serious lung problems due to eating the fruit. Pregnancy: Taking tribulus during pregnancy is possibly unsafe. Animal research suggests that tribulus might harm development of the fetus.
Breast-feeding. 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.
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.
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 lower blood sugar levels. Taking Tribulus along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with TRIBULUS
Tribulus might lower blood pressure. Taking Tribulus along with medications that lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to go too low. Monitor your blood pressure closely.
Be cautious with this combination
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Tabakova, P., Dimitrov, M., Ognyanov, K., and et al. Clinical study of Tribestan in females with endocrine sterility. Documentation for Registration (unpublished) 1999.
Talasaz AH, Abbasi MR, Abkhiz S, Dashti-Khavidaki S. Tribulus terrestris-induced severe nephrotoxicity in a young healthy male. Nephrol Dial Tranplant 2010;25(11):3792-3. View abstract.
Talemi MNPE, Ardakani SMP, Roozbeh B. Tribulus terrestris may decrease muscle damage markers following a high-intensity resistance exercise: a pilot study. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2020:1-7. Online ahead of print. View abstract.
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Vale FBC, Boroni JD, Geber G, et al. Effect of Tribulus Terrestris in the Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction and Clitoral Vascularization. Results of a Randomized Study Comparing Two Different Dosage Regimes. J Sex Marital Ther 2021;47(7):696-706. View abstract.
Vale FBC, Zanolla Dias de Souza K, Rezende CR, Geber S. Efficacy of Tribulus Terrestris for the treatment of premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder: a randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2018 May;34(5):442-445. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2017.1409711. View abstract.
Walker D, Bird A, Flora T, O'Sullivan B. Some effects of feeding Tribulus terrestris, Ipomoea lonchophylla and the seed of Abelmoschus ficulneus on fetal development and the outcome of pregnancy in sheep. Reprod Fertil Dev 1992;4:135-44. View abstract.
Ryan M, Lazar I, Nadasdy GM, et al. Acute kidney injury and hyperbilirubinemia in a young male after ingestion of Tribulus terrestris. Clin Nephrol 2015;83(3):177-83. View abstract.
Samani NB, Jokar A, Soveid M, Heydari M, Mosavat SH. Efficacy of the hydroalcoholic extract of Tribulus terrestris on the serum glucose and lipid profile of women with diabetes mellitus: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Oct;21(4):NP91-7. doi: 10.1177/2156587216650775. View abstract.
Sansalone S, Leonardi R, Antonini G, et al. Alga Ecklonia bicyclis, Tribulus terrestris, and glucosamine oligosaccharide improve erectile function, sexual quality of life, and ejaculation function in patients with moderate mild-moderate erectile dysfunction: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded study. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:121396. View abstract.
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.
Sellandi TM, Thakar AB, Baghel MS. Clinical study of Tribulus terrestris Linn. in oligozoospermia: a double blind study. Ayu 2012;33(3):356-64. View abstract.
Sengupta G, Hazra A, Kundu A, Ghosh A. Comparison of Murraya koenigii - and Tribulus terrestris-based oral formulation versus tamsulosin in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia in men aged >50 years: a double-blind, double-dummy, randomized controlled trial. Clin Ther 2011;33(12):1943-52. View abstract.
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Sharifi AM, Darabi R, Akbarloo N. Study of antihypertensive mechanism of Tribulus terrestris in 2K1C hypertensive rats: role of tissue ACE activity. Life Sci 2003;73:2963-71. View abstract.
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Sheehan MP, Atherton DJ. A controlled trial of traditional Chinese medicinal plants in widespread non-exudative atopic eczema. Br J Dermatol 1992;126:179-84. View abstract.
Siddiqui MA, Itrat M, Mobeen A, Khan MI. Efficacy of khar-i-khasak (Tribulus terrestris Linn.) in prehypertension: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Complement Integr Med. 2021. View abstract.
Sun, B., Qu, W. J., Zhang, X. L., Yang, H. J., Zhuang, X. Y., and Zhang, P. [Investigation on inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing effects of saponins from Tribulus terrestris on hepatoma cell line BEL-7402]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 2004;29(7):681-684. View abstract.
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Huang, J. W., Tan, C. H., Jiang, S. H., and Zhu, D. Y. Terrestrinins A and B, two new steroid saponins from Tribulus terrestris. J Asian Nat Prod Res 2003;5(4):285-290. View abstract.
Jameel, J. K., Kneeshaw, P. J., Rao, V. S., and Drew, P. J. Gynaecomastia and the plant product "Tribulis terrestris". Breast 2004;13(5):428-430. View abstract.
Kamenov Z, Fileva S, Kalinov K, Jannini EA. Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of Tribulus terrestris in male sexual dysfunction-A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Maturitas. 2017 May;99:20-26. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.01.011. View abstract.
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Li M, Qu W, Wang Y, et al. [Hypoglycemic effect of saponin from Tribulus terrestris] Zhong Yao Cai 2002;25:420-2. View abstract.
Marques MAA, Lourenço BHLB, Reis MP, et al. Osteoprotective Effects of Tribulus terrestris L.: Relationship Between Dehydroepiandrosterone Levels and Ca2+-Sparing Effect. J Med Food. 2019 Mar;22(3):241-247. View abstract.
Neychev, V. K. and Mitev, V. I. The aphrodisiac herb Tribulus terrestris does not influence the androgen production in young men. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005; Oct 3;101(1-3):319-23 View abstract.
Postigo S, Lima SM, Yamada SS, et al. Assessment of the effects of Tribulus terrestris on sexual function of menopausal women. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet 2016;38(3):140-6. View abstract.
Protich, M., Tsvetkov, D., Nalbanski, B., Stanislavov, R., and Katsarova, M. [Clinical trial of a tribestan preparation in infertile men]. Akush.Ginekol.(Sofiia) 1983;22(4):326-329. View abstract.
Raos, M., Bumber, Z., and Kovac, K. [A bronchial polyp and foreign body in an adolescent]. Lijec.Vjesn. 2001;123(7-8):177-178. View abstract.
Roaiah MF, El Khayat YI, GamalEl Din SF, Abd El Salam MA. Pilot study on the effect of botanical medicine (Tribulus terrestris) on serum testosterone level and erectile function in aging males with partial androgen deficiency (PADAM). J Sex Marital Ther 2016;42(4):297-301. View abstract.
Roaiah MF, Elkhayat YI, Saleh SF, Abd El Salam MA. Prospective analysis on the effect of botanical medicine (Tribulus terrestris) on serum testosterone level and semen parameters in males with unexplained infertility. J Diet Suppl. 2016 Jun 23:1-7. No doi. View abstract.
Rogerson S, Riches CJ, Jennings C, et al. The effect of five weeks of Tribulus terrestris supplementation on muscle strength and body composition during preseason training in elite rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res 2007;21(2):348-53. View abstract.
Hong CH, Hur SK, Oh OJ, et al. Evaluation of natural products on inhibition of inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in cultured mouse macrophage cells. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;83:153-9. View abstract.
Bedir, E., Khan, I. A., and Walker, L. A. Biologically active steroidal glycosides from Tribulus terrestris. Pharmazie 2002;57(7):491-493. View abstract.
Bourke, C. A., Stevens, G. R., and Carrigan, M. J. Locomotor effects in sheep of alkaloids identified in Australian Tribulus terrestris. Aust.Vet.J 1992;69(7):163-165. View abstract.
Brown GA, Vukovich MD, Reifenrath TA, et al. Effects of anabolic precursors on serum testosterone concentrations and adaptations to resistance training in young men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000;10:340-59. View abstract.
Campanelli M, De Thomasis R, Tenaglia RL. Priapism caused by 'Tribulus terrestris'. Int J Impot Res 2016;28(1):39-40. View abstract.
Conrad, J., Dinchev, D., Klaiber, I., Mika, S., Kostova, I., and Kraus, W. A novel furostanol saponin from Tribulus terrestris of Bulgarian origin. Fitoterapia 2004;75(2):117-122. View abstract.
De Combarieu E, Fuzzati N, Lovati M, Mercalli E. Furostanol saponins from Tribulus terrestris. Fitoterapia 2003;74:583-91. View abstract.
de Souza KZ, Vale FB, Geber S. Efficacy of Tribulus terrestris for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in postmenopausal women: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Menopause. 2016 Nov;23(11):1252-1256. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2017.1409711 View abstract.
Deepak M, Dipankar G, Prashanth D, et al. Tribulosin and beta-sitosterol-D-glucoside, the anthelmintic principles of Tribulus terrestris. Phytomedicine 2002;9:753-6. View abstract.
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.
Dudley JP. Bilateral pneumothorax resulting from the bronchoscopic removal of a puncture vine fruit. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1983;92:396-7. View abstract.
Fernández-Lázaro D, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Del Valle Soto M, Adams DP, González-Bernal JJ, Seco-Calvo J. The Effects of 6 Weeks of Tribulus terrestris L. Supplementation on Body Composition, Hormonal Response, Perceived Exertion, and CrossFit(®) Performance: A Randomized, Single-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrients 2021;13(11):3969. View abstract.
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.
Wang B, Ma L, Liu T. 406 cases of angina pectoris in coronary heart disease treated with saponin of Tribulus terrestris. Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1990;10:85-7. View abstract.
Wilkins AL, et al. Photosensitivity in South Africa. IX. Structure elucidation of a beta-glucosidase-treated saponin from Tribulus terrestis, and the identification of saponin chemotypes of South African T. terrestis. Onderstepoort Journal Veterinary Res 1996; 63:327-34. View abstract.
Zarkova S. [Steroid saponins of Tribulus terrestris L. have a stimulant effect on the sexual function]. Rev Port Ciencias Vet 1984;79(470):117-126.
Adimoelja, A. Phytochemicals and the breakthrough of traditional herbs in the management of sexual dysfunctions. Int J Androl 2000;23 Suppl 2:82-84. View abstract.
Adaikan, P. G., Gauthaman, K., Prasad, R. N., and Ng, S. C. Proerectile pharmacological effects of Tribulus terrestris extract on the rabbit corpus cavernosum. Ann Acad.Med Singapore 2000;29(1):22-26. View abstract.
Akhtari E, Raisi F, Keshavarz M, et al. Tribulus terrestris for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Daru 2014;22:40. View abstract.
Al-Ali M, Wahbi S, Twaij H, Al-Badr A. Tribulus terrestris: preliminary study of its diuretic and contractile effects and comparison with Zea mays. J Ethnopharmacol 2003;85:257-60. View abstract.
Antonio J, Uelmen J, Rodriguez R, Earnest C. The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2000;10:208-15. View abstract.
Arentz S, Smith CA, Abbott J, Fahey P, Cheema BS, Bensoussan A. Combined Lifestyle and Herbal Medicine in Overweight Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A Randomized Controlled Trial. Phytother Res. 2017 Sep;31(9):1330-1340. View abstract.
Baery N, Ghasemi Nejad A, Amin M, et al. Effect of vaginal suppository on bacterial vaginitis based on Persian medicine (Iranian traditional medicine): a randomised double blind clinical study. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2018 Nov;38(8):1110-1114. View abstract.
Bedir, E. and Khan, I. A. New steroidal glycosides from the fruits of Tribulus terrestris. J Nat Prod 2000;63(12):1699-1701. View abstract.
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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.
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