Tribulus Terrestris has been used for thousands of years in Chinese, Ayurvedic and folk medicine of Southern European countries. It is characterised by very high biological activity and content of powerful substances with health-promoting effects. How does Tribulus Terrestris affect sexual function? When should it be used for health? Does it support athletic performance?
Tribulus Terrestris - what is it?
Tribulus Terrestris often referred to as Tribulus, is an annual, creeping shrub, growing up to 60 cm in height. Its small branches are densely covered with leaves, which resemble a fern and are covered with a hairy fuzz. It blooms with intense yellow flowers and is a thermophilic plant. Tribulus Terrestris occurs naturally in the Mediterranean region, in both North African and European countries, as well as in the subtropical areas of India, China and South America.
Tribulus Terrestris is not an ordinary shrub, it appears to be something that folk medicine has fallen in love with. Traditional medicinal recipes have used their roots and fruits for thousands of years. Tribulus Terrestris has been a raw material in Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurveda and the folk medicine of southern European countries. According to folk formulas, it is used as a diuretic for toning the kidneys, as an expectorant aid, to improve eyesight, for itching of the skin, headaches and dizziness. In India, Tribulus Terrestris has been used for infertility, impotence, erectile dysfunction and low libido. In addition, its roots and fruits are believed to have cardiovascular regulating properties.
Modern science has been verifying the traditional health uses of Tribulus Terrestris for several years. It seems that the plant can be an aphrodisiac, improve sexual function, fertility and like many plants with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential, act as a cardiovascular protector, anti-diabetic or anti-cancer agent.
According to recent discoveries, Tribulus Terrestris owes its effects to a wide range of active substances. These include steroid saponins, flavonoids, glycosides, phytosterols, tannins, terpenoids, amide-derivatives, amino acids and proteins. Among the above-mentioned components, steroidal saponins (spirostane and furaston saponins) and flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin) are considered to be the most important compounds with biological activity and effect on human health.
Recommended products with Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus and sexual health
One of the main traditional uses of Tribulus is as a treatment of libido and fertility disorders. Studies involving humans and animals suggest that Tribulus Terrestris extract may be helpful in mild and moderate erectile dysfunction. It has been noted that administration of Tribulus extracts can positively affect the levels of the male sex testosterone hormones, dihydrotestosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, as well as suppress the pro-inflammatory pathways NF-κB and Nrf2/HO-1. The same biological activity may be responsible for the potential action of Tribulus as an aphrodisiac. The increased desire for sex was investigated in an experiment involving 180 men aged from 18 to 65 years with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction and with or without hypoactive sexual desire disorder. The men were randomly assigned to groups receiving Tribulus extract tablets or placebo. After 12 weeks of use, the group of men receiving Tribulus reported improvements in sexual function and sexual satisfaction significantly higher than the placebo group.
cientific research suggests that Tribulus extract may effectively improve male fertility due to its antioxidant and genital protective effects. According to studies, Tribulus may have beneficial effects on spermatogenesis, increasing the number, motility and vitality of the sperm, the condition of the seminal ducts, increasing the capacity of the testicles, as well as the level of antioxidant enzymes in the body.
The intake of 250 mg of Tribulus extract 3 times a day for 90 days has proven to be effective by clinical trials in increasing libido, desire and sexual interest among postmenopausal women who have noticed a decline in sexual function as a result of hormonal changes associated with menopause. However, it cannot be assumed that a dietary supplement containing Tribulus will show the same effect.
Tribulus Terrestris - health-promoting properties
Tribulus Terrestris is used in folk medicine in many ways. Not all of the traditional functions have been confirmed by modern science, while the relevance of others is partially verified. Certainly, it is known that Tribulus terrestris is an aphrodisiac for both men and women and may improve male fertility. What other health-promoting effects does Tribulus Terrestris exhibit?
- It may protect against the formation of urinary stones but probably does not affect existing ones.
- It may have anti-diabetic effects. Saponins found in Tribulus Terrestris have been shown to inhibit the postprandial rise in blood glucose and reduce symptoms of insulin-dependent diabetes. One of the clinical studies proved that administration of Tribulus Terrestris hydrolyzed extract (1000 mg daily) for 3 months can have antidiabetic effects, lowering the levels of glucose on an empty stomach and 2 hours after a meal, glycated haemoglobin and improving lipid profile in diabetic women.
- It may be beneficial in ischaemic heart disease and ischemia-induced damage due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as slowing apoptosis (cell death) of heart muscle cells. Tribulus Terrestris may improve coronary blood flow, cell mitochondrial function and energy production.
- Tribulus Terrestris saponins may have a neuroprotective effect on ischemia-induced brain damage by slowing the inflammatory response.
- Tribulus Terrestris has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, it can influence the processes of apoptosis and metastasis of cancer cells.
- Tribulus Terrestris extracts have antimicrobial activity against many pathogenic bacteria, including eradication-resistant Helicobacter pylori, which causes serious digestive problems, and Streptococcus mutans, which is responsible for caries formation.
- Tribulus Terrestris can mitigate liver cell damage. The mechanism of hepatoprotective action may be related to antioxidant properties, effects on metabolic regulation and inhibition of liver cell apoptosis.
Tribulus Terrestris for athletes - scientific opinions
Looking for information on the effectiveness of Tribulus Terrestris, there are claims that it helps to increase athletic performance. It is known for raising testosterone levels, which is why it is associated with beneficial effects for athletes. However, it is important to remember that correlation does not mean causation. The fact that Tribulus Terrestris may increase testosterone secretion is not equivalent to improved athletic ability and performance.