Complete guide to Tribulus
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Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) is a plant that produces fruits covered with thorns. It is traditionally known as an aphrodisiac in various cultures.
Tribulus contains chemicals that may increase the levels of certain hormones. But it does not seem to increase male hormones (testosterone) in humans. Tribulus is also known as the puncture vine because its sharp spines can flatten bicycle tires.
People use tribulus to treat sexual disorders, infertility, chest pain, enlarged prostate, and many other conditions, but there is no solid scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
What are the origins of tribulus?
Originally from India, it is a plant that grows mainly in dry areas but is currently grown everywhere (Asia, Europe, USA etc).
What are the effects and benefits of Tribulus?
Although used as a form of traditional medicine for centuries, tribulus supplements have recently become popular due to how they can influence sexual health and improve athletic performance.
In folk medicine, tribulus terrestris is used as a diuretic, analgesic, and appetite stimulant, as well as a treatment for kidney stones, high blood pressure, and urinary tract infections. But what does the research say about these health benefits?
Research on whether tribulus terrestris boosts libido is mixed, but the results remain inconclusive.
For premenopausal women struggling with low libido, there's some evidence the dietary supplement can boost desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction, according to a 2018 clinical trial published in Gynecological Endocrinology. However, this was a small study that only included 40 participants and larger studies are needed to better understand the potential health benefits.
Tribulus has also been studied in men battling erectile dysfunction and low libido. A 2017 clinical trial found that men given a tribulus supplement reported better sexual function, satisfaction, desire, and orgasm than men given the placebo.
Although promising, clinical trials evaluating the benefits of tribulus on male sexual health have been inconsistent in terms of what researchers were studying - erectile dysfunction, low libido, or both - and the tools used to assess effectiveness - laboratory data measuring hormone levels against a subjective questionnaire.
However, other studies have subsequently demonstrated the effectiveness of tribulus in improving libido as well as erection in men. This is why you will find tribulus in many of our natural food supplements dedicated to sexuality.
Tribulus Terrestris is a popular supplement among athletes due to its androgenic effects, or the way it stimulates testosterone production. Intense and prolonged exercise suppresses testosterone production, which negatively affects athletic performance. Tribulus supplementation can boost testosterone, preventing this drop in performance.
However, a 2021 clinical study of CrossFit-trained athletes found that tribulus supplementation did not improve athletic performance or body composition. The authors noted that more research is needed to determine the potential benefits of tribulus terrestris supplements for athletes and gym goers.
Another study involving a group of highly trained boxers, published in 2017 in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, found no improvement in muscle mass or testosterone levels when supplementing with tribulus terrestris. However, the trained boxers experienced less muscle damage and improvements in their anaerobic performance - high intensity training.
In animal studies, tribulus terrestris may lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. However, it is unknown if this herbal supplement provides the same benefits to humans.
Kidney stones are a common condition that causes severe abdominal pain. In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, tribulus terrestris is used to treat kidney stones.
The herb may reduce the risk of kidney stones by increasing urination. Current research on the potential health benefits of tribulus terrestris for kidney stones is limited to animal studies.
What are the side effects of tribulus?
Tribulus supplements are POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for a short time. They have been used safely in research studies lasting up to 8 weeks. The long-term safety of tribulus is unknown.
Eating the thorn-covered fruit of tribulus is likely safe. There have been reports of a serious lung problem related to the consumption of this fruit.
How to take tribulus?
Tribulus terrestris supplements come in capsules and powder, as well as tea. In traditional medicine, all parts of the plant are used for treatment. However, the tribulus terrestris supplements that you will find in the mainstream may contain extracts from the fruit, leaf or root, or a combination of these parts of the plant.
There is no standard dose for this herbal dietary supplement, nor a known level of toxicity. Tribulus terrestris supplements may contain 250 milligram to 750 milligram capsules. We recommend that you follow the instructions on the supplement's label for the correct dosage and preparation based on the desired effects.