Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)


Tribulus terrestris has a long history of use for a variety of conditions. It has been suggested that it was used in ancient Greece and India as a physical rejuvenation tonic. In China, it is used as a component of therapy for conditions affecting the liver, kidney, cardiovascular system and immune systems. It has also been used in Eastern European folk medicine for increased muscle strength and sexual potency. Despite its history of use, there is limited human data available in order to evaluate its clinical effectiveness.
Tribulus has been studied as a non-steroidal alternative to treatment of infertility. Although the results of the few studies done with the combination product Tribestan® are promising, more studies are needed in order to further evaluate its clinical effectiveness. Preliminary research with tribulus also suggests that it may be useful in treating coronary heart disease, but additional study is needed.

Related Terms

Abrojos, al-Gutub, bullhead, calthrops, caltrop, cat's-head, common dubbletjie, devil's-thorn, devil's-weed, espigon, goathead, gokhru, Gokshura, Mexican sandbur, nature's Viagra®, puncture vine, puncture weed, qutiba, Texas sandbur, tribule terrestre, Tribulus terrestris, Trilovin®.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Coronary artery disease (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that tribulus may be beneficial to patients with coronary heart disease. Additional study is needed to further evaluate its clinical effectiveness.
Exercise performance enhancement (Grade: C)
Preliminary studies indicated that tribulus may enhance body composition or exercise performance in resistance trained males. More information is needed before a firm recommendation can be made.
Infertility (female) (Grade: C)
Although the results of one study investigating the effects of
Infertility (male) (Grade: C)
Although Tribestan® seems to increase sperm count and viability and increase libido, its effectiveness in the treatment of male infertility remains inconclusive, due to a lack of well-designed clinical trials.