Tribulus Terrestris: What Is It, Benefits, Risks, And More

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

Ayurvedic or traditional medicines contain numerous plants and their extracts to treat several health conditions.

Tribulus Terrestris could be a potential choice if you are looking for any plant or herb to treat sexual health problems.

Tribulus Terrestris or Gokshur or Gokhara is a medicinal plant that grows in warm and dry regions. The plant offers numerous health benefits, which will be discussed in the article.

Moreover, the article will cover all the essential details related to Tribulus Terrestris for its safe usage.

All about Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is a highly beneficial plant widely grown in different regions, including the Mediterranean, desert, and tropical.

Several countries like India, China, Vietnam, Spain, Bulgaria, and Mexico are Tribulus’s primary cultivators.

The plant contains beautiful glowing flowers, paripinnate leaves, and some spikes or needles; hence, it is alternatively called a “puncture vine” or ” devil’s thorn.”

Tribulus Terrestris is one of the 25 Tribulus species considered for medicinal purposes worldwide.

Traditionally, the root and leaf extract of Tribulus Terrestris has been used for treating several health conditions, including low libido, fertility, testosterone levels, and other diseases related to the kidney, urinary tract, etc.

The benefits offered by Tribulus Terrestris have been linked with two major compounds, including saponins and flavonoids.

But, some other compounds, like alkaloids, tannins, phytosterols, phenolic amides, etc., play a significant role in elevating the medicinal effects.

All these compounds are partially distributed to different regions of the plant. The root primarily contains compounds like saponins protodioscin, tribulosin, and diosgenin.

On the other hand, leaves contain phenolic amides and other saponins. But, to date, the FDA hasn’t approved the medicinal usage of Tribulus Terrestris due to la ack of solid clinical evidence.

Hence, the safety and effectiveness of Tribulus supplements are still unanswered.

Benefits Of Tribulus Terrestris

  1. May Enhance Male Sexual Health

    Tribulus Terrestris has been widely used to boost men’s sexual health. The plant products are known for containing a steroid-like compound called furostanol saponins.

    Furostanol saponins primarily work by suppressing the activity of the natural hormone receptors resulting in increased luteinizing hormone production.

    The hormone further activates Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone.

    Hence, men struggling with low testosterone levels would experience a massive boost in their primary sex hormone levels after consuming Tribulus Terrestris.

    Besides balancing testosterone, Tribulus Terrestris may help boost sperm quality and quantity.

    Moreover, it may help prevent medical conditions related to the prostate gland, like BPH, in older men.

  2. May Boost Sexual Functions In Women

    Tribulus Terrestris may help women in boosting their sexual health and functions.

    The plant supplements would help boost libido, resulting in increased sexual desires, satisfaction, and pleasure.

    Moreover, the plant compounds may help balance different hormones regulating sexual health.

    Hence, after consuming the plant supplements, a woman may experience fewer symptoms, like irregular periods, mood swings, etc.

  3. May Boost Athletic Performance

    Athletes widely use Tribulus Terrestris supplements to boost their performance on the field.

    The androgenic properties of the plant supplement boost testosterone production, thus, increasing athletic performance.

    Athletes undergoing intense workouts and practicing for long periods lack sufficient testosterone production.

     The supplement may help balance the hormone level and restore athletic characteristics like high energy, aggressiveness, and muscle strength.

    Tribulus Terrestris supplement may primarily help boxers in restoring their muscle mass.

    The plant compounds would help prevent muscle degradation and boost anaerobic performance, which is essential for a strong and muscular body.

  4. May Balance Blood Pressure

    Tribulus Terrestris could help lower increasing blood pressure and keep it under control.

    Consuming aqueous extracts of Tribulus Terrestris may lower hypertension symptoms by suppressing angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity.

    Generally, the angiotensin-converting enzyme plays a significant role in converting the angiotensin-I hormone into angiotensin-II.

    But, the angiotensin-II’s accumulation results in the narrowing of blood vessels, increasing blood pressure.

    Thus, Tribulus Terrestris extracts suppress the ACE activity and prevent the narrowing of blood vessels.

  5. May Boost Heart Health And Blood Sugar Levels

    Tribulus Terrestris may potentially boost an individual’s heart health and blood sugar levels.

    Generally, people consuming Tribulus Terrestris in a controlled dosage may lower their bad cholesterol levels.

    Moreover, the plant may help balance the good cholesterol levels and reduce blood vessel damage to prevent heart problems.

    The plant could also help manage the blood flow by dilating the coronary arteries.

    Besides good heart health, Tribulus Terrestris consumption may help type-2 diabetic patients experience reduced symptoms.

    Moreover, regular consumption of the plant may help lower blood sugar levels.

  6. May Improve Digestion

    Tribulus Terrestris could improve digestion and boost digestive health in multiple ways.

    The plant products are considered a mild laxative, i.e., they help remove solid waste quickly from the body.

    Moreover, saponins present in Tribulus Terrestris may help soothe the smooth muscle spasm or colic pains.

    Tribulus Terrestris could be a beneficial medicine for lowering intestinal gastric issues and restricting the growth of harmful gastric worms.

     Alongside good digestive health, the plant could also help suppress the appetite essential for weight loss.

  7. May Treat Infertility In Men And Women

    Tribulus Terrestris may help regain fertility. In males, erectile dysfunction could be a potential cause of infertility due to a lack of DHEA or low DHEA levels.

    Tribulus Terrestris contains a compound called Protodioscin that may help improve the DHEA levels in the body resulting in improved erectile dysfunction problems.

    Several women struggle with hormonal imbalances and irregular ovulation problems. Such a condition may hamper their fertility resulting in low pregnancy rates.

    Tribulus Terrestris consumption may help lower cysts in PCOS patients and restore regular ovulation.

  8. May Benefit Kidney Problems

    Tribulus Terrestris has shown a positive effect on kidney-related problems. It is believed that fruit and leaf extracts of the plant have diuretic properties, i.e., increased urine production.

    Thus, consuming the plant products like fruits or leaves may help prevent kidney stones and cure urination problems.

Side Effects Of Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris hasn’t shown any adverse side effects if consumed within the advised dose. But, some people may experience a few common side effects, as mentioned.

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation, etc.

Besides these common side effects, combining Tribulus Terrestris with some medicinal drugs may cause some severe effects.

  1. Diabetes Medicines

    Generally, diabetes medicines are tasked with lowering blood sugar levels. But, consuming these medicines along with Tribulus Terrestris may cause a sudden drop in blood sugar levels.

  2. Heart Disease And Hypertension Medicines

    You must avoid consuming heart disease and hypertension medicines with Tribulus Terrestris as they all have similar effects on the body.

    Hence, excessive intake of blood pressure-lowering medication may cause a severe drop and other side effects. Sometimes, these medicines may impact the heart’s blood pumping rate.

  3. Diuretic Medicines

    If you consume some medicines for kidney problems or increased urination, then you should avoid Tribulus Terrestris.

     The plant may combinedly act and increase fluid release out of the body. Thus, such a condition would cause a mineral imbalance in the body.

  4. Prostate Effect

    Tribulus has been considered the cause of increasing PSA (prostate-specific antigen) concentration in the body.

    Generally, men diagnosed with prostate cancer and other prostate-related disorders contain high PSA levels.

    Hence, a higher PSA level due to Tribulus could increase the risk of prostate problems.

  5. May Cause Ulcer

    NSAID aspirin is a drug widely used for suppressing pain and inflammation. But, prolonged consumption in high dosages may increase the risk of ulcers.

    Tribulus Terrestris has been an alternative for NSAID aspirin; hence, it may cause ulcers.

Dosage Of Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris’s dosage isn’t specific as it may vary depending on different medical conditions.

Generally, the usual dose range varies between 250-1500 mg per day for situations like low blood sugar levels, low libido, etc.

The recommended Tribulus dose is approximately 1000 mg daily for increasing blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, for libido enhancement, you may change the dose between 250-1500 mg per day, depending on the severity.

Some other conditions, like low fertility in men, may require up to 12g Tribulus Terrestris per day. People struggling with high cholesterol may increase their dosage up to 3g to balance their cholesterol.

You may also calculate the dose based on your overall body weight. Generally, it is recommended to consume 10-20 mg per kg of your body weight for better safety.

Dosage Based On Saponin Concentration

The Tribulus Terrestris dose is sometimes calculated based on the supplement’s saponin concentration. Hence, you may have observed the supplements contain saponin concentration on their labels.

Most Tribulus supplements contain 40-50% saponins for the standard dose. But, supplements containing higher saponins should be consumed in lower dosages to avoid over-consumption.


Several herbs and supplements are available for treating sexual health conditions. But Tribulus Terrestris is one of the plants that offer higher benefits with lower side effects.

People consuming the plant’s supplements have observed positive changes. But, additional research would be required to guarantee the impact on an individual’s health.

 Hence, you should consult a specialist before consuming Tribulus supplements.