Tribulus terrestris, also known as puncture vine, is a spiny plant that produces fruit. The leaf, root and fruit of this Mediterranean plant are all used as medicine and in supplements. Tribulus terrestris has been used for many years because it enhances fitness performance and improves sexual health. Some preliminary studies have shown that Tribulus terrestris helps with fertility issues as well as circulatory issues and disorders.
What Conditions Are Improved By Taking Tribulus Terrestris?
- Tribulus terrestris has been shown to increase, strengthen and improve the tissue surrounding the sexual organs, but it is not considered as an herb to help improve sexual functions.
- The root and fruit does help with virility and vitality, as it refers directly to sexual health.
- Tribulus terrestris naturally enhances sexual well being without affecting the body’s natural testosterone. The fruit part of the plant is potent and acts to protect and support the sexual organs.
- As a natural diuretic, Tribulus terrestris has been shown to help improve kidney, bladder and urinary-tract related conditions.
- Some studies also conclude that Tribulus terrestris may help to improve fertility slightly in people who suffer from infertility issues.
Tribulus Terrestris Side Effects
If you take tribulus in small doses for a short time, it is probably safe. Large doses and extended use of tribulus terrestris can cause liver damage due to toxins in the plant. Lab tests on animals have linked tribulus to developmental problems in unborn babies.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not consume tribulus in any dosage. Men also need to be aware that preliminary studies have shown possible links between the consumption of tribulus terrestris and prostate problems. There do not appear to be any issues with adverse reactions from interactions in terms of combining tribulus terrestris with other foods, herbs or supplements.
There are certain medications, however, that may interact with tribulus terrestris. If you are taking prescription heart or blood pressure medications: beta or calcium channel blockers, digoxin, ACE inhibitors, diuretics or nitrates, do not begin taking any dosage of tribulus terrestris.
If you are taking medications for diabetes, tribulus terrestris may decrease your blood sugar levels to dangerously-low levels that may result in hospitalization. Tribulus terrestris may also increase the effect of steroids in the body. It is important to disclose any and all medications and supplements you are taking with a licensed healthcare professional to determine if tribulus terrestris will cause any potential serious side effects or complications.
From a libido aspect, tribulus is a relatively reliable herb for virility and a mild testosterone booster. Cardiovascular and urogenital health seem to be the most targeted systems in the body when it comes to overall effectiveness of tribulus terrestris. The herb has been shown in lab studies to enhance the androgen receptor density in the brain which is directly linked to libido.
Tribulus Terrestris Dosage
Determining the correct dosage of tribulus terrestris depends on a number of specific factors. Age, health, sex, underlying condition and weight are all important factors to consider when making the determination as to how to administer the herb. A dosage of 250 to 450 mg per day is typical for sexual and libido enhancement. The potency and prevalence of the herb in the product or supplement should also be considered. Supplements, salves and medications containing tribulus terrestris can contain varying amount of the herb in the respective products. If tribulus terrestris is listed as a top ingredient in the product to be consumed, it can be fair to assume that that particular product has a more potent dosage of the herb.
Tribulus Terrestris: Does It Work?
Some studies in lab mice show promising results as it pertains to improving certain cardiovascular and urogenital conditions. The results on sexual health and libido enhancements are varied. There are other natural products and herbs on the market that may provide better results as it pertains to increasing testosterone levels and increasing sexual desire.
Tribulus terrestris will not directly improve erectile dysfunction and does not improve or increase blood flow to the genitals. The herb does, however, slightly increase testosterone levels and has been shown to improve the tissue surrounding the sexual organs. With this in mind, tribulus terrestris can be used in conjunction with other performance enhancing or sexual dysfunction herbs and drugs to increase stamina, libido, and sexual health and function. It is important to schedule a visit with a doctor before beginning a new supplement treatment or introducing a new herb to your existing daily routine.
As an Ayurveda treatment, tribulus terrestris tea acts as a diuretic and has been used for hundreds of years to treat kidney, bladder and urinary tract infections. People suffering with complications from diabetes may find some relief from bloating and swelling when consuming tribulus terrestris. While some extensive studies have been done on the benefits and side effects of tribulus terrestris in labs, these studies are rather limited in the grand scope of research. The long-term usage of the herb may cause adverse reactions and health problems when taken in large doses.
From a performance-enhancing standpoint, many athletes are beginning to incorporate tribulus terrestris in to their existing supplement daily routine. The studies surrounding performance have not been studied in great detail, but the herb has been shown to increase performance by moderate margins. It increases duration and longevity with a slight boost in overall strength for endurance-based and muscle-building sports and events. While these studies have not been conclusive in terms of producing concrete evidence and results, many health food stores, natural supermarkets and vitamin shops have started carrying products containing tribulus terrestris and are marketing them as performance-enhancing supplements.
No matter the underlying reason for consuming tribulus terrestris, it is important to seek the expertise of a health professional and ask the appropriate questions to determine if consuming this herb is right for you. You should ask questions and also discuss the long-term benefits and possible adverse reactions to determine the the proper dosage. Many naturopathic health professionals have experience with the herb and can give helpful information on its benefits.