Published On By Dimitar Marinov [MD, PhD]

Tribulus Terrestris

Commonly called Gokshur or Gokhara, Tribulus Terrestris may be used as a natural diuretic, pain reliever, or as an aphrodisiac to raise sexual desire.

Tribulus Terrestris may also help lower blood sugar, improve sexual function and libido, and support hormonal balance. It is posited to help stimulate testosterone production, which may help improve muscle mass, strength, and athletic performance.

Although Tribulus Terrestris is considered safe for consumption in moderate amounts, some people may experience side effects like stomach discomfort, cramping, or diarrhea.

This article explores the health benefits of consuming Tribulus Terrestris and the potential drawbacks that may arise from its consumption.

What Is Tribulus Terrestris?

Tribulus Terrestris is a plant native to regions in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is characterized by its small, yellow flowers and spiny fruits.

Tribulus Terrestris has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. It possesses adaptogen effects that may help the body better adapt to stress and improve energy levels.

Tribulus Terrestris has several bioactive compounds, including steroidal saponins like protodioscin. These bioactive compounds could help boost testosterone levels, enhance athletic performance, and support overall vitality.

Benefits Of Tribulus Terrestris

  1. Improve Body Composition

    Athletes or fitness enthusiast stake Tribulus terrestris to improve their body composition, as they believe it could enhance muscle mass and reduce body fat. However, there is limited evidence to suggest that Tribulus Terrestris impacts muscle growth or fat reduction.

    Tribulus Terrestris might improve body composition by influencing testosterone levels. According to animal studies, it may support the body’s natural testosterone production, which might help improve overall body composition.

    In a study, male rugby players took Tribulus Terrestris for five weeks alongside strength training. However, by the end of the study, they did not experience significant improvements in testosterone, body composition or strength.

  2. Reduce Inflammation

    The COX-2 enzyme may trigger inflammation in the body. Tribulus Terrestris blocks COX-2 enzyme activity, which could help decrease the production of prostaglandins that promote inflammation.

    It may help modulate the immune response, helping reduce excessive inflammation. Tribulus Terrestris may support a balanced immune response, which is important for managing inflammation.

    Tribulus Terrestris contains compounds, like flavonoids and alkaloids, that have antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help reduce free radicals, which are harmful molecules that may trigger inflammation and cell damage.

  3. Manage Blood Sugar and Heart Health

    A study examined the effects of taking 1,000 mg of Tribulus Terrestris daily in 98 women with type 2 diabetes. After three months, women taking Tribulus Terrestris experienced reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels than those who took a placebo.

    Tribulus Terrestris may improve lipid profile by reducing total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It also helps increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. These virtues may help reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular complications.

    Research indicates that Tribulus Terrestris may improve insulin sensitivity, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Such effects could help reduce the risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

  4. It May Promote Sexual Function

    Tribulus Terrestris may increase nitric oxide production, which helps widen blood vessels and improve penile blood circulation. Such effects might help improve erection quality, sexual performance, and libido.

    Tribulus Terrestris might help increase testosterone levels, which may improve libido and sexual function. These effects could be particularly profound in people with low testosterone levels. However, data in men is limited, and testosterone benefits have been noted primarily in animal studies.

  5. It May Reduce Pain

    Tribulus Terrestris has anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce inflammation-induced pain, such as pain caused by muscle soreness or arthritis.

    It may help modulate the perception of pain, possibly by interacting with neurotransmitters involved in pain signaling. Such modulation might help reduce the intensity of pain experienced.

    Studies suggest that high doses of Tribulus Terrestris extract have analgesic effects that may help reduce pain. However, the pain-relieving effects of Tribulus Terrestris are similar to aspirin but less than morphine.

    The findings suggest that Tribulus Terrestris may be a suitable approach for those seeking natural pain relief measures. It may help mitigate pain and discomfort without the strong side effects associated with conventional pain medications.

  6. It Could Enhance Libido Levels

    Research suggests that Tribulus terrestris may help improve sexual desire in people experiencing a decline in libido. This effect has been noted in both men and women, suggesting a potential benefit for improving overall sexual wellness.

    Tribulus Terrestris is a natural adaptogen that might help the body adapt to stress and improve mood. Its ability to reduce stress and anxiety might help improve libido and sexual desire.

  7. It May Lower Blood Pressure Levels

    Tribulus Terrestris has vasodilatory effects that may signal the blood vessels to dilate and enhance blood circulation. These mechanisms may contribute to better cardiovascular health and potentially reduce high blood pressure levels.

    It has anti-inflammatory properties that could help reduce inflammation in the blood vessels. Such a mechanism may help improve vascular function and lower elevated blood pressure.

    Tribulus Terrestris may have a mild diuretic effect, which might help lower blood pressure by lowering the volume of blood running through the blood vessels. However, more research is needed to conclusively prove Tribulus Terrestris’ efficacy in reducing blood pressure.

  8. It May Improve Cognitive Function

    Tribulus Terrestris has anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce neuroinflammation. Inflammation in the brain may cause cognitive decline and potentially increase the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases.

    Some studies suggest that Tribulus Terrestris may have neuroprotective effects, helping protect brain cells from oxidative damage and supporting overall cognitive function.

    It may help improve blood flow to the brain, delivering more nutrients and oxygen that are essential for optimal brain function. Tribulus Terrestris may help improve memory and learning ability, although more studies are needed to confirm these effects.

  9. Support Urinary Tract Health

    Tribulus Terrestris may help improve urinary flow and reduce symptoms of urinary tract obstruction, which might benefit overall urinary tract health.

    It has a mild diuretic effect, which could promote urine production and reduce fluid retention. Such effects may help reduce toxins and bacteria from the urinary tract, potentially reducing the risk of infections.

    Tribulus Terrestris has antibacterial properties, which may help prevent or reduce bacterial infections in the urinary tract. It may help support the immune system, which is essential for fighting off infections in the urinary tract.

Side Effects Of Tribulus Terrestris

  1. Digestive Discomfort

    Tribulus Terrestris may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Some people may also experience heartburn and irritation of the gut lining when taking Tribulus Terrestris.

    Stomach cramps add to the discomfort, causing pain and bloating in some cases. Therefore, you should be aware of these potential digestive side effects before considering using Tribulus Terrestris.

    Monitor how your body responds to Tribulus Terrestris and adjust the dosage or discontinue using it if these symptoms persist. Consult a doctor before using Tribulus Terrestris, especially if you have a previous history of gastrointestinal issues.

  2. Kidney Damage Issues

    Prolonged or overuse of Tribulus Terrestris may increase the risk of experiencing kidney damage.

    There are some documented cases of sudden kidney failure and severe jaundice in people who consumed high doses of Tribulus for varying purposes. These instances emphasize the need for caution when using Tribulus, particularly in high amounts or for extended periods.

    You may reduce the risk of kidney damage by adhering to the recommended dosages and not exceeding safe limits. Regularly monitoring your kidney function through medical check-ups may help detect early signs of damage and prompt appropriate action to protect kidney health.

  3. Vomiting

    Some people may experience adverse effects like vomiting and nausea after consuming Tribulus Terrestris. These side effects are often temporary and mild, resolving once the consumption is discontinued.

    After taking Tribulus, vomiting may occur due to sensitivity to the herb or an improper dosage. If vomiting persists or becomes severe after consuming Tribulus Terrestris, it is vital to seek medical attention promptly.

    Persistent vomiting might lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which may require medical intervention.

  4. Priapism

    Priapism implies the prolonged erection of the penis, which may extend for hours and may not be necessarily caused by sexual stimulation. Tribulus Terrestris could promote excessive blood circulation to the penile tissues, which may lead to priapism.

    Using Tribulus Terrestris with other medications that affect blood flow or sexual function (such as phosphodiesterase inhibitors like Viagra) may cause adverse interactions. Such adverse responses may increase the risk of priapism.

    The risk of priapism from taking Tribulus Terrestris is relatively rare. However, priapism is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.

  5. Sleeping Difficulties

    Tribulus Terrestris may impact sleep patterns and cause potential sleeping issues. Some people may experience increased energy and alertness after taking Tribulus, which may potentially interfere with their ability to fall or stay asleep.

    Not everyone may experience changes in their sleep patterns with Tribulus Terrestris consumption. Factors like dosage, timing of intake, personal sensitivity, and health status may influence how Tribulus Terrestris impacts sleep.

    Tribulus Terrestris is often linked to its effects on testosterone levels. Hormonal balance plays a part in controlling sleep patterns; any alterations in hormone levels due to Tribulus might affect sleep quality in some people.

    If you are considering using Tribulus Terrestris, monitor your sleep quality and patterns closely, especially in the initial stages of usage. Doing so may help you assess any potential impact of Tribulus Terrestris on your sleep patterns.

    People with pre-existing sleep disorders or other sleep-related concerns should consult a doctor before starting Tribulus Terrestris use.

  6. Increase Menstrual Flow

    Tribulus Terrestris could affect progesterone and estrogen hormone levels, which regulate the menstrual cycle. It may change the levels of these hormones, possibly increasing menstrual flow in women.

    Tribulus terrestris contains flavonoids and saponins that might help control menstrual cycles and increase blood flow in the pelvic area. Heavy menstrual flow might lead to blood loss, hormonal changes, infections, or other health complications.

Food Sources of Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is used in herbal formulations and is not usually consumed as a food source. However, the Tribulus plant, including its roots, leaves, and fruit, provide options for consumption in different forms.

The fruit of the Tribulus Terrestris is dried and processed to create powders or extracts, which retain the plant’s bioactive compounds. The roots of Tribulus are sometimes used in medicinal preparations for their potential therapeutic properties.

The leaves of Tribulus Terrestris may be dried and utilized to make teas or extracts, offering an alternative method of consumption.

Should You Take Tribulus Terrestris?

Tribulus Terrestris may positively impact your heart health, cholesterol profile, and blood sugar levels. It may also help stabilize hormones, particularly testosterone, and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

It may be safe for short-term use, but some people may experience side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort, mood changes, or allergic reactions. The long-term safety data of Tribulus is limited, so monitoring for adverse effects is important.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Tribulus Terrestris Be Safely Used Alongside Blood Thinners?
    Using Tribulus Terrestris with blood thinners could lead to the formation of blood clots or other health complications. Potential interactions might exist, impacting its efficacy or safety. Therefore, consult a doctor before combining Tribulus with blood thinners.
  2. Are There Any Specific Dietary Restrictions While Taking Tribulus Terrestris?
    When taking Tribulus Terrestris, you should emphasize a nutritious diet containing healthy fats, whole foods, and proteins to optimize hormonal levels and overall health. Tribulus Terrestris has mild diuretic effects, so you should increase water consumption and avoid diuretics like alcohol and coffee.
  3. Can Tribulus Terrestris Be Used for Weight Loss?
    Tribulus Terrestris could be used to support weight loss efforts, but there is limited evidence to support its effectiveness for this purpose. It may support weight loss efforts by improving energy levels and exercise performance.
  4. Can Tribulus Terrestris Improve Fertility?
    In men, Tribulus Terrestris may help improve sperm count, motility, and morphology. In women, it could help control ovulation and menstrual cycles. However, more research is needed to understand its effects on fertility fully.


Tribulus Terrestris might help enhance libido, improve athletic performance, and support heart health. It might also help maintain hormonal balance, reduce pain and inflammation, and reduce elevated blood pressure.

Although marketed as a testosterone booster, Tribulus Terrestris has mixed scientific evidence supporting such a claim. Tribulus’s effects on testosterone levels may not be significant for humans, as they are in animal trials.

However, you should use Tribulus Terrestris with an active lifestyle, including a nutritious diet and regular exercise. Personal experiences and outcomes with Tribulus Terrestris may vary, so listen to your body and seek guidance from a doctor for any doubts or concerns.

  • This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *