Tribulus terrestris is a small leafy plant. It’s also known as puncture vine, Gokshura tribulus, caltrop, energy capsule and goat. It grows in many places, including parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.Both the root and fruit of the plant have been used medicinally in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurveda medicine.
Traditionally, people have used this plant for a variety of potential effects, including enhancing libido, keeping the urinary tract healthy and reducing swelling. Today, Tribulus terrestris is widely used as a general health supplement, as well as in supplements that claim to increase testosterone levels.
Although people often take Tribulus terrestris for its potential effects on sexual function and testosterone, it has also been studied for other important effects. One study examined the effects of taking 1,000 mg of Tribulus terrestris per day in 98 women with type 2 diabetes. After three months, women taking the supplement experienced lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, compared to those who took a placebo groups.
Animal studies have also shown that Tribulus terrestris may reduce blood sugar levels, help protect against blood vessel damage and help prevent increases in blood cholesterol. While these findings appear promising, more research is needed before this plant can be recommended for these health benefits.
Some people use tribulus for gonorrhea, liver disease (hepatitis), inflammation, joint pain (rheumatism), leprosy, coughs, headache, dizziness (vertigo), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and enhancing athletic performance. It is also used for stimulating appetite and as an astringent, tonic, and mood enhancer.