Often dismissed as nothing more than an invasive and pesky weed popping up in yards across the world, Tribulus terrestris or Goat’s head has been a staple in natural medicine for thousands of years. Highly praised in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, it has long been used to treat everything from sexual dysfunction to kidney stones and beyond.
There’s no doubt that adding this incredible plant into your routine can come with some pretty impressive benefits when it comes to your health:
Male Sexual Health
A powerful sexual tonic, Tribulus tops the charts of herbal Viagra. Studies have shown that this herb increases sexual desire and libido, improves the quality of sperm while making it more nimble. In some cases it will even help to remedy erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. One of the main compounds of this herb is a phytochemical known as ‘protodioscin’, which helps to boost nitric oxide production. Nitric Oxide is an essential element of an erection, enabling the smooth muscles of the penis to relax, allowing uninterrupted blood to flow to this area. Tribulus will stimulate the production of sex hormones without affecting other bodily systems.
Female Sexual Health
Tribulus Terrestris is most commonly seen as a male herb; however research has found that it dramatically improves sexual performance and sensitivity for most women. It enhances several measures of sexual function in women after just four weeks and leads to improvements in desire, arousal, satisfaction, lubrication and pain. This Ayurvedic herb has been indicated for use in sexual health for many years.
Tribulus has been found to alleviate symptoms of the menopause, such as hot flushes, depression and emotional instability. Regular use of this herb during the menopause can treat the loss of sexual interest . Hormone changes can be a big part of the loss of sex-drive, so Tribulus can be a good, natural way to bring back that desire. This potent herb may stimulate androgen receptors in the brain, helping the body respond positively to hormones such as testosterone. Although testosterone is associated with men’s health, free testosterone production in women also has a positive effect on libido.
As a bodybuilding or training supplement, Tribulus is hard to beat. It contains one steroidal saponin in particular – protodioscin – which is thought to be the active nutrient responsible for this herbs popularity amongst athletes.
Specifically, protodioscin promotes the release of nitric oxide which in turn increases the flow of oxygen rich blood to muscles, and enables better use of nutrients such as protein. At the same time protodioscin stimulates the pituitary gland resulting in it producing LH, thus promoting higher testosterone levels.
As well as contributing to a boost in testosterone levels, Tribulus Terrestris can also help to increase stamina during a workout as well as aiding post workout muscle recovery.
Tribulus terrestris has been shown to work as a natural diuretic, helping to increase urine production and flush out the body. In fact, one in vitro study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that treatment with Tribulus terrestris was able to promote diuresis, indicating that it may be an effective natural remedy in the treatment of kidney stones.
Natural diuretics like Tribulus terrestris also have other beneficial effects on health and help relieve bloating, lower blood pressure and enhance the body’s natural ability to filter out toxins through the waste.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation
Tribulus terrestris has a powerful effect in relieving pain and inflammation. A study conducted by the Kerman Faculty of Pharmacy showed that administering high doses was effective at reducing pain levels, while other research shows that it could reduce levels of several markers of inflammation and also decrease swelling in animal models.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Some research shows that adding Tribulus terrestris to your routine may bring big benefits when it comes to managing blood sugar levels. One study found that taking a 1,000 milligram supplement each day was able to significantly reduce blood sugar levels in women with type 2 diabetes compared to a placebo after just three months.
Similarly, a study out of Shanghai showed that a specific compound found in Tribulus terrestris decreased blood sugar levels by up to 40 percent in mice with diabetes!
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is considered a serious problem that affects millions around the globe. Not only can Tribulus terrestris decrease inflammation, which is believed to play an integral role in heart health, but it has also been shown to reduce several risk factors of heart disease.
For instance, one study showed that taking Tribulus terrestris each day decreased levels of total and bad LDL cholesterol. An animal study out of Istanbul had similar findings, reporting that it was able to protect the blood vessels against damage while also lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Although research is still limited, some studies suggest that Tribulus terrestris may be beneficial as a natural cancer treatment. In fact, one in vitro study from Chungnam National University showed that it was able to induce cell death and block the spread of human liver cancer cells.
Other in vitro studies have found that it may also offer protection against both breast and prostate cancers as well. However, more studies in humans are needed to determine how supplementation may impact cancer growth for the general population.