Tribulus Terrestris- Its Uses

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What is Tribulus Terrestris?

Tribulus terrestris is a native flowering plant found in Africa, northern Australia, southern Europe and southern part of Asia.  For centuries, this herb is part of the traditional medicine of India and China. However, in some parts of the United States, tribulus terrestris is given little importance and being labeled as one of the invasive species and a noxious weed.

One thing about tribulus terrestris is that it can grow even in the dessert and in poor soil condition. The seeds of tribulus terrestris plant are similar to the head of a goat or a bull that is sharp enough to pierce a bicycle tire or cause injury to a barefooted person.  Hence, this is used as a weapon to kill people in the southern part of Africa by lacing it with poison.

Tribulus terrestris is commonly called Puncture vine, Goat head, Yellow vine, and Caltrop. To the traditional Chinese medicine, this is referred to as Bai Ji Li. While to those practicing Ayurveda type of medicine in India, tribulus terrestris is called as “gokshura”. To other Indian practitioners of alternative medicine, tribulus terrestris is labeled as “Unani”. This is used for erectile dysfunction.

Uses of Tribulus Terrestris

The popularity of tribulus terrestris plant was exposed during the middle of 1990’s when Olympic athletes from Eastern Europe claimed enhanced performance after taking tribulus terrestris. Today, tribulus terrestris is commonly used as an alternative medicine for low libido, erectile dysfunction, and infertility aside from improving athletic ability.

However, in one of the current studies made, it noted that it has no effect at all on the male sex hormones testosterone thereby has no bearing if it will be used to treat erectile dysfunction. This is contrary to earlier medical claims stating that the use of tribulus terrestris supplements heightened the sexual behavior and intracavernous pressure of animals subject to study.

Moreover, a well-designed study disclosed that the muscle endurance of the fifteen participants did not improve after participating in resistance training for eight weeks. To those taking tribulus terrestris as sports performance aid, the strength in leg press only increased compared to that placebo group which excelled in bench and leg presses. The muscle endurance is the repetitions to be performed, from 100% to 200%, based on the person’s body weight.

Dosage and Safety for erectile dysfunction

This is usually taken for erectile dysfunction with a dose ranging from 85mg to 250 mg simultaneously with meals, three times a day.

Because of its active compounds steroidal saponins, women who are pregnant, nursing mothers and those with prostate or breast cancer are not recommended regarding its use.

An incident was reported that a certain young male weight trainer suffered gynecomastia or enlargement of the breast after taking herbal tablet with tribulus terrestris. Other than that, this has toxic properties that can impair the muscle function of a sheep that may eventually lead to death.

In most likely cases, the side effects if taken for erectile dysfunction are considered isolated and irrelevant in nature like gynecomastia as previously mentioned. Another adverse effect is the occurrence of an upset stomach as reported by some users. On the other hand, this can be neutralized by eating some food.

Unless there are a lot of medical studies made on tribulus terrestris for erectile dysfunction, it is only then we could claim the effectiveness and safety of its use for erectile dysfunction with regards to human beings. Erectile dysfunction herbal preparations for medical treatments are just gaining grounds and need support from the government. If given the proper funding from the government, traditional folk medicines can reach the sufferers of medical problems at a lower cost. Traditional herbs not only for erectile dysfunction being used by ancestors have some basis of some sort since we are witnesses to their once concoctions that we live to tell.


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