Tribulus terrestris is a plant that is sometimes more commonly known as caltrop or puncturevine. It grows in Europe, northward towards France and east towards Japan. The leaves and shoots can be cooked and the seeds can be ground into powder and made into bread (even though it is edible, many may find they do not prefer the taste).
Tribulus terrestris is also available as a supplement and may help to maintain blood pressure already in the normal range, healthy circulation, and sexual health.
Tribulus terrestris and Blood Pressure
One study gave 3 mg of Tribulus to 75 people. The study observed a decrease insystolic and diastolic blood pressure after one week and continued through the end of the study. There were no observed side effects that had a negative affect on individual health. The study also found that the herb had a diuretic effect and helped to increase daily urine output increased by about 200 ml, compared to an increase of 12 ml in the group taking the placebo.
Tribulus terrestris and Sexual Health in Men
Tribulus terrestris supplements are often associated with sexual health and potency. Research indicates that Tribulus terrestris may support sexual health and fertility. A double blind study found that Tribulus terrestris increased testosterone by 16.3%, though this was not considered statistically significant. The study appeared to demonstrate an improvement in erectile properties for men with a low sperm count who took a Tribulus terrestris supplement for 60 days.
Another study looked at how an oral extract of Tribulus terrestris affected erectile function in men. The authors of the study concluded that Tribulus terrestris might, in fact, improve erectile function.
Tribulus terrestris and Women’s Sexual Health
Tribulus terrestris has been shown to have aphrodisiac effects in human and animal subjects. One study examined specifically how Tribulus terrestris may affect women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (or low libido) during their “fertile years.” The results of the study found that compared to the group of women given a placebo, women who took Tribulus terrestris had experienced a significant improvement in desire, arousal, lubrication, satisfaction, and pain. The researchers concluded that Tribulus terrestris may therefore “safely and effectively improve desire in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder.”
Tribulus terrestris and Blood Sugar Support
Tribulus terrestris has been shown to have hyperglycemic andhyperlipidemic properties. When 98 women with diabetes were given either Tribulus terrestris or a placebo, researchers found that those who took Tribulus terrestris experienced a lowering of their blood glucose. Their total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein were also reduced in comparison to the placebo group.
Tribulus terrestris Supplement and Positive Drug Tests
While research does not necessarily support Tribulus terrestris as an herbal supplement that can build lean muscle mass, many athletes and bodybuilders take a Tribulus terrestris supplement to support their lean muscle mass.
One study examined the effect of Tribulus terrestris supplementation on “strength, fat free mass, and the urinary T/E ratio” during 5 weeks of preseason training for a group of 22 elite Australian rugby players. The T/E ratio refers to the urinary testosterone/epitestosterone ratio, which concerns athletes, as an altered ratio may “place athletes at risk of a positive drug test.” While the participants in the study all made significant gains in strength and fat-free mass, there was no statistical difference between the participants in the study who took the placebo and those who took the Tribulus terrestris supplement. However, the study also found that the Tribulus terrestris supplement did not affect the T/E ratio, and so an athlete taking the supplement would not be at risk of a positive drug test (based on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s guidelines).
If any of these reasons make a Tribulus terrestris supplement sound appealing, the Natural Healthy Concepts store has options for supplements in capsule or tablet form. Do you take a Tribulus terrestris supplement? How does it affect your well-being?