Tribulus Terrestris Effective for ED
Modern research is backing traditional medicine's use of tribulus terrestris
as a beneficial herb for sexual activity and erectile dysfunction.
The Jan 25, 2008 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Phytomedicine
published a systematic review investigating dozens of animal tests done with tribulus terrestris and concluded the herb appears
to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction
The Physicians' Desktop Reference lists common uses of tribulus terrestris as:
Tribulus terrestris may lower blood pressure
Increasing sex drive
Treating erectile dysfunction
Increasing fertility & sperm volume
Relieving urinary tract problems
Building muscle mass
and help treat angina
, which is chest pain resulting from lack of blood flow to the heart, according to eMedTV.
And it is valued as a general tonic for physical, mental and emotional vigor
Australian Research on Tribulus Terrestris
Commonly used by body builders for muscle strength
, tribulus terrestris came to notice in the US and Australia after scientists in Bulgaria did a series of studies with men and women which showed good results for in treating erectile dysfunction and menopausal symptoms.
After the Bulgarian Olympics weight lifting team credited tribulus terrestris with its sporting success it became a popular supplement
in high impact sports like American football and for body builders
seeking extra strength and lean muscle mass
However several studies including an Australian tribulus terrestris study
done with elite Rugby League players
at the Southern Cross University in Lismore did not support these body building claims.
The League players who took tribulus terrestris during pre-season heavy resistance training showed no significant gain in strength or muscle over five weeks, compared with a control group.
One positive was the tribulus terrestris did not elevate testosterone levels
in the player’s urine and so did not place them at risk in routine drug testing
What is Tribulus Terrestris?
Tribulus terrestris is known as the “roadside sex weed” because it grows wild throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas, and it also grows wild in outback Australia
, where it is believed it was introduced at the turn of the century from seed dropped from camels imported from Afghanistan.
Well known in Ayurvedic medicine, in many places it is considered a noxious weed and its foliage is toxic to sheep if consumed in large quantities. Another popular name is puncture vine because its long thorns can pierce bicycle tyres.
Since ancient times tribulus terrestris has been used for sexual dysfunction
as well as a wide range of other health conditions including hypertension and high cholesterol
It was known to the Ancient Greeks and in China and India tribulus terrestris was celebrated for its benefits as a natural medicine for the liver, kidneys, urinary track and cardiovascular system.
How Does Tribulus Terrestris Work?
Like all herbs, tribulus terrestris has many active compounds
which work in multiple complementary ways
to enhance physical and emotional health
1) Tribulus terrestris increases and balances hormone levels
Animal research indicates tribulus may work by increasing levels of hormones
, including testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, according to eMedTV.
While tribulus terrestris supports and assists the body's natural production of testosterone
it should be clearly understood tribulus terrestris is not a hormone supplement
. By promoting production of the body's own hormones, it works only within the body's natural limits
to help men achieve their strength and potential.
Tribulus terrestris will not cause the body to indefinitely produce more and more testosterone, rather it balances natural hormone levels
Tribulus terrestris research shows:
Studies in Bulgaria in the 1980s revealed men who had been unable to achieve an erection or with low libido showed significant improvement from taking tribulus terrestris extract. A follow-up study on healthy men aged 28 to 45 showed a 30%+ increase in testosterone after five days of taking a 250mg capsule of tribulus terrestris three times a day. (1)
The European research also showed tribulus terrestris extract can significantly improve the quantity and quality of sperm. It should be noted that sperm needs 80 days to reach maturity, so researchers recommend that men hoping for improved sperm quality take tribulus terrestris for at least this length of time.( 2)
2) Tribulus terrestris relaxes artery walls and increases blood flow
For erectile dysfunction, the effects tribulus terrestis has in relaxing smooth muscle
and increasing blood flow helps strengthen erections
The herb’s relaxing of the arteries of the heart makes it beneficial for the treatment of angina
, and tribulus terrestris may reduce blood pressure
by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzymes, similar to
blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors
, according to eMedTV.
Tribulus terrestris research shows:
Chinese research on 406 cases of angina showed an 82% improvement with tribulus terrestris treatment. It had the effect of dilating the coronary artery system. It was also found to have no adverse action on blood and renal systems when taken long term, and no other unwanted side effects. (3)
3) Tribulus terrestris Intensifies protein synthesis
Particularly in the liver, kidney, and heart tissue of animals, while it enhances energy metabolism.
Researchers speculate tribulus terrestris is very effective tonic for physical, mental and emotional vigor
because its steroidal properties may enable it to regulate
secretion of anti-stress hormones such as cortisol
, produced by the adrenal cortex.
It’s effectiveness in improving motor activity and muscle tone, and helping restore vigor, vitality, and stamina has been verified in animal studies.
Tribulus terrestris research shows:
4) Tribulus Terrestris has sterols for prostate health and diuretic effect for urinary health:
The herb also may have a diuretic effect, and an increase in urine production from tribulus terrestris may benefit urinary tract disorders
Tribulus contains sterols like betasitosterols. These active substances in tribulus terrestris protect the prostate from swelling
and in combination with the X steroidal saponins, help prevent prostate cancer.
Related use: traditionally Ayurvedic medicine has used tribulus terrestris to effectively treat gout
How Safe is Tribulus Terrestris?
No adverse effects to the central nervous or cardiovascular systems were noted in any of the studies that were undertaken. No known negative effects presently exist where tribulus terrestris is used as a dietary supplement.
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1. Viktorov IV, Kaloyanov AL, Lilov L, et al. Clinical investigation on Tribestan in males with disorders in the sexual function. Med-Biol Inf. 1982
2. Milanov, S. et al., Tribestan effect on the concentration of some hormones in serum of healthy subjects, 1983
3. Jayaram S, et al. Tribulus. Indian Drugs
1993;30(10):498-500. Quoted in Natural Plants
Effective in Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction: A Review,
NK Saini, M Singhai B Srivastava and S Sharma.
4. 406 cases of angina pectoris in coronary heart disease treated with saponin of Tribulus terrestris]
Wang B; Ma L; Liu T Research Unit of Cardiovascular Disease, Jilin Medical College. Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih Feb 1990, 10 (2) p87-7, 68