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Tribulus terrestris          

  Latin Name Tribulus terrestris          
English Name Land Caltrops
Hindi Name Gokshura
Part Used Fruit

Tribulus terrestris is a variable, prostrate annual, up to 90 cm in length found throughout in India. Tribulus terrestris has been used for sexual and urinary troubles in Ayurveda.  1,2The fruits are credited with diuretic and tonic properties and are used for the treatment of calculous affections and painful micturition and other urinary disorders. The plant contains saponins, which on hydrolysis yield steroidal sapogenins.Aqueous methanolic fraction (10%) of the ethanolic extract of fruits showed maximum activity against induced urolithiasis in albino rats. In Bulgaria, the plant is used as a folk medicine for treating impotency. A pharmaceutical preparation developed from the plant has been found to increase the libido, the number and motility of sperm in men and in women, it improves the ovarian functions. It was found to be non-toxic and showed no side effects.

3Apart from its claims for improvement of sexual functions in men, the puncture vine plant (Tribulus terrestris) has long been considered as an energizer and vitalizer in the indigenous system of medicine. Sexual behavior and intracavernous pressure (ICP) measurements were taken in rats to scientifically validate the claim of Tribulus as an aphrodisiac.  4Tribulus relaxes smooth muscles and increases blood flow into corpus cavernosa of penis. The relaxant effect on penile blood vessels is probably due to the increase in the release of nitric oxide from the endothelium and nerve endings -Proerectile pharmacological effects of Tribulus terrestris extract on the rabbit corpus cavernosum. 

5The diuretic and contractile effects of Tribulus terrestris indicate that it has the potential of propelling urinary stones and merits further pharmacological studies. 6Diminution of oxalate induced renal tubular epithelial cell injury and inhibition of calcium oxalate crystallization in vitro by aqueous extract of Tribulus terrestris.



1. The Wealth of India, Raw Materials, Vol. 10, 283-284, 2005
2. The Wealth of India, First Supplement Series (Raw Materials) Vol. 1: R-Z, page 246-248, 2004
3. PMID: 12804079, J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Apr;9(2):257-65.
4. PMID: 10748960, Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2000 Jan;29(1):22-6.
5. PMID: 12639749, J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Apr;85(2-3):257-60.
6. PMID: 20815954, Int Braz J Urol. 2010 Jul-Aug;36(4):480-8; discussion 488, 489.

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