Tribulus terrestris, also known as puncture vine, has a long history of use for a variety of conditions. It has been suggested that it was used in ancient Greece and India as a physical rejuvenation tonic. In China, it is used as a component of therapy for conditions affecting the liver, kidney, cardiovascular system, and immune system. It has also been used in Eastern European folk medicine for increased muscle strength and sexual potency.
The active compounds in tribulus are called steroidal saponins. Two types, called furostanol glycosides and spirostanol glycosides, appear to be involved with the effects of tribulus. These saponins are found primarily in the leaf.
The plant is beneficial to the liver and the lungs. It dispels flatus and regulates moisture balance of the body. It stimulates circulation. Indicated for edemas, cough, flatus, liver complaints, bronchitis and pneumonia. It has also proved effective in treating painful urination, gout and kidney diseases. The plant has shown anticancer activity.
When discussing all of the documented tribulus terrestris benefits, the first one that is usually mentioned is related to libido and enhancing overall sex drive. This is the number one reason that many have turned to this plant. Nowadays it seems that it is also very popular in enhancing athletic performance and increasing muscle mass. The reason that tribulus terrestris is so great for this specifically is because it helps enhance testosterone in the body. This hormone is responsible for sex drive and for physically exertion and energy.
People with hormone-dependent conditions, such as breast or prostate cancer, should not use tribulus. Also Pregnant or nursing women should not use tribulus.