Tribulus terrestris has long been used as a tonic and aphrodisiac in Indian Ayurveda practice, where it is known by its Sanskrit name, “gokshura”. It's a herb also know as the puncture vine and has been used centuries in Europe as a treatment for impotence and as a stimulant to help enhance sexual drive and performance.
Now is being promoted as a testosterone booster for the purpose of building muscle and increasing sex drive as well.
Tribulus is not hormone, but it stimulates production of testosterone hereby stay up in optimal level. It means that is very suitable for people with insufficient production - low calories diet or oldest athletes. The production of testosterone during the life is going down. Athletes are using Tribulus terrestris to help ensure their own natural levels of testosterone are at a normal level all time. It has a positive effect on strength and stamina. Tribulus does not work the way prohormones do such as Androstenedione and DHEA (Dehydroepiandroserone). It is a natural stimulant of LH (Luteinizing hormone) which signals body to produce more of it's own testosterone.(1,2)
Tribulus terrestris also increases testosterone by increasing gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which in turn stimulates the production of LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Testosterone, besides its role in muscle-building and raising fertility and libido, is also known to have a positive effect on bone marrow activity (for red blood cell production) and the immune system.
Clinical studies showed Tribulus terrestris improved reproductive function, including increased concentration of hormones isuch as estradiol, with testosterone being very slightly influenced, thereby improving reproductive function, libido and ovulation.(3,4)
These claims' axes are obviously given as an indication. Please note that the plant effect greatly depends on the amount implemented in the product. From a regulatory point of view, all claims appended on the labeling of all dietary supplements must be justified by pertinent bibliographical data file according to Regulation 1924/2006/EC.
1. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):319-23. Links Neychev VK and Mitev VI. The aphrodisiac herb Tribulus terrestris does not influence the androgen production in young men. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 101.1-3 (2005):319-23.
2. Antonio J et al. "The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males". International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism. 10.2 (2000):208-15.
3. Gauthaman K et al. "Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus Terrestris extract (Protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats". Life Sciences. 71.12 (2002):1385-96.
4. Tomova, M. et al., An agent for stimulation of sexual function. Patent (11) 27584 A61K35/1978.