Tribulus refers to the spiky fruits from a plant native to Southern Europe, Southern Asia, Africa and Australia. It is sometimes called burra gokharu, bindii, caltrop, puncturevine and tackweed, depending on the region it comes from. There is little written history of its use as a food, but a fair amount of information on its use in traditional medicinal systems of India and China. It is used in those systems mainly as a tonic to promote vitality, and as an aphrodisiac.*


The research conducted on Tribulus has focused on its effects related to hormonal production and to its use for athletic performance. Most of the research has been done in vitro and so for purposes of this discussion we will focus on traditional aspects of its use. In Ayurveda, the system of traditional medicine from India, they have referred to it’s properties as sweet and cold and have used it to help support healthy kidney and liver function, and as a sexual tonic.*

Uses of Tribulus


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

steroidal sapponins (protodioscin), alkaloids, flavonoids

Parts Used

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Milasius K, Dadeliene R, Skernevicius J. The influence of the Tribulus terrestris extract on the parameters of the functional preparedness and athletes’ organism homeostasis. Fiziol Zh. 2009;55(5):89-96.

Herb Reference Guide

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.