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The Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris

by
author image Norma Chew
Norma Chew is a retired registered nurse who has been a freelance writer since 1978. Chew's articles have appeared in the "Journal of the Association of Operating Room Nurses" (AORN), "Point of View Magazine" and "Today's OR Nurse." Chew has a master's degree in health care administration from Nova Southeastern University.
The Benefits of Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus terrestris plant Photo Credit clemarca/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Tribulus terrestris is a traditional Chinese herb. It's used to enhance sexual function, increase muscle mass and improve sperm motility. It's also touted in the treatment of other conditions such as urinary problems and skin conditions like vitiligo, according to Physicians Desk Reference website. Tribulus terrestris medicinal claims are under further research to confirm their benefits. The use of any herbal remedy should be used under the guidance and supervision of your health care provider.

Enhances Sexual Function

Tribulus terrestris has been used in traditional medicine to treat sexual dysfunctions, such as impotence and low libido. Mixtures of different compounds found in the fruits, stems and roots of tribulus terrestris provide its medicinal properties. According to the EmedTV website, early research suggests that tribulus terrestris may increase the levels of hormones such as tetstosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, in rats. Based on these results, this herb is used by individuals assuming it will increase their hormone levels and improve their sexual functions.

Increases Muscle Mass

Tribulus terrestris increases testosterone levels, which helps to increase muscle mass. According to the Physicians' Select website, studies reveal an increase in testosterone levels when tribulus terrestris is taken. The rise in testosterone level reduces the time for the muscles to recover, and enhances protein synthesis, or the process that living cells manufacture proteins from their constituent amino acids, based on the genetic information carried in the DNA of the chromosomes. It also promotes positive nitrogen balance. The combination of these actions all help to strengthen and increase muscle mass.

Improves Sperm Motility

Sperm motility and the ability of a sperm to penetrate the female egg, as well as the volume and concentration of the sperm, play significant roles in fertilizing the female egg. A double blind study done by L.Setiawan Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia, 1996, investigated the effects of tribulus terrestris on men wtith oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, a common cause of male subfertility. The trial consisted of 30 primary and secondary infertile men. Fifty percent of the men took oral tribulus, or Libilov, 500mg three times per day for 60 days, and the others had sugar pills. Their parameter data was assessed before and after treatment. The conclusion showed that Tibullus terrestris L, given at a dose of 500mg three times daily for 30 days, proved to be effective in restoring sperm functions like motility and acrosome reactions, or when the red receptors on the sperm come in contact with the egg jelly yellow.

Precautions

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their physician before taking tribulus terrestris. According to the EmedTV website, if tribulus terrestris increases testosterone levels, the possibility of side effects may include anger and rage, lowering of the female voice, increased body or facial hair, increase in the size of an enlarged prostate or the worsening of hormone-related cancer such as breast or prostate cancer.

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