Tribulus Terrestris belongs to the Zygophyllaceae family. It is a ﬂowering plant disseminated in warm tropical regions like Australia, the southern part of Europe and Asia and all throughout Africa. Because this herb grows in tropical areas it is naturally bent to thrive even in the hottest climates and in the poorest soils. Like any other weed species belonging to the Zygophyllaceae family, Tribulus Terrestris comes in many names including caltrop, cat’s head, devil’s eyelashes, devil’s thorn, devil’s weed, puncture vine, bullhead, burragokharu, tackweed, Common Dubbletijie, Tribule, Small Caltrops, Puncture Weed, Gokhru, Gokshur and Nature’s Viagra.
Tribulus Terrestris buds in between the months of July to October and it grows level to the ground from its main root eventually forming into a densely interwoven matt that sprawls four feet across. The branching stems of this herbaceous plant extend to a diameter of ten centimeters to nearly over one meter. It is typical for Tribulus Terrestris to grow prostrate leaving patches of ﬂat leaves on its bed although there have been instances wherein Tribulus Terrestris grow vertically in shaded zones.
The leaves of Tribulus Terrestris take on a pinnate form and divides into four to eight pairs of leaﬂets that grow to about a quarter of an inch long. Tribulus Terrestris’ ﬂowers are small and have a yellowish hue. Each ﬂower has approximately ﬁve lemon-colored petals that are a half inch wide. After seven days following the bloom of the ﬂowers, Tribulus Terrestris bear its fruits. The fruit easily breaks into four to ﬁve sharp and spiny nutlets each having a single seed.
The seeds of Tribulus
Terrestris are tough with two to three ten millimeter spines emanating from it. These seeds bear a resemblance to bulls’ heads which clearly explains why one of its many names includes bullhead. The seeds are sharp enough to deﬂate bicycle tires and piercing enough to cause injury when you step on it with bare feet. A single plant of Tribulus Terrestris can produce four hundred fruits. Tribulus Terrestris inﬁltrates roadsides, pastures and ﬁelds. Its seeds are easily carried to different places by humans, animals, and even vehicles.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
Everyone has the right to enjoy the sexual activity as he/ she pleases but what if nature all of a sudden divests you out of this right in a form of a sexual dysfunction called Erectile Dysfunction? Erectile dysfunction as discussed earlier is a condition that deprives you of the sexual satisfaction you are entitled to during sexual intercourse simply because of an uncooperative penis.
To recapitulate what has been discussed previously erectile dysfunction formerly known as impotence is a penile condition characterized by the repeated inability to develop and maintain an erection during sexual performance.
Ideally, the penis grows in length and in width as a result of blood hydraulics during sexual stimulation. When blood gets retained within the penis, erection is prolonged giving men the liberty to enjoy sexual pleasure. Blood gushing towards the penis is a result of sexual arousal and sexual arousal starts in the mind. The brain sends signals to the nerves that innervate the penis and the rest follows.
Penile erection takes place through two distinct mechanisms. One of which is the reﬂex erection. This type of erection is achieved when an individual makes direct physical contact with the penile shaft. Psychogenic erection, on the other hand, is achieved via emotional or erotic stimulation. The reﬂex type of erection makes use of peripheral nerves as well as the lower sections of the spinal cord while the psychogenic type of erection makes use of the limbic system of the brain. In both reﬂex and psychogenic erections the neural system needs to be completely intact to achieve a complete erection.
When the penile shaft is stimulated via the nervous system it leads to the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has the power to relax the smooth muscles surrounding the corpora cavernosa. Anatomically, the penis contains three elastic erectile tissues (2 corpora cavernosa and 1 corpus spongiosum) that run along the shaft of the penis and it ﬁlls with blood during an erection. The corpus cavernosum stores up most of the blood in the penis during erection. When smooth muscles are in its relaxed state blood can freely ﬂow through resulting in a successful erection.
In addition, adequate amounts of testosterone produced by the testes as well as a fully functional pituitary gland are needed for a healthy erectile system. So when a problem arises due to hormonal deﬁciency, erectile dysfunction can develop. Other factors that contribute to erectile dysfunction include disorders of the neural system, compromised blood supply or impaired psychological functionality.
How can Tribulus Terrestris Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is treated in accordance with its cause. In hormonal deﬁciency cases, Tribulus Terrestris proves to improve the condition by accelerating and enhancing the production of testosterone.
A number of acceptable clinical studies approve of Tribulus Terrestris’ ability to naturally increase testosterone by increasing luteinizing hormone to as much as seventy percent. As you can recall, luteinizing hormone is the hormone released by the pituitary gland to stimulate the testes to synthesize testosterone. The more luteinizing hormone you have the more testosterone your body produces and to be able to multiply the production of your luteinizing hormone you need a standard dose of Tribulus Terrestris.
Studies supporting Tribulus Terrestris
In a recent study entitled Effects and Mechanism of Action of a Tribulus Terrestris Extract on Penile Erection, Tribulus proved to be effective when the extract was given to eight rabbits orally via supplements as well as those on isolated cells incubated in Tribulus solution. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of Tribulus Terrestris on penile erection and the mechanism of action of the extract on the ability of the corpus cavernosum to relax.
The study concluded that indeed Tribulus Terrestris extract was able to induce concentration-dependent relaxation of the corpus cavernosum during organ bath.
A different study from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine for the National University of Singapore observed the role of Tribulus Terrestris in managing male erectile dysfunction. The study evaluated primates a rabbit and a rat to single out the usefulness of Tribulus Terrestris. Tribulus Terrestris was administered via intravenous bolus dose of 7.5, 15 and 30 mg/kg in primates for an acute study.
The rabbits and the rats were given 2.5, 5 and 10mg/kg of Tribulus Terrestris extract per ore for eight weeks for chronic study. Moreover, rats that were castrated were treated with either Tribulus Terrestris (orally 5mg/kg for 8 weeks every day) or with testosterone cypionate (subcutaneously, 10mg/kg, biweekly for 8 weeks).
Blood samples were obtained using radioimmunoassay analyzing testosterone levels (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). After the study, primates had a total increase of fifty-two percent in T with a thirty-one percent increase in DHT and a twenty-nine percent increase in DHEAS.
In rabbits and in castrated rats the increase in testosterone was also notably signiﬁcant proving Tribulus Terrestris’ usefulness in increasing testosterone levels. Researchers believe that the presence of protodioscin in the extract is chieﬂy responsible for the increase. The research concluded that Tribulus Terrestris is useful in treating mild to moderate cases of erectile dysfunction.
Tribulus Terrestris Improves Athletic Performance
Scrutinizing athletic performance down to its core necessitates extensive research. However, even without the aid of research many people have learned and observed that having substantial amounts of testosterone can indeed help athletes perform better because of the hormone in itself ampliﬁes muscle strength.
And it is clear to see that stronger muscles enable athletes to maximize their performance in sports. Take for instance Floyd Landis, Floyd Landis’ successful participation in Tour de France attracted public attention when his tests indicated high levels of testosterone. Testosterone, as mentioned, is a hormone innate in both males and females but men generally possess more of it compared to women, which explains why men naturally appear more muscular.
Simply put, testosterone, with its ability to increase muscle mass and strength and heighten energy levels, has the potential to raise your athletic performance into a higher gear. The hormone puts you at an advantage over your opponents as it gives you extra stamina and strength.
Tribulus Terrestris, unlike the notorious anabolic steroids, naturally raises testosterone levels by acting on your nervous system. The series of events leading to the production of testosterone comes in a natural fashion giving men the assurance that it is safe and legal to take.
Athletic performance is a debatable matter because athletes constantly undergo rigorous training to better improve their performance. Singling out the use of Tribulus Terrestris as part of the reason behind their athletic excellence requires scientiﬁc and clinical research to ﬁrmly support its effectiveness.
Effectiveness in Improving Athletic Performance
Out of the many studies that concentrate on Tribulus Terrestris’ ability to enhance athletic performance, one particular study exceptionally stood out and has been used as a credible reference all over the globe. This study was completed by Milasius et al. In the study they took thirty-two athletes within twenty to twenty-two years old and segregated them into two different groups.
Twelve individuals were assigned to be under the control group with a mean weight of 167 pounds or 76kg. All twelve consumed normal diets. The experimental group, on the other hand, consisted of twenty athletes with a mean weight of 165 lbs/75kg. Those under the experimental group followed a normal diet but with an addition of 1875 mg of Tribulus per day.
At the end of twenty days, Milasius et al found that the group that was given Tribulus showed a signiﬁcant increase in anaerobic alactic muscular power (6%), alactate glycolyte working capacity (6%) and V02 at anaerobic threshold (11%). Serum testosterone also increased by 13%.
In conclusion, the research showed improved athletic performance in subjects who were given a daily dose of Tribulus.