This article discusses the science behind Tribulus terrestris; a natural aphrodisiac that’s been shown to be pharmacologically active. This herbal sexual enhancer is most effective in the long term and is most effective for men, although it seems to also be prescribed for women with low testosterone. As an integral part of the Indian Ayurvedic medicine system, it has various uses to help boost libido.
And, recent informal studies have turned it from a folk medicine to a real dietary supplement with real and measurable effects. The active constituent in Tribulus terrestris is a saponin (also commercially known as protodioscin) which has been prescribed traditionally to encourage healthy hormone levels and to support healthy reproductive function.* In other words, Terrestris is a libido-enhancer, and is effective for both men and women.
Tribulus terrestris is a weedy flowering plant, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of southern Europe, southern Asia, and all of Africa. This is one hardy plant has it can survive the worst of desert conditions. It has a number of common names, but my favorites are Devil’s Thorn and Devil’s Weed.
It’s also popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is mostly prescribed for men with low libido. There’s truly no need to take a trip to your local pharmacy when Mother Nature has provided a safe and effective long term solution. In addition to the impressive clinical trials outlined below, we vet every potential herbal aphrodisiac we offer with our own informal study. We have a panel of 32 volunteers (16 men and 16 women), and in relation to Tribulus Terrestris, the women were so-so on the results, but over 68% of the men on the panel reported significant improvement in both their sexual desire as well as the confidence they had in their erections over the course of the 2 weeks we conducted the study. It was one of the more impressive results we’ve seen for men, and are now convinced that Tribulus Terrestris is one of the more reliable and universally effective herbal aphrodisiacs we offer here at Sextracts Sexual Wellness.
Science of Tribulus Terrestris
Let’s get scientific for a minute: The hypothalamus is responsible for the regulation of hormones that have to do with healthy sexuality. One of these key hormones, especially for men, is testosterone. The hypothalamus produces a precursor to testosterone called “gonadotropin releasing hormone” (GnRH). When this hormone is released, it heads straight for the pituitary gland, where it stimulates the secretion of follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones. These newly-released hormones head straight for the adrenals and ovaries, where they finally stimulate the production of testosterone.
With this complex web of activity, how does Tribulus terrestris fit in? Studies have shown that Tribulus helps to boost the levels of testosterone (in both men and women) by stimulating both precursors (follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones). Again, a saponin known as protodioscin is what’s thought to be primarily responsible for the libido-boosting effects of Tribulus, and protodioscin is a compound in the steroid family (Gautherman, 2003). One of the key to getting and maintaining strong erections involves nitric oxide. It’s thought that in addition to the support in testosterone production is a secondary ability to help increase nitric oxide production.
Why do I include such a scientific description in an article on the science of Sextracts? Simply to offer some data the points to the effectiveness of some natural herbal products touted for their effectiveness as aphrodisiacs.
Studies Supporting Tribulus Terrestris
In a study with primates, rabbits, and rats by Gautherman in 2008, it was found that when Tribulus Terrestris was administered, that levels of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and DHEA sulphate (DHEAS) increased. And the numbers weren’t insignificant. In primates and rats, testosterone levels increased by over 50%. Rabbits didn’t fare as well, but the results were positive for the rabbits as well (who probably don’t need any help with their already ravenous libidos). The researchers in that study concluded that “Tribulus terrestris increases some of the sex hormones.”
In more recent studies, Tribulus is shown to have surprisingly positive results when it comes to helping erectile dysfunction (ED). In 2000, Adiomoelja studied a number of herbs used as “instant fixes” for helping support healthy erections. His study included Tribulus Terrestris, and in a statement of unusual strength, he said that Tribulus terrestris has been “clinically proven to improve sexual desire and enhance erection.” This is a rare statement by researchers who are often known to be careful and reserved in their positive reviews of their own studies.
Furthermore, the positive effects in relation to supporting healthy libido seem to be equally as interesting. In a 2005 study by Kostova, one of the conclusions of his study was this; “Extracts and steroidal saponins have been found to possess various pharmacological activities. Preparations based on the saponin fraction of Tribulus terrestris are used for treatment of infertility and libido disorders in men and women, as well as for treatment of cardiac diseases.”
This is exciting news for men who are looking for a long term solution to their issues with libido and erectile functioning. Sextracts Sexual Wellness product believe so firmly in Tribulus terrestris as a potent and effective natural herbal aphrodisiac, that we include it in our “quick fix” 3-Packs and 12-Packs, as well as our Sextracts Sexual Wellness Capsules that come in 60 and 120 capsule bottles.
Please note that not all herbal aphrodisiacs are created equal. Sextracts Sexual Wellness products may not be the least expensive products on the market, but we firmly believe that they are of the highest quality. We utilize herbal fingerprinting and HPLC testing to not only verify that every herb we put our name on is actually what we say it is, but we test for any known compounds, alkaloids, or components that have been found, or are believed to be responsible for the herbs effects. In other words, quality is our top priority. We believe that when it comes to your sexual wellness, that there’s no substitute for real herbs with real effects.
Adimoelja, Arif. “Phytochemicals and the Breakthrough of Traditional Herbs in the Management of Sexual Dysfunctions.” International Journal of Andrology Int J Androl 23.S2 (2000): 82-84.
Gauthaman, Kalamegam, and Adaikan P. Ganesan. “The Hormonal Effects of Tribulus Terrestris and Its Role in the Management of Male Erectile Dysfunction – an Evaluation Using Primates, Rabbit and Rat.” Phytomedicine 15.1-2 (2008): 44-54.
Ho, Christopher C. K., and Hui Meng Tan. “Rise of Herbal and Traditional Medicine in Erectile Dysfunction Management.” Current Urology Reports Curr Urol Rep 12.6 (2011): 470-78.
Kam, Sung Chul, Jung Mo Do, Jae Hwi Choi, Byeong Tak Jeon, Gu Seob Roh, and Jae Seog Hyun. “In Vivo and in Vitro Animal Investigation of the Effect of a Mixture of Herbal Extracts from Tribulus Terrestris and Cornus Officinalis on Penile Erection.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine 9.10 (2012): 2544-551.
Kostova, I., and D. Dinchev. “Saponins in Tribulus Terrestris – Chemistry and Bioactivity.” Phytochem Rev Phytochemistry Reviews 4.2-3 (2005): 111-37.
Sansalone, Salvatore, Rosario Leonardi, Gabriele Antonini, Antonio Vitarelli, Giuseppe Vespasiani, Dragoslav Basic, Giuseppe Morgia, Sebastiano Cimino, and Giorgio Ivan Russo. “AlgaEcklonia Bicyclis,Tribulus Terrestris, and Glucosamine Oligosaccharide Improve Erectile Function, Sexual Quality of Life, and Ejaculation Function in Patients with Moderate Mild-Moderate Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Single-Blinded Study.” BioMed Research International 2014 (2014): 1-7.