Tribulus terrestris, sometimes known as the Devil’s Weed or Goat-head, is a popular herb in the fitness industry. Some say it can give you the body of a Greek God. Others say it’s all smoke and mirrors.
What’s the deal with this herb? How does it work, and are there any side effects?
What Is Tribulus Terrestris?
Tribulus grows in many parts of the world. It’s a Mediterranean plant that produces fruit and is covered in spines.
The flowering fruit of this herb dry up in the late spring and create small spiked seeds.
If you mountain bike or hike with your dog, these prickly seeds have probably given you a flat tire at least once or twice – and your dog a few painful paws.
Tribulus terrestris has long been used to enhance athletic performance and sexual issues. It’s used in Ayurvedic pharmacology, and is often available in extract, powder or pill form. The key active ingredient in the plant is saponin protodioscin.
Most people use Tribulus as a testosterone booster, but it’s also used in supplements for muscle growth and to help build strength.
One study out of Lithuania found that Tribulus boosted testosterone levels in the blood. Athletes were given 625 milligrams of the herb, which contained 40% saponin.
How exactly does this herb work to boost testosterone levels?
Experts believe that Tribulus may increase testosterone levels because it increases LH (lutenizing hormone) or FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone).
When the male body produces more LH, certain cells in the testes, known as Leydig cells, create more testosterone.
Tribulus may also inadvertently have an effect on testosterone levels because of its ability to reduce blood glucose significantly.
Researchers have found that Tribulus acts as an adaptogenic, meaning that it can restore testosterone levels, but it won’t actually stimulate the production of testosterone beyond normal levels.
Other benefits of this herbal supplement include:
Better prostate health
Enhanced sexual satisfaction
Greater muscle gain
The ability to better cope with stress
Some research suggests that Tribulus offers cardiovascular benefits as well as digestive relief.
But really, the key main benefit of this herb is its testosterone-boosting properties. If you’re suffering from low-T or andropause, Tribulus may be the solution you’re looking for. Improved muscle growth and strength is a nice perk, too.
Potential Tribulus Terrestris Side Effects
Whether you’re taking Tribulus Terrestris extract or a pill supplement, there is always a possibility that you may experience a few side effects. Most people won’t experience any side effects at all, but the ones that do typically experience:
Most people who get an upset stomach after taking this extract find that taking the supplement with a meal solves the problem.
If women take this supplement, they may experience irregular periods – but that won’t be an issue for you. Just be sure to keep it away from your wife or girlfriend. Some studies also suggest that Tribulus can cause issues with fetal development, so again, women should steer clear of this herb, especially if they’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
There has been a possible link between this herb and prostate issues.
Tribulus may also interact with certain types of medications. It may increase the effects of blood pressure and heart medications, including:
Tribulus may also affect your blood sugar levels, so if you’re on a diabetes medication, this herb may cause your blood glucose levels to drop dramatically.
If you’re a healthy male with low testosterone or just want to boost your libido or muscle mass, Tribulus shouldn’t cause any side effects and should be generally safe to use.
Purity and Saponin Concentration
As with any other herbal supplement, purity and effectiveness will vary depending on the quality of the product and where the herb was harvested.
For best results, you want to look for Tribulus extracts and supplements that have higher concentrations of saponins.
Typically, supplements with the highest concentrations come out of Macedonia, Turkey and Bulgaria. Tribulus from Vietnam, India and China tend to have significantly lower concentrations and are usually not as effective.
Ideally, you want to choose a Tribulus terrestris extract that contains 40%-45% saponins and 6% protodioscin. After reading countless Tribulus Terrestris reviews and trying the extract out for ourselves, this seems to be the most effective range. Anything lower, and you’ll see only mild effects – or none at all.
Be careful – some supplement makers claim to have 80% protodioscin, but true levels typically don’t reach beyond 45%.
Just like with buying any other supplement, it’s important to do your research about the company and read through user reviews to make sure that you’re actually getting a pure, true product.
What about Dosage Requirements?
How much Tribulus Terrestris should you be taking? That depends primarily on your weight.
But it’s also important to point out that because this herb is an adaptogenic, many users have found that it’s best to cycle your use. Otherwise, it stops being effective after a while.
As for dosages, we’ve found that anywhere between 2.3 and 4.6 milligrams per bodyweight is ideal for daily dosages.
Now, if you’re taking this supplement in pill form, you’ll probably be advised to take two capsules per day with water. Follow the dosage instructions on the bottle.
Does Tribulus Terrestris Actually Work?
Whether you’re trying to boost testosterone levels or looking to improve your muscle gains, Tribulus can help you get the results you want.
But I will warn you – you won’t see results overnight. Just like with any other herbal supplement, you’ll need to take the extract for a few weeks – or months – to start seeing its true effects. But the results are worth the wait.
Tribulus was first made popular by the famous bodybuilding champion Jeffrey Petermann back in the 1970s, and many people in the bodybuilding world swear by it. Many men with low-T also swear by this supplement and its ability to not only boost testosterone, but help them get back their libido.
But the key to finding long-lasting success is cycling. If you take this extract every day for a longer period of time, eventually, it will have no effect. Taking this supplement in cycles offers the best results – no matter what your goals are.
Natural, safe and easy to take, Tribulus Terrestris is a natural herbal supplement that can help you get your sex life, your energy, your muscle mass and your life back. If you’re suffering with low testosterone levels, Tribulus may just be the solution you’ve been waiting for.