Tribulus terrestris, also known as the puncture vine, is a Mediterranean fruit-bearing plant that is covered with spines. People usually use its roots, fruits, or even its leaves for medicine. Traditionally, it was believed to increase libido in both men and women; it was also useful in enabling athletes to achieve better performance results. It is also still believed to be useful in the treatment of urinary problems, and skin diseases like vitiligo.
There are multiple benefits of the puncture vine. First and foremost, it increases sperm motility in men. Sperm motility can be defined as the ability of a sperm to comfortably move through the reproductive tract. Studies have shown that taking small doses of Tribulus Terrestris helps in restoring sperm functions like motility, as well as aiding in the acromosal reactions.
Another function of tribulus terrestris is that it helps in increasing the level of testosterone. By raising the blood levels of the luteinizing hormone (LH), which is produced by the pituitary gland, this plant helps in regulating the natural production of testosterone and serum levels by initiating natural, human testosterone production. After forty years, men usually have a low level of testosterone. This may result in feeling weak, muscle atrophy, irritability, and memory loss, among other conditions. Thus, it is an effective supplement, especially for men who are over forty years old. Its ability to aid in increasing the level of testosterone also means that it is useful in helping men increase muscle mass, thus being of great help to body builders.
Maintaining an estrogen-testosterone balance is another important function that Tribulus Terrestris provides. As men get older, they produce aromatase, an enzyme that is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen. This leads to an imbalance, since estrogen is in high quantities, as compared to testosterone which is already in limited supply. An excess amount of estrogen in both men and women leads to an increased risk of getting cancer. Thus, the vine helps in reducing the risk of getting cancer, though indirectly.
Another important role of the vine is that it is a natural aphrodisiac. It works by relaxing the muscles and increasing blood flow in the erectile tissues of the penis. This quality helps in improving sexual performance in men. This explains why it was traditionally known for increasing libido and sexual performance.
Although it has numerous benefits, it is important to note that there are precautions that should be taken when Tribulus Terrestris is being used. First, avoid taking it in its natural form, as it has been shown that this may lead to lung collapse. Also, using it for a long period of time is discouraged. Finally, pregnant women should also avoid taking it.