More about Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus terrestris was not well known in the West until recently, when it was discovered to be the "secret weapon" for the powerful athletic teams of Eastern Europe. Over the past centuries, though, it was used as a "pro-sexual" for medicinal purposes to treat impotence and used in ancient Ayurveda (an East Indian philosophy of medicine), by the Greeks, and by Chinese medicine practitioners as a rejuvenation formula, mostly for its diuretic properties.
Even though the research still appears rather sparse, that hasn't stopped it from gaining popularity with numerous strength athletes and bodybuilders in a quest for increased natural testosterone production.
Natural testosterone production
Unfortunately, after about the age of 40, the natural process of aging affects our sexual performance and desire by creating distinct physiological changes in our bodies. The body operates more sluggishly and produces less hormones, leading to a significant drop in natural testosterone levels — the hormone related to sexual activity in men and women.
It seems tribulus may boost levels of a pituitary hormone called luteinizing hormone (or LH for short), which is responsible for the regulation of testosterone in the body. More specifically, LH delivers the message for the body to activate the natural production of testosterone — thus enhancing sexual functioning in men. At least theoretically, supplementation with tribulus could then help increase testosterone levels in the body, which could lead to an increase in the body's ability to gain muscle mass.
While one study did show a 30% increase in testosterone levels with 750 mg of tribulus, no effects on actual strength or muscle mass were noted. Another study showed an increase of luteinizing hormone (LH) of 72% with a 41% increase in free testosterone. But again, no effects on strength or mass were noted.
Tribulus has a pronounced effect on sexual function: clinical studies have clearly shown it enhances libido and imparts a stimulatory effect, improving sexual functioning in both men and women. In fact, this herb has been used for literally hundreds of years to promote sexual function and has been shown in research to help reduce infertility in women and impotence in men and lack of libido in both men and women. One study showed both an increase of testosterone and a 71% improvement in recovery of libido and sexual reflexes when there was a complete absence of libido beforehand.
Also significant was the lack of any side effects or artificial stimulation of sexual hormones, such as when anabolic steroids are used. Some researchers have suggested tribulus is even more promising because it appears to balance hormone levels naturally.
While the research is limited to animals, clinical studies have some experts suggesting tribulus may help reduce cholesterol; improve liver, urinary tract, and cardio functioning; and even enhance mood. One of the more recent studies on tribulus, performed by Indian researchers in 1993, showed a 45% improvement in overall mood enhancement for people who lacked interest in their daily lives and felt fatigued.
Another possible benefit of this herb is to help flush water out of the body (as a mild diurectic). It's been used for this purpose for hundreds of years because of its ability to basically "cleanse" or rejuvenate the insides of the body and appears to be a safe and effective means of doing so.
While the anecdotal reports regarding this herb are fairly positive for testosterone production, the research has not yet conclusively confirmed much of the optimism. That doesn't mean tribulus should be overlooked for its pronounced effects on sexual functioning, including impotence and infertility in males and raising libido in both males and females. These facts make it evident that this herb may have positive effects in the bedroom — increasing sexual appetite in both men and women.