Tribulus terrestris is a thorny ground cover plant with yellow flowers and small, spiny fruits. While it is native to Southern Europe, it grows around the world. It is often considered an invasive weed; however, the roots and fruits of Tribulus terrestris are used in certain dietary supplements, including products that claim to improve sexual health.
Common nicknames for Tribulus terrestris include puncturevine, caltrop, goat’s head, and Gokshura.
In the following slides, you’ll find answers to common questions about Tribulus terrestris and sexual health.
Does Tribulus terrestris increase testosterone levels?
No. Sometimes, Tribulus terrestris is included in products that claim to boost testosterone levels, but studies have shown that this is not the case.
Men who have concerns about testosterone should always see their healthcare provider, who can properly measure hormone levels and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Does Tribulus terrestris improve erections?
Some medical studies suggest that Tribulus terrestris might help men with erectile dysfunction (ED), but it may take some time to see this result. Other studies have shown no benefit.
It’s always important for men with ED to see a medical professional. ED can be a sign of more a more serious health condition, like diabetes and heart disease. Often, men see their erections improve once an underlying condition is treated. (Learn more about ED and its treatment here.)
Does Tribulus terrestris boost sexual desire?
In some studies, people with low desire became more interested in sex after using Tribulus terrestris supplements. Women with low libido also reported better vaginal lubrication, more frequent orgasms, and higher overall sexual satisfaction.
Like many sexual problems, low desire can have many causes, such as hormonal fluctuations and relationship conflict. A doctor or therapist can help pinpoint these causes and develop a treatment plan tailored to individual patients.
Tribulus terrestris supplements are generally considered safe, but it’s essential to speak to a healthcare provider before starting one. Supplements can contain ingredients that interact with medications you’re already taking. They might not be as effective as a targeted treatment plan may be. And if the sexual problem is caused by another health concern, it’s important to address that concern.
If you feel uncomfortable discussing topics like erectile dysfunction or low libido with your doctor, remember that your sexual health is an integral part of your overall health. And your doctor is there to help you.
(Last updated: October 23, 2018)
Tinsley, Grant, PhD
“Does Tribulus Terrestris Really Work? An Evidence-Based Look”
(October 5, 2017)
Castleman, Michael, MA
“Is Tribulus Terrestris an Effective Aphrodisiac?”
(May 15, 2018)
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board