Medicinal plants

Tribulus terresteris

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is also known by other less scientific names including the name of common tribulus, caciarello or puncture vine. It is a plant that belongs to the Zygophyllaceae family and is very common in countries with a hot or tropical climate. Tribulus terrestris is a plant that has a rather particular appearance: it has very branched stems and their height can even reach one meter. Its leaves are quite small and its flowers have nice yellow petals. The plant is native to India and Africa, but is also widespread in Australia and Europe, especially in warm areas. In North America the Tribulus Terrestris plant is regarded as a weed and, as such, is often removed. In Italy this plant is present almost everywhere in the territory:

Traditional use


For many centuries the Tribulus Terrestris plant has been used in both traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, albeit with different purposes. According to some beliefs, tribulus terrestris has both a regulating and purifying action as it acts on the dysfunctions of the renal, hepatic and also the gastrointestinal systems. This plant is also used to treat not only impotence, but also edema, abdominal swelling and some cardiovascular diseases. Tribulus Terrestris became famous in the nineties in North America, following the fact that some Olympic athletes, belonging to Eastern European countries, admitted to having used the plant to be able to improve athletic performance. The active compounds of the plant are called steroid saponins and are mainly extracted from the aerial parts of the plant. The glycosides furistanol and also sprirostanol seem to contribute to an increased endogenous production of testosterone, dihydrosterone, hormone LH and finally dehydroepiandrosterone called DHEA.

Phytotherapeutic properties


The most important property of the Tribulus Terrestris plant is linked to its presumed stimulating action for the production of androgens. These hormones, which are also important for the female body, regulate not only libido, but also sexual characteristics as well as muscle development. Thanks to these characteristics, the plant is used in various countries as a plant with aphrodisiac properties that is able to increase fertility as it compensates for any hormonal deficiencies. The seeds of the Tribulus Terrestris plant are rich in the substance called protodioscin, a type of steroid saponin that acts by increasing the endogenous production of male hormones and a consequent increase in both spermatogenesis and libido: this has been proven in both experimental animals and humans in a recent study. Other studies, often funded by companies that produced supplements based on tribulus terrestris, confirm and underline these properties. Tribulus Terrestris extracts are currently used to prepare pills that arouse sexual desire.

Tribulus terresteris: Restorative properties


The Tribulus Terrestris plant also contributes to human well-being: a recent study, conducted in China on patients with angina pectoris, showed that protodioscin, one of the active ingredients of the plant, has coronary-dilating effects and is a valid help. for the treatment of this disease. In fact, the extract of Tribulus Terrestris, from the leaves, roots and fruits of the plant, has restorative properties and is also indicated for: – treating severe forms of cancer by dealing with Staphylococcus aureus, a gram-positive agent; – for food infections caused by strains of Escherichia coli, the bacterium that triggers some intestinal diseases; – some kidney disorders; – to treat inflammation of the urinary tract; – to keep blood pressure under control; -to cope with fungal infections thanks to its active ingredients with antifungal properties. However, we are waiting for the approval of the scientific community at an international level regarding the real benefits of Tribulus Terrestris: therefore it is advisable not to use it except by consulting your doctor.

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