Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris               Common name: Puncture vine, Devil’s thorn

Family: Zygophyllaceae

Part used: Aerial & Fruit

Constituents: Steroidal saponins & glycosides (diosgenin, tribulosin, cistocardin), amides, and alkaloids

Actions: Diuretic, astringent, stomachic, lithotropic, alterative, mild laxative, carminative, aphrodisiac, abortifacient, galactagogue

Medical uses: Is indicated in testosterone and estrogen imbalances, and has been used as an aphrodisiac in impotence and erectile dysfunction. Aid inflammatory processes of the genitourinary tract and dysuria. Has a possible use in angina pectoris for those with coronary heart disease. Has historical use in the treatment of disorders such as arthritis, diseases of the serious fluid, and eczema. In Ayurvedic medicine it is used to treat hypertension.  In postmenstrual women may be useful when treating symptoms related to reduced estrogen production.


  • Steroidal saponins appear to increase FSH in women which then increase levels of estradiol. It is thought that the saponins are weakly stimulating the receptors in the hypothalamus.

Pharmacy: Dried fruit: 1/2-1g TID. Decoction of crushed berries: 1/2 tsp/cup, simmer 15 min, TID. Liposterol extract (LESP): ~160ml/2 caps QD. Tincture: (1:2, 45%), 1-2 ml TID. Note: May take 4-6 weeks to see effects.

Contraindications: Pregnancy.

Interactions: None reported.

Toxicity: Reports of livestock (sheep) experiencing toxic reactions after consuming.

Comments are closed.

NPLEX II Herbal Review Course

Are you writing NPLEX II this summer?

Join me for an (as fun as possible!) day of herbal learning, meant to save you study time and build your confidence in answering exam-like questions about botanical medicine for your upcoming NPLEX II exam.

Wednesday July 7th 10am – 2pm PST


A place for all things herbal medicine

Created and maintained with love by Dr. Marisa Marciano, ND



This site is created and maintained as a free resource for herb lovers around the world. Donations are accepted with gratitude :)


Get my new book here!

The Botanical Medicine Manual is the best multidisciplinary, integrated guide available for students, clinicians & instructors. This book gives top quality content that you will refer to often in class, for board exams & in practice. Topics include, study tips, Botanical Actions, Constituents, Pharmacy, Monographs, Nutrition, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Fiber and much more evidence informed medicine. Cost is $39.95