Ayurvedic Herb in Focus - Tribulus terrestris
Posted on 20 November 2015 by Leonie Satori
Tribulus has a history of use in Ayurvedic medicine for supporting the urinary system, in Western Herbal Medicine it is used for hormone imbalances and in body building circles it is a highly sought after herb for increasing testosterone.
Tribulus is considered to be a common weed in hot, dry wastelands throughout temperate regions of the world and is common through Eastern Europe and across to South-East Asia. Depending where the tribulus is grown, different constituents in the plant determine how it is used and which part of the plant is utilised. In India, it is the fruit of the plant that is considered most medicinal, whereas in Eastern Europe the leaf of the plant is used in herbal medicine. This variability of constituents and part of plant used account for the differences in use of tribulus with Eastern and Western Herbal Medicine.
Tribulus in Ayurvedic Medicine
Gokshura is the Sanskrit name for the herb, botanically termed as Tribulus terrestris. In Ayurvedic medicine, although it is the fruit that is most commonly used, the whole plant and the root is also utilised. Gokshura is considered to be tridoshic or balancing for all of the doshas and pacifies pitta and kapha. It is considered to be nourishing for all tissues of the body, especially the blood and sperm. It is said to cleanse and tonify the lower abdominal organs, including the urinary bladder and prostate.
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for all types of urinary complaints, gokshura is said to have diuretic, aphrodisiac actions, it is said to help to increase semen production and also alleviate colic symptoms in the digestive tract. Gokshura is also one of the ten ingredients in the ancient Ayurvedic formula Dashamoola often mentioned in vedas for urinary disorders and impotence.
Tribulus and Western Herbal Medicine
In Western Herbal Medicine, tribulus grown in Eastern Europe is more highly sought after for its aphrodisiac qualities. Although much of the focus of information on this herb is on male reproductive health, libido and sperm motility and count, tribulus also has some value for the female reproductive system, especially during menopause. The high saponin content of this herb also contributes to its benefit in the cardiovascular system and digestive system for reducing high cholesterol levels. The significance of these beneficial saponins can for some people, however cause digestive discomfort and for this reason it is often advised to dose tribulus with foods.
As with all herbs, the therapeutic action and range of constituents can mean that many herbs will produce benefits throughout many organs and systems in the body. Often used to benefit the cardiovascular system, tribulus can help with improving oxygen supply to the muscles. Tribulus is said to contribute to faster protein processing and more efficient use of sugars within the cells and muscle tissue, thus contributing to its use with supporting the muscles of the heart. This unique therapeutic quality of tribulus makes it a valuable herb to use in conjunction with weight training, not only increasing energy levels in the body, but also supporting the manufacture of muscle building testosterones in the body.
With the wide ranging therapeutic applications of Gokshura or Tribulus, it is no wonder this nourishing herb is popular in Western Herbal Medicine, Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine and for body building enthusiasts.
About the Author
Leonie Satori is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her Naturopathic clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.
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