Tribulus terrestris: Health Benefits, Dose & Side Effects

Updated in December 2023
Scientifically proven

Tribulus terrestris is an adaptogenic medicinal plant that is rich in protodioscin, protogracillin, quercetin, kaempferol and isoramnetin. These are compounds with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and energizing action, which can help to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

This medicinal plant is often regarded as “natural Viagra”, Gokshura or abrojo, as terrestris also has aphrodisiac properties. It improve fertility and increase libido in men and women. 

Tribulus terrestris can be purchased in pharmacies and health food stores. It is available in in powder and capsule form, and should be used under the guidance of a doctor or other medicinal plant specialist. 

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Health benefits

The main health benefits of Tribulus terrestris are:

  1. Increasing libido in men and women: by stimulating excitement and reducing pain during sexual intercourse to promote orgasm;
  2. Combating impotence in men: because it stimulates blood vessel dilation, facilitating blood flow to the penis;
  3. Relieving menopause symptoms: byreducing hot flashes, irritability and vaginal dryness;
  4. Preventing cardiac disease: by having antioxidant and relaxing action, improving blood circulation and regulating blood cholesterol levels;
  5. Preventing diabetes: as it improves the action of insulin in the body to regulate blood sugar levels.

In addition, Tribulus terrestris contains protodioscin and protogracillin, which are bioactive compounds that increase DHEA levels in the body and stimulate the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. This can help to facilitate muscle mass gain.

Recommended dose

Tribulus terrestris can be taken in capsule or powder form:

  • Tribulus terrestris in capsules:the recommended dose varies according to the patient's health goal, age, sex and health status. However, the general recommended dose is 250 to 1500 mg per day, taken during meals, for up to 90 days.
  • Tribulus terrestris powder: the recommended dose varies between 0.5 g and 3 g per day, which must be divided into a maximum of 3 doses and taken for up to 3 months. This supplement can be diluted in water, juices, teas and soups.

Tribulus terrestris can be sold on its own or compounded with other plants, such as Peruvian maca, for example. Read more about the health benefits of maca root and how to take it.

Before starting to take Tribulus terrestris, you should consult a doctor or medicinal plant specialist, as dosage varies depending on each patient's health goals and health status.

Possible side effects

Some of the most common side effects that may occur while using Tribulus terrestris include stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, agitation, difficulty sleeping or increased menstrual flow.

When used in excess and for a long time, Tribulus terrestris can cause changes to your menstrual cycle, acne, prostate enlargement, and kidney or liver damage.

Contraindications for use

Tribulus terrestris is not recommended for children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women. This plant is also not recommended for men with an enlarged prostate, people with cardiovascular diseases (e.g. hypertension), liver disease or those undergoing lithium treatment.

Furthermore, Tribulus terrestris can increase or decrease the effect of your medications and, therefore, you should always inform your doctor about all medications you are taking.