Tribulus, a popular aphrodisiac herb, has been used for centuries as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Renowned naturopath Dr. Ray Sahelian notes that tribulus helps to stimulate sexual function by relaxing smooth muscles and dilating blood vessels. In theory, tribulus may also work by slightly elevating testosterone levels. Citing traditional use and several recent studies, Sahelian and other naturopaths suggest that tribulus may be a viable complementary treatment for diseases affecting the liver, kidney, nervous and cardiovascular systems. More studies are needed to confirm the relative benefits and risks associated with tribulus. However, by following expert guidelines, consumers can achieve maximum benefits from tribulus with fewer risks and side effects.
Consult a health care provider who is knowledgeable about botanical medicine. Your health care provider may provide a dose recommendation based on your age, weight, diet and any medical conditions. You may need to avoid tribulus if you have liver disease or hypertension; tribulus could theoretically worsen these conditions.
Take 250 to 750 milligrams of unrefined tribulus daily with food. According to Dr. Ray Sahelian, side effects of tribulus are uncommon at doses below 500 mg daily. Tribulus extracts contain a higher concentration of active medicinal compounds; take these formulas according to your practitioner's recommendations or the manufacturer's guidelines.
Stop taking tribulus after a few weeks of continuous, daily use. The online magazine "Muscle Building" recommends taking tribulus for three weeks, then ceasing supplementation for one to three weeks. Ray Sahelian recommends that his patients take tribulus for no more than two weeks at a time and "cycling off" for an equivalent period of time. In theory, long-term use of tribulus could cause complications such as liver damage or cancer.