How to Use Tribulus
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 1. 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 1. 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.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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.
Side Effects of Bulgarian Tribulus Terrestris
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 1. 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 2. 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 1. In theory, long-term use of tribulus could cause complications such as liver damage or cancer.
Side Effects of Bulgarian Tribulus Terrestris
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- Ray Sahelian: Tribulus
- Muscle Building: Tribulus
- Chauhan NS, Sharma V, Dixit VK, Thakur M. A review on plants used for improvement of sexual performance and virility. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:868062. doi:10.1155/2014/868062
- Qureshi A, Naughton DP, Petroczi A. A systematic review on the herbal extract Tribulus terrestris and the roots of its putative aphrodisiac and performance-enhancing effect. J Diet Suppl. 2014;11(1):64-79. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2014.887602
- Kamenov Z, Fileva S, Kalinov K, Jannini EA. Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of Tribulus terrestris in male sexual dysfunction-A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Maturitas. 2017;99:20-26. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.01.011
- Borrelli F, Colalto C, Delfino DV, Iriti M, Izzo AA. Herbal Dietary Supplements for Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. SpringerLink. .Published April 9, 2018. doi: 10.1007/s40265-018-0897-3
- Vale FBC, Zanolla dias de souza K, Rezende CR, Geber S. Efficacy of Tribulus Terrestris for the treatment of premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder: a randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2018;34(5):442-445. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2017.1409711
- Samani NB, Jokar A, Soveid M, Heydari M, Mosavat SH. Efficacy of the Hydroalcoholic Extract of Tribulus terrestris on the Serum Glucose and Lipid Profile of Women With Diabetes Mellitus: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial - Nasrin Babadaei Samani, Azam Jokar, Mahmood Soveid, Mojtaba Heydari, Seyed Hamdollah Mosavat, 2016. SAGE Journals. Published 2016. doi: 10.1177/2156587216650775
- Campanelli M, Thomasis RD, Tenaglia RL. Priapism caused by Tribulus terrestris. Nature News. Published December 3, 2015. doi:10.1038/ijir.2015.30
- Roaiah MF, El khayat YI, Gamalel din SF, Abd el salam MA. Pilot Study on the Effect of Botanical Medicine (Tribulus terrestris) on Serum Testosterone Level and Erectile Function in Aging Males With Partial Androgen Deficiency (PADAM). J Sex Marital Ther. 2016;42(4):297-301. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2015.1033579
- Akabas SR, Vannice G, Atwater JB, Cooperman T, Cotter R, Thomas L. Quality Certification Programs for Dietary Supplements. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116(9):1370-1379. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.11.003
- Tribulus. Natural Medicines Database. Professional Monograph. 2/28/2019
- Dietary Supplements Marketed for Weight Loss, Bodybuilding, and Sexual Enhancement: What the Science Says. National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. January 2018
- Tribulus terrestris. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. About Herbs, Botanicals, and Other Products. June 25, 2015
- Qureshi A, Naughton DP, Petroczi A. A systematic review on the herbal extract Tribulus terrestris and the roots of its putative aphrodisiac and performance enhancing effect. J Diet Suppl. 2014;11(1):64-79.
Juniper Russo, an eclectic autodidact, has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has appeared in several online and print-based publications, including Animal Wellness. Russo regularly publishes health-related content and advocates an evidence-based, naturopathic approach to health care.