Tribulus terrestris has many common names, none of them pleasant: Devil’s thorn, three-corner jack, puncture vine. It’s earned its reputation. Is there more to it, though?

It turns out that this obnoxious weed, bane of feet and bicycle tires everywhere, has some beneficial properties. It’s used to treat kidney problems, constipation, eczema, sore throat, anemia, and many other things. This unlikely herb has actually been in use in the Far East for centuries, and has been the subject of study in Europe and America in the past few decades. It is apparently a saponin-bearing plant (along with yucca, alfalfa and others), the practical meaning of which is that it binds colesterols in the digestive tract, preventing their absorption in the body and lessening the potential for heart disease, and also inhibits the viability and growth of cancer cells, making it anticarcenogenic especially in regards to colon cancer.

Its fruit (the part that inspires such complementary names for the plant) appears to stimulate the pituitary gland to secrete leutinizing hormone (LH).Tribulus

That said, its function is very much a subject of debate.

Specifically, some studies have indicated the ability of tribulus to increase a body’s testosterone levels by as much as 30% in a week or less. The effects are apparently not immediate and must be accumulated. (The usual dosage is 250mg., taken two or three times a day.)

On the other hand, sources like WebMD say that it has no measured effect on human hormones.

Still others say that the LH causes men to produce testosterone and women to produce estrogen and therefore the effect is measurable if indirect.

I find it all rather confusing (or simply confused), but if you make use of it regularly but within reasonable limits, it may be a good thing for the body in general.

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