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Scientific Name: Tribulus terrestris

Constituents:

  • Steroidal saponins (furostanol glycosides: protodioscin, protogracillin, cistocardin, tribulosin)
  • Phytosterols (stigmasterol)
  • Flavonoids (tribuloside)
  • Alkaloids (Harmala)

Medicinal actions:

  • Adaptogen
  • Antispasmodic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Reproductive Tonic (Male & Female)

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Furostanol glycosides (a subclass of steroidal saponins), and predominantly protodioscin appear responsible for majority of therapeutic effects. May act by binding to receptors in the hypothalamus and weakly stimulating hypothalamic estrogen receptor sites.
  • Steroidal saponins have phytoestrogenic effects due to their structural similarity to steroid hormones. May improve ovarian tissue sensitivity or receptivity to the action of gonadotropins, and appear to increase FSH in women, which then increases levels of estradiol. It is thought that the saponins are weakly stimulating the receptors in the hypothalamus. In postmenstrual women, this effect is useful when treating symptoms related to reduced estrogen production, and might alleviate symptoms of estrogen withdrawal. A similar mechanism via the hypothalamus could apply for men regarding testosterone.

Pharmacy:

  • Tincture
  • Capsule

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • May cause reflux and irritation of the gastric mucus membranes.
  • Avoid in pregnancy & lactation.
  • Use caution in benign prostate hyperplasia or prostate cancer (due to possible androgenic effects).
  • Diuretic effects may occur and hypersensitivity/allergy has been known to occur. In such cases, discontinue use.

Interactions:

  • None known.

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