Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/JMPR
ISSN 1996-0875 ©2011 Academic Journals
Tribulus terrestris Linn.: A review article
M. Akram1, H. M. Asif2, Naveed Akhtar2, Pervaiz A. Shah3, M. Uzair4, Ghazala Shaheen2,
Tahira Shamim2, S. M. Ali Shah2 and Khalil Ahmad2
Department ofBasic Medical Sciences , Faculty of Eastern Medicine, Hamdard University Karachi, Pakistan.
College of Conventional Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy and Alternative Medicine, The Islamia University of
University College of Pharmacy, Punjab University Lahore, Pakistan.
Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan.
Accepted 22 February, 2011Tribulus terrestris has long been used as a tonic and aphrodisiac in Unani system of medicine. It has
been used in India and Pakistan as a treatment for impotence and as a stimulant to enhance sexual
drive and performance (Brown et al., 2001). T. terrestris has diuretic and uricosuric effects. In this
review article introduction, description, active constituents and medicinal uses of T.terrestris have
been given herewith.
Key words: Tribulus terrestris, active constituents, medicinal uses.
Tribulus terrestris L. is found to be growing in subtropical
areas around the world. It is commonly known as Gokhru
belonging to the family Zygophyllaceae, widely distributed
throughout India. The fruits of T. terrestris L. have been
used in traditional Chinese medicine forthe treatment of
eye trouble, edema, abdominal distention, emission, morbid leucorrhea, sexual dysfunction and veiling. Roots and
fruits are useful in rheumatism, piles, renal and vesical
calculi, menorrhagia, impotency, premature ejaculation,
general weakness etc. The fruits, flowers and leaves are
shown in Figures 1 and 2. It is a very potent diuretic and
tonic drug (Selvam, 2008). Thesteroidal saponin constituents obtained from T. terrestris exhibit antimicrobial and
cytotoxic effects (Bedir et al., 2002; Protich et al., 1983;
Chu et al., 2003; Li et al., 2002). The phytochemical
investigation of the aerial parts of T. terrestris of has
resulted in the isolation of the novel furostanol saponin 1,
named tribol, together with the known spirostanol
saponins 2 and 3 andsitosterol glucoside (Conrad et al.,
2004). An HPLC-ELSD-ESI-MS method has been
developed for the analysis of the steroidal saponins in the
aerial parts of T. terrestris (De Combarieu et al., 2003).
Saponins from T. terrestris (STT) exert its cytotoxic effect
*Corresponding author. E-mail: email@example.com.
Tel: 92-021-6440083. Fax: 92-021-6440079.
on liver BEL-7402 cells by inducingapoptosis (Sun et al.,
2004). T. terrestris exerts significantly antihyperlipidemic
effects (Jiji et al., 2009). Chronic intake of a complex
dietary supplement containing DHEA (Jameel et al.,
2004), androstenedione and herbal extracts increases
serum androgen levels, it has minimal effect on immune
function in middle aged men (Kohut et al., 2003; Protich
et al., 1983). Gynaecomastia hasalso been reported due
to intake of a T. terrestris (Jameel et al., 2004).
T. terrestris is a natural stimulant of Luteinizing hormone (LH) which signals the body to produce more of its
own testosterone (Neychev et al., 2005; Antonio, 2000).
Clinical studies showed T. terrestris improved reproducetive function, including increased concentration of
hormones such as estradiol, with testosteronebeing very
slightly influenced, thereby improving reproductive function, libido and ovulation (Gauthaman, 2002; Tomova,
Tribulus terrestris Linn.
J. Med. Plant. Res.
Figure 1. Fruit of T. terrestris.
sharp spines, 10 mm long and 4 to 6 mm broad...