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Tribulus terrestris, also known as "puncture vine", is a plant that grows in tropical environments around the world and is particularly abundant in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Tribulus has had a history of medicinal use in Europe, India and China for thousands of years. Its traditional usages are as rich and varied as the cultures that employ them; it has been recommended for treatment of water retention, depression, liver, kidney and heart disease and is reported to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Tribulus terrestris has long been valued for its ability to stimulate libido and treat infertility in both men and women and modern research indicates that this belief may be well-founded. Studies have shown that terrestris indirectly stimulates testosterone production and may help boost both sexual and athletic performance.
Terrestris increases production of luteinising hormone (LH), a hormone produced naturally in the body that has a direct effect on testrosterone levels and sex drive. Laboratory studies have reported that Tribulus terrestris increased sexual activity as well as sperm count and motility in animals.
Athletes who wish to increase strength and build muscle mass often combine Tribulus terrestris with DHEA and adrostenedione supplements, a method known as "stacking". Studies have shown that taking these three substances together is an effective means of raising testosterone levels.
Tribulus terrestris is available in bulk powder, capsule, tablet, liquid extract and tincture forms. The recommended dosage is 750 to 1,250 milligrams per day (about a teaspoonful of bulk powder) but you should divide the dosage and take it with meals to avoid stomach upset. Approximately one in ten people report gastro-intestinal upset when taking Tribulus terrestris. Although no toxic effects have been associated with human consumption of this supplement, some laboratory animals demonstrated permanent reduced muscle strength and coordination when given high doses of terrestris - so it is important to keep your dosage within the recommended range.