Ayurveda Health Benefits and Uses of Tribulus Terrestris or Gokshura

Tribulus terrestris is recommended in ayurveda for erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and motility, UTI, Cystitis, to strengthen muscles.

Table of content

About Tribulus Terrestris

Ayurveda Medicinal Properties of Gokshura

Health Benefits and Uses of Gokshura or Tribulus

Tribulus for Erectile Dysfunction and Oligospermia.

Gokshura for body building and immunity

Gokhru for PCOS or PCOD

About Tribulus Terrestris

The plant Tribulus terrestris is known for its medicinal properties. It is known as “gokshura “ in ayurveda. Tribulus terrestris is widely used in alternative systems of medicines. In European folk medicine it is used to treat headache, dizziness and sexual dysfunction like premature ejaculation. In Chinese medicine this herb is used in treatment of liver, kidney and cardiovascular problems. Health benefits of Tribulus terrestris are innumerable.

Botanical Description of – Tribulus terrestris

BOTONICAL NAME : Tribulus terrestris L.


Mature plant: Prostrate with stems up to 2m long. Leaves are opposite, each consisting of 4-8 pairs of spear shaped leaflets. There are long hairs on the leaf margins and lower surface. Stems are round and hairy. Flowers are yellow


Enclosed in a woody star-shaped structure 5-7 mm long and 5-6 mm wide (carpels). Up to five seeds in each carpel each seed 1.5-3 mm long, yellow. Each plant can have upwards of 2000 seeds


Cotyledons are narrow oval, round apex and hairless. Immature plants have leaves divided into pairs of hairy oval leaflets with pointed apices


Yellow, 8-15 mm diameter, 5 petals.


Woody burr about 1 cm diameter with sharp spines to 6 mm long. Burr consists of 5 wedge shaped segments. Each segment has 2 unequal pairs of spines.


Prefers light textured soils but will grow over a wide range of soil types. In Australia it is a weed of cultivated crops, overgrazed pastures, stockyards, roadsides, lawns and neglected areas.


Tribestan is a completely natural non-hormonal herbal (phytochemical) bio-stimulator derived from the plant Tribulus terrestris L., Bulgaricum, which contains predominantly saponins of furostanol type, with prevailing quantity of protodioscin (not less than 45% in Tribestan). It is a natural herbal alternative to synthetic anabolic hormones without any clinically proven toxic effects. Tribestan administration leads to increased muscle mass (mamsa dhatu) in active sports by activating the enzyme associated with energy metabolism. At the same time it has also been reported to have the ability to stimulate some functions associated with the increase of the body’s natural endogenous testosterone and lutenizing hormone (LH) levels. With the increase of the body’s natural endogenous testosterone level, it can help alleviating some symptoms associated with male menopause


Contains alkaloid – Harman & Harmine

Synonyms of Tribulus in ayurveda and Indian languages.

  • Gokshura means the thorns of this plant prick hooves of cows when they walk on ground in search of food.
  • Ikshugandhika it has sweet gragrance like sugar cane
  • Trikantaka  A plant which bears fruits with 3 thorns
  • Svadukantaka . Fruits of this plant are sweet to taste.
  • Shvadamshtra a fruit which has needle like thorns.
  • Kantaphala – fruits with spines

LOCAL NAMES (in India) :

Gokharu (Hindi), Gokuri (Bengali), Kante gokaru (Marathi),Land caltrops (English), Kadle mullu (kannada)

Ayurveda Medicinal Properties of Gokshura

Ayurveda acharyas describe medicinal properties of tribulus or gokshura as follows.

ayurveda health benefits and uses of gokshura or tribulus terrestris

It is sweet to taste (madhura rasa) and has same taste even after digestion. This herb  is heavy to digest (guru), increases moistness and eases mobility of tissues (snigdha). Gokshura acts as a body coolant (sheeta veerya).

Health Benefits and Uses of Gokshura or Tribulus

Uses and benefits of gokshura are widely researched scientifically. You can click on this link to know about scientific research and studies which affirm ayurveda health benefits of gokshura or tribulus.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24600195/?from_term=tribulus+terrestris+ayurveda&from_pos=1

Effect on Doshas :

This herb normalizes vata dosha & pitta dosha. Hence it is recommended in diseases which arise due to imbalance of these doshas.

Helps in Erectile Dysfunction and Oligospermia.

Gokshura is eulogised as vrushya. Which means it is very good aphrodisiac and helps to increase sexual function and fertility in Men. Ayurveda acharyas recommend this herb in ayurveda vajikarana therapy. (an ayurvedic treatment for erectile dysfunction, oligospermia (low sperm count and motility). It increases libido and helps in rectifying male impotence.

Increases Muscle Bulk and Immunity

This herb increases appetite and normalizes digestion. Gokshura is praised as “balakrud”  and “pushtida” which means it strengthens body. Many Researches have shown that tribulus increases testosterone level. This helps to increase body weight and boost body immunity. Hence this herb is used in ayurvedic treatment for weight gain (brumhana therapy)  and also as ayurvedic immunity booster. 

( Testosterone is responsible for development of male sexual characters like physical strength, muscle mass, body shape, body hair, deep voice, sexual function etc. Erectile dysfunction occurs when testosterone level is reduced. Testosterone is necessary for the formation and preservation of bone structure and bone density (Asthi dhatu) . It  acts as a memory and concentration booster . This hormone  helps in brain activity like learning skills, memory power etc. This hormone is very essential to maintain body’s general energy levels. )

This herb is very popular among body builders.

Gokshura for kidney stones, Cystitis and UTI

Studies have shown that tribulus or gokhru  has diuretic properties. Ayurveda acharyas explain medicinal properties of caltrops as Shulaghna (Relieves abdominal pain), Krichraghna (eases difficulty in passing urine),  Sheetala (acts as urinary tract coolant) , Bastivataghna (relieves pain in bladder) , Ashmarihara (Breaks and removes kidney stone).  With all the above mentioned properties Tribulus is a drug of choice in kidney stones, Cystitis and UTI.

Gokshura for Weight Loss and Diabetes

This herb helps in weight loss, as it has diuretic and muscle strengthening properties. String muscles improve endurance and lead to weight loss. Ayurvedic treatment for obesity includes this herb as medicine. Weight loss in-turn helps in controlling blood sugar level.  Texts of ayurveda eulogise this herb as “Pramehahara” . They recommend this in treatment of diabetes.

Through researches it has been found that Tribulus Terrestris lowers cholesterol and acts as antioxidant. It also helps to manage hypertension or high blood pressure.

Weight loss and anti- diabetic properties of tribulus help men who suffer from erectile dysfunction due to obesity and also erectile dysfunction due to diabetes.

Use of Tribulus in PCOS

Tribulus or gokshura is very useful for women who suffer from PCOS. This herb helps to fight water retention (as it is diuretic), reduces body weight and improves blood glucose level. This can be used as best ayurvedic medicine for PCOS or PCOD

Gokhru for piles, fissures and fistula

Scholars recommend this herb in piles, fissures and fistula along with other herbs. This plant is praised as “arshaghna” . (one which helps to relive piles or haemorrhoids). Its anti-inflammatory and vata balancing properties help in the above diseases of rectum.

Strengthens Respiratory System

Caltrops enhances immunity of respiratory system. It helps to fight cough, cold , bronchitis and asthma. It also strengthens heart muscles.

Author – Dr.Savitha Suri. Consultant ayurvedic physician. 

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