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This herbaceous perennial, known by the botanical name of Tribulus terrestris, is found in warm and tropical parts of the world including certain areas in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. It goes by the common names of Caltrop, Yellow Vine due to the yellow flowers it produces, as well as Goathead and Puncturevine for the seeds with sharp spines that the plant produces.
Warning: Not to be used during pregnancy.
Zygophylaceae (Caltrop Family)
The genus name Tribulus is a Greek term for the caltrop, a spiky weapon used against cavalry, in reference to the appearance of the plant's fruit.
Range of Appearance
Tribulus is native to Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe but widely naturalized; it is considered an invasive weed in some parts of North America. This low-growing annual or biennial vine requires welldrained soil and full sun but can thrive in drought or desert conditions. It reaches a length of about 3 feet. The oval leaves grow opposite in evenly pinnatecompound leaflets, with five to seven pairs. It has purple and yellow hermaphroditic flowers. The fruits are made of four or five segments, each segment resembling a triangular hatchet, and are covered with sharp spines.
Fruit (dried, unripe)
Abortifacient, alterative, analgesic, anodyne, anthelmintic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, bone tonic, bronchial dilator, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, galactagogue, hepatotonic, hypotensive, kidney tonic, lithotriptic, nervine, parturient, pectoral, rejuvenative, restorative, sedative, tonic
Tribulus is used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance mental clarity. It is often promoted to athletes as an agent to increase muscle buildup and burn fat, though more research is needed to substantiate these claims. It is known to relieve pain, increase testosterone levels, improve the flow of liver chi, clear the lungs, stimulate circulation, and soothe the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. Tribulus is used in the treatment of amenorrhea, anemia, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, Bright's disease, cancer, cystitis (chronic), diabetes, dizziness, dyspenea, dysuria, eczema, edema, erectile dysfunction, eye irritation (redness, swelling), flatulence, gonorrhea, gout, headache (related to hypertension), hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, hives, hypertension, incontinence, infertility, kidney stones, leukorrhea, low sperm count, lumbago, nocturnal emissions, nosebleeds, pain, premature ejaculation, polyuria, postpartum bleeding, psoriasis, shingles, spermatorrhea, tinnitis, uric acid buildup, urinary stones, venereal disease, vision problems, and vitiligo. It also can be used to ease labor that has been difficult and to facilitate postpartum bleeding. Topically, tribulus-infused oil can be applied to the scalp to keep alopecia (balding) from progressing and in some cases to stimulate new hair growth. It can also be applied topically to treat psoriasis and leprosy.
The immature fruits (ground into a meal) and young leaves and shoots are edible, though they are usually cooked before being consumed. They are not particularly tasty and are considered an emergency food.
Beta-carotene, protein, iron, vitamin C, linoleic acid, kaempferol, sapogenins (chlorogenin, diosgenin, gitogenin), essential oil, alkaloids (harmine), tribuloside, tannin
Avoid during pregnancy, except under the guidance of a qualified health-care practitioner. Avoid in cases of dehydration or blood or chi deficiency. In rare cases tribulus may cause stomach upset, which is diminished by taking the herb with food.
Plant details were provided by iPlant by Brigitte Mars.
Hyperlink it to https://brigittemars.com/iplant-app/