Tribulus (Gokshura)

 

Botanical Name:Tribulus/ Tribulus terrestris/Pedalium Murex (LINN.)
Family: Zygophyllaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Zygophyllales
Genus: Tribulus
Common Names: Puncture Vine, Caltrop, Yellow Vine, Burra Gookeroo and Goathead are the most widely used.

Other common names: Tribulus, Gokshura, Goathead, Tribulus Terrestris, Burra Gookeroo, Burra Gokhru, Caltrop, Yellow Vine
Habitat: Native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Old World in southern Europe, southern Asia, throughout Africa, and in northern Australia. It can thrive even in desert climates and poor soil.

Description:
It is a taprooted herbaceous perennial plant that grows as a summer annual in colder climates. The stems radiate from the crown to a diameter of about 10 cm to over 1 m, often branching. They are usually prostrate, forming flat patches, though they may grow more upwards in shade or among taller plants. The leaves are pinnately compound with leaflets less than a quarter-inch long. The flowers are 4–10 mm wide, with five lemon-yellow petals. A week after each flower blooms, it is followed by a fruit that easily falls apart into four or five single-seeded nutlets. The nutlets or “seeds” are hard and bear two to three sharp spines, 10 mm long and 4–6 mm broad point-to-point. These nutlets strikingly resemble goats’ or bulls’ heads; the “horns” are sharp enough to puncture bicycle tires and to cause painful injury to bare feet.
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Tribulus species are perennial, but some grow as annuals in colder climates. The leaves are opposite and compound. The flowers are perfect (hermaphroditic) and insect-pollinated, with fivefold symmetry. The ovary is divided into locules that are in turn divided by “false septa” (the latter distinguish Tribulus from other members of its family).

Some species are cultivated as ornamental plants in warm regions. Some, notably T. cistoides, T. longipetalus, T. micrococcus, T. terrestris, and T. zeyheri, are considered weeds.

The Latin name tribulus originally meant the caltrop (a spiky weapon), but in Classical times already meant this plant as well

Cultivition:
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

The plant is widely naturalised in the Americas and also in Australia south of its native range. In some states in the United States, it is considered a noxious weed and an invasive species.

It has been reported that puncture vine seeds have been used in homicidal weapons in southern Africa; murderers smear them with the poisonous juice of Acokanthera venenata and put them where victims are likely to step.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frost.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.
Leaves and young shoots – cooked. A nutritional analysis is available. Fruit – cooked. The unexpanded seed capsules are ground into a powder and made into a bread. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails.

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

*Leaves (Fresh weight)

*0 Calories per 100g

*Water: 79.09%

*Protein: 7.22g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 4.6g;

*Minerals – Calcium: 1600mg; Phosphorus: 80mg; Iron: 9.22mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 41mg;


Medicinal Uses:

Abortifacient; Alterative; Anthelmintic; Aphrodisiac; Carminative; Demulcent; Diuretic; Galactogogue; Infertility; Pectoral.

The seed is abortifacient, alterative, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, pectoral and tonic. It stimulates blood circulation. A decoction is used in treating impotency in males, nocturnal emissions, gonorrhoea and incontinence of urine. It has also proved effective in treating painful urination, gout and kidney diseases. The plant has shown anticancer activity. The flowers are used in the treatment of leprosy. The stems are used in the treatment of scabious skin diseases and psoriasis. The dried and concocted fruits are used in the treatment of congestion, gas, headache, liver, ophthalmia and stomatitis.

Tribulus has been shown to enhance sexual behaviour in an animal model. It appears to do so by stimulating androgen receptors in the brain.

Some body builders use T. terrestris as post cycle therapy or “PCT“. After they’ve completed an anabolic-steroid cycle, they use it under the assumption that it will restore the body’s natural testosterone levels.

Tribulus has a long history of use in the Ayurvedic and Unani systems of India. It is considered an aphrodisiac, diuretic, and nervine.

Tribulus, a traditional Ayurvedic herb commonly known as the puncture vine, has been used for centuries in Europe as a treatment for impotence and as a stimulant to help enhance sexual drive and performance. Tribulus has been shown to increase LH (luteinizing hormone) production and boost testosterone levels. Tribulus exerts its testosterone-elevating effects by stimulating an increase in LH, which is responsible for telling your body to produce testosterone. Testosterone is a vital hormone responsible for the development of secondary sexual traits, as well as increasing muscle size and strength. As a result, Tribulus as also been shown to increase energy and stamina, and to speed up muscle recovery after muscle fibers have been broken down as a result of exercise.

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As per Ayurveda:
It is sheetala, svadu, invigorating; useful in the treatment of urinary affection: madhura; gastric stimulant, aphrodisiac; nutritive; used in the treatment of urinary ca1culii, polyuria, dyspnoea, cough, piles, dysuria, heart disease; pacifies deranged vata.

Parts Used: Fruits, leaves, stem and root.

Therapeutic Uses:
Fruits (dried) : aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic and tonic; decoction/infusion efficacious in chronic cystitis, gonorrhoea, gout, gravel. impotence, kidney diseases and painful micturition; one of the ten ingredients of Dashamula;


leaves:
in affections of urinary calculii, stomachic; stem: astringent, infusion useful in gonorrhoea; root: aperient, demulcent and tonic; an ingredient of Dashamula kwatha, a well-known Ayurvedic preparation for urinary troubles and impotence.

The root and fruit are sweetish; cooling; tonic, fattening, aphrodisiac, alterative; improve appetite; useful in strangury, urinary discharges, vesicular calculi, pruritus ani; alleviate burning sensation; reduce inflammation; remove .. tridosha,” cough, asthma, pain; cure, skin and heart diseases, piles, leprosy.-

The leaves are aphrodisiac and purify the bIood.-

The seeds are cooling, fattening, diuretic aphrodisiac; remove inflammations, urinary troubles, stones in the bladder.-

The ashes are sweet ‘cooling, aphrodisiac; cure” vatapurify the blood

The fruit is sour with a bad taste; :diuretic; removes gravel from the urine and stone in the bladder; cures strangury, gleet.-

The leaves are diuretic; tonic; enrich the blood; increase the menstrual flow; cure gonorrhoea and gleet; a decoction is useful as a gargle for mouth troubles and painful gums; reduce inflammation.-

The root is a good stomachic and appetiser: emmenagogue, diuretic carminative; cures lumbago .

The fruits are regarded as cooling, diuretic, tonic and aphrodisiac, and are used in painful micturition, calculous affections, urinary, disorders and impotence.

An infusion” made from the fruit has been found very useful as a diuretic in gout, kidney disease and gravel;, also used largely as anaphrodisiac..

The fruit is reputed tonic and astringent. It is used for coughs, spermatorrhoea, scabies, anemia, ophthalmia; it is a powerful hemootatic, much used in postpartum haemorrhage and in dysenteries;as a gargle it is prescribed for ulcers of the gums, inflammation of the mouth, aphthae, and angina.

The entire plant, but more particularly the fruits, are used in medicine. They possess cooling, diuretic, tonic, and aphrodisiac properties and are used in dysuria, urinary disorders, calculus affections, and impotency. .

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Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribulus
http://websites.uk-plc.net/247Weight/products/Tribulus.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Tribulus+terrestris

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#eranda

 

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