Gokhru Medicinal Benefits
Botanical Name—Tribulus terrestris
Family—Zygophyllaceae (Gokshur Kul)
- Health promoter
- Urinary Lithontriptic
Parts Used—Fruit, root
Description—Tribulus terrestris is a flowering plant in the family Zygophyllaceae, 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.
Like many weedy species, this plant has many common names. Puncturevine, Caltrop, Yellow Vine, and Goathead are the most widely used.
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.
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.
- terrestris is now being promoted as a booster for the purpose of increasing sex drive. Its use for this purpose originated in Eastern Europe in the 1970s. It was popularized in America by 1970s strongman Jeffrey Petermann. Independent studies have suggested that Tribulus terrestris extract slightly increases hormone levels, though leaving them in the normal range.
The extract is claimed to increase the body’s natural testosterone levels and thereby improve male sexual performance and help build muscle. T. terrestris has consistently failed to increase testosterone levels in controlled studies. It has also failed to demonstrate strength-enhancing properties. However, many supplement brands have sold products that combine various herbs with T. terrestris, with debatable effects.
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 have completed an anabolic—steroid cycle, they use it under the assumption that it will restore the body’s natural testosterone levels.
Tribulus terrestris has long been a constituent in tonics in Indian ayurveda practice, where it is known by its Sanskrit name, `gokshura! It is also used as an aphrodisiac, diuretic and nervine in Ayurveda, and in Unani, another medical system of India.
Powder -3-5 gms.
Decoction -50-100 ml.
- In Dysurea—(i) Milk boiled with Gokshur should be used.
(ii) Decoction of Gokshur seeds mixed with Yavakshyar.
- In Nephritis—Decoction of Gokshur mixed with Shilajeet is used.
- In Calculus—Powder of Gokshur seed mixed with honey & taken with goat milk.
- In Impotency & seminal debility—Powder of Gokshur & Sesamum with goat’s milk should be taken.
- To promote hair growth—Gokshur & Sesammum flowers are mixed with equal quantity of honey 60 0 Medicinal Plants and Herbs of India v& ghee. This paste applied on head promotes growth of hair.
- As Rasayan—On taking powder of Gokshur, Amalaki & Guduci with ghee and honey.