Herb-Chota Gokhru

Chota Gokhru
(Tribulus terrestris)

Part Used: Fruit

Habitat:
The plant can be found in arid climate regions around the world, as in southern USA, Mexico, Spain, Bulgaria, India and China.
Jameel Mohd et al. IRJP 2012, 3(5)

Introduction:
Tribulus terrestris has been used in folk medicine in Europe and other regions all over the world for several hundred years to cure hormone deficit, diseases of liver, kidneys, ureters and to eliminate cardiovascular system problems. It has a 5,000-year-old history of medicinal use in India. This herb influences the level of the masculine hormone testosterone in the blood, strengthens immunity, improves endurance. Natural testosterone and lutropine levels in the body increase when a food supplement containing Tribulus terrestris is consumed, positively influencing muscular growth, strength and endurance. Saponins and steroids of Tribulus terrestris have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, regulate myocardial contraction power, improve coronary blood circulation, dilate blood vessels, reduce blood pressure under muscular tension and decrease the probability of arteriosclerosis. Tribulus terrestris increases activity of protein synthesis and muscular mass, facilitates recovery after physical loads.
Acta Medica Lituanica. 2010. Vol. 17. No. 1–2. P. 65–70

Mechanism of Action:

It enhances testosterone levels by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. LH is responsible for telling the body to produce testosterone. One interesting fact is that extended use of anabolic steroids reduces levels of LH, thus reducing and sometimes shutting down the body's production of testosterone. It is also claimed that Tribulus terrestris increases testosterone by increasing gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) which in turn stimulates the production of LH and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Testosterone, besides its role in muscle-building and raising fertility and libido, is also known to have a positive effect on bone marrow activity (for red blood cell production) and the immune system.
Journal of Biology and today's world; 2013, volume 2, issue 1, pages: 31-40.

Pharmacological Actions:

Antiurolithiatic Activity – The diuretic potential of T. terrestris helps in the removal of stone particle from the body and the antiurolithiatic activity inhibits the formation of stone.

Diuretic Activity - T. terrestris has potassium and fair amount of nitrates, and these two ions are very important in their function from the point of view of diuresis. The potassium ion is very quickly excreted by the kidneys. Being the chief-cation of the intracellular fluid, an excess in the plasma is treated as foreign low-thereshold substance and hence is excreted rapidly. The nitrate ion is a low thereshold body and leads to diuresis.
Ancient Science of Life Vol No. 17 (2), October 1997 pages 144 - 150

Aprodisiac Activity – Tribulus terrestris has enhanced relaxant effect over the increase of nitric oxide from the endothelium and nitrergic nerve endings which causes its aphrodisiac effect.
Jameel Mohd et al. IRJP 2012, 3(5)

Treatment of Sexual Disorders - T.terrestris, has stimulating effect on spermatogenesis by increase in the amount of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) produced by Pituitary gland, which stimulate the secretion of male hormone. Testosterone, resulting in significant improvement in quality and quantity of sperm.

Hypolipidemic Ectivity – T. terrestris, helps to reduce serum total cholesterol, LDL, liver total cholesterol , triglyceride and increases the activities of SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) in liver.
Zhong Yao Cai. 2003 May;26(5):341-4.

Muscular Growth - T. terrestris extract improves the body.s ability to build muscle mass and strength by promoting the production luteinizing hormone, thereby stimulating the secretion of testosterones, resulting in the development of male-like characters (i.e. strong muscles and strength) with increase in sex drive, as well as production of red cells, contributing to improvement in blood circulation and good oxygen transport.[8] In this way it works only within body’s natural limits, supporting the balanced natural hormone levels. So it is claimed that T. terrestris is not a hormone supplement. It only helps to improve strength in conjunctions with an exercise programme that places the muscles under strain and allow them to recover.
Joshi and Uniyal: Chemo types of Tribulus terrestris, International Journal of Green Pharmacy, July-September 2008

Clinical Studies:
1. Tribulus terrestris has been evaluated by many clinical trials. It is effective for the management of oligozoospermia which was established by a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study on 72 patients. This study was published in the journal of Ayurveda in july 2012.
Ayu. 2012 Jul-Sep; 33(3): 356–364. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.108822

Conclusion:
T. terrestris is a herb to enhance strength and its diuretic property is beneficial in urolithiasis. Therefore, this plant has got attention in many therapeutic treatments for sexual disorders, cardiovascular diseases and to improve strength and energy. There are many products available in the market containing T. terrestris which claims its efficacy in muscular growth i.e. why it is a popular ingredient in Jim supplements.