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Does Tribulus Terrestris Boost Testosterone?

benefits and side effects of tribulus terrestris

What is Tribulus Terrestris

Also known as the puncture vine, Tribulus Terrestris is a plant that is most commonly found in Ayurveda. It is said to have a variety of different health benefits, and we'll explore what many of those are today, but in particular, we really want to answer the question of whether the properties in Tribulus can boost testosterone levels.

Popularity of Tribulus Terrestris

In the world of testosterone, you will often see Tribulus Terrestris as a common ingredient in testosterone boosters or as a sole test booster on its own.

Many makers of T-boosters make claims about Tribulus saying that it is scientifically proven to increase your testosterone levels, and they'll include fancy charts and graphics to support their claims about this ingredient being a potent and powerful testosterone booster.

Tribulus Terrestris (TT) was probably most popular 5+ years ago or more. For a while, it was all the rage in body building supplements and T-boosters. It's probably a little less popular now, but still it seems to always be in the conversation when it comes to pontificating about what the best testosterone boosting ingredients and supplements are.​

Still today, you'll find bodybuilders using Tribulus as a post-cycle remedy to get their own body's production of testosterone up and going again. They do this based on claims that TT will increase Luteinizing Hormones (LH), which if true, will also increase testosterone. This is the same claim that you'll find in testosterone boosters that have TT as the main or core ingredient as well.

The Science Behind TT

As we do with every ingredient, we go to the scientific research that is available to us to see if there's any merit to the claims that Tribulus can boost your testosterone levels. We believe in the premise of boosting testosterone in natural ways vs. getting injections through testosterone replacement therapy where your body is given outside foreign testosterone.

Study: Injecting Tribulus Into Baboons & Monkeys​

This study is one of the most popular medical proof references used by manufacturers that are touting the testosterone boosting effects of Tribulus. In this study, monkeys were INJECTED with TT, and the result was that there T-levels more than double...but only for a short amount of time. The reality of this study is that it shows there's some level of short term androgenic effects in monkeys when injected with TT. This is different than seeing results from real humans who are taking an oral supplement.

There have been a number of different studies on animals including rabbits and rats that have shown some very moderate increases in testosterone - but again, those are animals and not humans. ​(Study 1) (Study 2)

What About Human Studies?

Well, that's where things start to fall apart a bit for Tribulus Terrestris to be viewed as a bonafide testosterone booster. There were several human studies conducted and the results of these studies were that there was no measurable increase in testosterone levels or increases in luteinizing hormones. (Study 1) (Study 2) (Study 3)

Now there was this human study that showed if a man takes a standardized extract of tribulus where 10% of that extract has Protodioscin (which is a steroidal glycoside) as an active ingredient, there could be a significant increase in testosterone and luteinizing hormone. Although that sounds encouraging, it's important to note that most over-the-counter tribulus supplements contain little to no Protodioscin.

In otherwise healthy males, testosterone is not influenced with supplementation of tribulus terrestris. There may be an increase in infertile men, but this is weak.


In my opinion Tribulus Terrestris is one of the worst testosterone boosters out there. Yes it might work if you get an extract with standardized amount of steroidal saponins and Protodioscin, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. Or just get yourself a testosterone booster that actually works in humans without any guessing, such as micronutrients, Mucuna Pruriens, and Ashwagandha.

Ali Kuoppala 
Testosterone Expert

In 2005, Bulgarian researchers organized 21 healthy men (ages 20 to 36) and split them into an experimental and a control group. The first group was given 20 mg per kg of body weight of tribulus terrestris extract and the second group was given just 10 mg per kg. After four weeks, there was no significant difference between the two groups, the levels were considered normal and tribulus terrestris was declared to have no testosterone-increasing properties.

Lisa Freedman

As you can see, the science and industry experts don't really praise tribulus terrestris for being a testosterone booster, however, does that mean that there are no benefits associated with it?

Benefits Of Tribulus Terrestris

If TT isn't really a testosterone booster then what good is it? Are there any health benefits associated with it that make it worthy of consideration?

Well, it turns out that there are some pretty good health benefits that come with TT, and at least a couple of them complement those that are looking for some specific benefits that come with boosting your testosterone, like increasing your libido or improving sexual performance. 

Tribulus Enhances Libido

One of the reasons you may find tribulus in testosterone boosters is that even though it is not scientifically proven to boost testosterone, it has been proven to increase libido. A low libido is a common symptom in men suffering from Low-T, and it's one of the problems that they're looking to get rectified when looking to boost their testosterone. So having a testosterone booster that has proven test boosting ingredients AND also has tribulus terrestris as a complementary secondary ingredient seems to make sense.

The thing is, tribulus doesn’t work. And there is plenty of research to prove that it doesn’t work; we have direct and repeated evidence that tribulus doesn’t increase testosterone in athletic males. In other words, if you’re taking tribulus to become stronger or add more muscle, don’t expect much.That’s not to say tribulus is useless. In fact, it could have potential benefits to the cardiovascular system and organ health. It just doesn’t boost testosterone.And this is a very important point. You see, tribulus most likely remains on the market and appears to work because it can be an effective libido enhancer. Usually, libido-enhancing herbs are used in testosterone boosters to make the users ‘feel the effects’ of testosterone. The unfortunate reality is that while higher testosterone tends to cause an increase in libido, these herbs increase your libido without affecting your testosterone.


Other Health Benefits Of Tribulus

  • Improves sexual performance by improving the quality of erections
  • Improves sperm quality
  • Increases sperm count
  • Shown to improve circulatory system issues
  • Helps lessen depression
  • Helps with mood swings
  • Helps increase endurance and stamina
  • Helps decrease cholesterol
  • Helps reduce problems associated with both menopause and andropause
  • Helps promote deeper and more restorative sleep
  • Helps reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation
  • Helps protect the prostate and urinary system

Tribulus is used for kidney problems, including kidney stones, painful urination, a kidney disorder called Bright’s disease, and as a “water pill” (diuretic) to increase urination; for skin disorders, including eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis, and scabies; for male sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction (ED), involuntary release of semen without orgasm (spermatorrhea), and to increase sexual desire; for heart and circulatory system problems, including chest pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and “tired blood” (anemia); for problems with digestion, including colic, intestinal gas (flatulence), constipation, and to expel intestinal parasitic worms; for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the tissue lining the mouth (stomatitis) and sore throat; and for cancer, especially nose tumors.Women use tribulus to tone muscles before childbirth, to cause an abortion, and to stimulate milk flow.Some people use tribulus for gonorrhea, liver disease (hepatitis), inflammation, joint pain (rheumatism), leprosy, coughs, headache, dizziness (vertigo), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and enhancing athletic performance. It is also used for stimulating appetite and as an astringent, tonic, and mood enhancer.


As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to be excited about Tribulus Terrestris as it offers a whole host of complementary benefits to increasing testosterone as well as other significant health benefits that just make sense especially as you age.

Side Effects Of Tribulus Terrestris

Let's examine any known side effects that you may experience when taking Tribulus Terrestris on its own or as part of a larger supplement ingredients formulation.

Looking through ​medical references and so forth, there really doesn't appear much to worry about in the way of risks or negative side effects, if you're a man. There were some warnings to women who are pregnant, because there may be some issues with tribulus affecting fetal development.

There also do not appear to be any negative interactions you need to be aware of when combining TT with other herb supplements or food.

Finally, WebMD had a few things to watch for when it came to interactions with possible medications. ​

But tribulus may interact with certain medications. It may increase the effect of certain heart and blood pressure medicines, such as:

  • Beta-blockers
  • Digoxin
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics

If you are taking diabetes medications, tribulus might decrease your blood sugars to dangerously low levels. It may also increase the effect that steroids have on your body.Be sure to tell your doctor about any you're taking, even if they're natural. That way, your doctor can check on any potential side effects or interactions with medications, foods, or other herbs and supplements. He or she can let you know if the supplement may be risky for you.


Recommended Tribulus Terrestris Directions For Use

Assuming a 60% saponin extract: 450 mg per day. This is the most common dosage especially for improved libido and sexual function. However, according to Examine.com, if you're not taking a concentrated form, and you're just taking the basic root powder, then you should adjust to 5g-6g a day.

It's best to take it for 9-12 weeks, and then take a break for 2-4 weeks. Then after that break, if you want to start back up again, then you should be able to do so without any problem.

For continued long term use, we recommend taking in the cycle of 9-12 weeks on and 2-4 weeks off.​


If you're looking for a supplement or ingredient that is proven to boost or increase your testosterone levels, Tribulus Terrestris is NOT what you want. There is not enough scientific proof that TT raises testosterone or LH in humans. Not only that, there are numerous studies (presented in this article) that show that Tribulus Terrestris has no positive effect on testosterone or LH levels.

However, we have also seen that TT has plenty of health benefits that make it an extremely attractive supplement to take on its own as as part of an overall ingredients formulation.

We also have seen that some of the benefits of Tribulus go hand-in-hand with many of the sought after benefits of increased testosterone that men are seeking - like increased libido, better erections, better sperm quantity and quality, etc.​

All in all, we are big fans of Tribulus as a complementary ingredient to be included with core test boosting ingredients or as a supplement on its own for the health benefits it can provide.​

Below - Testogen has 300 mg of Tribulus Terrestris and it's one of our Top 3 Testosterone boosters of the year!​

When it comes to increasing your testosterone naturally, you need to take a multi-faceted approach. You need to make changes in your exercise, your dietary choices, your lifestyle choices, and your environment. Together all these things will create a powerful and measurable INCREASE in your T levels - and it's all done naturally! One of the easiest and most potent ways to really make a change in your T is by supplementing with a proven testosterone booster. It's got to have at least 8-12 scientifically proven test boosting ingredients, high potent dosages (all listed), and it's got to have great market and customer reviews! All those check mark boxes are checked with our Top 3 Winners of this year! Just pick the one that fits your needs best!

Check Out Our Top 3 Testosterone Boosters Of The Year!

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