Tribulus terrestris, also known as the puncture vine, grows naturally in many places throughout the world, including North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. In many places, it is considered a pest weed that grows in vacant lots and on roadsides, but the indigenous populations have often had a different use for the noxious weed. Tribulus has been used in Ayurvedic and other traditional herbal practices as an aphrodisiac and to restore overall vitality. More recently, the herb has been researched for possible use in supporting kidney and cardiovascular health and as a support against some skin conditions.
Tribulus fruits consist of several single-seeded nutlets, each of which bears two or three spikes sharp enough to puncture bicycle tires. In southern Africa these spikes have been sometimes coated with the sap of Acokanthera venenata (bushman's poison, a cardiotoxin) and used to commit homicide.
Constituents of Note: saponins (protodioscin, furostanol), glycosides, flavonoids, alkaloids, resins, tannins, sugars, sterols, essential oils, Terrestrinins A and B, protodioscin
Tribulus is typically prepared as a tea or extract, from the whole or diced fruit and powder.