Recent studies prove direct hormonal action at the level of the pituitary and hypothalamus, which may explain the story of the "fast" aphrodisiac
Herbs and medicines that affect sexual power, especially men, are guaranteed fame and immortality. Let us remember the phenomenon of Viagra, which has become more media, sociological and psychological than pharmacological and scientific. Before Viagra, a whole series of miracles were tried to boost the sexual power and fertility of men: from bizarre ingredients like rhino horn, dried hyena penises and seahorses, to illegal opiate plants. There was no lack of pseudo-magical rituals, so it is not surprising that modern medicine has always looked with suspicion at plants that affect sexual power. Lost in the crowd, really effective plants, they threatened to fall into the category of magical, not serious phytotherapy. Among these plants, tribulus stands out and this story is an homage to a weed that traveled a long way from Durres to phytotherapeutic stars.
Injustice begins in the name
Tribulus ( Tribulus terrestris ) has, of course, a Bosnian name. So let's get to know the most inconvenient botanical name for the problem of erectile dysfunction - the baby's tooth. Many of our botanists cite the name grandma's tooth for tribulus, but that would be a psychologically awkward name in marketing, and even in science.
Tribulus is a weed, very common in the Mediterranean parts of our country, where it grows as a thorn or weed, especially on freshly dug soil. Our people remove this plant and clean it like weeds, which can make us laugh - if they only knew what kind of plant they are throwing away!
Tribulus is a creeping plant, as the second part of its Latin name suggests. Long, reddish stems cling to the ground and along walls, bearing oddly feathery, ovate leaves and yellow flowers. The fruit is very characteristic, it looks like a prickly pigeon egg, and more imaginative people can imagine it as a small prickly testicle. Tribulus therefore probably belongs to a group of plants whose action humans have tried to determine from the association of a plant organ with a human organ. There are many such plants (lung, liver, spleen ...), and tribulus is the least known. The fruit is used in medicine.
From classical to modern medicineTribulus, as a widespread plant, has found its place in both Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. The Chinese call it bai ji li and it has been used for centuries as a tonic, a means to make us feel better. Ayurveda explicitly mentions it as an aphrodisiac. Traditional European phytotherapy knows its use in urinary problems, and as an aphrodisiac. But all this information would have remained more or less in the tradition and textbooks, had it not been for the study of Bulgarian scientists who proved the success of infertility treatment with an extract of this plant through the once solid Iron Curtain in the 1970s. The study itself caused a lot of controversy, but that was the beginning. A lot of studies have been published in the countries of the former Eastern bloc, especially in Bulgaria and Russia, where this plant has been used in practice for a long time. But over time, Western scientists have also developed their own studies. Tribulus, like any plant or medicine, is the source of much controversy. Today we know that the active compounds of this plant are probably large molecules saponins and saponosides. The first studies tried to prove the effect of tribulus on raising the level of the male sex hormone testosterone, and the mechanism of action was explained by the "similarity" of the structure of testosterone and active compounds of the plant. A number of studies have shown contradictory results, to generally accept the view that the impact on testosterone is likely to be marginal. But recent research proves direct hormonal action at the level of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which may explain the action of this plant as a "fast" aphrodisiac.We still do not understand the mechanism of action on spermatogenesis and increase sperm motility, but centuries-old and modern practice show an excellent effect on male fertility
From use to abuse
And here we come to the fundamental question - is tribulus more useful as a remedy for male infertility or as a remedy for erectile dysfunction? And although lay people know how to put them in the same basket, these two problems are different medical concepts. The true answer is: in both. But tribulus is not a fast-acting plant. Accustomed to the sensational mechanism of action of Viagra, one should not have the illusion that tribulus is taken before sexual intercourse. It is a plant that only increases libido through continuous use. There are plants that act "quickly", so we will mention them in a later paragraph.
What intrigues us most is the success of male infertility, an increasingly common problem today, for which modern medicine in medicine does not have an appropriate answer. Therefore, tribulus should always emphasize this aspect, although erectile dysfunction is much more exposed in the media.
And although tribulus has no significant toxic side effects, nor does it cause an addictive effect, it is officially classified as a potential means of abuse.
Namely, as previous studies have shown, the effect of tribulus on testosterone, a male hormone that increases muscle mass, has brought this plant into the focus of the bodybuilder population. Indeed, tribulus preparations have long been on the shelves of stores specializing in bodybuilders. They were advertised as a natural and harmless substitute for a banned class of anabolic steroids, analogs of male sex hormones. They cause an increase in muscle mass, but at the same time have a devastating effect on the sex hormone system (testicles), reducing the level of the natural hormone testosterone, but also on the nerves and circulatory system. Of course, tribulus preparations cannot be measured against illicit drugs, so some more concerned individuals came up with an interesting idea - they will take banned anabolic steroids during the preparation phase, and then take tribulus during the resting phase to recover their own sex hormone system. testosterone levels. Such use, of course, leads to playing with one's own health.
Tribulus and other plants
After centuries of experience and modern clinical trials, several medicinal plants have been classified in the class to which tribulus belongs.
Johimbe ( Pausinystalia yohimbe ) is the oldest "viagra", which was once issued by pharmacists on the back door after the pharmacy closed as packets with an extract of this plant rich in the compound yohimbine. It is still found in preparations for erectile dysfunction because it acts quickly, unlike most other herbs.
In addition to tribulus, a plant of cult status that also affects erectile dysfunction is the maca (poppy, Lepidium meyenii ), and the Chinese species Epimedium grandiflorum . The last species, epimedium, has an interesting discovery story: the English name horny goat weed (literally translated as "excited goat grass") tells how people understood its action because it causes increased sexual appetite in goats that eat it. < / p>
Almost as a regular ingredient of plants that act on erectile dysfunction and infertility are used and the so-called. adaptogenic plants , or already known real ginseng and Siberian ginseng , which have a generally stimulating effect on the whole organism and reduce the feeling of fatigue.