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Tribulus terrestris is a flowering plant in the family Zygophyllaceae, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the World in southern Europe, southern Asia, throughout Africa, and Australia. It can thrive even in desert climates and poor soil. Like many weedy species, this plant has many common names, including gokharu, caltrop, cat's head, devil's weed, and tackweed.The plant is distributed throughout India up to an elevation of 3,500m.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Tribulus terrestris
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Gokshura Bengali : Gokshura, Gokhri Gujarati : Betagokhru, Mithagokhru, Nanagokharu Hindi : Chota-gokhru, Gokhru Malayalam : Neringil, Nerinnil Marathi : Ghokaru, Sharatte Kannada : Sannaneggilu, Negalu Tamil : Nerunji Telugu : Chirupalleru, Palleru
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents include Steroidal saponins e.g. terrestrosins A, B, C, D and E, desgalactotigonin, F-gitonin, desglucolanatigonin, gitonn etc.; hydrolysed products include diosgenin, hecogenin, and neotigogenin etc.Alkaloids (uncharacterized); common phytosterols viz; -sitosterol, stigmasterol; a cinnamic amide derivative- terrestiamide and 7-methylhydroindanone.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
A purified fraction of ethanolic extract of fruits showed protection against uroliths induced by glass bead implantation in rats. Administration of the Tribulus terestris extract to Sodium glycolate fed rats produced a significant decrease in urinary oxalate excretion and a significant increase in urinary glyoxylate excretion. Gokharu has nephroprotective action against gentamycin induced renal damage. A semi purified water soluble extract of fruits exhibited cardiac stimulant action. Tribulus terrestris has long been a constituent in tonics in Indian ayurveda practice. It is also used as an aphrodisiac, diuretic and nervine in Ayurveda, and in Unani.
Research References
1) The Analgesic Effect of Tribulus terrestris Extract and Comparison of Gastric Ulcerogenicity of the Extract with Indomethacine in Animal Experiments. 2) Various studies conducted on Tribulus terrestris are as follows: • Effect of Tribulus terrestris treatment on impotence and libido disorders A.W. Nasution Andalas University School of Medicine, Padang, Indonesia (1993). • Tribulus terrestris (protodioscin) increases men's sex drive.W. Pangkahila University of Denpasar, Reproductive Medicine Faculty, Indonesia Proceedings of the 10th National Congress on New Perspectives of Andrology on Human Reproduction (1993)National Congress of Indonesian Association of Andrologs. • Tribulus terrestris (protodioscin) in the treatment of male infertility with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.A. Adimoelja, L. Setiawan, T. Djojotananjo Academic Hospital Dr. Soetomo and Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia First International Conference of Medical Plants for Reproductive Medicine in Taipei, Taiwan (1995. • Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus terrestris extract (protodioscin) in normal and castrated rats.. Gauthaman, P.G. Adaikan, R.N. Prasad. National University of Singapore, National University Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, SingaporeLife Sci 2002 Aug 9; 71(12): 1385-96. 3) • Tribulosin protects rat hearts from ischemia/reperfusion injury.Zhang S, Li H, Yang SJ.Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2010 Jun;31(6):671-8. Epub 2010 May 10.PMID: 20453871. • Tribulosin protects rat hearts from ischemia/reperfusion injury.(Zhang S, Li H, Yang SJ.Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2010 Jun; • 31(6):671-8. Epub 2010 May 10.PMID: 20453871). • Development of ITS sequence based molecular marker to distinguish, Tribulus terrestris L. (Zygophyllaceae) from its adulterants.(Balasubramani SP, Murugan R, Ravikumar K, Venkatasubramanian P.Fitoterapia. 2010 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20083169). • Antioxidant activity of aerial parts of Tribulus alatus in rats.(Kadry H, Abou Basha L, El Gindi O, Temraz A.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2010 Jan;23(1):59-62.PMID: 20067868). • [Feasibility study for whole plant medicinal use of Tribulus terrestris](Yang L, Wang C, Han M, Yang L.Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2009 Sep;34(17):2163-6. Chinese. PMID: 19943476). • Effects of Tribulus terrestris on endocrine sensitive organs in male and female Wistar rats.(Martino-Andrade AJ, Morais RN, Spercoski KM, Rossi SC, Vechi MF, Golin M, Lombardi NF, Greca CS, Dalsenter PR.J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 8;127(1):165-70. Epub 2009 Sep 23.PMID: 19781624). • Evaluation of Tribulus terrestris Linn (Zygophyllaceae) acetone extract for larvicidal and repellence activity against mosquito vectors.(Singh SP, Raghavendra K, Singh RK, Mohanty SS, Dash AP.J Commun Dis. 2008 Dec;40(4):255-61.PMID: 19579717). • Changes in the brain cortex of rabbits on a cholesterol-rich diet following supplementation with a herbal extract of Tribulus terrestris.(Berkman Z, Tanriover G, Acar G, Sati L, Altug T, Demir R.Histol Histopathol. 2009 Jun;24(6):683-92.PMID: 19337967).