Gokshura is a popular medicinal plant in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
In Western countries, gokshura is better known as the popular dietary supplement Tribulus terrestris. People take it to boost their libido and testosterone, among many other uses.
However, research on the health effects of this plant is still emerging, and more studies are needed on its many potential effects.
This article explores the claims about gokshura and lists 8 of its emerging health benefits.
Gokshura is a small leafy plant that is a member of the caltrop family.
It grows in areas that have warm temperatures, such as southern Asia, southern Europe, Africa, and Northern Australia (
In traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, people have long used its roots and fruit to treat a wide variety of health conditions. These include urinary tract disorders, kidney disease, inflammation, chronic coughing, asthma, and erectile dysfunction (
In Western countries, gokshura is more commonly known as Tribulus terrestris. Companies market it as a natural testosterone booster.
You can buy gokshura in various forms, such as powder, capsules, or tablets. Stores more commonly sell it under the name Tribulus terrestris.
Gokshura is a small leafy plant commonly known as Tribulus terrestris in Western countries. In traditional medicine, people used gokshura to treat various disorders, such as urinary tract disorders, kidney disease, and erectile dysfunction.
There are many studies on gokshura, especially in the area of raising testosterone levels and boosting libido.
However, outside of this field of research, there are few human studies on the health benefits of gokshura. That said, test-tube and animal studies have shown it may have promising health benefits.
Here are some of the emerging benefits of gokshura and the research behind them.
1. Antioxidant properties
Antioxidants are compounds your body produces. You can also consume them in a variety of foods, herbs, and spices. These compounds help protect your cells against damage from potentially harmful compounds called free radicals (
Research has shown free radical damage has been linked to various chronic diseases, such as heart disease, brain disorders, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers (
Gokshura contains a variety of compounds that function as antioxidants in the body. These include polyphenols and coumaroylquinic acids (
Test-tube and animal studies have shown that gokshura antioxidants may help prevent damage to cells of the kidney, heart, liver, and brain (
2. May boost your libido
Research suggests that gokshura may help boost libido in men and women.
In one older study in men with a reduced sex drive, taking 750–1,500 mg of gokshura daily for a period of 2 months raised sexual desire by 79% (
A study in 45 postmenopausal women with low libido gave 750 mg of gokshura to participants daily for 17 weeks.
Participants who took gokshura had significantly increased sexual desire and arousal as well as reduced pain during sex, making it easier for them to reach orgasm, compared with those who took a placebo (
3. May help lower blood sugar levels
Research suggests gokshura may help manage blood sugar levels.
A test-tube study showed that gokshura blocked the activity of enzymes, such as alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase, that play a role in breaking down carbohydrates and making them easier to absorb (
When the body absorbs carbs easily from the digestive system into the blood, blood sugar levels may spike. Thus, it is possible that blocking enzymes involved in this process may lower blood sugar levels and reduce these spikes.
However, it’s important to note this was a test-tube study and didn’t look at effects of blocking these enzymes in humans directly.
Animals with diabetes that received gokshura had significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels and total blood sugar levels (
A 12-week study in 98 women with type 2 diabetes found that taking 1,000 mg of Tribulus terrestris daily significantly lowered fasting blood sugar levels, compared with a placebo (
In addition, women that took Tribulus terrestris also had significantly lower triglyceride, cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (
However, there’s still limited human research in this area. Although these findings are promising, scientists need to do more research in humans to investigate these potential effects.
4. May have benefits for women’s health
In Ayurvedic medicine, people use gokshura to aid women’s health.
Research suggests that gokshura may indeed have benefits in this area.
Several studies in women going through menopause found that taking gokshura helped reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep issues, low mood, irritability, vaginal dryness, and low libido, compared with a placebo (18, 19).
It may also help people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that affects up to 10% of women globally (
Animal research in mice with PCOS found that treatment with gokshura significantly improved ovarian health, compared with a placebo (
In addition, test-tube studies looked at the effects of gokshura on cancers that are more common among women, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancers. They found that gokshura extract suppressed the growth and spread of tumor cells (
While these findings are promising, scientists need to do more human research on these topics.
5–8. Other potential health benefits
Studies have associated gokshura with other health benefits. However, the evidence behind them is weaker or limited.
- May reduce inflammation. Test-tube and animal studies suggest that various gokshura compounds, such as tribulusamide, may help reduce inflammation (
25, 26, 27).
- May lower blood pressure. Test-tube and animal studies suggest gokshura may help lower blood pressure levels by inhibiting various enzymes that play roles in constricting your blood vessels (
28, 29, 30).
- May provide pain relief. An animal study found that gokshura helped provide pain relief (
- May treat kidney stones. Research from animal studies suggests gokshura may help combat kidney stones, partly because it has a diuretic effect (
2, 32, 33).
Studies have found that gokshura may have various health benefits. It has antioxidant properties and may boost your libido, lower blood sugar levels, benefit women’s health, and more.
Companies often market gokshura as a supplement to increase testosterone.
This is largely because animal studies found that consuming gokshura significantly raised animals’ testosterone levels (
However, human research does not appear to support this health benefit.
For example, a review of 11 studies, including 7 human studies, examined the effects of gokshura on testosterone levels when participants took 200–1,350 mg of the supplement per day (
Researchers did not find that it increased participants’ free or total testosterone levels (
Similarly, a 12-week study in 180 men found that taking 1,500 mg of gokshura daily did not increase free or total testosterone levels. However, it did help improve sexual function and aid erectile dysfunction (
In short, although taking gokshura appears to raise testosterone levels in animal studies, it does not appear to have the same effect in humans.
Although companies tout gokshura as a natural testosterone booster, human research does not support this benefit.
Companies often market gokshura as a dietary supplement to improve exercise performance and recovery and increase muscle mass. This is likely because of gokshura’s purported ability to raise testosterone levels.
However, research in this area is mixed and not conclusive.
For example, a 5-week study in 22 elite rugby players found that taking 450 mg of gokshura supplements daily did not significantly increase muscle mass or strength, or reduce fat, compared with a placebo (
An older 8-week study in 15 men gave participants daily doses of 1.46 mg of gokshura per pound of body weight (3.21 mg per kg). This treatment did not significantly affect body weight, muscle mass, or strength, compared with a placebo (
Additionally, a 10-week study in 15 male boxers found that taking 1,250 mg of gokshura daily during training weeks did not significantly increase muscle mass or testosterone levels, compared with a placebo.
However, the supplement did appear to reduce muscle damage and promote anaerobic exercise performance during high intensity training (
In short, research on gokshura and its ability to affect exercise performance is still unclear. It may have benefits for high intensity exercise. Scientists need to do more human studies in this area to understand this potential effect.
Gokshura does not appear to increase muscle mass or strength, but it may have benefits for anaerobic exercise during high intensity training.
Gokshura appears to have a good safety profile with little to no safety concerns.
In rare cases, gokshura may cause stomach pain, cramps, or vomiting (
Gokshura is widely available under the name Tribulus terrestris. You can purchase it from grocery stores, health food stores, supplement stores, and online. It comes in several forms, including as a powder, capsules, and tablets.
There is no universally recommended dosage for gokshura.
Studies have used doses ranging from 250–1,500 mg per day to boost libido and lower blood sugar levels. However, some products list doses as high as 3,000 mg per day to treat menopausal symptoms.
However, it’s best to follow the instructions provided on the supplement label.
As with any dietary supplement, it is important to speak with your healthcare professional before taking gokshura, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medications.
Gokshura is relatively safe with few side effects. It’s widely available around the world and comes in various forms. Before taking gokshura, make sure to speak with your healthcare professional.
Gokshura, also known as Tribulus terrestris, is a staple in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
Research suggests gokshura may offer various potential health benefits.
For example, it has antioxidant properties, may boost your libido, reduce blood sugar levels, benefit women’s health, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, treat kidney stones, and provide pain relief.
However, there is little research in humans on its effects for raising testosterone. Some studies have found it did not raise levels in people, even though many people use it for this purpose.
Scientists need to do more research on gokshura and its many potential benefits.
Gokshura is relatively safe and widely available. However, it’s important to speak with your healthcare professional before taking gokshura, especially if you are on any medications or have a health condition.