Tribulus Terrestris: Hornier than Thou

I wanted to be huge when I was 20.  Anabolic steroids were out of the question so I went on, searched “testosterone” and purchased the first and cheapest herbal supplement they had: Tribulus Terrestris.  The savings were too hard to pass up for a Jew like me.

I noticed absolutely no difference in performance at the gym, a complete dud. I hate to burst all you tribulus fans’ bubbles but the studies I cite in this post pretty much confirm my experience.


What is Tribulus Terrestris

In the world of testosterone boosting hoopla, no herb holds a candle to tribulus.  In my research for this site, I have come across dozens of herbs and most of them are poorly studied and if so, rarely on humans.  Oh my god, it appears herb X might increase the testosterone levels in castrated rats with diabetes!  Holy shit, stop the presses.  Tribulus is worse though.  It actually HAS been studied extensively…

Tribulus terrestris gained popularity in the 1970s when bodybuilding champion Jeffrey Petermann credited it for his success.  He was probably using tribulus as a cover for steroids.  Then, in the mid-1990s, it surfaced as the “secret weapon” of Eastern European athletes who attributed their peak performance at the Olympic Games to T. terrestris.   Naturally, supplement manufacturers got in on the game and began promoting tribulus extract as a natural testosterone booster.

If a lie is big enough and repeated enough, it will eventually be believed.  Look no further than where everyone is slinging Tribulus like it’s the next best thing to anabolics, despite all the scientific studies that followed indicating otherwise.

Initial studies did indeed confirm the testosterone enhancing benefits of T. terrestris…on rats and rabbits.  Are you a rodent?  If not, then pay close attention.  All subsequent studies conducted on healthy HUMAN MALES did not support the results of the initial studies. With results as damning as they are, I cannot advocate this herb as a dietary supplement specifically for increasing testosterone levels.  That being said, keep reading because you may be interested in some of its other, legitimate libido-enhancing effects.

Tribulus: Boner Pill

Tribulus: Boner Pill


Claimed Benefits of T. terrestris:

Testosterone claims:

• It leads to the production of the luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is the hormone that signals your testicles to produce testosterone. Additionally, LH itself improves libido.

Interesting, but totally not true.  In this study, males aged between 20 and 35 took 3 huge doses of tribulus extract daily for a month.  Guess what?  Their testosterone levels did not increase, nor did their LH, nor their androstenedione.

And in this study confirmed the same in women.


B.     As a cure for sexual deficiencies:

• Treat impotence and infertility

• Increase male and female libido


These claims are confirmed in multiple studies on animals analyzing mounting behaviors, erection frequency, and increases of seminal volume.  From rats to rabbits to rams, it seems that tribulus makes mammals want to make more mammals.  Check out this study for an example.

The forums unequivocally reinforce this notion with many men commenting that they are unable to concentrate at work in the presence of women.   But that’s pretty normal around women that are not our wives or girlfriends :).  In this study on men with ED, tribulus extract helped 60% of men have intercourse.  Unsurprisingly, it did not increase testosterone or LH, but it did substantially increase dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) which is another steroidal hormone.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find a lot of studies on humans, but if it’s libido and erections that you seek, tribulus is a great, natural solution.


C.     As a fitness supplement:

• It builds and increases muscle size

• It increases stamina and strength

If you scour the testosterone-related internet forums, you will find a lot of anecdotal evidence that supports these claims.  But anecdotal evidence is not enough for readers of Testosteroned, and it’s not enough for me.  This study on elite level rugby players seems sound.  In a double blind study, 22  players were separated into two groups, one receiving tribulus extract and one receiving a placebo.  After 5 weeks of training, there was absolutely no difference between the control and experimental groups.  Just for good measure, their urinary testosterone levels were examined and showed no difference either.  So, basically you can throw these claims out the window.

Tribulus Terrestris Bottom Line

If you want to increase your testosterone levels, look elsewhere.  You are not a rodent, or a gorilla.  Despite all the claims, there are no studies on humans that confirm any improvement in testosterone levels.

The same applies to your muscle-building efforts.  Until a scientific study emerges that unequivocally demonstrates strength and muscle improvements, I cannot advocate tribulus for this purpose.

However, if your issue is libido, erection strength, or fertility, have at it hoss!  I fully endorse it.


ADD Version of this article

  • Tribulus has been hyped since the 1970s as a testosterone booster
  • Unlike many herbs, it has been studied extensively
  • Tribulus will NOT increase your testosterone levels
  • Tribulus will NOT help you perform better in your sport or build muscle
  • Tribulus WILL make you hornier, harder, and improve your swimmers


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  1. I take issue with the ‘rugby player’ study you considered. Specifically the issue that these guys had an average age of 19-20! I don;t think any natural test booster in the world will have any effect on kids that age brimming with T already! That said, it can be used to teach a lesson to stupid kids that think these over-hyped, over-priced products being marketed, advertised and sold specifically to their age group. Simply, stop looking for magic pills and eat right and train right. And if you think you know what you are doing because you follow those BS ‘Weider principles’ then you need to learn training all over again kiddies.

    • What exactly do you take exception with? It seemed like a pretty controlled study to me.

      No doubt eating and training right is more important than anything else but supplementing with the right stuff makes a difference as well. With Tongat Ali, you can straight up feel it.

  2. ” improve your swimmers” ??
    Cum again? Is that what you mean bro?


  1. […] you’re already taking your tongkat ali, your maca, your fenugreek,  and your tribulus, good job! Your testicles might be bursting at the seams.  However, there is more you can do, […]

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