Tribulus terrestris is an herbal extract from a plant by the same name that’s used to boost testosterone, virility, and vigor in men. It has a long history of use as a virility-inducing herb in Ayurvedic practices in India, but there is also quite a bit of modern scientific research into its use.
It’s popular for boosting testosterone levels, but the strongest evidence points to it being useful as a supplement for increasing libido and treating erectile dysfunction.
If you want to feel younger and more virile, or fend off sexual dysfunction tribulus terrestris might be just what you’re looking for. We’ve ranked the ten best tribulus terrestris supplements that you can buy.
1. NOW Sports Tribulus
Powerful, clean, and designed for everyone—that’s the philosophy behind NOW Sports Tribulus. These 1000 mg capsules of tribulus terrestris are standardized to include 45% active ingredients by weight, and have only a few binders and fillers beyond the vegetable-derived cellulose that’s necessary to keep the capsule together.
If you are a man who wants a high dose of tribulus terrestris in the best quality product possible, this should be your number one pick.
2. Nutricost Tribulus
Nutricost Tribulus is a simple, straightforward, and effective tribulus terrestris supplement. If you don’t need an unusual dosage or any additional ingredients, and just want a reliable source of tribulus terrestris extract, it’s a very solid choice.
Each capsule has 750 mg of tribulus terrestris, standardized to a 40% concentration of active compounds. This is contained in a gelatin capsule, and beyond this, there are zero additional ingredients.
3. Sports Food Tribulus Terrestris
Sports Food makes a higher than average dosage tribulus terrestris supplement; its gelatin capsules deliver 1000 mg of tribulus terrestris each, making it a good choice for higher dosage applications.
The supplement design is pretty clean, though there are a couple of fillers in the capsule (just magnesium stearate and maltodextrin).
4. We Are Fit Pro Test Boost
We Are Fit Pro Test Boost is the best all-around testosterone booster that uses tribulus terrestris in a central role. It includes many of the supplements you’d find in a typical testosterone booster, like saw palmetto and longjack, but you’ll find a respectable 250 mg of tribulus terrestris extract in each capsule too.
Granted, this is lower than what you’ll find in a dedicated tribulus terrestris supplement, but the tradeoff is that you may get the sexual health benefits of tribulus terrestris and the testosterone boosting effects of the remaining ingredients.
If you want an all-around solution for male health that also includes tribulus terrestris, this is the best choice. It can help you get the sexual health benefits of tribulus terrestris and the benefits of higher testosterone.
5. Nutra Rise Extreme Tribulus
Nutra Rise Extreme Tribulus is a lower dose tribulus terrestris supplement, with only 650 mg of the herbal extract per capsule.
Notably, it does have the advantage of using cellulose instead of gelatin for its capsule, so strict vegetarians and vegans should take note.
The design is very clean; aside from tribulus terrestris and cellulose, there are zero additional ingredients, so it could be a good solution if you know you don’t need a very high dosage.
6. Prime Labs Tribulus
Prime Labs Tribulus is another lower dose tribulus terrestris extract, with 650 mg per capsule and no additional ingredients.
This, too, is a cellulose-based capsule, and it has no additional ingredients, so while the dosage is lower than the average, at least there aren’t any unnecessary ingredients.
7. BRI Nutrition Tribulus Extra Strength
BRI Nutrition’s tribulus terrestris product delivers a pretty standard 750 mg per capsule, despite its “extra strength” claims.
The bottle does contain twice the usual amount of capsules, though, as the recommended dose is two caps instead of one. There isn’t much to this supplement aside from the gelatin capsule and the tribulus terrestris, so it’s a decent choice.
8. Optimum Nutrition Tribulus
Optimum Nutrition is a little different from the rest of the competition because it uses tribulus terrestris from two different parts of the plant as a source for its extract.
The company claims this is more effective, though if you are a stickler about following the protocol in scientific research, Optimum Nutrition makes this difficult because their proprietary blend isn’t the same as what’s used in research studies. The dosage is somewhat lower, too, at only 625 mg of tribulus terrestris per capsule.
9. Zhou Boost Elite
Zhou Boost Elite is one of a number of supplements for boosting testosterone and virility that include tribulus terrestris as one of its core ingredients.
Unfortunately, the tribulus terrestris dosage per capsule is fairly low—a necessary consequence of the large number of other active ingredients. It’s a good overall male supplement, but other supplements offer a lot more tribulus terrestris.
10. Ultimate Nutrition Bulgarian Tribulus Terrestris
Ultimate Nutrition offers a pretty standard 750 mg dosage of tribulus terrestris, but it doesn’t distinguish itself in any particular way from the competition.
It has a few more ingredients than many competitors, and it isn’t certified by any third parties for purity. While it’s not a bad choice, per se, it’s slightly out-classed by other tribulus terrestris supplements out there.
Tribulus terrestris benefits and side effects
Tribulus terrestris is widely promoted as an herbal remedy to boost testosterone and improve sexual health.
Although it’s typically marketed as an aid to this first goal (boosting testosterone), the scientific research actually indicate that the strengths of tribulus terrestris lie more in its ability to promote sexual health, and further evidence exists that these benefits may extend to overall well-being and protection against chronic disease.
We’ll take a closer look at the research behind tribulus terrestris and whether it might help you reach your health goals.
Tribulus terrestris is not a strong testosterone booster. Early animal studies, plus its use in Ayurveda as a libido-booster, suggested that tribulus terrestris might have testosterone boosting effects.
Scientific research to date has found that these claims don’t hold up. One study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, tested two different doses of tribulus terrestris in a group of young men (1).
The doses were based on body weight, so heavier subjects got higher doses, but although the researchers followed the subjects for four weeks, they did not detect any differences in testosterone levels when comparing the subjects who took tribulus terrestris to the subjects who took a placebo.
The primary benefits of tribulus terrestris are for sexual health, not athletic performance. The same absence of an effect was found in a study on physical performance and body composition (2).
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Nebraska, tested whether a tribulus terrestris supplement would improve weight lifting ability or lead to an increase in lean body mass among athletically trained men.
These are the types of effects you’d see from a supplement that increases testosterone levels, since higher testosterone leads to improved strength and increases in lean body mass (plus a thermogenic, fat-burning effect). Unfortunately, the researchers found that tribulus terrestris had neither of these effects.
Granted, both studies had small sample sizes. It’s possible a small testosterone boosting effect does exist, but these studies were too small to detect it.
Still, the most plausible explanation based on current evidence is that whatever benefits that tribulus terrestris offers can’t be due to an increase in testosterone levels.
Tribulus terrestris may improve erectile dysfunction. The evidence for tribulus terrestris is more promising when it comes to sexual health. Animal studies, in which researchers artificially induced erectile dysfunction in animal models, show a promising effect for tribulus terrestris.
A study published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2008 presented results from experiments in rats, rabbits, and primates (3). Across a range of experiments, the researchers showed administering tribulus terrestris led to measurable improvements in artificially induced erectile dysfunction.
Research presented at a scientific conference on erectile dysfunction in 1997 described a clinical trial in humans that showed promising results (4).
In it, a three week course of tribulus terrestris, taken at a dosage of 750 mg (split into three equal daily doses) was effective at increasing blood levels of DHEA, a testosterone precursor, and more importantly, decreased sexual dysfunction by 60%.
These initial results are from a small study, but still suggest that tribulus terrestris could play a role in improving erectile dysfunction in men.
Tribulus terrestris could increase libido in women. Interestingly, further evidence that tribulus terrestris works through a non-testosterone related pathway comes from scientific evidence suggesting that tribulus terrestris helps boost libido in women, not just in men.
A study published in 2014 in the DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences applied a double-blind, placebo-controlled design to an experiment on the effects of tribulus terrestris on women who reported low libido (5). The study involved 60 women who were randomly assigned to either the tribulus terrestris group or a placebo group.
All of the women completed regular surveys on their level of sexual function and satisfaction. The researchers found significant improvements in the tribulus terrestris group compared to the placebo group. The real mystery here is what the mechanism of action is for tribulus terrestris.
The testosterone-boosting hypothesis doesn’t seem to hold up, but yet the supplement still appears to have substantial benefits for several different conditions. Clearly, more research is needed to uncover the biological pathways that tribulus terrestris acts upon in the body.
The limited number of human trials makes it difficult to assess the prevalence of side effects in great detail, but research so far offers some guidance.
Tribulus terrestris appears fairly safe given the rarity of side effects observed to date; one study mentioned that one subject had abdominal cramps that were possibly a result of the tribulus terrestris supplement.
Some animal studies have found that consuming large quantities of raw tribulus terrestris (e.g. in sheep who graze on the plant on a regular basis for months at a time) can result in staggers and nerve damage (5).
These toxic effects seem unlikely to appear at the far lower dosages used in supplements, however: grazing cattle consume many orders of magnitude more raw herbal material than a person taking a supplement would.
Clinical literature varies widely when it comes to the optimal dose for tribulus terrestris supplementation. Some studies use fairly low doses, others use fairly large doses, and many standardize dose based on body mass.
This final category is perhaps the most reliable; typical dosages range from 10 to 20 mg of tribulus terrestris extract per kilogram of body mass per day. This certainly looks like a good place to start for dosing.
For a 75 kg man this would be 750-1500 mg of tribulus terrestris per day, which is easily achievable with the dosage levels available in over the counter supplements.
Research-grade tribulus terrestris is typically standardized to contain 40-45% saponins, the compounds thought to be responsible for at least some of the biological activity of tribulus terrestris. It makes sense to shoot for this in a commercial supplement, too.
Tribulus terrestris is an emerging herbal extract that shows the most promise as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, libido, and sexual health.
Though broadly touted as a testosterone booster, its main strengths appear to be through a different, yet-undiscovered mechanism.
Even though tribulus terrestris doesn’t seem to increase testosterone levels or boost athletic performance, it still helps treat erectile dysfunction in men and low libido in women.
There’s clearly more research that needs to be done, but moderate doses of tribulus terrestris (in the 10-20 mg per kg of body mass range) may be helpful for improving sexual health in both men and women.