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Review Article
Phytochemical and Pharmacological Review of Tribulus TerristrisSagar A. Nalawade1, Shirish S. Pingale2*, Manohar G. Chaskar3
1 Department of Chemistry, B.G. College Sangavi, Pune, India.( HYPERLINK “mailto:sagarnalawa[email protected][email protected])
2 Department of Chemistry Gramonnati Mandal’s Arts, Com. and Sci. College, Naryangaon, Pune, India ([email protected]).

3Department of Chemistry Ramkrushna More ACS College, Akurdi, Pune, India.

Nature is a great source of medicinal plants and herbal drugs which are potential resources of therapeutic products used in various treatments and preventions of various infections and diseases. A plant Tribulus Terristris of family zygophyllaceae is an indigenous plant which has been mentioned in Ayurveda with several chemical properties1. The usage of plant extracts and plant derived chemicals for disease management become therapeutic modality. The plant is used in folk medicine as a tonic, Aphrodisiac, Palliative, Astringent, Gastric, anti-infective medicines. The ash of the plant is good for external application in rheumatic arthritis2. This plant has tremendous traditional applications.

In india it is commonly known as gokharu means the spines of fruit that injuries a garzing cattles.
Tribulus terrestris is used in folk medicine as tonic. The extract of Tribulus terrestris is commonly used in medicine to control the blood pressure and cholesterol. The extract decreases the blood cholesterol level in humans, rats and mice. Plant can be found around all over world. In moisture less climate manly in China, India, southern USA, Spain, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc4,5.

The fruits and seeds of this plant are used in Oriented medicines as they have aphrodisiac, diuretic and anthelmintic, Urolithiatic, analgesic properties. The plant extract used in treatment of coughs and renal disorders. Investigation shows that this plant have antimicrobial, antihypertension, diuretic, antiacetylcholine, haemolytic activity, it stimulates spermatogenesis, antitumor activity, cardiovascular system. Tribulus terrestris is used as a constituent in many ayurvedic medicines such as gokshuradi guggulu, dashmoolarishtha, rasayana churna and jatyaditaila etc6. In folk medicine it is used as health tonic, aphrodisiac, palliative, astringent, stomachic, antihypertensive, dieuretic lithon-triptic and urinary anti-infectives. Different parts of this plant have been studied microscopically which shows cork, cortex, endodermis with xylem, epidermis with coccus, epicarp, mesocarp, palisade, chlorophyll, vascular bundle, pericyclic fibre, stone cells with mucilage.
Literature survey of pharmacological activity of this plant proves following properties.
1. Diuretic Activity
This plant has diuretic activity which has been observed in albino rats, due to presence of potassium and large amount of nitrates. It has minimum side effects. The aqueous extract of T. terrestris was prepared from its fruit, leaves were tested, it has diuretic properties. The positive diuresis was elicited by the oral dose of 5mg/kg body weight in the form of aqueous extract. Sodium and chloride concentration in the urine were increased. It also increases tonicity of smooth muscles7. The diuretic activity along with increased tonicity of muscles helped in the propulsion of stones along urinary track. The diuretic action of T. terrestris makes it more useful as an anti-hypertensive agent8.

2. Aphrodiasiac Activity
A pro-erectile effect on rabbit’s corpus covernosum smooth muscle was exhibited by the T. terrestris extract after oral treatment at doses of 2.5, 5 and 10mg/kg body weight for 8 weeks9. It was observed a significant relaxation of 24% with nitroglycerine in the corpus covernosum smooth muscle tissue. Similarly, 10% relaxation with both acetylcholine and electric field stimulation were observed. By the acute and repeated dose administration of lyophilized aqueous extract of dried fruits of T. terrestris at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg of body weight increases serum testosterone level in male rat. A dose dependent improvement in sexual behavior in male rat was also observed, which was more prominent on long term administration10. A protective effect against cadmium induced testicular damaged was exhibited by ethanolic extract of T. terrestris, the biological aphrodisiac activity was observed by the two main components of the saponin fraction namely protodioscin and protogracillin11.
3. Wound healing Activity
The leaves of T. terrestris were used in the treatment of various kinds of wounds. In case of excision in burn wound model, the rate of epithelisation and wound contraction increases almost double by application of aqueous leaves extract in Carbopol at 2.5% and 5% concentration12.

4. Antiurolithiatic Activity
Anand et al. tested an ethanolic extract of T. terrestris in urolithiasis induced by glass bead implantation in albino rats. Significant dose-dependent protection was exhibited against deposition of calculogenic material around the glass bead and leukocytes, Elevation in serum urea level also observed. An ethanolic extract of T. terrestris restored various biochemical parameter in urine serum and the histopathology of the urinary bladder in a dose dependent manner13. It was found that T. terrestris extract has potential to inhibit nucleation and growth of the CaOx as well as cytoprotective role14. T. terrestis was found to inhibit stone formation in the various models of urolithiasis using sodium glycolate and ethylene glycol15.

5. Effect on Hypertension
The aqueous extract of T. terrestris fruit is used to decrease the systolic blood Pressure17 and it also reduces the hypertension18.

6. Cardio-protective Effect
Saponins of T. terrestris have action to make a wider or larger coronary artery, it improves the coronary circulation. Significant effect in the treatment of coronary diseases, myocardial infarction, cerebral arteriosclerosis and the sequelae of cerebralthrombosis were shown by saponin fraction of T. terrestris. The protective effect was evaluated against cardiac ischemia, reperfusion injury. The aqueous extract of T. terrestris fruit has significant acetylchlolinesterage inhibitory effect in vitro19. A dose-dependent reduction of blood pressure was shown in spontaneously hypertensive rats by aqueous and methanolic extract of T. terrestris20.

7. Analgesic Effect
Methanolic extract of the Tribulus fruit have analgesic activity, it has lesser gastric ulcer genic activity than other anti-inflammatory drugs Indomethacin21.

8. Antispasmodic Activity
Significant decrease was found in peristaltic movement of ureter of sheep and jejunum of rabbit when treated with lyophilized saponin extract of dried and powdered T. terrestris22.
9. Anti-microbial Activity
The ethanolic extract of the fruit and leaves of T. terrestris. has activity against bacteria like E-coli, pseudomonas aeruginosa, klebsiella, pneumonia, proteus Vulgaris and staphylococus aures. The steroidal saponins shows antifungal action against fungi like candida albicans, candida glabrata and cryptococus neoformans23-24.
10. Cytotoxic Effect
T. terrestris aqueous extract blocks rapid reproduction of liver cancer in human, it also increases apoptosis of those cells through the inhibition of NFB signaling25. It can be used as an anticancer drug for hepatic cellular carcinoma patients. The extract of the Bulgarian T. Terrestris has an inhibitory effect on breast cancer cells. The apoptotic processes showed selective antitumor activity in vitro26.

T. terristris is very important plant from medicinal point of view as it contains various phytochemicals such as carbohydrates, phenols, proteins, amino acids, terpenoids, saponins, glycosides, etc. This plant material shows Cytotoxic Effect, Antiurolithiatic Activity, Aphrodiasiac Activity, Diuretic Activity, Cardio-protective effects etc. It is widely distributed and is easily available throughout the world still there is lot of scope for further research.

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Rajendar B, Bharavi K, Rao GS, Kishore PV, Kumar PR, Kumar CS, et al. Protective effect of an aphrodisiac herb Tribulus terrestris Linn on cadmium-induced testicular damage. Indian J Pharmacol. 2011;43:568–73.

Wesley JJ, Christina AJM, Chindambaranathan N, Ravikumar K. wound healing action activity of the leaves of tribulus terrestris(linn) aqueous extract in rats, Journal of pharmacy research 2009;841-3
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Phillips OA, Mathew KT, Oriowo MA. Antihypertensive and vasodilator effects of methanolic and aqueous extracts of Tribulus terrestris in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006;104:351–5.

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Kim HJ, Kim JC, Min JS, Kim MJ, Kim JA, Kor MH, et al. Aqueous extract of Tribulus terrestris Linn induces cell growth arrest and apoptosis by down-regulating NF-?B signaling in liver cancer cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;136:197–203.

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