Tribulus terrestris, seeds of Puncture vine
Tribulus terrestris, Puncture vine seeds
Tribulus terrestris belongs to the family of the Zygophyllaceae. The plant is also known as
Puncture vine and land caltrops. The puncture vine is native to all tropical and subtropical
regions of the old world and can nowadays also be found in America. T. terrestris grows up to
5000 m above sea level.
The caltrops is an annual or perennial plant that reaches mostly a height of about 30 cm. The
whole plant is grayish pubescent.
The leaves of the caltrops are paripinnate consisting of five to eight small, simple, elliptic
leaves. The flower is actinomorphic and reaches 1 cm in diameter. The flower resembles the
buttercup. The puncture vine blooms quite a long time. The fruit is a capsule with spikes and reaches also 1 cm in diameter. With the help of the spikes the fruit gets stuck to animals and is distributed in that way. The spikes can even stick to the wheel of a bike (and gets distributed in that way as well). With this method T. terrestris
gets distributed very fast and effective. In some countries T. terrestris is seen as an invasive
species. The seeds have as well spikes.
The puncture vine is popular with competitive athletes. It is said that T. terrestris is able to
raise the testosterone level in the body. Testosteron is the male sexualhormone. It is
responsible for the development of the male sexual caractericstics and also for the building up
of the muscles. The fruits of the puncture vine include a hormone that is called LH (=
luteinisierdes hormone). The LH activates the building of more testosterone. There were
already some studies with rats where researches could prove that the testosterone level of rats
raises when eating the fruits of T. terrestris. But there are no studies with humans so far. Due
to that fact one does not know which side effects are possible and which long term
consequences are possible. Nevertheless the caltrops is a popular anabolic. Besides the
building up of muscles, T. terrestris shall also help against erectile dysfunction. It shall
improve the quality of the sperms and help to get an erection. Even in the past the puncture
vine was already used as an aphrodisiac.
All other parts beside the fruits can be used as well. The leaves have a draining effect and can
be used for blood purification. The roots are able to strengthen the stomach and the seeds are
T. terrestris favors a sandy substrate and does not need much water. The seeds of T. terrestris
should be put 1 cm deep into the sandy substrate. When the substrate is kept constantly moist
at a temperature of about 25 to 30 °C, germination occurs after 3 to 8 weeks. But germination
time can vary. It is possible that the seeds germinate earlier or later.