Tribulus

Family • Zygophyllaceae - Tribulus cistoidesLinn. - PUNCTURE VINE - Da hua ji li

Scientific names

Tribulus cistoidesLinn.
Tribulus macranthus Hassk.
Tribulus moluccanus Decne.
Tribulus sericeus Andersson
Tribulus taiwanense T. C. Huang et T. H. Hsieh
Tribulus terrestris var. cistoides (L.) Oliv.
Kallstroemia cistoides (L.) Endl.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Tai wan ji li.
HAWAIIAN: Nohu, Nohunohu.
SPANISH: Abrojo, Abrojo rojo, Cabeza de arriero, Cacho de chivo, Herbe soleil, Herse, Pourpier-bord de mer, Yerba de araña
VIETNAMESE: Tật lê; Gai chống; Quỷ kiến sầu (hoa) to.

Common names

Tribulus (Engl., Tag.)
Billy goat weed (Engl.)
Bull’s head (Engl.)
Burrnut (Engl.)
Coastal caltrops (Engl.)
Goat’s head burr (Engl.)
Jamaican fever plant (Engl.)
Puncture vine (Engl.)
Spiny-fruited caltrop (Engl.)
Da hua ji li (Chin.)

Tribulus

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Tribulus cistoides L. / The Plant List

(2) Tribulus cistoides / Common names / PIER

(3) Cholestane- and pregnane-type glycosides from the roots of Tribulus cistoides. / Achenbach H, Hübner H, Reiter M. / Phytochemistry. 1996 Feb;41(3):907-17.

(4) Medicinal Plants of the Borderlands: A Bilingual Resource Guide / Antonio Noe Zavaleta, Antonio Noe Zavaleta PhD / Google Books

Botany
Tribulus is a prostrate or low-spreading, succulent, perennial hairy herb. Stems are long and slender, up to 90 centimeters in length. Leaves are opposite, stipulate, pinnately compound, in 6 to 11 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 1.5 centimeters long, green above, and gray-pubescent below. Flowers are long-stalked, about 2.5 centimeters, with 5 spreading, roundish, yellow petals. Fruit is a capsule, 3- to 5-lobed, with sharp spines.

Tribulus3

Tribulus2

Distribution
– In waste places along the sandy shores of many coastal towns.
– Cultivated as ground cover.
– Found in most tropical countries.

Tribulus4

Constituents
– Methanolic extract of roots yielded cardioactive saponin-3, along with tribolusin, a pregnance-type glycoside and 8 new cholestane glycosides. D-(+)-pinitol and sucrose were major constituents.

Properties
– Spiny seeds are caught in humans and animal fur, facilitating its spread.
– Considered anti-inflammatory, diuretic, stimulant, and hepatic.

Parts used
Roots, leaves.

Uses 
Folkloric
– No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
– Elsewhere, used for headaches, constipation, nervous conditions.
– Used for water retention and to treat kidney and liver problems.

Study Findings
• Cardioactive Saponin:Methanolic extract of roots yielded cardioactive saponin-3, along with tribolusin, a pregnance-type glycoside and 8 new cholestane glycosides.

Availability
Wild-crafted.
Pills, powders, and extracts in the cybermarket.