Gokshura(Tribulus terrestris)


Gokshura(Tribulus terrestris)

Basonym of Drug

The basonym (original scientific name) of the medicinal plant Gokshura is Tribulus terrestris.

Main Sanskrit Synonyms

In the ancient texts of Ayurveda, Gokshura is known by several Sanskrit synonyms, each highlighting its unique properties and uses. Some of the main Sanskrit synonyms of Gokshura are:

  1. Gokshura: The fruit of Gokshura is covered with thorns resembling a cow’s hooves.
  2. Ikshugandha: The sweet fragrance of the plant’s flowers, resembling the scent of sugarcane.
  3. Shvadamstra: The thorny nature of the fruit, which is reminiscent of a dog’s teeth.

Regional Name (Vernacular names)

Gokshura is known by various vernacular names in different regions, reflecting its widespread use and recognition. Some of the regional names for Gokshura include:

  • Hindi: Gokhru
  • English: Puncture Vine, Small Caltrops
  • Bengali: Gokharu
  • Marathi: Gokharu
  • Tamil: Nerunji Mull, Nerunjil
  • Telugu: Palleru, Gokuru
  • Kannada: Neggilu
  • Gujarati: Betha Gokhru
  • Punjabi: Gokhru

Botanical Name

The botanical name of Gokshura is Tribulus terrestris.


Gokshura belongs to the Zygophyllaceae family.

Classification of Dravya (Gana) as described in Charak and Sushrut

Charaka Samhita: In the Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic text, Gokshura is classified as follows:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Vanaspati)
  • Sub-Kingdom: Phanerogamia (Pushpavarna)
  • Division (Phylum): Angiosperms (Rajadaniya)
  • Class: Dicotyledons (Dvandvahstha)
  • Order: Zygophyllales (Nandigata)
  • Family: Zygophyllaceae (Nidigdhika)
  • Genus: Tribulus (Brihati)
  • Species: Terrestris (Lohita)

Sushruta Samhita: The Sushruta Samhita, another ancient Ayurvedic text, also classifies Gokshura in a similar manner as the Charaka Samhita.

External Morphology

Gokshura is a low-growing, herbaceous plant with prostrate stems and small, pinnately compound leaves. It is characterized by its spiny fruits, which are known for their puncture-like seeds that can stick to clothing and skin.

Useful Parts

The most useful parts of Gokshura are its fruits and roots.

  1. Fruits: The fruits of Gokshura are small and spiky, containing seeds that have medicinal properties.

  2. Roots: The roots of Gokshura are also used for their therapeutic benefits in certain formulations.

Important Phytoconstituents

Gokshura contains various phytochemicals that contribute to its medicinal properties. Some of the important phytoconstituents found in Gokshura include:

  1. Saponins: Gokshura is rich in saponins, which are compounds known for their potential health benefits, including their effect on reproductive and urinary systems.

  2. Flavonoids: Flavonoids are antioxidants that contribute to the overall health-supporting properties of Gokshura.

  3. Alkaloids: Gokshura contains alkaloids that are believed to have various physiological effects.

  4. Steroidal Compounds: Certain steroidal compounds found in Gokshura are thought to be responsible for its impact on reproductive health.

  5. Terpenoids: Terpenoids present in Gokshura contribute to its potential anti-inflammatory and other therapeutic effects.

  6. Fatty Acids: Gokshura also contains fatty acids that may contribute to its overall medicinal properties.   

Rasa Panchaka:

Rasa (Predominant Taste): The predominant tastes (Rasa) of Gokshura are “Madhura” (sweet) and “Tikta” (bitter).

Guna: The qualities (Guna) of Gokshura are described as “Guru” (light) and “Snigdha” (unctuous).

Veerya: Gokshura has “Sheeta” (cooling) Veerya or potency.

Vipaka: The Vipaka, or post-digestive effect, of Gokshura is “Madhura” (sweet).

Prabhava: Gokshura is recognized for its special potency or “Prabhava” in supporting the urinary system and reproductive health.

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Gokshura primarily balances the “Vata” and “Pitta” doshas, and to a lesser extent, it also influences “Kapha” dosha.

Dhatu: Gokshura primarily acts on the “Meda” dhatu (fat tissue) and “Shukra” dhatu (reproductive tissue).

Mala: It helps in promoting healthy elimination of “Mutra” (urine) and assists in maintaining the health of the urinary system.

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Gokshura is employed in traditional medicine to address a variety of health conditions, including:

  1. Urinary System Support: Gokshura is commonly used to promote overall urinary system health, including kidney and bladder functions.

  2. Male Reproductive Health: It is often used to support male reproductive health, including improving sperm quality and addressing issues related to sexual vitality.

  3. Muscle and Joint Health: Gokshura can be beneficial for promoting joint comfort and muscular health.

  4. Fluid Balance: It supports healthy fluid balance in the body, contributing to normal urine production and flow.

  5. Libido and Vitality: Gokshura is often used to enhance vitality, libido, and overall stamina.

Amayikaprayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

Gokshura is available in various forms, such as powder, capsules, tablets, and decoctions. Dosages may vary based on age, individual constitution, and specific health concerns. Common dosages include:

  1. Powder: 3-6 grams of Gokshura powder per day, usually mixed with water or milk.

  2. Capsules/Tablets: 1-2 capsules or tablets twice a day, after meals.

  3. Decoction: 30-60 ml of Gokshura decoction, taken twice daily.

Vishishta Yoga (Names of Important Formulations):

Gokshura is frequently used in various Ayurvedic formulations. Some notable formulations containing Gokshura are:

  1. Gokshuradi Guggulu: This classical formulation combines Gokshura with other herbs and is often used to support joint health.

  2. Chandraprabha Vati: A widely used formulation for urinary and reproductive health that includes Gokshura as a key ingredient.

  3. Dashmoolarishta: It helps control menstrual disorder and infertility in females by rebalancing the hormone levels. 

Vishakta Lakshan (Adverse Effects):

Gokshura is generally considered safe when taken within recommended dosages. However, in some cases, excessive consumption may lead to:

  1. Digestive Upset: Overconsumption may cause mild digestive disturbances.

  2. Increase in Pitta: Excessive intake may lead to an increase in “Pitta” dosha, potentially causing symptoms like heartburn or acidity.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures):

In case of any adverse effects, consider the following steps:

  1. Discontinue Use: If discomfort arises, stop using Gokshura immediately.

  2. Hydration: Increase fluid intake to help manage any increase in Pitta.

  3. Consult a Practitioner: If adverse effects persist or worsen, consult an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional.

Shodhana (Purification Method):

Gokshura does not typically require shodhana (purification) before use, as it is generally well-tolerated in its natural form.

Note: This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before using Gokshura or any other herbal remedies, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.


Gokshura, scientifically known as Tribulus terrestris, is a valuable medicinal plant with a rich history of use in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda. Its diverse phytoconstituents and multiple therapeutic applications make it a noteworthy herb for supporting various aspects of health, particularly in the realm of male reproductive and urinary system wellness. As with any herbal remedy, it’s important to consult a qualified healthcare professional before incorporating Gokshura into your health regimen, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.

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Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of any other medical condition.

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