Be it klaibya or erectile dysfunction, oligospermia, premature ejaculation or loss of libido, sexual problems are quite common in the Gen Y populace. The preliminary cause of these sexual woes is the growing dependency on a sedentary style of life coupled with excessive stress balancing work and home life. Men suffering from sexual problems like erectile dysfunction and loss of libido usually find it difficult in having and maintaining an erection. If the problem is occasional, it is often overlooked as tiredness, but if the problem becomes a regular phenomenon, it can very well start impacting confidence, cause stress, and anxiety and even generate problems in the relationship with the partner.
But worry not, this isn't a life-long battle. Knowing the root cause of the issue can very well help manage sexual problems. While there are several allopathic treatments for sexual anomalies, if you prefer the natural way sans any side effects, the holistic science of Ayurveda brings you a plethora of foods, herbs, spices and minerals, which are highly crucial in treating and managing sexual woes in a flash. And, one such potent herb imbued with Vrishya or aphrodisiac traits is Gokshura.
What Is Gokshura?
Gokshura a.k.a Tribulus terrestris is one of the best-known aphrodisiac plants mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Coming from the Caltrop family, Gokshura comes from two Sanskrit words, ‘Go’ meaning cow and ‘Aakshura’ meaning ‘hoof', the name comes from the resemblance of the Gokshura fruits to cow hooves.
Apart from sexual problems, Gokshura is a pivotal ingredient used to cure urinary diseases, gout, kidney problems, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), prostate gland problems, and cardiac diseases. Additionally, it also helps in the treatment and management of weak muscles, poor cognitive activity, hair loss, headaches, menstruation, neurological disorders, rheumatic pain, obesity, stress, piles, bedwetting, eye problems and loss of libido in both men and women.
How To Identify Gokshura Tree?
Gokshura is a small, horizontal, hairy herb of evergreen origin. It has oblong, stipulate, opposite leaves and yellow or white solitary, axillary flowers. The fruits of Gokshura are globose, 5-angled, hairy, and spinous with two long and two short spines on each cocci and the seeds embedded within them are obliquely pendulous.
Geographical Distribution And Habitat
Gokshura is primarily found growing in southern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
Although this perennial plant generally grows in summer and in colder climates, it can also thrive pretty well in poor soil conditions and desert climates.
Common Names Of Gokshura
Gokshura is widely cultivated in different countries owing to its medicinal properties and curative traits. Some of its common names include:
English: Bullhead, Caltrop, Cat's Head, Devil's Eyelashes, Devil's Thorn, Devil's Weed, Puncture Vine, Tackweed
Sanskrit: Gokshuraka, Svdamshtra, Trikanta, Traikantaka,
Bengali: Gokshura, Gokhri
Tamil: Nerinjil, Nerunjil
Kannada: Sannanaggilu, Neggilu, Neggilamulu
Marathi: Bala, Chikana, Tupkaria
Oriya: Gukhura, Gukhyura
Punjabi: Bhakhra, Gokhru
Pharmacological Components Of Gokhshura
Gokshura has ample active components that attribute to its characteristics. Some of them include alkaloids, like norharman and harman. It also comprises terrestrosins A E, flavonoid glycosides, and furostanol, which are steroidal saponins. Apart from this, it also contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, calcium and Vitamin C.
Infused with dominant aphrodisiac, libido-stimulant, androgenic, analgesic, spermatogenic, anti-convulsant, carminative, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diuretic, adaptogenic, anti-pyretic, muscle-relaxant properties, Gokshura is broadly used for the treatment and management of sexual problems, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, urinary problems, kidney issues, digestive anomalies, headaches, menstruation, neurological disorders, rheumatic pain, obesity, stress, piles, arthritis, bleeding, anxiety, etc.
Ayurvedic Indications Of Gokshura
Ayurveda has extensively mentioned the use of this herbal Viagra, multiple times in several ayurvedic scriptures and journals of Charaka and Susruta. It is mostly prescribed for use in the following conditions including:
- Klaibya (treats erectile dysfunction)
- Rasayani (rejuvenates the whole body)
- Balya (improves strength)
- Napunsakata (treats impotency),
- Beejopghat (remedies decrease in sperm quantity)
- Kshayaj (treats excessive loss of
- Shukradhatu or reproductive tissue),
- Shukragatavata (treats premature ejaculation)
- Amavata (relieves arthritis)
- Sandhi shula (treats arthritis)
- Kati prishtha shula (treats pain in the spinal column and lower back)
- Mehahara ( treats urinary tract disorder)
- Ashmari ( treats urinary calculi)
- Mutrakrichra ( treats dysuria)
- Dahahara (tears burning sensation)
- Mutraghata ( treats urinary obstruction)
- Vajikaran ( improves libido)
- Udara ( treats ascites)
- Antravruddhi ( treats Hernia)
- Arsha (treats haemorrhoids)
- Hridaya (treats heart problems),
- Shonitasthapana (prevents bleeding)
- Pushtida (good for nutrition)
Health Benefits Of Gokshura
Remedies Male Sexual Anomalies
Gokshura is typically indicated for enhancing men’s sexual health. The herb is imbued with strong spermatogenic and aphrodisiac qualities that are extremely beneficial for treating erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, asthenozoospermia (i.e. sperm motility), teratospermia (i.e. abnormal sperm shape), oligospermia (i.e. low sperm count), hypospermia (low volume of semen), and also strengthens spermatogenesis (i.e. sperm production). Being a natural antioxidant, it enhances the output of male hormones like testosterone and luteinizing hormone. It plays a key role in boosting blood supply to the penile tissue that incites erection. The plethora of aphrodisiacs or Vrishya characteristics of Gokshura also helps in decreasing mental stress and anxiety and promotes the hormones for increasing libido. Additionally, it also increases masculinity and stamina in men.
Take Gokshura powder along with Ashwagandha, Shatavari and Vidhara Mool for proper supervision of ED altogether and maintain an erection for a longer duration.
Improves Cardiac Functioning
Gokshura is incredibly effective in treating various heart ailments due to its intense antioxidative nature. It fortifies the heart muscles, prevents lipid accumulation in the blood vessels, and hence curtails the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, cardiac arrests, blood clots, etc. It also plays a crucial role in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood and regulating hypotension or low blood pressure conditions.
Alleviates Urinary Disorders
Imbued with dominant anti-inflammatory and diuretic traits, Gokshura is a potent remedy for treating urinary disorders like painful micturition, urinary incontinence, and burning sensation while urinating. It increases the production of urine by breaking the stones in the urinary tract and thus delivers solace from painful urination. Being a mild diuretic or Mutral herb, it also treats dysuria. The abundance of anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties prevents urinary infections.
Boil a fraction of gokshura powder along with raw purified potassium carbonate or dashamoolarishtam. Blend this tonic with water or take it raw by adding some honey or milk or as instructed by your doctor. Take it daily in the morning to cure various urinary anomalies.
Enhances Kidney Functions
This classical herb facilitates the healthy functioning of the kidney by supporting the excretion of excess uric acid from the body and maintaining the uric acid level in the kidneys, thereby staving off or treating gout. The anti-lithiatic (scraping) property and diuretic or mutral property of Gokshura curbs the formation of kidney stones, and helps to break or reduce the size of the formed ones which in turn prevents various underlying health constraints like kidney stones, polycystic kidney disease, and cystitis. Additionally, it also manages diabetes and hence combats the underlying symptoms like frequent urination.
Mix 1 tbsp of Gokshura churna and 1 tbsp of honey in a cup of warm milk. Take this concoction once a day for a week or as supervised by your doctor to alleviate kidney stones and prevent them from further occurrence.
Deals With PCOS
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common woe in women and mostly occurs due to hormonal imbalances, causing irregular periods, acne, mood swings, hair loss, obesity, etc. It can also develop a lot of complications in conceiving. Being an active diuretic, regular intake of the herb eradicates excess water from the cyst thereby decreasing its size. It is also useful in maintaining the hormonal levels within the blood, stimulating the female reproductive organs and augmenting the maturation of the eggs into follicles.
Effect On Doshas
Coined as ‘Herbal Viagra', Gokshura is hallowed with Madhura Rasa (i.e., sweet taste), Guru (i.e., heavy) and Snigdha Guna (i.e., oily quality). It innately portrays Shita Virya (i.e., cold potency) and Madhura Vipaka (i.e., sweet metabolic taste). Ayurveda classifies this herb as a Tridoshahara hence it pacifies the three Doshas namely; Kapha Doshas (earth and water), Vata Doshas (i.e. air) and Pitta Doshas (fire and air).
Owing to the fundamental properties and doshas, the herb has an optimistic effect on the various Dhatus (i.e. body tissues) which are Rasa (i.e. Plasma), Rakta (i.e. Blood), Mamsa (i.e. Muscles), Mamsa (i.e., cartilage), Asthi (i.e. Bones) and Shukra (i.e. Reproductive Fluids).
The beneficial therapeutic dosage of Gokshur may fluctuate from person to person depending upon the age, effects on appetite, body strength, the severity of the disease, and the condition of the patient. It is advised to discuss with an ayurvedic doctor or practitioner to know the correct doses for the particular condition.
Powder/ Churna: ¼ - ½ tsp, twice a day, after meals, alongside milk or honey or as suggested by the health care provider
Gutika/ Capsule /Tablet: 1-2 tablets/capsule twice a day, after meals, along with water or as suggested by the health care provider
Decoction/ Kwath: 4 - 6 tsp, twice a day, after meals, along with honey or water or as suggested by the health care provider
The herb is possibly stable to use when prescribed by the doctor on appropriate dosage. But sometimes undue consumption without prior consultation may lead to stomach problems like diarrhoea, stomach pain, cramping, nausea, vomiting, constipation etc. and sometimes even skin rashes.
Gokshura in any form is rigidly forbidden from being used during pregnancy or breastfeeding as it can cause irregularities or birth defects in the growing foetus or the medicine can get passed through breast milk to the newborn and cause drastic health problems. Intake of Gokshura may exacerbate prostatic issues in men like benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH), so it is contraindicated in such cases. Even men with a history of prostate cancer and women with a history of breast cancer should avoid taking Gokshura. Additionally, since Gokshura has been proved to lower blood sugar levels, the treating doctor may modify the dose of diabetes drugs.