Gokshura, obtained from the tree- Tribulus terrestris of Zygophyllaceae family, is a perennial plant, native to Africa, Australia, Southern Asia, and Southern Europe. It is known by various names due to it’s appearance and effectiveness.
Few names by which Gokshura is commonly known:
- Gokshura (Go i.e., Cow + Akshura i.e., hoof) which means, fruit of this plant looks like the hooves of a cow,
- Ikshugandhika i.e., It has a sugar-cane-line sweet odour,
- Shvadamshtra i.e., it has toothed spines,
- Trikantaka i.e., fruits has 3-4 pairs of spines, and,
- English names as puncture veins, Devil’s thorns, Cowhage, Caltrops, etc.
It is composed of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, phytosterols, etc., which makes it a powerful drug for various purposes, such as- fertility, vitality, urogenital problems, women’s health, etc.
Gokshura Herb- Medicinal Properties: Gokshura exhibits the following properties-
Taste- Sweet (Madhura Rasa)
Qualities- Heavy, Oiliness ( Guru, Snigdha Guna)
Potency- Cold (Sheeta Virya)
Taste after digestion- Sweet (Madhura Vipaka)
Effect on the body - It balances tridosha i.e., Vatta, Pitta and Kapha.
Classical Categorization of Gokshura:
- Anti-inflammatory (shothahar),
- Pain reliever (drug of dashmoola),
- Promotes urine flow ( mutra-virechaniya),
- Antihelminthic (krimighna).
- Light to digest (laghu Panchamoola).
Benefits and Therapeutic Uses:
Treats urinary disorders:
Gokshura has a cleansing action on the urinary system, and thereby, removes harmful toxins from the body. It helps in healing various diseases, such as: urinary incontinence, burning while micturition (the process of releasing urine from the body), dysuria, etc. If Gokshura is taken with cow’s milk (A2 type of milk is the best option), it acts as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and antibiotic.
Improves kidney functioning:
It promotes excretion of uric acid, and maintains uric acid level balance in the kidney, thus promoting healing of Gout. Its lithotriptic nature prevents the formation of kidney stones, and improves underlying diseases, like- cystitis, polycystic kidney, etc.
Gokshura powder boosts sexual health and stamina in both- men and women. It has a potent spermatogenetic property, which helps in treating low sperm count, decreased sperm motility, and low volume of semen. It also promotes sperm formation. It enhances testosterone levels and LH secretion, and supports erectile dysfunction, pre-ejaculation, as well as disorders related to ovulation.
Supports in PCOS/ PCOD:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/ Disease is nowadays very common among women, which leads to irregular periods, skin problems, hair fall, hormonal imbalance, weight gain, diabetes, complications in pregnancy, infertility, etc. Proper intake of Gokshura supports ailments caused due to PCOS, by getting rid of the excess accumulated water, and decreasing the size of the cysts. It strengthens muscular power, so that the afflicted women can exercise regularly, and also combats glucose intolerance, such that they’re not prone to diabetes.
Skincare and anti-aging effect:
Gokshura can make skin appear glowing and younger. It eliminates signs of ageing by- increasing libido, regenerating skin, treating wrinkles, acne, blemishes, fine lines, pimples, and other kinds of skin inflammations.
Supports Cardiac system:
Due to its strong antioxidative nature, it boosts the heart muscles, and prevents the deposition of harmful substances inside blood vessels. It also keeps cholesterol level in check, increases HDL, and decreases LDL, thus reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, angina, arterial blockage, etc.
Promotes Brain Activity:
It regulates the levels of the hormone- Serotonin, in the brain, which is primarily responsible for affecting the emotional and mental state of a person. It improves memory capacity, logical reasoning, thinking ability, concentration, cognitive ability, and promotes calmness. It also helps in curing diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Depression, Psychosis, etc.
Other benefits of Gokshura are:
- Enhancement of body building capability,
- Reduction in the size of enlarged prostate,
- Anti-hypertensive activity,
- Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities,
- As an aid for digestion,
- Promotion of healing of gastritis, colitis, ulcers, etc.,
- Relieves eye pain and headaches,
- Treating piles, fissures, etc.,
- Prevent bedwetting in kids, and so on.
How to Use:
- A decoction, which is prepared by using 3 grams or a teaspoon full of Gokshura powder, mixed in a 200 ml glass full of water, boiled up to 1/4th of its quantity, can prove to be useful in the above-mentioned problems.
- A paste can be made using 2 tablespoons of Gokshura powder, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2-3 tablespoons of rose water. Applying this paste all over the face, and keeping it for 15 minutes, followed by washing off with cool water, helps to get rid of skin problems. Best results can be seen upon using this face pack for twice a week.
- 5 grams of Gokshura powder mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey in a cup of sheep milk, taken for a week after meals, is an excellent concoction, to get rid of kidney stones.
- A decoction prepared by using a portion of Gokshura powder and raw purified potassium carbonate or dashamoolarishta when boiled in water, or when taken raw by adding some honey, has multiple benefits. It should be taken regularly early in the morning, to improve urinary problems, like- burning sensation, painful and non-frequent urination, etc.
- A paste made by mixing Gokshura, sesame seeds, honey and ghee, when applied on the scalp, promotes hair growth.
- Gokshura leaves, when crushed well, made into a decoction and consumed orally, (30-60 ml) can immediately help in relieving cough as well as associated symptoms.
Though Gokshura seems to be a magical herb with countless benefits, it should not be consumed without proper clinical correlation. Always consider taking a prescription from an Ayurvedic doctor before taking any medication, especially for existing cases of hypertension, pregnancy, breastfeeding, diabetes, etc.
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- Bhavprakash Nighantu, Guduchiyadi varg, shloka 45-46.
- Dhanvantri Nighantu.
- Sushruta Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 7/19.
- Aggarwal A, Tandon S, Singla SK, et al.A novel antilithiatic protein from Tribulus terrestris having cytoprotective potency.Protein Peptide Lett.2012;19(8):812–819.
- Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, 1st ed, Vol. 1. Govt of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Gokshura (Rt.) pp. 49–52.
Photograph by: Mr. Shamir Hunley
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Author: Dr. Monika Mittal.
Editor: Debleena Chatterjee.