Effect of Tribulus terrestris L. on sperm parameters in men with idiopathic infertility: A systematic review

Complement Ther Med. 2019 Feb;42:95-103. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.015. Epub 2018 Sep 29.


Background and objective(s): Tribulus terrestris L. is an herbal plant that has long been used as sex stimulant and to treat male infertility. This systematic review collected the clinical trials and/or quasi-experimental studies on the effect of T. terrestris on sperm parameters in idiopathic male infertility.

Materials and methods: To search the related articles, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, ProQuest, Clinicaltrial.gov, WHO, Google Scholar, MEDLINE via Pubmed, Web of Science, SID, Magiran, Irandoc, and Iranmedex databases were used without any time limitation. Words used to search were T. terrestris L., Tribestan, male infertility and sperm parameters based on the MeSH glossary. To assess the eligibility of the articles, the views of the two authors and in cases where there was no agreement, the third person was used.

Results: Through searching of the databases, 5775 articles were identified, of which 3509 were entered after removing the duplicates. Afterward, 102 articles were screened for inclusion. Finally, 7 articles were included in this systematic review. Only one quasi-experimental without control arm article reported that the use of T. terrestris L. in the treatment of idiopathic male infertility was not effective, In the others, T. terrestris L. was reported to be effective in improving some or all parameters of the sperm, namely number, motility and morphology.

Conclusion: The results of the present systematic review showed that the consumption of T terrestris L., in general, resulted in the improvement of sperm parameters. This result was obtained from 6 out of the 7 articles.

Keywords: Male infertility; Sperm parameters; Systematic review; Tribulus terrestris L..

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Tribulus / chemistry*


  • Plant Extracts