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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Calthrop, Caltrop, Goat's Head, Puncture Vine
(Tribulus terrestris)
[ci ji li]
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CONTAINS: PLANT containskaempferol-3-glucoside, kaempferol-3-rutinoside, tribuloside, saponin, alkaloids, potassium, nitrate, chlorogenin, diosgenin, gitogenin, hareman, harmine.
GREEN LEAVES contain 79% water, 7.22% protein, 0.54 ether extract, 4.63% total ash, 1.55% calcium, 0.08% phosphorus, 9.22% iron (per 100 g), 41.5 mg vitamin C.
FRUIT contains alkaloids, resins, stearic-, palmitic-, myristic-, arachidic-, behinic-, lauric-, oleic-, linoleic- and linolenic acids, tannins, sugars, sterols, essential oil, nitrate, peroxidase, diastase, glucoside, desoxydiosgenin, gracillin, dioscin, terrestroside F.

Prostrate, hairy vine to 3 feet of tropical regions with a hard fruit (to 3/4 inch) which splits into 5 woody nutlets, each having 2 sharp spines to 1/4 inch and several smaller ones, giving the fruit a star-shaped appearance. Spines are capable of puncturing bicycle tires. Leaves grow to 2½ inches with 5 to 8 pairs of oblong leaflets to 1/2 inch, acute, sessile, villous beneath. Flowers are yellow with petals to 1/4" in length. A common lawn and field weed of China, it can be found in the Southwest United States and Mexico. Considered a serious pest in California. Can also be found as far north as the states of South Dakota and New York.


In Chinese medicine the fruits are considered acrid, bitter, warm and used as a tonic, antispasmodic, anodyne, aphrodisiac, abortifacient, appetite stimulant, lactogogue, vermifuge and styptic; affects liver and lungs. Seeds are abortifacient, vermifuge, alterative, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, lactagogue.
The plant has been used to treat cancer. Fruit has been used for kidney problems, liver problems, vision problems, scanty menstrual flow, headache, dizziness, chest congestion, eye inflammation, premature ejaculation, and nervous problems; also used dried and in decoction form for congestion, bloating, headache, hepatitis, liver problems, opthalmia, stomatitis, vertigo.
The flower has been used to treat "white" leprosy; the stem has been used for psoriasis and scabious skin conditions; the seed for abscesses, coughs, fluxes,hemorrhoids, nosebleeds, cough with pus, childbirth, spermatorrhea, inflammation mucous membranes of the mouth.
Other uses have been to relieve spasms, relieve hypertensive headache-dizziness-chest fulness, for mastitis, vertigo, itching, hives, skin lesions with severe itching and vertiligo.
In Ayurvedic medicine is is considered diuretic and has been used to treat urinary, kidney and lower back pain, urinary tract stones Is also regarded as an aphrodisiac.

!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
GRAMS = 6 to 12

©2005 by Ernestina Parziale, CH