Tribulus Terrestris is also known as puncture vine and gokshura. It has been used in Indian ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine for centuries to treat various health issues. The root and fruit of the plant are both used for providing remedies.

Maca is highly common in Peru and is used to treat infertility and low-sex drive problems. This cruciferous vegetable, Peruvian ginseng, can bear very harsh weather. Normally, people crush the plant’s root to use as a powder.

We’ll compare the benefits, dosages, and side effects of Tribulus and maca in this article.

Tribulus vs. Maca Libido

Those who use Tribulus Terrestris swear by its boost in their testosterone levels. While research proves that Tribulus doesn’t increase testosterone in humans, it may enhance libido or sex drive. A study showed that men and women who consumed 750-1500mg of Tribulus daily had a 79% increase in sexual desire. Other similar studies also support this claim in women with low libido. [1]

However, using 800 mg of Tribulus in men facing erectile dysfunction caused little to no improvement compared to a higher quantity of 1100mg. Due to these qualities, the effects on libido in men and women require further research. 

Maca supplements are very commonly used to improve libido in women. However, research showed that women who consumed at least 3000mg of maca root daily got a positive outcome after 12 weeks. However, research is very limited in the case of maca root and is also mostly targeted toward women. [2]

Tribulus Terrestris improves libido in men and women, affecting them in a shorter time than maca. 

Tribulus vs. Maca Benefits

Although both plants are mostly known for improving sexual activity in humans, they also have other benefits. 

Heart Health and Blood Sugar

Research shows Tribulus Terrestris has an impact on patients with type-2 diabetes. A study on women showed lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels after 3 months of consuming Tribulus. Maca, on the other hand, doesn’t have any effect on heart health or blood sugar levels. 

Enhancing Libido

Tribulus Terrestris and Maca root’s main benefit is that they boost libido in both men and women. The research found that supplements containing Tribulus boosted sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction in women with low libido. Even though results were mixed in men, Tribulus improved libido when used in a higher quantity. 

Maca root also promises improved libido. A study showed that it produced effects after 6 weeks of consumption. However, there were many limitations, and using maca to enhance libido in men and women showed no conclusive results. [3]

Relieving Symptoms Of Menopause 

Maca root alleviates certain symptoms of menopause in women. Women naturally have lower estrogen levels and suffer from hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, and vaginal dryness. Studies have shown that using maca during menopause can help with symptoms like hot flashes and sleep troubles.

Similarly, there are claims that Tribulus can improve the body composition of men, especially those who are physically active. However, two studies conducted for this benefit showed that using Tribulus or placebo had the same effect on men. [4]

Tribulus vs. Maca Side Effects

Even though Tribulus and maca root get extracted naturally, certain limitations are needed when considering dosage. Minor side effects such as stomach cramps and reflux have been reported when using Tribulus Terrestris. 

Maca has not shown any adverse side effects in people. People consuming 3 grams of maca daily for 12 weeks showed no harmful symptoms. Many still use maca in traditional methods like boiling it and eating it, which is also considered safe. [5]

However, both Tribulus and maca should not be consumed during pregnancy and breastfeeding since no studies are showing what side effects they may have. It is always better to ask your consultant before using any supplement, especially if you have underlying health conditions. 

Tribulus vs. Maca Dosage

Even though research has not verified the dosage of Tribulus, studies suggest using it relative to your body weight. Someone weighing 70kg can consume up to 1400mg of Tribulus daily. However, this value was different for the research conducted, so it is optimal to ask your doctor how much dosage you should take.

Maca root has no set dosage limit, but the normal consumption range lies between 1.5 and 3 grams per day. 

Tribulus and maca are available as supplements with the recommended dosage. If you prefer to have purer forms of either of these herbs, it is better to ask your physician about the dosage. 

Which Is Better: Maca Or Tribulus?

While both Tribulus and maca have been used to enhance libido, and there are claims that they may boost testosterone, they also have other benefits. Since the purpose of using either can be different, declaring one better than the other is impossible. While maca is better for relieving menopausal symptoms, Tribulus is a better option for improving one’s libido. 

Can I Take Tribulus and Maca Together?

Even though there is little research in this area, many supplements in the market combine both. They are also used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. However, further research is required for better results from using both herbs.

The Bottomline: Tribulus vs. Maca

Tribulus Terrestris and maca root are naturally occurring ingredients that people usually use for increasing sex drive and boosting testosterone for improving libido. While these claims and their results vary, these herbs are natural and have no significant side effects. If they don’t fulfill these claims, they have other potential benefits that may help improve your health. 

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Akhtari, E., Raisi, F., Keshavarz, M., Hosseini, H., Sohrabvand, F., Bioos, S., Kamalinejad, M., & Ghobadi, A. (2014). Tribulus terrestris for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo – controlled study. Daru : journal of Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 22(1), 40.
  • Dording, C. M., Schettler, P. J., Dalton, E. D., Parkin, S. R., Walker, R. S., Fehling, K. B., Fava, M., & Mischoulon, D. (2015). A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of maca root as treatment for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction in women. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2015, 949036.
  • Shin, B. C., Lee, M. S., Yang, E. J., Lim, H. S., & Ernst, E. (2010). Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 10, 44.
  • Antonio, J., Uelmen, J., Rodriguez, R., & Earnest, C. (2000). The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 10(2), 208–215.
  • Gonzales G. F. (2012). Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 193496.


  • Farah Jassawalla

    Farah is a veteran writer, season journalist, and copywriting expert with over six years of professional experience in the content creation field. Her forte lies in translating medical jargon and complicated health terms into easy-to-understand language for readers who may not have a medical background. LinkedIn


Farah is a veteran writer, season journalist, and copywriting expert with over six years of professional experience in the content creation field. Her forte lies in translating medical jargon and complicated health terms into easy-to-understand language for readers who may not have a medical background. LinkedIn