Botanical Name: Tribulus terrestris
Common Name: Gokharu, caltrop, cat’s head, devil’s eyelashes, devil’s thorn.
Description: Tribulus terrestris is a taprooted herbaceous perennial plant that grows as a summer annual in colder climates.
Active Compounds: Chemical control is generally recommended for home control of T. terrestris. There are few pre-emergent herbicides that are effective. Products containing oryzalin, benefin, or trifluralin will provide partial control of germinating seeds. These must be applied prior to germination (late winter to midspring).
After plants have emerged from the soil (postemergent), products containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (“2,4-D”), glyphosate, and dicamba are effective on T. terrestris. Like most postemergents, they are more effectively maintained when caught small and young. Dicamba and 2,4-D will cause harm to most broad-leaved plants, so the user should take care to avoid over-application. They can be applied to lawns without injuring the desired grass. Glyphosate will kill or injure most plants, so it should only be used as a spot treatment or on solid stands of the weed.
Medicinal Properties: Tribulus terrestris is known in Sanskrit as Gokshura. The word comes from two Sanskrit words: Go (cow) and Kshura (razor or barb). This could be because the small thorns tend to get stuck on grazing animals. It is believed to contribute to overall physical, as well as sexual, strength by building all the tissues, especially shukra dhatu (reproductive tissue). It is believed to be useful in kidney, bladder, urinary tract and uro-genital related conditions, where it is said to act as a diuretic