The beneficial chemical found in the roots of the Coleus forskohlii plant is known from ancient times to help alleviating different health conditions
Other common names: Forskolin is also known as Coelus forskohlii, Plectranthus barbatus, pashanabhedi, Indian coleus, makandi and mao hou qiao rui hua.
Coleus forskohlii is a perennial herb belonging to the large genus of mints, originated to subtropical and tropical regions of India, Burma, Thailand and Eastern Africa.
This plant has played a crucial role in the Indian traditional medicine for centuries, to treat high blood pressure, pectoral angina, asthma or as a general body tonic.
When taken orally, the Coleus root extract called forskolin helps treating skin conditions, blood clots, obesity, digestive symptoms, urinary infections, menstrual pain, insomnia, erectile dysfunctions, insomnia and spasms. In certain cases, medical care providers may use forskolin against heart failure (intravenously) and glaucoma (in ocular drops to relieve eye pressure).
Forskolin extract belongs to a class of natural substances known as labdane diterpenes, with high biological activity. These type of compounds have a structure resembling retinol, retinal and phytol, and are considered to have both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects.
How does the extract work?
Forskolin activates the adenylate cyclase enzyme, which regulates different cellular functions, causing an increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels. In turn, the cAMP molecule increases levels of the kinase protein and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), making your metabolism better manage extra pounds, without the side effects like nervousness and restlessness that other substances might inflict on your body.
Effects on the overall health
Other effects that need to be mentioned are the vasodilator effect, beneficial for a better cellular oxygenation and the relaxing effect on the bronchial muscles which alleviates asthma, by helping the patient breathe easier.
Some people using the forskolin extract experienced a boosted memory performance, a better learning capacity, mental acuity and overall superior cognitive abilities.
Considering the weight loss effects, the extract helps the metabolism change the way it manages unpleasant fat deposits and makes it easier for the body to increase its levels of energy and use this extra-energy for getting more active.
Due to stimulation of testosterone production, forskolin also works in favor of lean muscle mass and stronger bones development.
The extract has been observed to help protecting the muscle heart of people suffering from a heart condition called idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy and also lower blood pressure in the blood vessels.
Warnings and precautions
When using forskolin supplements, please consider the following possible interactions and warnings:
- Medication for high blood pressure and also anticoagulants interact with Coleus species, so if following any of these treatments, please refer to your doctor before using forskolin supplements and strictly follow his advice
- Forskolin is not recommended for pregnant, breast-feeding women or for children under 18
- If you suffer from bleeding disorders, low blood pressure or if you might undergo any scheduled surgery, please notify your physician about your diet and intention of taking forskolin supplements before any medical maneuvers
- Lead a healthy general lifestyle, always exercise moderately (if not advised differently by your doctor) and eat a nutritious diet to maximize results of any supplement cure
- Keep in mind that dietary supplements are meant to complement a healthy diet and never to replace it