What Is Forskolin & Where Is It Used?

Forskolin is a biologically essential compound that is also present in the tropical plant species Coleus. The Indian coleus plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a variety of health problems including cardiac problems, convulsions, stomach problems, infections and urinary problems. The plant is similar to the mint species of plants but is larger. It is perennial and is found in tropical and sub-tropical parts of India and some parts of Africa. Forskolin is believed to be the compound in the plant that gives it its medicinal properties. This herbal extract is available as a medicine from different manufacturers and is currently used in a variety of treatments.

How Does It Work

Cyclic Adenosine Mono Phosphate or cAMP is a second messenger that is essential for many of the biological processes involving cells. It is responsible for proper transfer of the effects of hormones into the cells. This cAMP is essential for communication between cells in the hypothalamus and pituitary glands and for control of hormonal levels through feedback mechanism from the cells. Forskolin has been known to increase the intra cellular levels of Cyclic Adenosine MonoPhosphate and also to activate the enzyme Adenylate cyclase which is an important enzyme responsible for cell regulation. Forskolin can work all over the body. While this may be beneficial in some cases, care should be taken before consuming products with Forskolin.


Where Is It Used?

The benefits of using Forskolin in medicine were first investigated in the 1970s where it was found that it increases the cAMP levels in the cells. This property of the Coleus plant paved the way for it being used to treat Asthma. It is also believed to lower the blood pressure levels. During a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of Forskolin for asthma treatment, it was also found that the drug has the potential to smooth out muscle tissue and act as anti-inflammatory drugs. Hence, it is used in treatments of skin infections, to treat allergies, to soothe muscles during cramps. It is also used to strengthen heart muscles (it has been long used for this purpose. The Indian Coleus plant is also used as part of the cuisine in some parts of India. People in certain parts of India make pickles out of the plant and consume it with a belief that it strengthens cardiac muscles) and lower blood pressure. Forskolin is a potent drug that has wide ranging properties. It can provide treatment for glaucoma and it also soothes the muscle tissue. This property of wide ranging effects requires that you consult a doctor before taking this drug as there is a higher chance of the drug interacting with other drugs and affecting other organs and tissues.

Recently, the drug is also marketed as a weight loss supplement. Dr.Oz who has promoted many natural weight loss supplements first came out with the drug’s ability to promote weight loss and increase lean mass. Since then many manufacturers have come out with drugs including Forskolin for the purpose of weight loss. Some doctors and weight loss practitioners also recommend using Forskolin supplements along with diet and regular exercise to achieve best weight loss results. One of the blind trials has found that it increases the fat burning properties of the body and preserving or increasing lean mass. There have not been a lot of clinical studies on the effects of Forskolin on weight loss. But it is generally considered safe to use with a recommended dosage of 50mg up to three times a day.

George Abbot

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