Coleus forskohlii is a plant used medicinally in Hindu and Ayurvedic medicine. Traditional uses have been for hypertension, congestive heart failure, seizures and other diseases. The active ingredient is forskolin, which clinical studies suggest may be beneficial in asthma, angina, psoriasis and prevention of cancer metastases.
The plant Coleus f. is a colorful member of the mint family of plants who’s root contains the forskolin, which is a diterpene. Forskolin lowers blood pressure by relaxing blood vessel smooth muscle, which is the basis of many of its benefits. Forskolin prevents platelet clumping in cardiovascular disease and may be useful in cerebrovascular insufficiency and post-stroke.
Forskolin prevents the broncho-constriction seen in asthma. In glaucoma, the intraocular pressure (IOP) is elevated. One study showed a marked decrease in IOP when forskolin was used topically.
Many tumors metastasize by producing chemicals that cause platelet clumping and when platelets clump they release chemicals that encourage tumor growth. Forskolin prevents this by blocking the platelet clumping and reduced by 70% lung cancer spread within the lungs. (People taking anti-coagulants or with a bleeding disorder should use forskolin with caution.)
Forskolin 250 mg. twice daily given to six obese women resulted in an average weight loss of 10 pounds. It increases thyroxin production and release. Forskolin increases digestive secretions, such as hydrochloric acid, pepsin, amylase and pancreatic enzymes. Forskolin should be used with caution by people with hyperacidity.
CONCLUSION: Forskolin from Coleus forskholii has very low toxicity. Coleus f. is usually standardized to 10% forskolin with a dose of 100-250 mg. twice a day.
NOTE: Terpenes are hydrocarbons derived from essential oils, resins and other vegetable products.
Read about the effect of coleus on the pituitary release of prolactin.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.