Also known as Indian coleonol or coleus forskohlii, Forskolin is a perennial herb found in a large genus of mints (mostly Plectranthus Barbatus/Lamiaceae plant). The plant that produces it is native to tropical and subtropical regions of East Africa and India.
General Uses of Forskolin
Although claims have been made of Forskolin having some weight loss properties, no medical research has been done to prove this. Generally, derivatives of this plant have been developed for use in blood vessel and heart conditions and cancers. There are limited clinical studies of using the inhaled or oral form with asthma patients. This herb is said to be endowed with diverse pharmacological, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits.
Traditional Application of Forskolin
Many traditional medical systems incorporated the use of this plant in treatment of:
- Infections like ringworms and syphilis
- As an oral contraceptive
- To induce menstruation
- In conditions like rheumatism and neck stiffness
- Treatment of digestive disorders like intestinal and gastric spasms, stomachache, nausea and as a purgative
- Treatment of allergies, insect bites and skin burns
Truth Behind The Many Uses Of Forskolin
To begin with, Forskolin is famous for being a natural controller, regulator and activator of adenylate cyclase; an enzyme associated with multiple beneficial lipid metabolism and glycogen functions. This enzyme is responsible for stimulation and production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and consequently adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
It is actually this ATP that’s responsible for properties such as reduced blood pressure and inflammation, preventing platelet aggregation, positive in tropical action in the heart, lung health or bronchodilation, and anti-glaucoma.
Why has Forskolin Suddenly Become so Famous?
Forskolin gained its ‘world recognition’ after its 5 minutes and 33 seconds of fame on Dr. Oz show that marketed it as being a ‘rapid belly melt’. These claims can be proved from the fact that this herb is capable of activating cellular adenylate cyclase which consequently stimulates fat burning mechanism activation hormones.
Because of this, Forskolin has been said to be capable of helping burn fat faster than traditional dietary adjustments.
Can Forskolin be Found Naturally in Foods?
Unfortunately, studies have only found other foods and vegetables to have almost similar properties as Forskolin but none has been found to have the Forskolin ingredient itself. This is why if you need to benefit from this herb you can only find it in the extract form, normally as supplements.
How Much Forskolin intake is Recommended?
The most important thing you should consider when you make the decision of trying out Forskolin for its perceived health benefits is purity. Make sure that the supplement you purchase contains 20% or higher pure Forskolin extract and lacks fillers and extra additives. When you start off, you should only take 25 to 60mg per day as your body continues to adjust and adapt to it.
Possible Side Effects of Forskolin
Please note that Forskolin, like most of the other supplements, is not recommended for pregnant women and children. Research has also shown that adults taking more than 150mg per day are likely to experience a lower blood pressure.
There are no major side effects with Forskolin supplements and minor ones like slight nausea or stomach discomfort and slight dizziness depend on the purity of the extraction method and also how fast your body adjusts to the supplement.