What is coleus forskohlii?
Coleus forskohlii is a mint herb whose roots contain forskolin, a chemical that can be extracted and used as an herbal supplement or drug. Forskolin is a known wonder drug, as it has a wide array of medical applications. For this reason, increasing numbers of herbal product manufacturers are bottling this chemical supplement in a highly concentrated pill form, ready to be taken by mouth. Additionally, forskolin can be given to a patient intravenously, by intranasal route (usually by inhaling a powder), or in eye drops.
What can it be used for?
There are various coleus forskohlii medicinal uses, the most noteworthy being for treatment of heart disorders. The use of this plant is a tried and true method, discovered and used since ancient times, to treat high blood pressure, angina, congestive cardiomyopathy, as well as asthma. In fact, merely a single dose of coleus forskohlii extract powder can improve asthma symptoms. Additionally, forskolin in eyedrops can be used to treat glaucoma.
Extracts in pill form treat an even larger number of ailments, branching from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, to allergies, insomnia, obesity, urinary tract infections and bladder infections, irritable bowel syndrome, erectile dysfunction disorder, blood clots, and even advanced stages of cancer.
Coleus Forskohlii’s Effect on Fat
A property of this herb that is gaining growing interest is its ability to signal fat burning. Essentially, the chemical found in its roots produces more of the enzyme cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), which plays a huge role in cell communication in our bodies. One role of cAMP, among many others, is to signal another enzyme- hormone sensitive lipase- to activate, which burns fat and calories. Additionally, cAMP acts on the thyroid, whose hormone secretions play a huge role in weight gain and loss, as well as mood. With these two effects combined, coleus forskohlii shows great potential for being used as a weight loss supplement.
Weight Gain Prevention and Obesity Treatment
The latest scientific studies have employed coleus forskohlii’s fat loss properties as a candidate for obesity and weight loss treatment. An interesting study by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) found promising results when treating test subjects with the drug. Research teams found that rather than propagating weight loss, coleus forskohlii instead prevents weight gain by a significant margin; compared to those without the drug, the experimental drug group had noticeably less weight gain. Other studies have found that in addition to mitigating weight gain, coleus forskohlii can increase testosterone levels in men. This effect suggests that the inhibited weight gain is more pronounced in men than women as well. The only issue with these findings is that the pool of research is very small. For this reason, it cannot be said for sure whether the herb extract is a reliable weight gain prevention aid. It may work in some cases, but the same can’t be said for the majority yet. The amount of research done on these particular coleus forskohlii medicinal uses is still minuscule compared to the amount of understanding we have on its effects on the cardiovascular system, but what has been found so far is promising support for an obesity treatment drug.