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Coleus Forskohlii or Plectranthus barbatus is a tropical perennial plant from the mint family. It is closely related to basil, peppermint, thyme and salvia, but unlike most of these the fibrous roots of coleus is used for medicinal purpose. The Forskolin extracted from the roots of coleus Forskohlii has been used for ages as a traditional folk medicine to treat a myriad of health disorders including heart and respiratory problems. One can find ancient Sanskrit writings citing coleus as an Ayurvedic (Indian traditional medicine) medicine.
Even the recent studies and researches conducted to confirm the medicinal properties of coleus showed that the Forskolin extract from the plant has numerous health benefits including anti hypertensive and weight-loss properties. Dig in to find out more health benefits of Coleus Forskohlii.
Treats heart disorders
Cardiovascular or heart diseases is one of the leading causes of deaths, globally. Studies confirm that the Forskolin extract from Coleus Forskohlii offers great benefits to patients of cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of heart muscles. It leads to weakening of heart muscles and as a result heart losses its ability to pump blood efficiently. Forskolin is enriched with muscle relaxant properties. Forskolin is also potent of dilating blood vessels and thereby lowering the blood pressure. When the blood vessels are dilated, the heart has to work less while pumping blood to our system. The anti-hypertensive properties of Forskolin were confirmed in a study by the Journal of research in Ayurveda, 2011. It was also found efficient in treatment of angina or chest pain.
Anti asthma health benefits
Asthma is a complex medical condition causing respiratory problems. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airway, which is marked by shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. NYU Langone Medical Center conducted two controlled trails and found out that Forskolin is potentially helpful in the treatment of asthma. Forskolin was found to work as a stabilizer for cells releasing histamine. It also boosts muscle relaxant effect which leads to bronchial tube dilation. This reduces airway resistance and increases air volume capacity of the lungs and helps in treatment of allergy associated asthma.
Effective in treatment of glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye diseases in which the fluid pressure within the eyeball increases, gradually leading to loss of eyesight. In the studies conducted on the effectiveness of Forskolin in treatment of glaucoma, integrative practitioners graded Coleus Forskohlii with a “B”. Researchers confirmed that topical application of 1% Forskolin eye drops could successfully lower the intraocular pressure. Although more studies and researches are required in order to establish the efficacy of Forskolin in treating glaucoma, the initial studies have shown promising results.
Controls and cures thyroid malfunctioning
The most common thyroid disorders include abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Excessive thyroid hormones can lead to hyperthyroidism whereas insufficient production can cause hypothyroidism. Forskolin extract from the coleus is found to effectively control different enzymes and hormones in our body. Therefore, Forskolin might potentially control any thyroid malfunctioning.
A lean body, without any excessive fat is what all of us dream of, but only few achieve. A healthy diet and proper workout is the only way to achieve this goal. But people who come in the category of obese and have high BMI or body mass index need more than just nutrition rich food and rigorous workout to stay healthy. Since with excessive weight come additional health problems a person who is not able to lose weight by traditional methods needs to go an extra mile. Forskolin studies at Livin3 revealed that Forskolin can aid weight loss. It activates adenylate cyclase, an enzyme that catalyzes the transformation of ATP into cAMP. This increases our body’s metabolism and helps the cAMP cells melt away the stored fats. It also suppresses appetite and increase lean body mass. Therefore, Forskolin supplements can help in weight loss.
Aids in correcting digestive disorders
Forskolin extract is potentially effective for numerous digestive disorders. It is a natural remedy for stomach ache, intestinal spasms, nausea, vomiting and gastric spasms etc. It works as a helpful purgative agent and might improve your overall digestive health as well. Some experts also suggest that Forskolin extract can stimulate the immune system and protect the body from several health problems.
Treats allergies and skin conditions
Forskolin exhibits an anti-inflammatory action, which makes it effective in treatment of different forms of allergies. Forskolin extract also shows numerous benefits for the skin as it was traditionally used in the treatment of skin infections such as ringworms and syphilis. It was also found effective against burns, wounds and other skin conditions. When applied topically, the herbal extract can give the skin a naturally tanned look without any exposure to the harmful UV rays as it can induce changes in the skin’s pigmentation.
OTHER POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF FORSKOLIN EXTRACT:
Apart from the above mentioned health benefits, Forskolin extract is considered potential in treatment of deadly diseases like cancer and HIV. Researches show that in combination with antidepressant drugs, Forskolin could help slow down the growth of cancer cells, particularly in colon cancer patients. It is also being studied for the treatment of gastric cancer and prevention of secondary cancer. Coleus is also being studied to cure HIV. A study published by Natural Product Communication, 2009 shows that when various extract of Coleus Forskohlii evaluated at their non cytotoxic concentration against HIV-1 NL4; four diterpenes were identified to have activity against the virus.
Some findings also revealed that the herbal extract could promote nerve repair and could be used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other nerve damage occurring due to trauma or accidents.
Indian Coleus seems to be a promising herb potent of treating numerous medical conditions but studies are required to understand how it works and to what extent it can help with different disorders. It is extremely essential to take the opinion of a professional healthcare provider before any Forskolin supplement for the very first time.
Janice Cook is a twenty something girl with a passion for things related to health and fitness. she got interested in researching and writing about Forskolin after stumbling across the Forskolin studies at Livin3. Want to submit a guest post? Read HealthResource4u guest submission guidelines.