Coleus forskohlii is part of the mint family of plants and has long been cultivated in India, Thailand and parts of SE Asia as a spice and as a condiment for heart ailments and stomach cramps. The roots of the plant are a natural source of forskolin, the only plant-derived compound presently known to directly stimulate the enzyme adenylate cyclase, and subsequently cyclic AMP.








Coleus seeds




This species is a perennial herb with fleshy, fibrous roots that grows wild in the warm subtropical temperate areas in India, Burma and Thailand. It is one of the 150 coleus species, which are commonly cultivated as ornamental plants, because of their colorful foliage. The roots of C. forskohlii, unlike other coleus species, are used for health purposes.


Coleus forskohlii belonging to the family Labiatae was collected in 1973 from Dehra Dun in North India for targeted pharmacological screening for its phylogenetic relationship to a medicinal herb, C. amboinicus. Diterpene Forskolin was derived as active alkaloid from the roots.




Chief alkaloid found is Forskohlii. Many other diterpenoids as deacetyl forskolin, 9-deoxyforskolin, 1, 9-deoxyforskolin,1, 9-dideoxy- 7-deacetylforskolin have been isolated. Other minor phytochemicals are allylroyleanone, barbatusin, plectrin, plectirinon A, acetoxycoleosol, coleol, coleonone, coleosol, deoxycoleonol, crocetin dialehyde, napthopyrones.


Many of its effects come from a resultant increase in an enzyme called adenylate cyclase which increases the amount of cellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) which activates many other enzymes involved in diverse cellular functions. Increased cellular cAMP levels cause several physiological and biochemical effects such as : - Inhibition of platelet activation and degranulation. - Inhibition of mast cell degranulation and release of histamine and other allergic compounds. - Increased force of contraction of the heart muscle. - Relaxation of the arteries and other smooth muscles, vasodilation. - Increased insulin secretion. - Increased thyroid function (and therefore metabolic rate). - Reduced adipose assimilation and increased lipolysis of fats.


USES AND BENEFITS OF COLEUS : Coleus is found to be effective in skin conditions as eczema and psoriasis. Coleus is primarily indicated for cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, congestive heart failure and angina. Studies have indicated the use of coleus for asthma, intestinal colic, uterine cramps, as well as painful urination. Coleus can aid in weight loss due to its ability to breakdown stored fat as well as inhibit the synthesis of adipose tissue, additionally, it increases thyroid hormone production and release thereby increasing metabolism. Ophthalmic preparation of forskolin to the eyes lowers eye pressure thus reducing the risk of Glaucoma. Coleus can aid in digestive and malabsorption disorders through its ability to stimulate secretion of saliva, hydrochloric acid, pepsin, amalyase and pancreatic enzymes and increase nutrient absorption in the small intestine.



BENEFITS OF COLEUS EXTRACT : Forskolin has been shown to be safe and effective and has a great amount of potential as a sports supplement. There are several benefits to athletes including relaxation of the arteries and smooth muscles, lowering blood pressure, enhanced insulin secretion; which can help drive carbohydrates and protein into muscle cells for energy and recovery, increased thyroid hormone function; which can help enhance metabolic rate, and significantly increase lipolysis. Forskolin seems to benefit other cellular enzymes as well. The breakdown of fat for fuel is actually regulated by cAMP. Forskolin has been shown to not only enhance lipolysis but it may also inhibit fat storage from occurring. Another way that forskolin may allow for fat loss to occur is by stimulating thyroid hormone production and release. Thyroid hormone controls metabolism and can enhance metabolic rate, which may translate into more fat loss. One of the overlooked benefits of forskolin includes its stimulation of digestive enzymes, which allows individuals to digest and assimilate their food better. It has been shown to increase nutrient absorption in the small intestine.





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