Latin Name : Coleus forskohlii
Family : Lamiaceae
Sanskrit Name : Makandi
Common Name : Coleus, Mainmul, Karpuravali
Parts Used : Roots
Distribution : Coleus Forskohlii grows wild on sun-exposed arid and semi-arid hill slopes of the Himalayas in Uttar Pradesh (India) were from Simla eastward to Sikkim and Bhutan, Deccan Plateau, Eastern Ghats, Eastern Plateau and rainshadow regions of the Western Ghats in India.

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.

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.

Anti-glaucoma, Anti-platelet, Bronchospasmolyltic, Cardiotonic, Hypotensive, Anti aging, Anti allergic, Smooth muscle and arterial relaxant, Antiasthmatic.
Coleus Root

  • 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.