Coleus forskohlii is an ancient Ayurvedic plant and member of the mint and lavender family, which grows in the mountains of Asia. It is now grown around the world as an ornamental plant and the root is used medicinally.
As recorded in ancient Sanskrit texts, coleus was used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat heart and lung diseases, intestinal spasms, insomnia, and convulsions. Recent research has shown that the active ingredient in coleus is forskolin, which plays a major role in a variety of important cellular functions, including inhibiting histamine release, relaxing muscles, increasing thyroid function, and increasing fat-burning activity.
Forskolin, a natural compound found in coleus forskohlii at a rate of .03%, activates the enzyme adenylate cyclase. This enzyme is a turnkey compound that initiates a cascade of critical events within every cell of the body. Adenylate cyclase and the chemicals it activates comprise a "second messenger" system that is responsible for carrying out the complex and powerful effects of hormones in the body. Stimulation of the second messenger system by forskolin leads to blood vessel dilation, inhibition of allergic reactions, and an increase in thyroid hormone secretion. Forskolin has other properties as well, including inhibition of the pro-inflammatory substance known as platelet-activating factor (PAF) and inhibition of the spread of cancer cells. Forskolin may help dilate blood vessels and improve the forcefulness with which the heart pumps blood. A preliminary trial found that forskolin-reduced blood pressure and improved heart function in people with cardiomyopathy. A small double-blind trial found that inhaled forskolin could decrease lung spasms in asthmatics.
One of the main advantages of using raw Coleus Forskohlii Root Powder is that the active chemical forskolin initiates a cascade of chemical reactions that cause fat cells to basically release their energy and melt away. In more technical terms, what happens is forskolin increases an enzyme called adenylate cyclase, which increases levels of another enzyme called cAMP (cyclic AMP), which is found in fat. cAMP then stimulates another enzyme, hormone sensitive lipase, to burn fat. Additionally, by a similar mechanism using cAMP, coleus increases thyroid hormone production and release, thereby increasing the body's metabolism, to burn more calories.
Basically, forskolin initiates a similar cascade of chemical reactions as ephedrine. Where coleus differs from ephedrine is ephedrine stimulates adrenergic receptors (which is the primary mechanism for ephedrine) before it reaches cAMP. Unfortunately, many negative side effects can be experienced when some of these adrenergic receptors are stimulated, such as increased blood pressure, anxiety, etc.
To the coleus user's advantage, however, coleus bypasses the adrenergic receptors and goes straight into the cAMP cycle, which is the next step in the ephedrine fat-burning process and subsequently also bypasses all of the potential unwanted, adverse effects associated with ephedrine.
Scientists have, in fact, studied the effects of coleus for over 15 years and have found an abundance of benefits, including bodyfat reduction and lean body mass enhancement. However, scientists are only now beginning to show how these effects occur in the real world. While more research is indeed needed (as is the case for many supplements), these theories and initial clinical studies adequately support its claimed benefits. Still, there is apparently some even more exciting research on the horizon.
One of the most respected individuals in the field of sports nutrition research, Dr. Richard Kreider, conducted an interesting presentation called "Ephedra Alternatives" at Nutracon, held in March 2002 in Anaheim. Here he touched on a range of speculative but promising nutrients, one of them being coleus. Dr. Kreider stated that initial pilot studies suggest Coleus forskholii may promote weight and fat loss and/or mitigate (or moderate) weight gain in overweight subjects.
He also presented data at the 2002 Experimental Biology meeting of his own study on coleus. In a double-blind, randomized study, 23 overweight females supplemented their diets with a form of coleus extracted for 25 mg of forskolin two times per day for 12 weeks. The participants' body composition and bodyweight were examined every four weeks for the 12-week study period, and any side effects were recorded on a weekly basis. The study results found that although no significant differences were observed in caloric or macronutrient intake, Forskohlii helped mitigate gains in body mass—that is, subjects taking Forskohlii observed a slight decrease in bodyweight while subjects taking the placebo continued to gain weight. Additionally, the study showed users felt less fatigue, so they had more energy. And their appetites were reduced, so they felt fuller for longer. Also on the upside, there were no reported negative side effects.
Some possible benefits of our raw Coleus Forskohlii Root Powder may include:
● Aiding in weight reduction
● Increasing testosterone levels
● Improving energy levels
● Anti-platelet action, combined with Ginger & Turmeric
● Relaxing muscles
● Increasing levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP)
● Anti-glaucoma when used internally & externally
● Increasing blood vessel dilation
● Increasing lean muscle mass
● Enhancing the ability of antibiotics to kill bacteria that normally survive
● Reducing urinary tract infections
● Increasing bone mass
● Supporting a healthy cardiovascular system
● Improving digestion
● Reducing spasmodic pain
● Increasing fat-burning activity
● Increasing skin's natural resistance to burning under UV light
● Improving sleep
● Increasing metabolism
● Inhibiting brain acetylcholinesterase (AChEI) - possible reducing Alzheimer's symptoms
● Increasing thyroid function - hypothyroidism
● Reducing allergies & asthma symptoms
● Increasing fertility
● Supporting healthy blood pressure levels & improving heart function
● Reducing painful urination
● Promoting nerve repair by increasing cAMP concentrations
● Combating psoriasis
● Reducing chronic obstructive airway disease (bronchodilation) & reducing spasms of the bronchials (Bronchospasmolyltic)
Suggested Use: Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons with juice, yogurt or add to your favorite smoothie.
Botanical Name: Coleus forskohlii
Ingredients: Forskohlii Root Powder.
Other Names: Makandi, Sanskrit, Coleus, Rainbow Foliage, forskolin, Indian Coleus, Plectranthus barbatus, Maigoya, Coleus forskolin
Z Natural Foods strives to offer the highest quality organically grown, raw, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO products available and exclusively uses low temperature drying techniques to preserve all the vital enzymes and nutrients. Our raw Coleus Forskohlii Root Powder passes our strict quality assurance which includes testing for botanical identity, heavy metals, chemicals and microbiological contaminants. ZNaturalFoods.com offers raw Coleus Forskohlii Root Powder packaged in airtight stand-up, resealable foil pouches for optimum freshness. Once opened, just push the air out of the pouch before resealing it in order to preserve maximum potency. Keep your raw Coleus Forskohlii Root Powder in a cool, dark, dry place.
1. al Sereiti MR, Abu-Amer KM, Sen P. Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials. Indian J Exp Biol 1999;37(2):124-130.
2. Almeida FC, Lemonica IP. The toxic effects of Coleus barbatus B. on the different periods of pregnancy in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;73(1-2):53-60.
3. Bersudsky Y, Kotler M, Shifrin M, et al. A preliminary study of possible psychoactive effects of intravenous forskolin in depressed and schizophrenic patients. Short communication. J Neural Transm 1996;103(12):1463-1467.
4. Bryld LE. Airborne contact dermatitis from Coleus plant. Am J Contact Dermat 1997;8(1):8-9.
5. Cahn D, Melman A, Valcic M, et al. Forskolin: a promising new adjunct to intracavernous pharmacotherapy. J Urol 1996;155(5):1789-1794.
6. Hayashida N, Chihara S, Tayama E, et al. Antiinflammatory effects of colforsin daropate hydrochloride, a novel water-soluble forskolin derivative. Ann Thorac Surg 2001;71(6):1931-1938.
7. Ishikawa Y. Isoform-targeted regulation of cardiac adenylyl cyclase. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2003;41 Suppl 1:S1-S4.
8. Maeda H, Ozawa H, Saito T, et al. Potential antidepressant properties of forskolin and a novel water- soluble forskolin (NKH477) in the forced swimming test. Life Sci 1997;61(25):2435-2442.
9. Maeda N, Tamagawa T, Niki I, et al. Increase in insulin release from rat pancreatic islets by quinolone antibiotics. Br J Pharmacol 1996;117(2):372-376.
10. Mei SX, Jiang B, Niu XM, et al. Abietane diterpenoids from Coleus xanthanthus. J Nat Prod 2002;65(5):633-637.
11. Mulhall JP, Daller M, Traish AM, et al. Intracavernosal forskolin: role in management of vasculogenic impotence resistant to standard 3-agent pharmacotherapy. J Urol 1997;158(5):1752-1758.
12. Tewtrakul S, Miyashiro H, Nakamura N, et al. HIV-1 integrase inhibitory substances from Coleus parvifolius. Phytother Res 2003;17(3):232-239.
13. Wajima Z, Shiga T, Yoshikawa T, et al. Effect of prophylactic bronchodilator treatment with intravenous colforsin daropate, a water-soluble forskolin derivative, on airway resistance after tracheal intubation. Anesthesiology 2003;99(1):18-26.
14. Yanagihara H, Sakata R, Shoyama Y, et al. Rapid analysis of small samples containing forskolin using monoclonal antibodies. Planta Med 1996;62(2):169-172.
15. Yousif MH, Thulesius O. Forskolin reverses tachyphylaxis to the bronchodilator effects of salbutamol: an in-vitro study on isolated guinea-pig trachea. J Pharm Pharmacol 1999;51(2):181-186.