Medicinal plants

8 Benefits of forskolin and side effects

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Discover the 8 shocking health benefits of forskolin and side effects.

Forskolin herbal supplements are trending as controversial weight loss supplements.

While research studies show that the impact of this interesting herb on weight loss is limited, this natural plant compound has been used as an herbal remedy for cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems in India for many years.

What is forskolin?

Forskolin is an herbal supplement made from a compound that is extracted from the root of the Indian coleus plant  (Plectranthus barbatus).

This compound is a diterpene and plays a key role in the cyclic AMP cycle in the body,  helping to release stored energy during fasting  and exercise.

Shocking health benefits of forskolin


Forskolin is commonly used as a tool in biochemistry to raise the levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate in the study and research of cell physiology.

It was highlighted as a weight loss supplement in the US. After appearing on the Dr. Oz Show, an American show hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz in January 2014. This herb may also help reduce inflammation. Other antioxidant and relaxing properties.


Some of the other names for this compound include coleonol, pashanabhedi, coleus forskohlii, colforsin, makandi, and maohouqiaoruihua.

While forskolin or   coleus forskohlii   have been isolated in traditional medicine and Ayurveda for thousands of years, there is a lack of formal research, particularly when it comes to human health.

That said, it is generally considered safe to take forskolin, and it shows signs of efficacy in many anecdotal reports.

Before you start taking a new herbal supplement or extract, it is always wise to speak with your doctor, especially if you are currently being prescribed any other medications.

Forskolin for weight loss

One of the main reasons people use Forskolin is because it is believed that it can positively affect weight loss in the body.

This is largely due to the active ingredients in Forskolin that can stimulate the lipolysis process, which is fat burning, thus making your workouts more effective.

However, studies done on the herbal supplement show mixed results.

In a clinical study conducted by the University of Kansas, a team of researchers investigated the effect of Forskolin (250 mg of 10% forskolin extract) taken twice daily in 15 obese and overweight men for 12 weeks.


The results were compared with 15 men of a similar weight range who received fake pills.

The Forskolin group lost a significant amount of fat and also saw an increase in their bone mass and testosterone levels, compared to the placebo group. Increased levels of the hormone testosterone also aid in weight loss.

But this was not the case in the results of a randomized study published in the Journal of the International Society for Sports Nutrition.

23 overweight women were given Forskolin (250 mg of 10% forskolin extract) twice daily for 12 weeks. and there was no weight loss effect.

However, research showed that the herbal extract prevents further weight gain. More research is needed on the impact of forskolin on weight loss.

Forskolin vs Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss

When it comes to weight loss supplements, two of the favorites in recent years have been Forskolin and Garcinia Cambogia. However, there are some clear differences between the two.


• Forskolin: Forskolin, as mentioned above, is derived from   Plectranthus barbatus . It works by increasing lipolysis, which is fat burning.

• Garcinia cambogia:  Garcinia cambogia is derived from a citrus fruit, called Malabar tamarind, and is very high in hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Garcinia cambogia is known to suppress your appetite  and help prevent fat formation.


Both are effective, but the high concentrations of HCA in garcinia cambogia make it a more effective option. However, no herbal supplement is a substitute for proper diet and exercise to lose weight.

Other health benefits of Forskolin

While forskolin is best known for weight loss, other impressive benefits and uses of the herbal extract include its effects on glaucoma, cancer, respiratory health, allergies, hormone levels, and blood pressure.

1. Benefits of forskolin for cancer

Some of the most interesting research on this supplement concerns cancer, as it is believed that it could be a good adjunct to cancer therapy.

A report from Brown University said that forskolin could help prevent cancer metastasis by improving the strength of the immune system  and the  body’s metabolism .

2. Benefits of forskolin for blood pressure

Anecdotal use of this supplement throughout history has included use for high blood pressure.

Due to the relaxing and vasodilatory effects of this supplement, it can reduce the symptoms of hypertension and protect the entire cardiovascular system.

3. Benefits of forskolin for diabetes

Although human studies on this topic are minimal at this time, animal testing has shown that glucose levels can be controlled with concentrated levels of forskolin, which is an exciting advance for this common condition.

4. Benefits of forskolin for Glaucoma

The ability of this supplement to help relieve pressure in the eyes can be great news for people suffering from glaucoma, as excess pressure in the eye is what causes the damage.


5. Benefits of forskolin for Allergies

A reduction in the inflammatory response in the body can also help reduce the severity or frequency of allergic reactions.

6. Benefits of forskolin for Asthma

One of the most common uses for this extract in traditional medicine is to relieve pressure and inflammation in the respiratory system, which can help those suffering from asthma symptoms.

7. Benefits of forskolin for Hormonal levels

By taking this supplement, testosterone levels are seen to rise, one of the other reasons this is such a popular accompaniment to workouts for athletes and bodybuilders. However, consuming too much can wreak havoc on the body’s hormonal balance.

Forskolin is a diterpene labdan produced by the indigenously Indian plant Coleus

Where to buy Forskolin?

You can buy premium pure forskolin from the health section in supermarkets or an online store. However, it is important that you speak with your doctor before including this supplement in your diet.

Forskolin dosage for weight loss

If you are prescribed this supplement, it is also important to understand the proper dosage.

For weight loss or hormonal balance, most experts recommend two 250 mg doses of 10% forskolin supplement. If you are taking a higher percentage supplement, you will need a lower amount.

Side effects of Forskolin

Despite the benefits, there are some serious side effects to consider, such as the following:


• Irregular heart rate

• Increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

• Itchy eyes

Again, be sure to speak with your doctor before taking this supplement, as the side effects can be quite serious when taken in excess.


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