Forskolin also referred to as coleus forskohlii or C. Barbatus is a naturally-occurring chemical compound from the mint family and is commonly found in eastern hemisphere locations such as Brazil, Burma and India as well as Thailand and parts of Africa.
Pure Forskolin caught attention in the west by touting benefits with being a potential weight loss catalyst and muscle building accelerator.
Natural, pure forskolin is an exotically acclaimed extract and multipurpose aromatic herbal ingredient (bioactive labdane diterpene) derived from the roots of the Plectranthus Barbatus Lamiaceae plant.
Culturally forskolin is and has been an important cultural and medicinal plant throughout the world.
This plant specifically holds importance as a natural herbal supplement, especially in traditional Indian Ayurveda medicine.
Research has shown that forskolin has for many years expressed beneficial anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties along with diverse pharmacological benefits.
Forskolin has been used since ancient times to treat conditions such as:
- Heart disorders
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Respiratory disorders such as asthma.
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Painful menstrual periods
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Bladder infections
- Advanced cancer
- Blood clots
- Sexual problems in men
In essence forskolin increases the production of cyclic AMP, which increases the contractility of heart muscle.
Contractility is the inherent strength and vigor of the heart’s contraction during systole, the contraction phase of the cardiac cycle that results in the ejection of blood into an adjacent chamber or vessel of the heart.
According to Starling’s Law, the heart will eject a greater stroke volume at greater filling pressures.
This means that forskolin acts to increase not only the pump of the heart but also the cycle in which blood pumps throughout the heart.
For any filling pressure, the stroke volume will be greater if the contractility of the heart is greater.
Although evidence for other actions is beginning and yet still inconclusive, research is being pushed to further certify the credentials that forskolin possesses.
There is however speculation that it may have effects in other cells of the body such as platelet and thyroid cells.
In fact forskolin may prevent platelet aggregation and adhesions, and it might even prevent tumor cell growth and cancer metastasis.
It should be noted that so far there is no evidence that it is clinically useful or safe for those purposes.
Traditional uses of Forskolin
Forskolin and other related species were used in many traditional medical systems throughout history.
Traditional medical uses of forskolin include the treatment of digestive disorders such as stomachache, gastric and intestinal spasm, and as well as nausea.
As a purgative forskolin has also been used to treat skin conditions such as burns, wounds, insect bites, allergies, syphilis, and ringworm.
Other uses of forskolin also includes conditions such as neck stiffness, rheumatism, and to induce menstruation and as an oral contraceptive.
Forskolin has also been used to treat heart, blood, and circulation conditions, and certain cancers.
In the 1970s, the plant’s cardiovascular activity was investigated. A lot of promise early on was due to the result findings in research studies.
Forskolin spinoffs have been developed for use in heart and blood vessel conditions in more medical environmental surroundings that most pharmaceutical companies are in control of.
This has resulted in low quality clinical trials that are lacking to support claims made of the weight loss properties of forskolin.
These clinical studies also lack a research conducted with oral and inhaled forskolin in patients with asthma.
Although full research still needs to be made its still far better off when approaching a more holistic approach to our health’s.
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Benefits of Forskolin
Majority of the benefits listed below have gone through some form of credibility finding within the studies conducted on forskolin.
It should be noted that increased cellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) results in a broad range of physiological and biochemical effects.
These effects include inhibition of platelet activation, which results in decreased likelihood of blood clots.
Increased cellular cyclic has also reduced the release of histamine resulting in decreased allergy symptoms and increased force of contraction of the heart,.
This plays in the fact that relaxation of the arteries and other smooth muscles, increased thyroid function, and increased lipolysis (fat burning.)
A number of diseases are characterized, in part, by decreased intracellular levels of cyclic AMP or also known as “cAMP.”
Forskolin also appears to have actions that are not due to this mechanism, but are due to its ability to alter a number of membrane transport proteins that ultimately affect this mechanism.
Forskolin for Asthma
Forskolin appears to be more effective at suppressing asthmatic symptoms than other nutraceuticals needed for asthmatic conditions.
The mechanisms that work in order to treat asthma may be related to beta-adrenergic compounds, due to the increasing cAMP and inducing of bronchiole dilation within the respiratory tract.
In fact many drugs used to treat asthma and allergies are designed to increase cAMP levels.
Usually they inhibit the enzyme called phosphodiesterase that breaks down cAMP, which induces a mechanism flip that allows forskolin to act directly in increasing the cAMP.
This mechanism is the “flip side” of Forskolin ability to act directly to increase cAMP.
What that results to is forskolin being used by itself, or in addition to phosphodiesterase-inhibiting drugs in the prevention and treatment of many allergic conditions, including asthma.
Forskolin for Weight Loss
Forskolin weight loss has gained popularity in the fact that it has been promoted and noted to drive and boost weight loss.
In vitro studies have shown in that Forskolin stimulates lipolysis, which is the breaking down of fats in fat cells.
Historically forskolin has been promoted to weight loss and has been used to treat conditions of weight gain.
Additionally researchers and scientists at the Penn State University College of Medicine have also found that many obese people have lower than normal cAMP production.
This lower level of cAMP showed initially the power that forskolin could have in driving up the cAMP production in forskolin for weight loss.
Based on these findings and in vitro studies, scientists hypothesized that Forskolin might be an effective weight loss agent, especially for those with reduced cAMP level production.
There was more evidence that showed weight loss due to the fact that forskolin boosted up cAMP levels in patients who conducted the weight loss experiment.
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A recent small study also appeared to confirm this assumption. In the study conducted six overweight women took 25 mg of Forskolin 250 mg capsules of 10 percent standardized Forskolin extract twice daily for eight weeks.
At the end of this eight-week trial, the participants lost a mean of ten pounds, and reduced their percentage of body fat by nearly 8 percent.
This was one study conducted that showed promise in the extraction of pure forskolin for weight loss.
These same studies also showed blood pressure levels trended lower during the trial.
These preliminary results indicate that Forskolin for weight loss may be a safe, useful adjunct to losing weight and maintaining normal body composition weight and composition.
Forskolin for Hypothyroidism
Another added benefit in the supplementation of forskolin is the impact it can have on conditions of hypothyroidism.
In fact Forskolin has demonstrated the ability to increase thyroid hormone production and stimulate thyroid hormone release.
This mechanism of stimulating the thyroid to enhance metabolism may be one way in which Forskolin promotes normal body weight, ultimately having a positive effect on hypothyroidism.
Forskolin effects in normalizing thyroid function may also contribute to its antidepressant effects, as depression is a common feature of hypothyroidism.
In fact historically forskolin has also been used to treat anxiety as well as improve mood elevation.
Forskolin for Depression
Forskolin has long been used to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Depression is believed to be due to the process of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain most commonly either inhibitory or stimulatory.
Forskolin asserts through this basic foundation of the process in which our biochemistry alliance in our emotional health and well being
The response we have to various antidepressants depends on which neurotransmitter system has deviated farthest from the norm set standard.
If the inhibitory neurotransmitters are most deficient, serotonin precursors like 5-HTP or L-tryptophan, or the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Paxil, and Prozac have formulated to work best for patients with depression.
This elated those who are more found of a holistic approach to our wellbeing in the fact that forskolin act to prevent emotional breakdown in any chemical breakdown.
In fact scientist stopped short within clinical studies in calling Forskolin for the treatment of depression.
Those scientists stated clearly that elevated brain cAMP levels are closely linked to antidepressant activity in animal models of depression.
Earlier research conducted on weight loss patients also revealed a lot of the patients to report elevated moods, which at first was asserted to the health benefits the patients were experiencing.
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Forskolin for the Heart and Cardiovascular Health
It is well know that forskolin has traditionally long been used to treat hypertension, congestive heart failure, and angina.
Treating these conditions may be among the most useful uses for Forskolin as a herbal supplement moreover then all the other health benefits it promotes.
Forskolin basic cardiovascular action is in fact to lower blood pressure, while simultaneously increasing the contractility of the heart increasing blood circulation and pump.
This is what is believed to be due to Forskolin cAMP-elevating ability, which results in relaxation of the arteries, and increased force of contraction of the heart muscle.
This increased contraction of the heart muscle works to improve heart health as well as cardiovascular health.
One study involved seven patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, a very particularly difficult condition to treat in of itself.
In fact studies have shown that forskolin supplementation dramatically improved left ventricular function and overall cardiovascular performance.
Forskolin also acts to increase cerebral blood flow, demonstrating that it may be beneficial in cerebral vascular insufficiency and in enhancing post stroke recovery time.
The platelet aggregation inhibiting effects that forskolin provides, also adds to its value in cardiovascular health and disorders.
Forskolin for Cancer
Forskolin helps in treating cancer by attacking free radicals as well as working with other parts of the body to fight of certain cancers.
Cancer is a dangerous disease that can have onset symptoms at any age and does not discriminate on any race, gender, or region.
The causes of cancer can stem from many complications, forskolin through use of the substance, have shown that the supplement can help in reducing chances of cancer in individuals.
In fact forskolin works in a natural processes where it will help you get rid of cancer without any side effects as well as provide a holistic approach to the problem.
This is a great benefit that you will enjoy in case you were in the risk of contracting cancer as it can lower the chances of getting cancer to begin with.
Forskolin is also a cheaper option to getting rid of cancer then chemotherapy and other forms of fighting cancer.
However it should be noted that obtaining advice from your doctor is necessary before you decide to make use of Forskolin, as it might counteract other medications that your doctor might prescribe.
There are different types of cancers and forskolin will have different effects on whichever different cancers you might posses or get.
In fact after you get advice from your doctor you will be in a better position of knowing the right way for you to treat your cancer as well as the use of herbal supplements such as forskolin.
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Pure forskolin is in fact the best variety of forskolin you can obtain. Exact amounts of pure forskolin vary but majority of pure forskolin supplementation attribute about 20% of pure forskolin extract.
In fact great supplementation of pure forskolin extract and pure forskolin has measure indicating around 250mg of pure forskolin extract.
Finding a good source online is crucial if you plan on shopping online. Your local whole foods or organic store should carry more potent varieties of forskolin.
Forskolin Side Effects
The side effects of forskolin can vary and changes between different people.
One of the first side effects that were mentioned by certain individuals stated that forskolin might lower your blood pressure.
This potentially dangerous side effect, called hypotension, may induce dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, diminished concentration, pale skin, fatigue or loss of consciousness.
If you have such side effects, you may be at risk of sustaining an injury from tripping or falling down.
Severely low blood pressure levels may prevent your vital organs from getting the oxygen they need to function normally and efficiently.
The last side effect that we found on forskolin is the increased heart rate. This is most likely due to the effect that cAMP has on driving up the contractions of the heart and pump of the blood.
For that reason people who suffer from conditions such as tachycardia may experience worsened conditions of elevated heart rate. This can result in a number of other side effects such as shortness of breath, lightheadedness, heart palpation, chest pain, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness.
Forskolin is a natural herbal supplement derived from the root of a plant called Coleus forskohlii.
Traditionally this herbal treatment has long been used to treat a variety of health conditions including insomnia, convulsions and heart and lung diseases.
When using this herbal supplement the treatment with forskolin may also aid in weight loss and weight management.
Make sure to discuss the potentially dangerous side effects of forskolin with your medical provider (doctor) before beginning treatment or use of forskolin supplement.
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