Forskolin is a plant extract often used in biochemical research to stimulate the adenylyl cyclase enzyme. This enzyme increases the level of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in cells and enables them to respond properly to hormones. Now you might be asking, “Why are there numerous Forskolin supplements on the market?” After all, not many of us do biochemical research in our kitchens! Cyclic AMP is not only useful on a Petri dish or in a test tube, but is also vital for our bodies.
A Forskolin supplement supports the endocrine system, heart, lungs and best of all, weight loss!
Where Does Forskolin Come From?
Plectranthus barbatus is a tall plant with woody stems and wide velvety leaves. Plectranthus, also called Coleus forskohlii, thrives in subtropical climates, such as Brazil, Peru, Argentina and other South American countries, as well as India. Some varieties of Coleus plants are unique in that their leaves vary from light green to deep purple depending on the amount of sunlight they receive.
Ayurvedic medicine in ancient India can perhaps be credited with being the first to harness the medicinal properties of Plectranthus barbatus. The leaves and roots of the plant were ground and then taken orally to treat a variety of maladies, but primarily heart conditions.
This primitive Forskolin extract was thought to strengthened the heart muscle and dilate the surrounding blood vessels, which would ease angina and hypertension. Forskolin was also prescribed to calm asthma attacks, skin allergies, convulsions and insomnia.
Coleus forskohlii is often called boldo in South America. Eating the bitter leaves raw, crushing them in a glass of water or simmering them to make tea are a popular remedy for indigestion. Brazilians are renown for their love of long intense parties. After a night full of alcoholic beverages and greasy foods, boldo can alleviate the inevitable headache and overloaded liver.
Forskolin Supplements and Weight Loss
Although the leaves and roots of the forskohlii plant are still used in some areas today, in most countries the active chemical compound, labdane diterpene, is extracted from the plant and called Forskolin. Forskolin is useful to scientists as they study cell physiology and also to us as we strive to lose weight. We have already noted how Forskolin triggers the adenylyl cyclase enzyme, which in turn increases cAMP. Cyclic AMP enables our cells to communicate efficiently among themselves, and this optimizes a variety of biochemical activities, including lypolisis which is the breaking down of fat cells.
Studies demonstrate that a balanced diet and regular exercise, plus a daily Forskolin supplement, decrease blood sugar, hypertension, and abdominal fat, while at the same time increasing weight loss, bone density and lean muscles.
Forskolin Supplements and Upcoming Benefits
Research is currently ongoing, but there are indications that Forskolin suppresses histamine and other inflammatory compounds. This may prove beneficial for treating asthma, allergies and inflammatory diseases.
Clinical studies are also being conducted to determine what effect Forskolin eye drops have on primary open angle glaucoma. The preliminary results are positive. Almost all of the test subjects demonstrated a consistent decrease in intraocular pressure. Lastly, in the near future Forskolin may be used to treat the red plaques and white scales of psoriasis. This autoimmune disease shows up in the skin of the scalp, knees and elbows.
There are a variety of factors which are suspected of causing psoriasis and a low level of cAMP is one of them. If this is true, Forskolin could be a natural and side effect free form of treatment.
I know Forskolin has enough benefits to make you want to start taking it immediately, but be cautious. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you must consult with your doctor before taking any supplement. If you are being treated for a chronic condition, it is also wise to speak with your healthcare provider before taking a Forskolin supplement. Forskolin is natural, but there is still the risk that it will interfere with the effects of other medications.