What is Coleus Extract?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Many different common plants contain extracts that are used in homeopathic medicine. Coleus extract is one such chemical concentration. Derived from the coleus forskohli root, it can be used to treat a number of medical complaints and conditions, from lung disease to insomnia.

Several types of liver disease. Coleus extract is sometimes used to treat cirrhosis of the liver.
Several types of liver disease. Coleus extract is sometimes used to treat cirrhosis of the liver.

In traditional homeopathic medicine, coleus extract has been used for treating intestinal spasms, convulsions, lung disease, insomnia, and heart disease. General heart health, including reduced blood pressure, may be promoted by the plant. People with asthma may be able to use the extract to combat strong lung spasms. Some studies indicate that the herbal remedy could have a role in lowering the risk of glaucoma.

Coleus extract has been used to treat menstrual cramps.
Coleus extract has been used to treat menstrual cramps.

Breast milk production may be stimulated by the extract. It may also be useful in treating depression, erectile dysfunction, schizophrenia, bronchitis, eczema, diabetes, menstrual cramps, cirrhosis, stroke, skin rashes, weight gain or loss, intestinal parasites, and ulcers. Some people use the plant extract as an antioxidant supplement.

Coleus extract might stimulate breast milk production.
Coleus extract might stimulate breast milk production.

Excretory system ailments, such as bladder infection or pain and urinary tract infections, have traditionally been treated with coleus extract. People with reproductive disorders, such as problems with sperm production, have also been prescribed the remedy. Gastrointestinal issues such as malabsorption, bloating, gas, and other ailments may be remedied with this medicine. It also contains antiviral and antiseptic properties.

A homeopath might use coleus extract to treat insomnia.
A homeopath might use coleus extract to treat insomnia.

Native to India, coleus forskohli is grown as an ornamental garden plant on most continents. A perennial member of the Lamiaceae, or mint, family, it contains forskolin, a compound that can be used to activate hormonal processes in humans. The presence of this chemical makes the plant useful in combating inflammation, allergies, and thyroid problems. It may also cause dilation of blood vessels, making it an optimal circulatory tonic.

A standard dose includes .002 to .003 ounces (50 to 100 milligrams) two to three times daily. Patients can also receive injections. People with peptic ulcers, or who are taking anticoagulants, antiplatelets, and some pain killers should refrain from using the remedy. A medical professional should be consulted prior to using coleus extract.

Women who are pregnant or nursing, and children should avoid this medication. Use of the herbal remedy may cause an allergic reaction. Though considered a generally safe extract, side effects may include respiratory tract irritation, skin rash, flushing, cough, lowered blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased risk of bleeding, restlessness, and a milky film over the eyes. Coleus extract should not be applied to the eyes unless under the supervision of a medical professional experienced in its use.

People with peptic ulcers should avoid coleus extract.
People with peptic ulcers should avoid coleus extract.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments

anon353323

@ellafarris: What were your blood pressure numbers before and after taking coleus and when do you take it? I have been through high blood pressure medication hell for going on three months and now I am taking 250 Coleus twice a day as prescribed by a homeopathic doctor. It's been one week, and I don't see a big change, but I am hopeful since I cannot take the prescription medications and still function. Thank you.

aviva

@babylove - Copy and paste the name into your web browser. You'll find hundreds of online merchants who sell natural herbs and supplements. You also can contact your local health food store and see if they might consider supplying it for you.

babylove

Where can I buy coleus forskohlii extract? My local health food store didn't have it and my pharmacists didn't have a clue. Thanks.

ellafarris

I've been taking coleus forskohlii forskolin for a variety of health issues including high blood pressure, asthma, and high blood sugar and it's been very helpful for me. It even helped my vision become sharper and more clear.

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