Forskolin, a chemical substance, is taken from the plant known as Coleus forskohlii. Coleus forskohlii is a part of an extensive genus of mints native to the tropical and subtropic regions of India, and the eastern region of Africa. The plant is also called colforsin, makandi, mao huo qiao rui hua, and pashanabhedi.
There have been many uses of forskolin in the field of Ayurvedic medicine since the ancient times. It has been utilized in the treatment of heart diseases, such as angina or chest pain, and hypertension or high blood pressure. Some health providers also gave this herbal medicine through the vein, or intravenously, for the treatment of heart failure. In the treatment of respiratory disorders like asthma, its powdered form has been used for inhalation.
Some patients with skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema have also been given forskolin orally. Psoriasis is a chronic skin problem characterized by red, thick, and dry patches of skin. Eczema is a type of dermatitis or skin inflammation. Other conditions that are said to benefit from the oral intake of forskolin include bladder infections, obesity, menstrual pains, urinary tract infections, and insomnia. For eye problems like glaucoma, forskolin has also been administered as an eyedrop.
In 1974, scientists from India studied the effects of forskolin on the heart. They showed that it can cause dilation in the blood vessels of the heart, lower blood pressure, and stop blood clotting. It has also been found to cause relaxation of the airways. Researchers, however, warned that caution must be taken when using this medication due to its many effects on the body, and that more clinical trials are needed.
This herbal medicine is not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Patients who are about to undergo surgery are also advised to stop using forskolin as it can increase bleeding tendencies. During inhalation, it may lead to irritation in the throat, restlessness, tremors, and cough. Eyedrops may also cause a stinging sensation in the eyes. There are also some concerns that it may worsen heart problems and that it can significantly decrease blood pressure.
Several herbal products containing extracts of forskolin are currently being sold on the market. There is, however, no reliable information on their effects on patients and if they are indeed, effective. It is often best to consult with a health practitioner for proper instructions and guidance before taking any medications.