Forskolin is a natural extract produced by the Coleus Forskohlii plant that grows wild in subtropical temperate regions like Burma, India and Thailand. The small herb is a part of the mint family, and is also found in Nepal and Sri Lanka. It has played a vital role in traditional medicines for thousand of years due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Only in the recent years it has gotten big attention after it was endorsed by Dr Oz. Here are some health benefits:
1. Treats Asthma: It helps to ward off asthma attacks. A study from the Journal of International Medical Research found that the asthma attacks were less frequent among people who consumed forskolin supplements as compared to those patients who were recommended to treatment with sodium cromoglycate, which is a common asthma treatment.
2. Treats Eczema: Inflammatory conditions such as eczema is often characterized by a decline in cAMP levels in the skin and the bronchial smooth muscle. By stimulating the levels of cAMP, it helps to relax and soothe the bronchial muscles, and therefore it is extremely beneficial in treating this allergic condition. Some studies have also shown it to be as effective as traditional medicines in treating eczema.
3. Improves Cardiovascular Health: The spasmolytic and hypotensive properties of the extract provide some of the most beneficial clinical applications. For instance, it provides cardio-protective actions, that involve improving contractility of the patient’s heart as well as lowering their blood pressure. Additionally, it helps to relax and soothe arteries and increases the force of contraction, thereby improving the overall heart function.
4. Promotes Weight Loss: This is one of the major benefits of forskolin. According to a study published in 2005 in Obesity Research , it can help to treat obesity. In this study, around 30 obese or overweight men were assigned to receive either a placebo or forskolin daily for at least 12 weeks. At the end of the study, people of the forskolin group showed a higher decline in their body fat and a higher increase in their lean body mass, as compared to the people of the Placebo group. All the participants who were treated with the supplement also showed a significant increase in their body mass.
5. Treats Glaucoma: A research conducted on some animals suggested that eye drops containing the extract helped to protect them against glaucoma. For instance, two studies conducted on rabbits suggested that the extract helped to reduce intraocular pressure, which is a key factor in the development of glaucoma.
6. Relives Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism: It has conventionally been used in Ayurvedic medicines to treat hypothyroidism. It is believed to augment thyroid function by activating the cAMP enzyme and also stimulating the release of all thyroid hormones.
7. Tanning: According to some laboratory experiments conducted on animals, it was proven that applying the product to their skin may cause tanning. In a study published in 2006 in Nature, scientists showed that it can help manipulate the skins pigmentation, and thereby induce tanning without actually being exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun.
However, before considering the use of forskolin and before starting the supplement regimen for any chronic health problem, it is imperative to consult a doctor.