The Coleus forskohlii plant is the only source for a remarkable herbal extract called forskolin. The plant itself is a medical marvel and has been used by herbalists for centuries as a virtual panacea and physical tonic.1
Traditional Uses of Forskolin
The traditional uses of Coleus forskohlii are bountiful, but it is specifically used for treating conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, especially gastric spasms and constipation. The roots and bark of the plant were used as topical treatments for insect stings, wounds, or infections. Forskolin also helps soothe the conditions of psoriasis and eczema.
In recent years, the potential therapeutic value of forskolin has arrived in western culture. It is being studied for its potential application in treating chest pains and other conditions of the heart and circulatory system.
Health Benefits of Forskolin Supplementation
Forskolin can be introduced intravenously to instantly treat a heart attack. Some people inhale forskolin powder to remedy asthmatic conditions and it can even be prepared in a drop form to treat glaucoma in the eyes. As part of a diet plan geared toward better health, forskolin offers the following benefits:
Forskolin has been identified as the only nutritional supplement that can directly boost cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) activity. cAMP is an important messenger of the nervous system. It is crucial for spreading specific signals through the body.2
The stimulation of cAMP enhances several biological processes, most notably the metabolism of carbohydrates and mobilization of fatty tissues.3 Studies have shown that forskolin supplementation can contribute to a reduction in body fat and an increase in lean body mass.4
Forskolin has been used since ancient times as a tonic for the circulation and is especially effective at treating high blood pressure. As a vasodilator, forskolin can relax the lining of the blood vessels which protects them from being strained and damaged by high pressure.5
Maintaining the conditions of the blood vessels is very important for keeping a quality flow. Oxygen and nutrients from the lungs and digestive system need to make it to the cells of the organs, brain, and body. This keeps the body healthy and energized on a cellular level. This is also an important step toward better health and longevity.
Protects Cells from Toxins
The brain suffers from regular wear and tear from elements in its environment, constant use, and natural cognitive decline. If the brain’s delicate balances are interrupted, it can become seriously damaged. One example of a toxin is the nerve agent known as sarin gas. It is an odorless poison that degrades vital compounds involved that allow for normal body functioning.
Through the stimulation of cAMP, forskolin functions as an antidote to such an attack and upregulates the production of acetylcholine which protects cells from damage.6
Notes on Stacking Forskolin
Forskolin has been extolled by biohacking experts for its capacity to improve physical and mental capacity. It has also been noticed that the benefits of forskolin can be enhanced by stacking with some other all-natural ingredients.
Forskolin & Artichoke for Enhanced Memory
Artichoke is not just a delicious addition to the diet, it is full of antioxidants and phytonutrients as well. One of the most significant benefits of an artichoke is that it contains luteolin. Luteolin inhibits the production of an enzyme that breaks down cAMP. In other words, artichoke increases cAMP levels.
Forskolin works in a similar way to improve cAMP expression throughout the nervous system. When combined with the effects of artichoke, the cAMP stimulating functions of forskolin are greatly maximized. The potent combination of forskolin and artichoke has been found especially effective at improving memory channels and increasing the quality of acquired memory.7
Turmeric & Forskolin for Weight Loss
Researchers have suggested that the metabolic improvement of forskolin can be boosted by turmeric. Tumeric has long been used for weight management. Many supplementations are currently available containing this fat burning combination. The science behind the concept is based on the capacity of forskolin to mobilize stored fat and turmeric’s capacity for thermogenesis.
Thermogenesis is the capacity for living beings to burn off stored energy, or fat, to produce heat. This is a great boost to the metabolism. The combined functions of forskolin and turmeric have the potential to support a greater campaign for a healthier weight.8
Risks and Precautions for Forskolin
The Coleus plant and its various concentrated derivatives have been considered possibly safe when administered within recommended doses. This can vary depending on the strength of products acquired. Caution is advised as this herbal compound has been connected to some adverse side effects.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Women who are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning on becoming so are advised not to supplement with forskolin unless otherwise directed by a qualified medical professional. High doses of forskolin have been linked to fetal development issues.
Some evidence suggests forskolin may impact the blood’s capacity to clot properly and can increase the risk of blood loss in some conditions.
Low Blood Pressure
Forskolin is a potent vasodilator but can also drastically decrease blood pressure. This may be a problem in those already suffering this condition.
Final Notes on Forskolin Supplementation
While forskolin is a natural herb, it has very potent effects on health and physiology. Those looking to supplement should do so slowly and with special attention to the effects it has on the body. If any of the side effects are noticed, discontinue use and seek medical attention.
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