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Forskohlii Can Help You Curve Appetite, Maintain Weight, And Fight Disease

Sep 2, 2008
Forskohlii (Coleus forskohlii), a member of the mint family, grows on the sun-exposed, dry slopes of India and is used in traditional Ayurvedic practices. Coleus forskohlii has long been used in India, Thailand and parts of SE Asia as a spice as well as an ingredient in various Ayurvedic medicine concoctions for the treatment of heart ailments, stomach cramps, and more. Forskolin is a pharmacologically active compound found in Coleus forskohlii which has been used in over 5000 research studies since 1981. The roots are harvested in the fall, when forskolin is at its most concentrated and the color is the brightest.

This herb as recorded in ancient Sanskrit texts has been used as a medical herb to treat heart and lung diseases, intestinal spasms, insomnia, and convulsions. An extract of the plant Coleus forskohlii has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various diseases such as hypothyroidism, heart disease and respiratory disorders. It is theoretically possible that coleus could be used in humans to prevent or inhibit tumor metastases as well.

We have not seen any definitive human research evaluating coleus forskohlii and hypertension in humans but it appears that coleonol, a substance found in this herb, can reduce blood pressure in rodents. It is believed to stimulate the release of thyroid hormone, thus relieving such hypothyroidism symptoms as fatigue, depression, weight gain, and dry skin.

A 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 23 overweight women conducted by researchers in the Exercise and Sport Nutrition Lab at the Center for Exercise, Nutrition and Preventive Health Research at Baylor University revealed that individuals receiving coleus forskohlii extract showed decreases in body mass and reported less fatigue and hunger in those patents participating.

In the 1970s researchers isolated a chemically active extract from coleus forskohlii and called it forskolin. Forskolin is a chemical found in the coleus herb that activates the enzyme adenylate cyclase. Adenylate cyclase and the chemicals it activates are responsible for executing a number of important hormonal processes. The sometimes successful use of forskolin to reduce intraocular pressure may be due to its unique ability to stimulate adenylate cyclase activity and increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) which regulates and activates critical enzymes required for the cellular energy required to move fluid in the body.

Forskolin's primary mode of action is to increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cAMP-mediated functions, via activation of the enzyme adenylate cyclase. As a therapeutic intervention in congestive heart failure, forskolin has been shown to activate the enzyme adenylate cyclase, which increases production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in heart muscle cells (cardiac muscle).

There isn't much research on Coleus forskohlii's safety, but so far it hasn't caused any adverse reactions in people. There have hardly been any human studies with coleus forskohlii; therefore we don't know what kind of interactions there could be when this herb or its extract is combined with prescription medicines. Forskolin is responsible for virtually all pharmacological activities attributed to Coleus forskohlii; extracts of this constituent have been used in nearly all existing studies.

This herb may help with many diseases such as lung disease, heart disease, intestinal spasms, insomnia, convulsions, hypothyroidism, cancer, fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin, and reduce blood pressure. Given the wide range of uses this herb has to offer this herb has not been studied in high doses so use caution if you exceed the recommended dosage on the bottle. If you are considering the use of this herb, consult your doctor before self administering while on prescription drugs.
About the Author
More information on forskohlii Root Extract is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/
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