Forskolin 101

There are hundreds of supplements on the market today featuring big name ingredients that say they help with any number of ailments, conditions, or goals.  But, sometimes it can be difficult to know what the ingredients are and what they’re supposed to do.  Especially on the weight loss market, a number of supplements have broken onto the scene that are meant to help you shed stubborn pounds and achieve the body of your dreams.  One of these supplements is forskolin.

Forskolin 101

Forskolin comes from the Coleus forskohlii plant, also called the Indian coleus.  It’s a tropical perennial plant, and it has been used for a variety of purposes.  But, is forskolin safe to use?  In this article, we’ll talk about some of the finer points of forskolin, including the uses for forskolin, the side effects, and the substances you shouldn’t combine with forskolin.

Uses for Forskolin

The use of this herb for medicinal reasons is not new.  In fact, folk and traditional remedies using forskolin exist in Ayurvedic medicine and are prolific in South America.  The list of folk uses for the herb seems to go on and on.  Traditional medical uses include alleviating digestive problems, treating skin wounds, helping with infections, and even working as an oral contraceptive and inducing menstruation.  Recently, scientists conducted studies to evaluate the plant’s cardiovascular activity, and some have stood by its use as a remedy for asthma.  Even more recently, forskolin has made waves as an anti-obesity supplement.  Some research does suggest that forskolin could have a positive impact on weight loss and building muscle. 

Forskolin for Weight Loss

Some people stand by forskolin as a solution that can help with weight loss.  Some studies have been conducted using forskolin to test its effectiveness.  Whether or not it induces weight loss consistently is not necessarily clear, but forskolin certainly has positive benefits.  In one study, women who used forskolin reported less fatigue and hunger.  And, experiencing less fatigue and hunger could lead to weight loss over time.  In the future there may be more research about forskolin available.

Risks of Forskolin

While forskolin is natural and countless people have used it over the years, forskolin has not been thoroughly studied by the scientific community.  There have been some negative reactions to the extract.  For example, some report that forskolin may cause low blood pressure, which can be life threatening.  And, while some say forskolin is an effective asthma treatment, it may also cause upper respiratory tract irritation when inhaled.  Headache and increased heart rate have also been reported to occur when taking forskolin. 

Interactions with Drugs and Conditions

Because one of the side effects of forskolin is low blood pressure, it’s important to never take it simultaneously with blood thinners or anti-platelet drugs.  Those with polycystic kidney disease should also avoid forskolin.  And, just with any unstudied supplement, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take forskolin.  If you’re not sure whether or not you can safely take forskolin, it’s important to consult your doctor.  She can tell you if forskolin is a viable option for you.