Coleus forskohlii is a plant species native to Asia that goes by the scientific name of Plectranthus barbatus and is commonly called forskohlii and Indian coleus. It is known for its popular use in weight loss supplements in the form of pills or diet. The chemical name of Coleus is a bit of a tongue twister- 17β-acetoxy-8, 13-epoxy-1α, 6β, 9α-trihydroxylabd-14-en-11-one. The plant has found varied usage in the treatment of heart diseases, pains and spasms including urination pain and convulsions. The extracts of the plant are widely used in Brazil and South America as a part of home remedy in the form of herbal tea.



Coleus forskohlii root extract is being used since centuries and has been a part of traditional folk medicine to cure deadly heart spasms and kidney related pains. The extract mainly comes from three different species of the same family of the plant namely Coleus barbatus, Forskolina, and Colforsin. Apart from curing heart and kidney related diseases, the extract is also helpful in treating improper lung conditions and even glaucoma which causes damage to the optic nerve by intraocular pressure build-up in the eye.  Different in-vitro studies reveal that the components of Coleus forskohlii rosmarinic acid, flavonoid glucuronides and diterpenoids contributes to the antioxidant activity and inhibits the over-functioning of acetylcholinesterase enzyme (helps in neurotransmission).

Does it help in weight loss?

Obesity is one of the largest biological disorders among the overgrowing population that has raised the eyebrows of all the scientists globally. The outlook of the present world shows the rising graph of obese persons with time which has created havoc in the medical research field in order to find cure to the problem. Different medical products and dietary supplements are coming into existence to rescue the masses, which if not controlled in given time may result into a massive outburst. Coleus forskohlii plant has revealed its property of promoting weight loss, bringing its usage in the modern day research as a dietary supplement. Plants with important phytochemicals serving as a boon for the proper functioning of the human body have always caught the eyes of scientists to develop drugs and supplements for the betterment of humanity since ages. According to WHO, about 25% of the drugs and other medications are derived from this plant in the US. Intake of the plant extract as a supplement before or after a meal is standardised by the dietician according to a person’s biology.

Mechanism of weight loss:

The main pathway by which the components of Coleus forskohlii help increase the rate of weight loss in body naturally is by the production of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate). The abundance of cAMP contributes to a number of health benefits. cAMP lowers the blood pressure by posing a relaxation effect on the walls of blood vessels, enhances better contraction of heart muscles that improves cardiac mechanisms, promotes efficient bronchiole dilation by reducing inflammation for treating asthma. Additional contribution of Coleus forskohlii includes curing skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. The overall manipulation caused by the plant extract in the cAMP pathway leads to the relaxation of all the smooth-walled tissues in the body that promotes weight loss and other related disorders.