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What is Coleus Forskohlii (Forskolin)?

What is Coleus Forskohlii (Forskolin)?

Coleus Forskohlii is a perennial plant typically found in subtropical climates such as India, Burma, and Thailand.

It has played an important role in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years but has only recently been discovered by the Western world.

Coleus Forskohlii is of particular interest to scientific and medicinal communities because it produces Forskolin, a compound naturally obtained from the root of the plant.

Random fact: According to Wikipedia, Coleus Forskohlii leaves are used as toilet paper in rural areas of Kenya.


WebMD describes how Forskolin is used for an array of medicinal purposes:

  • Healthcare providers sometime give forskolin intravenously (by IV) for heart failure.
  • Some people breathe in (inhale) forskolin powder for asthma.
  • Forskolin drops are used in the eyes to treat glaucoma.
  • When taken by mouth, it has been used to treat high blood pressure, allergies, skin conditions, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, bladder infections, blood clots, convulsions, and trouble sleeping.

The main method of action of Forskolin is the activation of the enzyme adenylyl cyclase which increases intracellular levels of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate), an important signal carrier required for cell communication.

Increasing cAMP levels has been shown to have significant nootropic effects including increased cognition [1], improved long term memory [2], increased wakefulness [3], and neuroprotection. [4] [5]

Forskolin is also thought to work as a vasodilator. It can increase blood flow to the brain resulting in better nutrient and oxygen delivery to the brain cells.

Natural Stacks featured product, CILTEP combines Forskolin with Artichoke Extract (which prevents the breakdown of excessive cAMP) to induce Long Term Potentiation for achieving motivation, concentration, and long-term memory.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704616/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9844008
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9700966
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11388438
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17398001
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