Coleus is probably better known in the western world as a beautiful plant with variegated and colorful leaves of pink, purple and green. However, in it’s native India it is also valued for it’s medicinal qualities.
The active constituent of coleus is forskolin. Forskolin is noted for its stimulation of the enzyme adenylate cyclase, which raises cyclic adenosine monophosphate, aka: cAMP. The distinctive functions of cAMP include: reduced histamine reactions, reduced blood pressure, dilation of blood vessels, thyroid hormone production and the breakdown of adipose/fat tissue. In all, forskolin improves metabolic function.
Forskolin reduces basophil and mast cell stimulation directly inhibiting allergic reactions including asthma, allergic reactions such eczema.
In addition, Forskolin is beneficial in its stimulation of digestive and pancreatic enzymes, allowing for improved absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.
Forskolin is contraindicated for patients using antihypertensive/anticoagulant medications, such as warfarin-Coumadin. Caution is also advised for those with hypotension, as forskolin is a natural blood thinner.