Coleus Forskolin Analyzed Feature Image

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Forskolin is made from the root of a plant in the mint family. The plant grows in Nepal, India, and Thailand. It has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Forskolin contains some unique functional elements, including the presence of a tetrahydropyran-derived heterocyclic ring. Forskolin is a commonly used material in laboratory research to increase levels of cyclic AMP by stimulation of adenylate cyclase.

Forskolin has a long history of use in traditional medicine, including Ayurveda, where it has been used to support lung, heart, and urinary health, among numerous other uses. Forskolin, as an herb, contains many active compounds, however, it is the plants tuberous root that is said to contain the most powerful compounds on offer from this leafy herb. 

The Bottom Line – Forskolin is a plant that grows in Nepal, thought to have active compounds that can aid fat burning and weight loss.

Forskolin Health Benefits

The main health benefits of Forskolin are said to be weight loss through fat burning when used as a supplement.

Below is a list of the possible benefits we’ve found:

Forskolin may aid with weight loss in overweight and obese patients

Although Forskolin research is fairly limited, one promising study conducted in 2005 by University of Kansas, Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Applied Physiology Laboratory, Lawrence took 30 male subjects and prescribed half of the group with 250 mg of 10% forskolin extract twice a day for a 12-week period.

Forskolin was shown to elicit favorable changes in body composition by significantly decreasing body fat percentage (BF%) and fat mass (FM) as determined by DXA compared with the placebo group. Additionally, forskolin administration resulted in a change in bone mass for the 12-week trial compared with the placebo group.

Oral ingestion of forskolin for a 12-week period was shown to favorably alter body composition while concurrently increasing bone mass and serum free testosterone levels in overweight and obese men. The results indicate that forskolin is a possible therapeutic agent for the management and treatment of obesity. [1]

How To Use Forskolin

Forskolin is only taken via supplements.

The most common methods of taking Forskolin are:

  1. Capsule

The guideline recommended dosage of Forskolin is one capsule per day of 250mg Coleus Forskohlii Extract.

Are There Any Foods That Contain Forskolin?

No, this is only found in the herb itself and extracted into capsule form.

Forskolin Side Effects List

Side effects usually only occur from excessive amounts of Forskolin, and can include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Flushing and fast heartbeats
  • Coughing
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Irritation in your upper respiratory tract

Note: these side effects are possible but may not be the typical user experience.

Is Forskolin Safe?

There is very little research or study conducted to confirm if Forskolin supplementation is safe.

  • If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding: Consult a medical professional.
  • If you’re a child under the age of 18: Consult a medical professional.

Has Forskolin Been Linked To Any Deaths?

Forskolin has not been linked to any deaths.

The Bottom Line – Forskolin appears to be safe, however, more research needs to be carried out to confirm this.

Where Can I Buy Forskolin & Do I Need A Prescription?

Forskolin can be purchased as a supplement without the need for a prescription.


Forskolin is an herb that originates from Nepal. It has been used as an aid to weight loss in capsule form and some studies do show Forskolin can aid weight loss, however, there is very little cohort research to support this initial evidence and more research needs to be conducted to confirm the efficiency of this dietary supplement.

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Fact Checked

This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified nutritionist, and only uses information from credible academic sources.