Forskolin is an herbal extract from the root of the Coleus forskohlii (aka Plectranthus barbatus) plant. This plant has been cultivated for centuries in the Himalayas for medicinal purposes and is an important part of the Ayurvedic pharmacy when it comes to the treatment of skin, lung, gut and heart conditions.
How does it work?
One of the ways, as identified by western scientists, in which this plant impacts the body is by it’s ability to enhance the cAMP system in cells. Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP) is a molecule in cells that acts as transducer or conductor for physiological messages coming from other parts of the body.
For example, your adrenal glands release the hormone adrenalin into your blood stream with the purpose of increasing metabolism for some reason. Adrenalin travels through your blood stream to your bicep or gluteus muscle but is too big to cross the cell wall of your muscle cell and deliver its message. cAMP sits in the cell wall and, when adrenalin presents itself to the cell, cAMP picks up the message and relays it into the cell, to the parts of the cell that will actively ramp up metabolism and energy production.
cAMP is a transducer for many hormones and protein kinases and plays an important role in how the body manages stress, heart conditions, energy homeostasis, chronic pain, infections, cancer metastasis and metabolism.
Why do we use it?
Phyto Pro includes forskolin in it’s 3-in-1 Energiser formulation primarily for the herbs impact on metabolism. We know the body (adrenals, pancreas, liver) produces physiological messages to increase metabolism and burn stored fats for fuel whenever we exercise. But how efficiently these messages are transported to and into cells is where the communication chain often breaks down. Forskolin’s ability to enhance cAMP pathways helps ensure the message relay is continuous and functions optimally.
This is backed up by numerous clinical trials that show how forskolin increases basal metabolism rates, slows down or prevents unhealthy weight gain and even encourages weight loss. This happens via a variety of pathways as cAMP is the middle man for many hormones and molecular messages, from adrenalin and cortisol to testosterone and thyroid hormones, which directly or indirectly impact energy production and fat metabolism.
Forskolin also helps improve how willing cells are to listen to the messages arriving on their doorstep from elsewhere in the body. For example, forskolin helps regulate cortisol, improving when and how much of this stress hormone the body produces. Cortisol is released when the body is under stress, be it mental, physical (exercise) or physiological stress. Forskolin keeps cortisol receptors sites clear of neurotoxin debris, improving cortisol function and leading to lower cortisol secretion levels. Cortisol is one of the hormones that tell the body to hold onto fat stores (for a rainy day) and reducing its levels makes it easier for the body to open up those stores and use fat for fuel. The impact of forskolin on neurotoxin detox pathways is also beneficial to energy production and fat metabolism.
Other benefits of Forskolin?
Some of the clinical studies on how forskolin impacts the body in other ways include:
- Asthma clinical trials that found that forskolin stabilized reactive cells by reduced histamine release and relaxing smooth muscle tissue in the bronchioles, allowing easier movement of air into and out of the lungs.
- Glaucoma clinical trials that found that forskolin reduced the build-up of pressure inside the eyeball.
- Cancer clinical trials that found that forskolin slowed down or stopped the growth of certain rectal cancer tumors and caused multiple myeloma cancer cells to self-destruct.
- High blood pressure trials that found that forskolin significantly reduced blood pressure in 75% of trial participants. The cAMP pathway relaxes the smooth muscle fibers lining the heart, arteries and veins, reducing the build up of pressure and inflammation within the system.
- Blood sugar studies that found that forskolin reduced fasting blood sugar levels with regular use.
- Alzheimer’s studies that found that forskolin reduced plaque build-up and inflammation levels in the brain.
- The gut is lined with smooth muscle fibers and forskolin, via the cAMP system, helps relax these, improving bowel motility and reducing functional constipation.
As you can imagine, the physiological reach of forskolin is wide and deep. But despite this, it is one of the safest herbal extracts available. However, there are always exceptions, and these include the following:
- People with an irregular heartbeat may experience exacerbation of their symptoms. Please consult your practitioner before consuming.
- While forskolin has proven beneficial in some cancers, it has not been cleared for use in all cancers. Please consult your practitioner for more information.
- Because it activates the cAMP system, medications that also rely on this system will have an increased effect on the body. This isn’t always a safe process to navigate yourself so if you use any of the following drugs please consult your practitioner before using:
- Medication that lowers blood pressure, esp. beta blockers
- Medication for heart conditions, esp. nitrates
- People who are pregnant, nursing, have blood disorders, have just had surgery and with suspected PCOS should also consult their practitioners before use.
Forskolin is a wonderful herb, rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals, with a long history of medicinal use in Ayurvedic medicine. Western scientists have only begun to scratch the surface of how it benefits the body, but the limitations of their research do not detract from the millennia of case studies and experiential knowledge from eastern schools of medicine.
As with other nutraceuticals, it is essential to focus on quality. Phyto Pro uses a batch-tested, genetically-verified, standardised forskolin extract that is grown and processed in a clean and environmentally-friendly way. The use of standardised extracts help ensure that every serving of 3-in-1 Energiser provides the same level of forskolin and keeps the message to the body of “increase energy production and fat metabolism” steady and consistent.
Trust Phyto Pro to combine the art and science of Eastern and Western medicine and science to create products that are functional, clean and aligned with the natural systems of the body. Living a healthy lifestyle is easy with Phyto Pro 🌱