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Coleus Forskholii

The basic mechanism of action of Coleus is the activation of an enzyme, adenylate cyclase, which increases the amount of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in cells. Cyclic AMP is perhaps the most important cell regulating compound. Once formed it activates many other enzymes involved in diverse cellular functions. The effects of raised cAMP include: inhibition of mast cell degranulation and histamine release, inhibition of platelet activation and degranulation, increased force of contraction of heart muscle, relaxation of the arteries and other smooth muscles, increased insulin secretion, increased thyroid function, and increased lypolysis (fat breakdown). Note: smooth muscle refers to the tissue found in the bronchials, GI tract, uterus, bladder and arteries.


50mg two to three times daily, standardised to contain 10 percent forskolin.

Potential applications

Eczema / Psoriasis, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, allergic conditions, glaucoma, weight control, IBS, dry mouth syndrome, immune enhancement.

Known contraindications

Caution suggested in those with peptic ulcer or hypotension.


Caution in those taking anti-coagulant, antihypertensive, and antiasthmatic medication as it may potentiate the effects of these drugs.

Use in conjunction with

May be particularly useful in combination with Hawthorn in some cases. Other links include milk thistle, digestive enzymes, quercetin, flax/hemp seed oil.

© Cheryl Thallon at Viridian

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