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Does Forskolin Really Work?

Losing weight can be extremely difficult. Some studies show that only 15% of people succeed using conventional weight loss methods. Perhaps, those who fail are more likely to seek solutions like dietary supplements and herbal medicines. One of them is forskolin, a natural plant compound claimed to be a weight loss supplement. Here are some facts about forskolin and its side effects.

What is it?

Forskolin is an extract from the root of of Plectranthus barbatus, also known as Coleus Forskohlii, which is a plant from India. In ancient human history, Ayurvedic healers made great use of this herb for the treatment of many health issues. Forskolin is also a compound that is found in great concentration within the Coleus Forskohlii root. The roots of this plant have been ground up, eaten, and used in teas by Ayurvedic healers for centuries, but now isolated Forskolin supplements are readily available on the consumer market as standardized extracts at guide to diet pills. Forskolin has shown the ability to help with many health conditions such as obesity, hormonal issues, heart health, and many more. As with all plants, there are many more compounds found within the Coleus Forskohlii than just Forskolin. Research has shown that the active alkaloid Forskolin is by far the most beneficial compound for health purposes.

Who makes it?

Forskolin comes from a plant known as Coleus Forskohlii. This seedling is known to be native to parts of India, the tropical areas of Africa, Sri Lanka and Brazil. Being something that naturally occurs, there is no single company that holds the exclusive rights to products supplements with this substance. Some of the companies that are known to produce supplements of this plant root include Swanson, Rightway Nutrition, Irwin Naturals, Enzymatic Therapy, Live Long Nutrition Nature’s Way and so on.


The Indian coleus plant has been a part of traditional herbal medicine for centuries. It has been used to treat conditions such as heart disease, asthma, bronchitis and constipation.

In humans, forskolin supplements may also:

  • Widen the air passages in the lungs, helping to relieve asthma.
  • Increase bone mineral density, lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Stimulate testosterone formation, promoting the maintenance of muscle mass.

Does it really work?

If consumed the proper way, there is potential for this ingredient to help in weight management. However, the correct way to take this supplement is either through inhalation or intravenously. When it is taken orally, the effects are not known to be existent.

There was a study done on Forskolin, in which there were 15 overweight men who took the substance for duration of 12 weeks. Improvements that they noticed were a reduction in fat mass, a heightening of testosterone levels and sinking in body fat percentage. However weight loss did not occur. Despite this, that hasn’t stopped the likes of Dr. Oz and other diet pill companies as marking this substance as a great help for weight loss. However, the relation is enough to get people to buy it and to the people who make money selling this and that’s all that matters.

There are a lot of substances out there that diet pill companies like to add to their products. There is no doubt that some of these substances are beneficial for not only overall health, but supporting weight management as well. While there are some medicinal uses for this plant root, people won’t be dropping weight with this any time soon. It’s always important to do your own research when looking into health supplements to make sure that it’s good for you.