Forskolin: Health Benefits and Side Effects

February 19, 2021

Losing weight can be an extremely complex task considering the fact that only 15% of people succeed in losing weight using conventional methods. Those who fail often seek help from herbal medicines or dietary supplements. One of those herbal supplements is forskolin, a compound found in plants and claimed to be high-effective in losing weight. 

What is Forskolin?

Indian coleus or coleus forskohlii is a tropical plant from the mint family. The roots of this plant are composed of an active compound named Forskolin. This plant has been in use as a traditional medicine for centuries and modern science has confirmed that it does have a number of health benefits. Apart from being an aid in losing weight, Forskolin can be helpful in improving blood flow, preventing asthma attacks, and improving glaucoma. 

Potential Health Benefits of Forskolin

Weight Loss

Whether you have Coleus Forskohill extract or a pure forskolin supplement, both are highly effective against obesity and weight gain. A clinical trial held over 30 obese and overweight individuals found that consuming Coleus forskohlii along with a low-calorie diet helps reducing insulin resistance, blood cholesterol, and weight gain. Another trial found it to be helpful in increasing weight and decreasing body fat. 

There has been evidence of C. forskohlii extract being effective in preventing weight gain rather than contributing to weight loss directly without any side-effects from other supplements. Even applying cream on thighs has shown to reduce thigh girth in women.


An eye defect glaucoma may lead to blindness due to an abnormal or high pressure on the eye. Its treatment involves simple eye drop medications. An enzyme called soluble adenylyl cyclase directly makes cAMP (a nucleotide named cyclic adenosine monophosphate) and is actively involved in the functioning of an eye. It can effectively reduce pressure in the eyes by cutting down on fluid inflow. Forskolin eye drops activate this enzyme and immediately reduce the fluid pressure in human eyes, rabbits, and monkeys.


A study conducted in 2006 by the Journal of International Medical Research found that forskolin can fend off asthma attacks. Over 40 adults with persistent asthma were involved in the study. The results took everyone by surprise when forskolin supplements turned out to be better than sodium cromoglycate (a common medicine for asthma) in reducing the incidence of attacks. 

Possible Side Effects

Built from a plant-based compound, Forskolin supplements are not that harmful to humans. However, evidence of long-term safety is yet to be discovered. Some people may experience a few common side effects when taking Forskolin supplement for the first time which is normal. These include:


  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Slow Heart Rate
  • Diarrhea


While Forskolin also leaves mild to no side effects on people consuming other medications along with it, you can still consult your healthcare provider once before consuming it with other drugs. If you are taking any of the following medicines, we recommend consulting your doctor before having a Forskolin supplement. 

  • High blood pressure medicines including calcium channel blocker and beta-blockers\
  • Anticoagulants like Coumadin
  • Antiplatelets such as Plavix


Forskolin was introduced to the world of medicines and supplements by Ayurveda after which its effectiveness was backed by Science. It can not only help you with weight loss but also prevents weight gain. If you find a pure Forskolin supplement, incorporate it with all the other things you have been doing for weight loss and witness instant improvement.