COLEUS FORSKOLHII: Uses and Benefits

Family: Lamiacea

Genus: Plectranthus

Species: Plectranthus barbatus

Common Name: Forskolhii, Indian Coleus, Coleus Forskolhii, Coleus Barbatus, Makandi

Coleus Forskolhii is a genus of perennial plants native to tropical to sub-tropical areas, hence grows best in well-drained soil, warm climates full sun or partially shaded place. It has an aroma similar to camphor and it’s extremely fragrant due to large amount of essential oils present in the plant. Leaves are ovate in shape and the spiked flowers are typical of the mint family but unlike other plants in the Lamiaceae family, the principal part used medicinally are the pale fibrous roots.

Unlike ornamental coleus, Coleus forskohlii lacks the spectacular colored leaves. It has plain, bright green leaves and flowers that are blue to lavender.Pinching growing tips from stem causes Coleus to branch and become bushier, othervise plant can grow up to 1 metre giving time. The aerial part of the plant is not considered edible but neither is harmful to humans, the most precious and interesting part remain its tuberous roots.


MEDICINAL USE: Medical researchers have documented that Coleus roots contains a potent compound called Forskolin that may have muscle relaxant properties and can dilate blood vessels thereby has a capability to lower blood pressure. With dilated blood vessels the heart works less to pump blood throughout the body. Coleus can provide health benefit for patients suffering from cardiomyopathy. For glaucoma, there are several treatments that may be beneficial and Coleus is one of them. Clinical studies have shown that topical application of one percent forskolin eye drops resulted in significant decreases in intraocular pressure for up to five hours. The forskolin has been found to regulate various enzymes and hormones in human body. Helps to control and cure thyroid gland malfunctioning, especially when the gland is under functioning.


Recently this plant is a hot topic because of its reclaimed ability to help burn fat and accelerate weight loss. Coleus is not just a herb for cardiovascular ailments anymore but is increasingly used to assist weight loss by breaking down adipose tissue and preventing production of further fatty tissue.


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