Weight Management 5 MIN READ 146 VIEWS July 23, 2022

How Forskolin Benefits You in Your Weight Loss Journey

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Forskolin Uses
Forskolin Benefits for Weight Loss
How Does Forskolin Aid Weight Loss?
Studies Prove Forskolin Weight Loss Efficacy
Recommended Forskolin Dosage
Side Effects of Forskolin
Who Should Avoid Forskolin?

Forskolin has been a part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is obtained from the dried roots of a plant called the Indian Coleus (Coleus Forskohlii). A tropical plant of the mint family, Indian coleus, grows in Thailand, India, and Nepal. The plant extract has been used to prevent and treat several medical conditions. Forskolin uses include managing conditions like glaucoma, asthma, insomnia, skin diseases, and more. But what seems most pronounced is Forskolin’s role in weight loss. Read through to find out more about Forskolin benefits and Forskolin weight loss supplement.

Forskolin Uses

The roots of the Coleus plant are considered to have high medicinal value. Forskolin is thus an active ingredient in many herbal products. The documented Forskolin uses include:

  1. Cardiovascular ailments, especially idiopathic congestive cardiomyopathy as it acts on the muscles of the heart and walls of the blood vessels. 
  2. Inhaling a single dose of Forskolin helps improve difficult breathing in asthma.
  3. Helps improve dry eye symptoms
  4. Injecting Forskolin at the base of the penis helps improve sexual erectile dysfunction in men.
  5. To treat high blood pressure
  6. Dilated cardiomyopathy or weakened and enlarged heart
  7. Helps relieve Glaucoma by lowering the pressure in the eyes by lowering fluid inflow. 
  8. Improves blood flow by relaxing the muscles in the blood vessels
  9. Helps reduce inflammation thereby preventing surgical complications
  10. Allergies
  11. Blood clots
  12. Increases the production of protein melanin which protects against DNA damage and cancer
  13. Chest pain or angina
  14. Insomnia or poor sleep
  15. Digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome 
  16. Improves insulin sensitivity in diabetes
  17. Relieves menstruation pain
  18. Seizures
  19. Improves fertility by improving the development of egg cell
  20. Skin issues
  21. Urinary tract infections 
  22. Bladder infections

Forskolin Benefits for Weight Loss

In addition to the several Forskolin uses listed above, Forskolin is used as an active weight loss supplement. Forskolin weight loss supplement shot to popularity after scientific studies showed positive results and proved efficacy.

How Does Forskolin Aid Weight Loss?

While some weight loss supplements help reduce weight by reducing nutrient absorption, others increase and activate metabolism. This helps in increasing the breakdown of fats which in turn leads to weight loss. Some supplements act directly on the enzymes linked to hunger namely, leptin and ghrelin. 

Forskolin and commonly tested synthetic forskolin analogues namely, Colforsin daropate, NKH477, and FSK88 aid weight loss by clubbing together different aspects of weight loss supplements. 

Forskolin is a diterpene. It directly acts on enzymes called lipase and adenylate cyclase. The enzyme adenylate cyclase in turn activates Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP) in the cell, promoting the breakdown of fat cells. This increases the basal metabolic rate and helps the body burn fats to generate energy. 

As Forskolin increases cAMP accumulation, it stimulates lipolysis, a metabolic process that promotes the breakdown of adipose fat and utilises it for heat, energy, and insulation. Increased levels of lipolysis increase fat degradation and its usage as a fuel. This triggers fat loss without loss of muscle mass.

Forskolin also helps increase the levels of free testosterone. Higher levels of testosterone circulating in the blood stimulate the release of fat from the fat cells. This also helps increase muscle mass.

Studies Prove Forskolin Weight Loss Efficacy

Results from several studies have helped establish Forskolin as a potent weight loss supplement.

30 overweight and obese people when administered Forskolin extract together with a low-calorie diet, reported reduced weight gain, improved insulin resistance, and better-managed blood cholesterol levels. The use of Forskolin also reduced the risk of metabolic syndrome

In another trial, Forskolin weight loss supplements were tested on 30 obese men. The researchers found a decrease in body fat with increased levels of testosterone in men who were administered active supplements as compared to the control group. Forskolin use also improved bone structure. However, Forskolin benefits were more pronounced in young men as compared to middle-aged men.

Forskolin, when applied as a cream on the inner thighs, led to substantial local fat loss. The reduced thigh girth measurement was seen in 28 women. Likewise, a slimming product containing Forskolin and other compounds namely, tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, caffeine, carnitine, and retinol, helped reduce circumference measurement. It also leads to improved body toning. The results were observed in 78 women.

Forskolin, along with rolipram, a drug used to treat depression, helped destroy fats and prevent weight gain. Furthermore, Forskolin, when used in combination with isoprenaline, also helped destroy body fats by activating cAMP in the cells.

When consumed orally, the recommended dose of Forskolin is 100-250 mg/day with 10-20% forskolin extract. When inhaled using a Spinhaler inhalator, the recommended dose of Forskolin powder is 10 mg. The Forskolin weight loss supplement works best when consumed on an empty stomach in the morning. At this time, its absorption is the highest. 

Side Effects of Forskolin

The standard dose of Forskolin is considered safe and is typically well tolerated. However, common side effects reported include gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea because of increased production of acid in the stomach which leads to increased bowel movement and loose stools.

Forskolin, when used intravenously, can lead to flushing, fast heartbeats, and low blood pressure. 

Forskolin, when inhaled, may increase irritation in the upper respiratory tract. It is also linked to cough, respiratory tract irritation, and restlessness.

Other side effects include: stinging of the eyes, enlarging of blood vessels in the eyes, and headaches.

Who Should Avoid Forskolin?

As Forskolin has a high drug-interaction history, its use must be avoided by:

  1. People on blood thinners
  2. People on antiplatelet drugs 
  3. People on high blood pressure drugs like beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, Clonidine, and Hydralazine
  4. People with polycystic kidney disease. 
  5. Pregnant women
  6. Breastfeeding mothers


In its natural habitat, the roots of Forskolin are boiled in tea and used to promote general health and wellness. Forskolin uses extend to a range of medical conditions including heart ailments, eye troubles, and erectile dysfunction. It improves female fertility by improving the development of the egg cell. The extract is also helpful in correcting urinary tract and bladder infections.

Forskolin helps create enzymes namely, lipase and adenylate cyclase. These enzymes work by freeing the fatty acids from the cells. These fat cells are then burned as fuel. The icing on the cake is that Forskolin supplements help reduce fat without cutting down on muscle mass.

But Forskolin supplements must be used in tandem with proper diet and exercise to achieve weight loss results. Indulging in a high-calorie diet or skipping exercise on a regular basis will affect weight loss results too. 

It is important to talk to your health care practitioner before starting Forskolin weight loss supplements because of its side effects and drug-interaction history.

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