Coleus (Coleus forskohlii) Extract Forskolin 10% by HPLC
Coleus, commonly known as Patharchur, belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is believed to have originated in Indian sub- continent. It grows wild in the subtropical temperate climates of India, Nepal, Burma, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Coleus is a perennial plant growing to about 45 - 60 cm tall. It has four angled stems that are branched and nodes are often hairy. It has golden brown, thick, fibrous and radially spreading roots. The roots are tuberous, fasciculated and strongly aromatic. In traditional Ayurveda C. forskohlii has been used for treating heart diseases, abdominal colic, respiratory disorder, insomnia, convulsions, asthma, bronchitis, intestinal disorders, burning sensation, constipation, epilepsy and angina. Forskolin is the main active constituent of the roots of Coleus. It is a labdane diterpenoid. It is known to reduce blood pressure. Forskolin activates an enzyme, adenylate cyclase, which increases cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in body cells, which is the most important cell-regulating compound. Activation of cAMP results in inhibition of platelet activation, increased force of contraction of heart muscle, relaxation of smooth muscle, increased insulin secretion and increased thyroid function. Due to its cAMP stimulating properties forskolin have been used in the cosmetic industry to prepare drugs and tonics for weight loss and body shape management.