Wouldn’t it be nice if you could lose weight only by drinking tea? Well this isn’t that far-fetched of an idea as you might think at first. The coleus plant, native to the south-southeast Asia, primarily in modern-day Nepal and India, is used for generations of the local peoples of the region to make a delicious herbal tea. This in nothing surprising, given the fact that coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) is a part of the mint family of herbs. However, this particular plant has a unique chemical compound that when extracted, may hold a key to help overweight people all over the world with weight loss.
Forskolin is an extract of coleus plant. Today it’s available as a dietary supplement, marketed as a weight loss stimulant. While the whole plant of coleus wasn’t the subject of serious scientific studies when it comes to weight loss, some studies from mid 2000s have suggested that this specific chemical compound can promote accelerated fat burning.
The studies have shown that indeed, when taking the pure forskolin extract, the subjects of the study have experienced a degree of weight loss over the control group, who were given placebo. This study was conducted on a number of men, ranging from overweight to obese.
When the same study was conducted on women, however, the results were not as dramatic, if they were dramatic to begin with. There was no noticeable weight loss with female participants when the two groups (forskolin and placebo) were compared. It may be worth mentioning that the male group who took forskolin also experienced an increase in testosterone production within their bodies.
Another study, this time in 2014 had been done on lab rats. These lab rats were suffering from diabetes, and the study looked at possible treatments for that condition as well as body weight management. Rats were separated into five groups, ranging from the control group, to the group that was given both pure forskolin extract and the drug rolipram. The study concluded that while it did not help with weight loss, forskolin did seem to have an effect on controlling further weight gain, and could be considered as an additional option when taking diabetes medication.
When should you not take forskolin?
It goes without saying that no treatment should be taken on one’s own accord, but only after consulting with a qualified doctor or pharmacist. However, a general rule of thumb is not to take forskolin (or any medication, for that matter):
- If you have a pre-existing medical condition
- If you are currently taking any medication
- Breastfeeding mothers and pregnant ladies should avoid taking this.
While it may not be the simple tea that washes away all of our body weight problems, forskolin seems to stir enough attention with the general public as a “miracle drug” to make research of this extract worthwhile. The existing results are promising, and if combined with the right diet and regular exercise, it may just be the next go-to thing you reach for when you decide that you could use to lose a bit of weight.