Forskolin is a herbal treatment that is derived from the root of the plant Coleus forskohlii. It ha played a very significant role in the Indian traditional medicine for ages. It is also found in Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Thailand but is used all over the world. It works by activating and stimulating enzyme adenylate cyclase.


It is used in the treatment of glaucoma, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, and heart disease among other conditions. In addition, it may help in the management of inflammatory conditions such as eczema and asthma, improvement of the general cardiovascular health, reduction of the symptoms of psoriasis, and enhancing weight management programs. Dr. Oz says that it promotes the breakdown of stored fat. It is available in the form of capsule, extract, IV, liquid, and powder.

How Does Forskolin Works

Forskolin Side EffectsConclusive research regarding the health safety of forskolin side effects is not available. This is because there are relatively few studies and tests on the product. Most of the side effects that have been reported are mild. However, that is no reason to be negligent about its side effects. Having said that, there are numerous side effects that have been associated with the use of forskolin.

To start with, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center warns that the use of forskolin may lead to a lower blood pressure. Consequently, this may lead to hypotension, blurred vision, nausea, pale skin, diminished concentration, and loss of consciousness. Furthermore, this may lead to an increased risk of injury due to falling down or tripping. In particular, severe hypotension may lead to permanent brain or heart damage.

Second, the use of forskolin may lead to a side effect known as tachycardia. This is the elevation of the normal heart rate. Consequently, one may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, rapid pulse, and heart palpitation. Dangerous complications that have been associated with tachycardia include blood clot, frequent fainting, heart failure, or sudden death.

Third, forsksolin can lead to increased stomach acid levels. Consequently, one may experience side effects such as indigestion, heart burn, and nausea. Specifically, people with per-existing gastrointestinal health problems such as stomach ulcers may be adversely affected by an increase in stomach acid levels. In fact, it may be fatal in some extreme cases.

The University of Michigan health system advises that one should not take forskolin supplement if one has stomach ulcers. Fourth, forskolin can cause throat and upper respiratory tract irritation, tremor, restlessness, and mild to moderate cough. Lastly, forskolin eye drop formulations can lead to stinging of the eyes and conjunctiva hyperemia (redness).


Preliminary research findings show that forskolin is safe to use to most people at commonly recommended dosages. However, there are some instances when it should be avoided. For example, individuals with duodenal or stomach problems should avoid it. This is because forskolin increases the secretion of digestive juices. Similarly, people with low blood pressure could develop complications after its use.

In addition, people using anti-pellet medications or blood thinners should avoid using forskolin. Moreover, some high blood pressure drugs may not go well with forskolin. These include calcium channel blockers, clonidine, and hydralazine. Furthermore, the use of forskolin should be avoided by people with kidney disease, as well as breastfeeding and pregnant women. Overall, seeking the advice of a health practitioner is paramount in the mitigation of forskolin’s side effects.

Since the case reports and clinical trial data are generally lacking, health practitioners as well as the general public will have to wait a little longer until there is sufficient studies and findings about forskolin side effects.