Forskolin, a labdane diterpene is the main active ingredient in the ayurvedic herb Coleus forskohlii (Labatiae) that has been used in India since ancient times. The root portion of the plant has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes and contains the active constituent, forskolin. Historically, it has been used to treat hypertension, congestive heart failure, eczema, colic, respiratory disorders, painful urination, insomnia, and convulsions. Clinical studies have justified these traditional uses and indicate its therapeutic potential in asthma, angina, psoriasis, and prevention of cancer metastases. The present review summarizes these reports along with the advancements in research on forskolin as a therapeutic molecule.
Keywords: Forskolin, Coleus forskohli, labdane diterpene
East and Central African Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Vol. 13 (2010) 25- 32