Coleus forskohli is a perennial member of the mint, or Lamiaceae. It is now grown around the world as an ornamental plant.
Forskolin is a chemical found in the coleus herb that activates the enzyme adenylate cyclase. Andenylate cyclase compound initiates a myriad of critical events and processes within all the cells of the human body. Adenylate cyclase and the chemicals it activates are responsible for executing a number of important hormonal processes. Stimulation that is caused by forskolin supposedly leads to blood vessel dilation, inhibition of allergic reactions, and possibly an increased secretion of thyroid hormone. Forskolin has other reported uses as well, including inhibition of the pro-inflammatory substance known as platelet-activating factor (PAF) 6 and inhibition of the spread of cancer cells.