Many artists around the world suffer from asthma, that’s no secret. Recently, inhaler sales have dropped and the reason for this might surprise you. According to August 2015’s Asthma Fact Sheet Report published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with statistics sourced by CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), asthma is a serious health problem even today. (1) The report stated that:
- Approximately 23 million individuals have asthma which includes six million children
- It accounts for over 15 million hospital visits and 2 million emergency visits annually
- Asthma is the 3rd ranking cause for children below 15 years of age being admitted in hospitals
- The economic cost of asthma annually is more than US $56 billion
Scientists are actively conducting researches to find new, more effective and alternative medicine to treat asthma and lower its symptoms. And one such breakthrough treatment that has proven to have effective results on patients with asthma is the use of Forskolin. Asthma basically, is an allergic disorder of the lungs in which inflammation and spasms of the bronchial passages restrict the air flow in the lungs, resulting in respiratory distress.
Before we share with you different researches that have been performed over the years on Forskolin and that show its positive effects on patients with asthma, let us first give you an overview of what Forskolin is and how does it work.
Forskolin – An Overview
Forskolin is an active constituent extracted from Coleus Forskohlii. According to this Forskolin review, it is a plant that can be best described as the perennial member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It grows in India, Thailand and Sri Lanka. The plant is proven to have medicinal benefits in its roots. Historically, Forskolin extracted from Coleus Forskohlii has been used by Hindus as an Ayurvedic medicine for treating conditions like eczema, insomnia, hypertension and convulsions. However, over the years, after several researches, scientists have realized and recognized the therapeutic benefits of Forskolin on asthma.
Mechanism of Action
Researches show that Forskolin, when injected in the body, increases cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) and its mediated functions by activating the adenylate cyclase enzymes. Unlike other established drugs for asthma already in the market that are designed to increase cAMP levels by inhibiting phosphodiesterase enzyme (responsible for breaking down cAMP), Forskolin directly increases cAMP levels in the body. It functions as an effective and smooth muscle relaxer that results in decreased air way resistance, bronchodilation, and forced expiratory volume along with increased vital capacity. All these are essential pulmonary functions that are negatively affected by asthma.
Scientific Evidence on the Therapeutic Benefits of Forskolin for Asthma
Let us now take a look at some of the studies that have convinced both scientists and doctors alike that Forskolin has therapeutic benefits and can treat asthma symptoms in patients:
According to a study published in 2003 conducted by Martin Hum DHD, Ph. D examining the causes of asthma and how dietary therapy can help, mentions Forskolin as one of the most effective herbal remedies for treating asthma. He stated based on numerous clinical trials that he had studied and observed. In this report, he states that a small double blind trial showed that when Forskolin powder was inhaled by patients with asthma, it helped lower lung spasms in comparison to placebo. (2)
In a report published in Volume 11 of Alternative Medicine Review 2006 highlighted the study by Bauer K. and Sertl K,that showed the benefits of Forskolin for treating asthma. The report stated that aerosolized dry powder of Forskolin helped provide relax the bronchial muscles and also alleviated asthma symptoms. It further supported this fact illustrating the results of a randomized double blind and placebo controlled trial that was conducted for Forskolin and Fenoterol.
The study was conducted on 16 patients with asthma who were given 10 mg dose of Forskolin in dry powder form, 0.4 mg of Fenoterol (asthma medication) and placebo. The results showed that Forskolin and Fenoterol administration resulted in positive and significant bronchodilation results. However, only Fenoterol administration in patients resulted in side-effects like tremor in their fingers and reduction in the levels of plasma potassium. What was interesting in this research study was that these side-effects were not seen in Forskolin administration.
Another study that showed positive and therapeutic benefits of Forskolin for asthma is by Lichey I, and Friedrich T, titled “Effect of Forskolin on Methacholine induced bronchoconstriction in extrinsic asthmatics. The study was conducted in 1984. It included 12 asthmatic subjects who were nebulized with Forskolin. Six patients experienced increase in forced expiratory-volume, 2 patients reported instant bronchoconstriction relief while 4 patients experienced relief after ten to fifteen minutes. No adverse side-effects like tremors and palpitations were experienced by patients during Forskolin administration. Additionally, their heart rates and blood pressure levels remain stable during the study.
Supporting the result findings of the above mentioned study, another research that was conducted in 2006 and published by the title “Forskolin versus sodium cromoglycate for prevention of asthma attacks: a single-blinded clinical trial” indicated that the use of Forskolin can lower the risk of asthma attacks in patients and is more effective than prophylactic use of traditional medicines.
The clinical trial was conducted on 40 subjects that included both adults and children with either moderate or mild asthma. They were randomly assigned to 6 months treatment of 10 mg per day Forskolin capsules or with 2 sodium cromoglycate inhalations after every 8 hours and 3 times a day. The results of the study showed that only 8/10 patients in Forskolin administered group experienced asthma attacks during the period of the treatment while 17/20 (85 percent) reported to have asthma attacks who received sodium cromoglycate treatment. (3)
What Can We Conclude?
Based on the research studies and their findings, we can conclude that Forskolin is indeed an effective treatment for lowering asthma symptoms in patients. The use of Forskolin can help asthma patients get relief from respiratory distress. Though there are no studies so far that show that it can help patients overcome asthma for good, but nonetheless, it has proven to be an effective treatment to lower asthma attacks and decrease airway resistance.