Plectranthus barbatus

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Indian coleus
Plectranthus barbatus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Plectranthus
P. barbatus
Binomial name
Plectranthus barbatus

Plectranthus barbatus, also known by the synonym Coleus forskohlii and vernacular names forskohlii[2] and Indian coleus, is a tropical perennial plant related to the typical coleus species. It produces forskolin, an extract useful for pharmaceutical preparations and research in cell biology.[3]


The Brazilian name is boldo brasileiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbowdu bɾɐziˈlejɾu], as opposed to the Chilean true boldo), boldo-da-terra ([ˈbowdu dɐ ˈtɛʁɐ]), boldo-de-jardim ([ˈbowdu dʒi ʒaʁˈdʒĩ]) or tapete-de-Oxalá ([tɐˈpetʃi dʒ oʃaˈla]) (Oxalá's carpet, because of its velvety texture).


Chemical structure of forskolin

Herbal teas made from Plectranthus barbatus contains rosmarinic acid and also flavonoid glucuronides and diterpenoids.[4][5] The chemical constituents of Plectranthus barbatus showed activities in vitro, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibition.[3][4][5]

Forskolin, which derives its name from the former binomial name Coleus forskohlii, is a constituent of Plectranthus barbatus.[3][6]


In Ayurvedic traditional medicine, Coleus has been used to treat heart diseases, spasmodic pain, painful urination and convulsions.[7]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
  2. ^ "Plectranthus barbatus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Alasbahi, R. H.; Melzig, M. F. (2010). "Plectranthus barbatus: A review of phytochemistry, ethnobotanical uses and pharmacology - Part 1". Planta Medica. 76 (7): 653–61. doi:10.1055/s-0029-1240898. PMID 20178070.
  4. ^ a b Falé, P.L., Borges, C., Madeira, P.J.A., Ascensão, L.; et al. (2009). "Rosmarinic acid, scutellarein 4′-methyl ether 7-O-glucuronide and (16S)-coleon E are the main compounds responsible for the antiacetylcholinesterase and antioxidant activity in herbal tea of Plectranthus barbatus ("falso boldo")". Food Chem. 114 (3): 798–805. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.10.015.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b Porfírio S, Falé PL, Madeira PJ, Florêncio MH, Ascensão L, Serralheiro ML (2010). "Antiacetylcholinesterase and antioxidant activities of Plectranthus barbatus tea, after in vitro gastrointestinal metabolism". Food Chem. 122: 179–187. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.02.044.
  6. ^ Pizzorno, Joseph E.; Murray, Michael T. (2012). Textbook of Natural Medicine (4th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. p. 686. ISBN 9781437723335.
  7. ^ Dubey MP, Srimal RC, Nityanand S, et al. (1981). "Pharmacological studies on coleonol, a hypotensive diterpene from Coleus forskohlii". J Ethnopharmacol. 3 (1): 1–13. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(81)90010-6. PMID 7193263.

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