Coleus use as medicine has ancient origins used in Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) with verifiable texts mentioned from ancient Sanskrit writings where it is used as a health tonic, treatment for heart problems, chest pains, lung ailments, digestive disorder and sleeplessness (insomnia).
Recent scientific studies confirmed that coleus contains a potent compound called forskolin that may have muscle relaxant properties and can dilate blood vessels thereby has a capability to lower blood pressure (anti-hypertensive property). With dilated blood vessels the heart works less to pump blood throughout the body. Coleus can provide health benefit for patients suffering from cardiomyopathy.
This activity of the coleus forskohlii to lower blood pressure has been established in a research published in the Journal of Research in Ayurveda, 2011 where it was suggested that patients with hypertension exhibited improved blood pressure after being treated with coleus extract.