ypertension (HTN) is a high blood pressure medical term. It’s classified either as primary or secondary. Approximately 90 to 95% of cases are referred to as primary HTN, which refers to high BP for which there is no medical cause. The remaining 5 to 10%, called secondary HTN, are caused by other conditions affecting the kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.
It is dangerous because it makes the heart too hard to work and contributes to atherosclerosis (artery hardening) and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Long term hypertension can also lead to other conditions such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. Changes in diet and lifestyle as well as in medicines can improve BP control and reduce the risk of related health problems.
Many side effects are usually related to these available conventional antihypertensive medications. About 75 to 80 percent of the world’s population use herbal medicines for primary health care, mainly in developing countries, because they are more acceptable to the human body and have less side effects.
Many concerted efforts have been made in the past three decades to investigate local plants with hypotensive and antihypertensive therapeutic values. Some of them are as follow.
GARLIC: Garlic has been used for many cardiovascular conditions, in particular hyperlipidemia, for a long time. Hypotensive action has also been reported. The production of nitric oxide is expected to increase, leading to smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation.
GINGER: Ginger can safely be used for the treatment of hypertension in traditional medicine system with lesser unwanted effects.
CARROT: Carrot has been used to treat HTN in traditional medicine. Its hypotensive effect is mediated through its histaminergic activity.
TOMATO: Tomato has also been used to treat HTN in traditional medicine.
AJWAIN: Ajwain produces a decrease in BP and heart rate and can be used to control BP as an antihypertensive agent.
BASIL: Basil is a lovely herb that can be found in a variety of foods. It could also help decrease your blood pressure.
CINNAMON: Cinnamon is another delicious assault which requires little effort to be included in your daily diet and can reduce your blood pressure.
FLAX SEED: Flax seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to lower blood pressure in some studies.
TEA: Green tea and oolong tea demonstrated a reduced risk of HTN development.
COFFEE: Coffee relaxes the smooth muscle and reduces BP by inhibiting Ca2 + influx through a receptor-operated channel and a voltage-sensitive channel, showing its non-selectivity on these Ca2 + channels and can, therefore, be used to manage high blood pressure.
Over the past two decades, the renewed interest in the search for new drugs from natural sources, in particular from plant sources, has won global attention. Therefore, with fewer side effects and better bioavailability for future HTN treatment, the above mentioned natural plants and herbs can be our source of drugs.