Nahida Tabassum, Feroz Ahmad

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):30-40

Hypertension (HTN) is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard and contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), besides increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. HTN can also lead to other conditions such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. Conventional antihypertensives are usually associated with many side effects. About 75 to 80% of the world population use herbal medicines, mainly in developing countries, for primary health care because of their better acceptability with human body and lesser side effects. In the last three decades, a lot of concerted efforts have been channeled into researching the local plants with hypotensive and antihypertensive therapeutic values. The hypotensive and antihypertensive effects of some of these medicinal plants have been validated and others disproved. However, ayurvedic knowledge needs to be coupled with modern medicine and more scientific research needs to be done to verify the effectiveness, and elucidate the safety profile of such herbal remedies for their antihypertensive potential.