Objective: There are more than 300 million patients with hypertension in China, and at least 1 in 5 is using or
has ever used Chinese Medicine (CM) treatment.
Scope: This article reviews the efficacy and safety of CM as monotherapy and in combination with western medicine
(WM) to explore its potential role in the clinical management of hypertension.
Methods: Relevant articles were identified through PubMed, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) Database,
VIP Chinese Journal Database, Wanfang Database, and China Biological Medicine Database (CBM-disc) search (up
to 31 March, 2013).
Findings: A total of 27 RCTs and 7 systematic reviews (including meta-analyses) were identified. These articles suggested
that although as monotherapy, CM has limited effect for hypertension, while combined with WM, it does have a
favorable effect of antihypertension. The combination therapy could not only improve the quality of life and the symptoms
of hypertensive patients, such as dizziness and headache, but also stabilize blood pressure variability (BP). Moreover,
the combined treatment of CM and WM may further reduce BP to the target levels for patients failed with hypertension
control. Besides, the combination therapy also has more favorable effects than any WM monotherapy in protecting
target organs as well as avoiding adverse reactions.
Conclusion: When combined with WM, CM as a complementary treatment approach has certain effects for the control of
hypertension and protection of target organs. However, more well-designed studies should be conducted to make a solid