Hypertension is one of the major cardiovascular problems and causes a number of vascular disorders. Until the 1940s majority of the diseases were treated by traditional drugs obtained from plants/herbs only. Even the first potent herbal antihypertensive was obtained from root of Rauwolfia serpentina, a famous Ayurvedic plant but soon the modern antihypertensives took the center-stage because of their precise, defined and fast action. However, due to their growing adverse effects, interest in the use of these drugs also gradually started waning. This has lead to the resurgence of marked awareness about traditional medicines and a considerable renewed global interest in the plant based drugs. Much emphasis is now being given to validate the extract/fraction as well as single molecules obtained from plant resources based on their traditional claims. In this review, we have laid emphasis on the mechanistic aspect of antihypertensive effect of some medicinal plants and their therapeutic use. We have further tried to shed light on the attempts being made for the validation and documentation of traditional plants and herbs for their future development as potential therapy in hypertension. Whats already known? • The herbal medications had been used since long to treat various cardiovascular disorders including high blood pressure before the arrival of modern therapy. • Global interest has now been renewed in herbal medicines but need authentication and validation in support of their therapeutic value. What this article may add? • This review emphasizes the mechanistic aspect of herbal medicines, their therapeutic values in clinical situation as well as present measures and recent approaches to validate and document their antihypertensive efficacies.
Keywords: Hypertension, herbals, clinical trials, cardiovascular, medicinal plants, blood pressure
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