Document Type : Review
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa.
Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa.
Hypertension presents a major threat to global health. The prevalence of the disease is high in the adult population but an increasing number of children are being diagnosed with raised blood pressure globally. Although pharmaceutical drugs are effective in the treatment of hypertension based on targeting blood pressure regulatory mechanisms, the use of these products has been associated with several side effects. As a result, there has been an increasing interest to find natural sources for treatment of hypertension. Several local plants in Africa have been used in folk medicine to treat hypertension. In this review, an extensive literature search in databases including ScienceDirect, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google was performed to search plants with anti-hypertensive properties; the epidemiology of hypertension in Africa along with the mechanisms of regulation has been highlighted. The various classes of pharmaceutical drugs and medicinal plants used in treating hypertension in Africa with their anti-hypertensive properties were described. Several medicinal plants in Africa have been revealed with potential anti-hypertensive effects along with the phytochemical constituents and some potential mechanisms of action thus providing the scientific basis of their potential usefulness in hypertension treatment. However, further studies are needed for the exploration of these plants against hypertension.