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Medicinal Plants of South Africa with Reported Anti-hypertensive Activity

Acokanthera oppositifolia

Anti-hypertensive refers to substances or treatments that are used to lower high blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition where the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. Over time, untreated hypertension can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

Anti-hypertensive medicinal plants work to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications associated with hypertension. These herbs may act on the heart, blood vessels, or kidneys to decrease blood pressure.

In South Africa’s traditional medicine a number of plants are used to address blood pressure, below is a list of herbs extracted from the research paper “A Review of Plants Used in South African Traditional Medicine for the Management and Treatment of Hypertension”, that are useful for hypertension.

Research Paper: A Review of Plants Used in South African Traditional Medicine for the Management and Treatment of Hypertension
Authors: Fatai Oladunni Balogun, Anofi Omotayo Tom Ashafa
Published: Published online November 26, 2018 | Planta Med 2019

Table 2 Medicinal Plants with Reported Anti-hypertensive Activity

Name Pharmacological activitiesPharmacological activitiesPharmacological activitiesAssayMethod(s)/ inducing agentPart(s) usedMedium for extractionConc. testedProvince(s) or locationReferences
Antioxidant,AntidiabeticAntihypertensive, type(s) cardiovascular
Acokanthera oppositifoliaAntioxidantIn vitroDPPH, ABTS, FRAPStemMethanol0.1 mg/mLEastern Cape[112]
Adenopodia spicataAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEI assayLeaves, rootAqueous, ethanol25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Aganpanthus africanusAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEI assayLeaves, rootAqueous25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Agathosma betulinaAntioxidantIn vitroABTS, DPPHLeavesHot water, DCM1, 3, 5, 10, 20 µg/mLPretoria[113]
AntidiabeticIn vitroα-amylase,
AntioxidantIn vivoORAC, TEAC, FRAPAqueous, ethanol, acetoneCape Town[114]
Agave americanaAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEI assayLeavesAqueous, ethanol25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Alepidea amatymbicaAntihypertensive, cardiovascular,
In vivoSodium thiopentone (rats model)RhizomeHexane, methanol, DCM20 mg/kg body weightKZN[38, 115]
Amaranthus dubiusAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEILeavesAqueous, methanol0.1 g/mLKZN[18]
Amaranthus hybridusACE inhibitory activityIn vitroACEILeavesAqueous, methanol0.1 g/mLKZN[18]
Artemisia afraAntidiabeticIn vivoSTZ-induced rat modelLeavesAqueous50, 100, 200 mg/kgEastern Cape[116]
CardioprotectionIn vivoISPLeavesAqueous100, 200 mg/kgEastern Cape[117]
Asystasia gangeticaAntihypertensiveIn vitro andACEILeavesAqueous and methanol0.1 g/mLKZN[18]
In vivoSodium pento- barbitoneAqueous10, 25, 50, 100, 200,
400 mg/mL
Western Cape[46]
Carpobrotus dimidiathusAntioxidantIn vitroDPPH, FRACLeavesAqueous methanol (50 %)10, 20, 30, 40, 50,
60, 70 µg/mL
Catha edulisAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEI assayLeavesAqueous, ethanol25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Citrus lemonAntioxidantIn vitroDPPH, nitric oxide, reducing power,Peel of fruitsEthanol, acetone0.025, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2,
0.5 ug/mL
Eastern Cape[54]
Clausena anisataAntihypertensiveIn vivoHRMLeavesAqueous50, 100, 200,
400 mg/bw
AntidiabeticIn vivoSTZ- rat modelRootsMethanol100, 200, 400,
800 mg/kg bw
Crinum macowaniCardiovascularIn vivoNormotensive ratsWhole plantsAqueous0.05, 0.10, 0.15,
0.20 mg/kg
Western Cape[62–63]
Dicoma anomalaAntioxidantAntidiabeticIn vivoSTZ-rat modelRootAqueous125, 250,
500 mg/kg
Free State[118]
CardioprotectionIn vivoISP‑ratRootAqueoussameSame[119]
Dietes iridioidesAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEI assayLeaves, rootAqueous25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Dombeya rotundifoliaAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEI assayLeaves, rootAqueous25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Ekeberghia capensisCardiovascular, vasorelaxant, bradycardiaIn vivoInactin- induced normoten- sive rats and Dahl
salt stress rats
LeavesEthanol18 mg/kg i. v. and 120 mg/kg p.oKZN[120]
Euclea undulataHypoglycemicIn vitroα-amylase, α-gluco-
sidase, glucose uptake (GU)
Whole plantAcetone50 µg/mL and 16–250 µg/mL GUGauteng (Pretoria)[120]
In vivoSTZ-rat modelBarkAcetone50, 100 mg/kg b.wGauteng (Pretoria)[121]
Hypoxis hemerocallideaCardiovascular, anti- hypertensiveIn vitroIsolated muscle experimentFresh cormAqueous12.5, 25, 50, 100,
200, 400 mg/mL
In vivoSodium 5-ethyl- (1-methylbutyl)-2- thiobarbiturate- induced Dahl salt-
stress rats
As aboveSame as above25, 50, 100, 200,
400 mg/kg b.w
Justicia flavaAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEI assayLeavesAqueous, methanol0.1 g/mLKZN[18]
Pentanissia prunelloidesAntioxidantIn vitroDPPH, Superoxide anion, Hydroxyl radical, Metal
RootAqueous, ethanol, hydro-ethanol (1 : 1), hexane6.25, 12.5, 25, 50,
100 µg/mL
Free State[129]
AntidiabeticIn vitroAlpha (amylase and glucosidase)
Physalis viscosaAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEILeavesMethanol, aqueous0.1 g/mLKZN[18]
Protorhus longifoliaAntioxidantIn vitroDPPH, ABTS, metal
chelating, Reducing power
BarkHexane, chlorofum,
ethyl acetate, methanol, aqueous
0–5 mg/100 mLKZN[89]
AntihypertensiveIn vitroACEILeavesAqueous, ethanol25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Psidium guaįavaHypoglycemicHypotensiveIn vivoSTZ-induced rats and Dahl salt-stress ratsLeavesAqueous50, 100, 200, 400,
800 mg/mL
Rauvolfia caffraAntioxidantIn vitroFRAP, DPPH,Stem, barkDCM, methanol,
ethyl acetate, ethanol
1 mg/mLLimpopo[96]
AntihypertensiveIn vivoSpontaneously hypertensive ratsWhole plantsDCM, methanol, ethyl acetate15, 300, 500 mg/kg b.w
Rhus chirindensisAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEILeavesAqueous, ethanol25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Sclerocarya birreaHypoglycemicIn vivoSTZStem-barkAqueous25, 50, 100,
200, 400, 800,
1600 mg/mL
AntihypertensiveIn vitroACEILeavesAqueous, ethanol25 µg/mLKZN[34, 101]
In vivoDahl salt sensitive ratsStem barkAqueous25, 50, 100, 200,
400 mg/mL
Senecio serratulloidesAntioxidantIn vitroDPPH, FRACLeavesAqueous methanol (50 %)10, 20, 30, 40, 50,
60, 70 µg/mL
Stangeria eriopusAntihypertensiveIn vitroACEILeavesAqueous, ethanol25 µg/mLKZN[34]
Trichilia emeticaAntioxidantIn vitroDPPHleavesAqueous, methanolGauteng[130]

ACEI: angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor; STZ: streptozotocin; ABTS: 2, 2-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6)-sulphonic acid; DPPH: 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl; FRAC: ferrous-reducing antioxidant capacity;
ORAC: oxygen radical absorbance capacity; TEAC: Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity; ISP: isoproterenol; DCM: dichloromethane; KZN: KwaZulu-Natal


Fatai Oladunni Balogun, Anofi Omotayo Tom Ashafa: A Review of Plants Used in South African Traditional Medicine for the Management and Treatment of Hypertension – Published online: 2018-11-26

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