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The 20 Best African Herbs To Lower High Blood Pressure

Explore the top 20 African herbs traditionally used for managing high blood pressure. Learn about their uses, preparation methods, and scientific evidence supporting their efficacy.

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The 20 Best African Herbs To Lower High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a health concern affecting millions of people worldwide. In the search for effective and natural remedies, many are turning to traditional African herbs. This article will explore the top 20 African herbs known to help lower high blood pressure.

a healthcare worker measuring her own blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer
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1. Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

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Hibiscus tea, made from the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant, is a popular drink across Africa. Known for its bright red color and tart flavor, hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure. To prepare, the dried calyces are steeped in boiling water for 10 to 30 minutes.


2. Garlic (Allium sativum)

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Garlic has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. Its active component, allicin, has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including the ability to lower blood pressure. Garlic can be incorporated into the diet or consumed as a supplement.


3. Olive leaf (Olea europaea)

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Olive leaf extract, rich in oleuropein, has been shown to have potent antihypertensive properties. This makes it a potential natural remedy for managing high blood pressure. The leaves can be brewed into a tea, or the extract can be taken in capsule form.

4. Mistletoe (Viscum album)

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Mistletoe has been used in traditional African medicine for its potential benefits in lowering blood pressure. The leaves are typically steeped in hot water to create a herbal tea.


5. Soursop (Graviola)

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Soursop, also known as graviola, is a fruit that originates from Africa. It’s been used traditionally to manage hypertension, and recent studies have confirmed its antihypertensive properties. The fruit can be eaten raw or juiced, and the leaves can also be brewed into a tea.


6. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

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Ginger is a common spice used in cooking and traditional medicine. Its active component, gingerol, has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including potential antihypertensive effects. It can be consumed fresh, as a spice, in tea, or in supplement form.


7. Baobab (Adansonia digitata)

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The baobab tree, native to Africa, is referred to as the “Tree of Life”. Its fruit is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which may help lower blood pressure. The fruit pulp can be eaten fresh or dried and mixed into drinks or yogurts.


8. Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina)

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Bitter leaf is a common plant in African traditional medicine. It is believed to have antihypertensive properties. The leaves can be boiled and consumed as a vegetable, used in soups or teas, or chewed raw.


9. Rauwolfia (Rauwolfia vomitoria)

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Rauwolfia is a plant native to West Africa known for its antihypertensive effects. Its root bark contains the alkaloid reserpine, which has been used in the treatment of hypertension. The root bark can be chewed or brewed into a tea.


10. Prekese (Tetrapleura tetraptera)

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Prekese, a plant native to West Africa, is traditionally used in soups and broths for its potential health benefits, including blood pressure reduction. The fruit can be boiled or dried and powdered, then added to foods.

11. African Bush Mango (Irvingia gabonensis)

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The African Bush Mango is native to West Africa and is commonly used in traditional medicine. Studies have found that it may help lower blood pressure. The seeds can be ground into a powder and used in soups, while the fruit can be eaten fresh.


12. African Bird Pepper (Capsicum annuum)

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African Bird Pepper, also known as the African red pepper, is a hot chili pepper that is native to Africa. It contains capsaicin, which has been shown to have antihypertensive effects. It can be added to food for a spicy kick, or taken in capsule form.


13. Moringa (Moringa oleifera)

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Moringa, often called the “miracle tree,” is a plant native to Africa and Asia. It’s rich in antioxidants and has been found to have antihypertensive effects. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, used in tea, or taken as a supplement.


14. African Potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea)

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The African Potato is a plant native to South Africa. It’s been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive properties. The corms can be boiled and eaten, or the extract can be taken in capsule form.


15. African Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)

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African Wild Garlic is a plant native to Africa that’s been used traditionally for its antihypertensive properties. The bulbs can be eaten raw or cooked, and the leaves can be used in salads or as a garlic substitute.


16. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)

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Aloe Vera is a plant that’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Recent studies have found that it may help lower blood pressure. The gel can be consumed directly, mixed into drinks, or taken as a supplement.


17. Buchu (Agathosma betulina)

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Buchu is a plant native to South Africa. It’s been used in traditional medicine for its antiseptic and antihypertensive properties. The leaves can be brewed into a tea or taken as a supplement.

18. Cancer bush (Sutherlandia frutescens)

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Cancer bush is a plant native to Southern Africa. It’s known for its adaptogenic properties and has been used traditionally to manage high blood pressure. The leaves can be brewed into a tea, or it can be taken as a supplement.


19. Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)

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Devil’s Claw is a plant native to Southern Africa. Its roots have been used traditionally for their anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive properties. The roots can be dried and used in teas, tinctures, or capsules.


20. Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

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Roselle, a species of Hibiscus native to Africa, is used for the production of herbal teas and jams. These are rich in Vitamin C and anthocyanins, which have been linked to a decrease in blood pressure. The calyces can be steeped in boiling water to make a tangy, refreshing tea.


In conclusion, Africa’s rich biodiversity provides a host of plant-based remedies that can help manage high blood pressure. However, while these herbs are associated with blood pressure-lowering effects, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment regimen.

Remember, maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to prevent and manage high blood pressure. Herbal remedies should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, a healthy lifestyle and prescribed treatment plan.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Footnotes

  1. “Sutherlandia frutescens extracts can induce apoptosis in cultured carcinoma cells.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2004.
  2. “Harpagophytum procumbens for osteoarthritis and low back pain: A systematic review.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2004.
  3. “Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia: a comprehensive review of animal and human studies.” Fitoterapia, 2013.
  4. “The effect of Irvingia gabonensis seeds on body weight and blood lipids of obese subjects in Cameroon.” Lipids in Health and Disease, 2005.
  5. “Capsaicin and arterial hypertensive disease.” Italian Journal of Food Safety, 2015.
  6. “Moringa oleifera: A review on nutritive importance and its medicinal application.” Food Science and Human Wellness, 2016.
  7. “Hypoxis hemerocallidea—Not merely a cure for benign prostate hyperplasia.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2006.
  8. “Aqueous extract of Tulbaghia violacea lowers blood pressure and relaxes the aorta of rats.” Cardiovascular Journal of Africa, 2012.
  9. “Effect of Aloe Vera on glycaemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta‐analysis.” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 2016.
  10. “Agathosma betulina (Buchu)—Renal miracle plant?” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2002.
  11. “Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia: a comprehensive review of animal and human studies.” Fitoterapia, 2013.
  12. “Effect of garlic on cardiovascular disorders: a review.” Nutrition Journal, 2002.
  13. “Olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract effective in patients with stage-1 hypertension

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