Treating hypertension with herbal remedies

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The team

BY MAZLAN HANAFI BASHARUDIN

PENANG : It’s commonly known that many types of medicine nowadays have herbal sources, which have long been the practice. However, have we tried testing the medical products for their efficiency?

The use of herbal medication which has undergone scientific research is essential in ensuring the quality and content would provide the desired remedial effect, apart from being safe for consumption. It is with this scenario in mind that has spurred a group of researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to develop an innovation
herbal medicine known as the Multi-Pathway Anti-Hypertensive Agent: ABBT, specifically to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) in a safe and effective manner.

ABBT is produced by researchers from the USM School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, utilising extracts from five different Chinese herbal which include tangerine peel, liquorice, fuling, baizhu and tianma.

One of the researchers, Dr Tan Chu Shan said, ABBT is unique in its formulation which has undergone various testing stages to ensure that the extract obtained from the sources would be at the optimum level of quality.

She said, unlike conventional anti-hypertensive drug that only utilises single pathways, ABBT is able to employ multiple pathways when exerting vasodilatory effect, such as through NO/sGC/cGMP cascade and PGI, followed by muscarinic pathways and calcium channels.

“This evidence-based finding will greatly enhance the overall landscape of complementary medicine and boast the growth of herbal medicine industry in Malaysia to compete in the international stage,” she added.

Meanwhile, the head of the research on ABBT, Dr Yam Mun Fei stated that, hypertension is one of the major health concerns associated with various concomitant disease as well as kidney and cardiovascular complications.

“Although synthetic anti-hypertensive drugs are widely available in the market, drug tolerances are reported for monotherapies, and with even more reports concerning their adverse effects.

“Hence, the current study aims to establish a new hypertensive formula by applying a new syndrome-disease combination theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine,” he said.

He added, lab tests have shown that ABBT can effectively reduced levels of blood pressure within a week, apart from being free of any negative effects on the sample test organs.

The innovation which would have a major impact on the development of herbal medication is ready to be commercialised and is produced in various forms including capsules, pellets, teabags, sachets and decoction.