As a very proud YORUBA PIKIN, it was only a matter of time before this article came up.
Blood pressure is the lateral pressure exerted by the column of blood on the wall of the blood vessels. The normal value for blood pressure is about 120/80mmHg. When blood pressure exceeds 140/100mmHg, it can be diagnosed as high blood pressure.
While there are many effective medical treatments and managements such as the one mentioned here for high blood pressure, there is an increase in demand for natural remedies for the management of the disease.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a medical suggestion and none of these herbs can cure high blood pressure, please visit your doctor for proper treatment.
- BITTER LEAF
- YORUBA NAME: Ewuro
- BOTANICAL NAME: Vernonia amygdalina
Bitter leaf is a common herb used to spice up the flavors of many Yoruba soups and vegetable. However, like the name implies it has a terribly bitter taste if taken alone.
Bitter leaf has a high concentration of potassium and is therefore able to reduce the amount of sodium concentration in the extracellular environment.
Sodium is responsible for retention of water in the extracellular environment which increases the volume of water in blood and therefore increases the speed at which it flows through the blood vessels
An increase in potassium promotes the excretion of sodium as urine. Potassium also helps to ease the tension of the blood vessels which reduces peripheral resistance and therefore reduces blood pressure.
In addition, potassium reduces heart rate and this can further reduce blood pressure.
Bitter leaves can be added to soups such as egusi in small amounts to spice up the flavours or it can be made into its own soup as in Efo Elewuro.
- WATER LEAF
- YORUBA NAME: Ewe Omi
- BOTANICAL NAME: Talinum fruticosum
While there are not many scientific explanation as to how waterleaf is able to cause hypotension, it has been associated with reduced blood pressure level.
As a leafy vegetable, waterleaf is rich in vitamins A and C as well as minerals such as iron and calcium, Because of it’s high in oxalic acid, it should not be consumed by persons suffering from kidney stone, gout and rheumatoid arthritis
- YORUBA NAME: ALEFO
- BOTANICAL NAME: Spinacia oleracea
Just like bitter leaf, spinach is rich in potassium and thereby contributes to lower sodium concentration, lower palpitations of the heart and lower pressure on the blood vessels, all of which reduce blood pressure.
In addition, spinach is also reach in folate and magnesium. Both of which are heart friendly minerals.
Spinach is also a good source of lutein. Lutein can prevent the thickening of the blood vessels and therefore reduce the resistance to the flow of blood which thereby reduces blood pressure.
- Red acalypha
- YORUBA NAME: aworoso
- BOTANICAL NAME: ACALYPHA WILKESIANA
Commonly called Red acalypha and Popose pupa locally, Acalypha wilkesiana, belongs to the plant family Euphorbiaceae. It is called aworoso in Yoruba (Ijebu). It is popularly used for the treatment of malaria, dermatological and gastrointestinal disorders.
Experiments carried out on animal specimen showed that red acalypha can lower blood pressure by inhibiting the rate and force of heart contraction and therefore reduces cardiac output which thereby reduces blood pressure
- Sansevieria senegambica
- YORUBA NAME: Oja Ikoko
- BOTANICAL NAME: Sansevieria senegambica
Sansevieria senegambica is an ornamental plant used in traditional health practice in southern Nigeria for treating bronchitis, inflammation, coughs, boils and hypertension. It is also used in arresting the effects of snake bites, as well as in compounding solutions used as hair tonics.
It is also called Oja Ikoko in Yoruba
It has a high potassium content and therefore act as a potassium-sparing diuretic with the mechanism of antihypertensive action probably via alteration of plasma sodium and potassium balances, or through calcium-mediated changes in vascular muscle tone.
Anti-hypertensive herbs are not restricted to the few mentioned above, other herbs and vegetable from other tribe based meals that can contribute to a lower blood pressure.