Medicina Internacia Revuo
Phytotherapy as an alternative method to supp ort treatment of hypertension
Piotr WYKURZ , Bożena MUSZYŃSKA
Hypertension is a dangerous chronic disease; it is the most common cause of death in Poland, Europe and the United States. In Poland, the estimated number of people with hypertension is about 36%. The development of this disease is progressive, a large proportion of people are unaware of their disease in the early stages. The use of basic recommendations for the prevention of hypertension i. e. stopping smoking, limiting alcohol intake and weight gain, increasing physical activity, limiting salt intake and changing eating habits can effectively lower blood pressure by 20-50 mm Hg. Such a considerable effect can significantly help a person with grade 2 hypertension (160-179 / 100-109 mm Hg). Phytotherapy is the branch of medicine that uses plants for medicinal purposes. Active compounds contained in plant raw materials can be used in heart and vascular diseases. They exhibit anti-arrhythmic, hypotensive, dilate peripheral, cerebral, coronary vessels, improving lipid profile, antioxidant, vasoprotective, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory and diuretic. They exhibit negative chronotropic, but dromotropic and inotropic positive activity. Phytotherapy can be used as an alternative method to support the treatment of hypertension. In combination with basic preventive recommendations, it can delay the treatment by synthetic drugs for a very long time. It is therefore worth using herbs and their blends to improve the quality of our lives.