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An Overview of Some Medicinal Plants used in Northern Nigeria for the Treatment of Hypertension

F.M. Hamza
S.M. Salim


Hypertension is one of the diseases that require long-term therapy and most of the drugs used
for the treatment of hypertension in Nigeria are expensive. The exorbitant drug price, coupled
with recent economic challenges, forced many people in Nigeria to resort to using plants they
believe to have antihypertensive activity due to their affordability and availability without proper knowledge of their functions and toxicity to the body. The study aimed to identify and
document plant species, plant products and method of preparations used by people in Northern Nigeria to control hypertension with the view of preserving the knowledge and
providing basis for pharmacological investigations. Data for the study were generated from
scientific databases using specific keywords such as “medicinal plants”, “hypertension” and
“Northern Nigeria”. The data generated were collated and analyzed in Microsoft Excel
spreadsheet. A total of 59 medicinal plant species belonging to 39 families used by the people
of Northern Nigeria to manage hypertension were documented. Out of the 39 families,
Fabaceae (7), Apocynaceae (3), Lamiaceae (3), and Malvaceae (3) were the most represented.
Among the 59 plant species documented Allium sativum (5), Hibiscus sabdariffa (4) and Carica papaya (4) were the most reported. The most used plant parts are leaves (36) and the least used are rhizomes (1), fruit water (1), kernel and gel (1). Decoction (46) was the most common method of preparation while the least was powder used in food (2). In addition, the antihypertensive properties of 50 of the 59 medicinal plants were previously experimentally tested and confirmed. Though the antihypertensive activity of most of the plants used were
experimentally verified and validated, further studies are required to identify toxicity and
appropriate dosage regimen of the plants

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eISSN: 2645-3142
print ISSN: 0794-9057