Summary

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The Hypertension is an important worldwide public-health challenge because of its high frequency and concomitant risks of cardiovascular and kidney disease.1

More than a quarter of the world’s adult population is hypertensive, this proportion is expected to increase in the coming years and sub-Saharan Africa is no exception to this trend.

According to epidemiological projections in 2025, 29.2% of adults worldwide will suffer from hypertension whose three-quarters will live in developing countries. Currently in many African countries, the total number of adults with hypertension is estimated to be over 40%.1,2

Several drugs exist for the treatment of hypertension but in many developing countries, the low socio-economic level of the population and the high cost of conventional medicines force the population to frequently recourse to traditional medicine which mainly uses plants. In these countries, it would be particularly interesting to have an effective, safe and much cheaper treatment, obtained from local plants.

Many experimental studies have confirmed the effectiveness of plants in the treatment of hypertension,37 but the harmlessness of these plants are not always proven. And also, the effectiveness and the quality of these medicinal plants can be influenced by many factors.

To ensure the safety and efficiency of medicinal plants, to elucidate their mechanism of action and to characterize the chemical compounds responsible for the antihypertensive activity, it is important to conduct extensive research on these medicinal plants.

These studies will provide a pharmacology justification, a strong scientific evidence for the use of these plants in the treatment of hypertension and will maximize the opportunities in traditional medicine as a source of health care.