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Diverse combination therapies of Chinese Medicine in treating Hypertension

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 4 ]


Sheng-Xian Wu and Zhen-Yu Dong   Pages 504 - 519 ( 16 )


Objective: There are more than 300 million patients with hypertension in China, and at least 1 in 5 is using or has ever used Chinese Medicine (CM) treatment.

Scope: This article reviews the efficacy and safety of CM as monotherapy and in combination with western medicine (WM) to explore its potential role in the clinical management of hypertension.

Methods: Relevant articles were identified through PubMed, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) Database, VIP Chinese Journal Database, Wanfang Database, and China Biological Medicine Database (CBM-disc) search (up to 31 March, 2013).

Findings: A total of 27 RCTs and 7 systematic reviews (including meta-analyses) were identified. These articles suggested that although as monotherapy, CM has limited effect for hypertension, while combined with WM, it does have a favorable effect of antihypertension. The combination therapy could not only improve the quality of life and the symptoms of hypertensive patients, such as dizziness and headache, but also stabilize blood pressure variability (BP). Moreover, the combined treatment of CM and WM may further reduce BP to the target levels for patients failed with hypertension control. Besides, the combination therapy also has more favorable effects than any WM monotherapy in protecting target organs as well as avoiding adverse reactions.

Conclusion: When combined with WM, CM as a complementary treatment approach has certain effects for the control of hypertension and protection of target organs. However, more well-designed studies should be conducted to make a solid conclusion.


Hypertension, traditional Chinese medicine, clinical practice.


Key Laboratory of Chinese Internal Medicine of Ministry of Education and Beijing, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, 5# Haiyuncang, Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100700, China.

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