More than a quarter of South African’s suffer from hypertension – a disease that affects over 1 billion people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization hypertension is when blood vessels have persistently raised pressure. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump to circulate blood through the body.
Hypertension is a major cause of premature death and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney, and other diseases. But scientific studies have found a South African herb can play a role in preventing and treating hypertension.
Buchu – an indigenous plant used as traditional medicine by the KhoiSan people – contains a flavonoid called hesperidin, which scientists have pinpointed as playing an important role in preventing and treating hypertension Studies indicate that hesperidin can help protect against hypertension in several ways, from strengthening blood vessels to reducing cholesterol levels, explains Professor Patrick Bouic.
Prof Bouic, an immunopathologic, and medical research have been studying the health benefits of the Agathosma (Buchu) plant for over 15 years.
Buchu can help prevent and treat hypertension in the following ways:
Healthy blood vessels
The flavonoids in Buchu can help capillaries stay elastic and impermeable, in turn assisting in the prevention of hypertension. Numerous studies have found evidence of this property of hesperidin, and it is thought that the flavonoid may keep blood vessels from becoming narrow and rigid, by inhibiting the action of certain enzymes.
“Studies dating back to 1939 found that hesperidin such as that found in Buchu improved capillary resistance,” says Bouic. “The research has confirmed that plant flavonoids like hesperidin reduce the permeability and the fragility of capillary walls and may play an important role in preventing both hypertension and thrombosis.”
Hesperidin has been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol, which is a key ingredient in the plaque that can clog arteries. This build-up has been linked to hypertension and heart disease
“Research has shown that hesperidin, as found in Buchu, significantly lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – the bad cholesterol – as well as total lipids and triglyceride levels. It simultaneously increases the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol,” explains Bouic.
Flushing out fluids
The diuretic effect of Buchu generally is widely known and documented and helps in the increased production of urine. Not only does this powerful property makes Buchu ideal for aiding in the body’s detoxification process, but it can also aid organs such as the kidneys as well as lower blood pressure says Bouic.
“Diuretics can play an important role in managing hypertension. Put simply, excreting more fluid results in a lower volume of blood to pump through arteries, which in turn translates into lower blood pressure,” he explains.
A natural remedy
One of the drugs used to treat hypertension is calcium channel blockers. These drugs slow the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, in turn, to prevent build up and widening blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump.
Buchu boasts a natural alternative to these drugs, as evidence suggests that hesperidin may act as a natural calcium channel blocker, adds Bouic. “Hypertension is a lifestyle disease and taking some steps to create healthier habits will go a long way in preventing and treating high blood pressure.
These efforts can be supplemented with a natural remedy such as Buchu to offer the best results,” concludes Bouic.
For more information, please visit: https://www.buchulife.com/