Plants and hypotensive, antiatheromatous and coronarodilatating action.


Petkov V




Am J Chin Med


However great the success in the therapy of hypertension, atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease has been gained today by recent efficient drugs, the definite healing of patients is not yet attained. The late discovery of reserpine, such an efficient drug of plant origin against hypertension, convinced so far reluctant scientists to consider the chemical compounds of the plant world. With respect to this traditional medical knowledge, it seems necessary to define more accurately the specificity of these healings- sometimes recommended unspecifically for a whole branch of medicine. This experimental verification should not use inconsiderately the present-day classification of diseases; there should be an awareness that conventional experimental methods in pharmacology are often unsuitable for revealing the real biological activity of one or another medicinal plant. The interest in the millennial empirical field of health care is acknowledged by the World Health Organization which promotes research and development of traditional medicine, along with investigations into its psychosocial and ethnographic aspects. These studies cover a number of plants growing in Bulgaria that have a healing effect in hypertension, atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease according to the data of traditional medicine. Using screening methods, extracts and chemically pure substances were investigated; extraction was done with solvents such as water, ether, chloroform, dichloretan, ethanol, methanol, and acetone. Most of the experiments were carried out on anesthetized cats, rabbits and dogs. The substances tested were applied mainly intravenously, and in some experiments orally. Chronic experiments were also carried out on wakeful dogs with induced hypertension, on animals fed on an atherogenic diet, and on animals with induced arrhythmia and coronary spasm. Data are presented of clinical examination of some plants or of active substances isolated from them. Major results of these studies are presented for the following plants: Garlic, Geranium; Hellebore; Mistletoe; Olive; Valerian; Hawthorn; Pseucedanum arenarium; Periwinkle; Fumitory. For another 50 plants growing in Bulgaria and in other countries the author presents his and other investigators' experimental and clinical data about hypotensive, antiatheromatous and coronarodilatating action.