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Hypertension is regarded as an independent disease resulting from unknown causes. Clinically, it is manifested mainly in elevated blood pressure. In traditional Chinese medicine, it falls into the following categories of diseases: dizziness, headache, liver-yang diseases, liver-wind diseases, and apoplexy.


The pathogenesis of hypertension is related to the psyche and mentality, improper diet, insufficiencies of visceral organs, and the congenital endowment. The primary locations of the disease are the liver and the kidney, with secondary locations being the heart and the spleen. There are five kinds of differentiation: wind, phlegm, deficiency, fire, and stasis. The main pathogeneses are imbalances of the liver and the kidney, of qi and blood, and between yin and yang, and disturbance in the ascending and descending of the clear and the turbid. In the early stages, the disease is mostly an excessive syndrome, or with deficiency primary symptoms and excess secondary symptoms. As it wears on, the disease becomes mostly a deficiency syndrome, with deficiency, phlegm and stasis interacting with one another both as cause and effect. (1) , (2)

Primary Treatments with Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin

Ingredients: Tian Ma (Gastrodia), Gou Teng (Hou Xia) (Uncaria), Chuan Niu Xi (Chuan Achyranthes), Shi Jue Ming (Haliots), Shan Zhi (Gardenia), Huang Qin (Scutellaria), Du Zhong (Eucommia), Yi Mu Cao (Leonurus), Sang Ji Shen (Loranthus), Ye Jiao Teng (Polygonum Stem), Fu Ling (Poria)

Clinical Applications:
Wu, et al. treated 66 cases of primary hypertension with this formula, and reported that the formula was significantly effective for improving the plasma endotheliolysin (ET) and calcitonin gene-related peptide values (P

Other Treatments with Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Gou Ma Jiang Ya

Liang treated hypertensive patients with Gou Ma Jiang Ya Decoction. The formula contains Tian Ma (Gastrodia), Gou Teng (Uncaria), Xia Ku Cao (Prunella), Bai Ji Li (White Tribulus), Ye Ju Hua (Wild Chrysanthemum), Jue Ming (Cassia Seed), Dan Shen (Salvia), Sang Ji Sheng (Loranthus), Huai Niu Xi (Achyranthes), and Sheng Shan Zha (Crataegus). The formula was modified to suit patients' individual symptoms. Among 98 cases treated, 26 significantly improved, 65 improved, and 7 had no response. (3)

Combination of Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin and Xiao Cheng Qi

Zhang, et al. combined Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin and Xiao Cheng Qi decoction to treat 32 cases of acute hypertension due to cerebral hemorrhage. The principal formula consisted of Tian Ma (Gastrodia), Gou Teng (Uncaria), Shi Jue Ming (Haliotis), Zhen Zhu Mu (Nacre), Shui Zhi (Leech), Gui Ban (Tortoise Plastron), Ban Xia (Pinellia), Bai Zhu (White Atractylodes), Dan Nan Xing (Arisaema, processed with bile), Da Huang (Rhubarb), Hou Pu (Magnolia Bark), Zhi Shi (Immature Bitter Orange), San Qi (Notoginzeng), and Dan Shen (Salvia). One dosage of the formula was given 3-4 times per day through nasal feeding. After 12-16 hours of administration, the systolic pressure decreased to 21.2 ± 3.8kPa, and the diastolic pressure decreased to 13.0 ± 2.6kPa. After 36-48 hours, the systolic pressure decreased to19.7 ± 3.9kPa, and the diastolic pressure decreased to 11.5 ± 2.3kPa. (4)

Niu Xi Jiang Ya Wan

Yang, et al. used Niu Xi Jiang Ya Wan to treat 121 cases of left ventricular hypertrophy due to hypertension. The formula consisted of Chuan Niu Xi (Radix Cyathulae), Sheng Long Gu (Os Draconis), Sheng Mu Li (Concha Ostreae), Gou Teng (Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis), Shan Yao (Rhizoma Dioscoreae), Ye Jao Teng (Caulis Polygoni Multiflori), Sheng Gui Ban (Plastrum Testudinis), Zhi Zi (Capejasmine), Ju Hua (Flos chrysanthemi), Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Alba), and Gan Cao (Licorice). The formula was prepared with honey. After being treated with the formula for 5-10 weeks, the patients' blood pressure decreased significantly (p

Tong Fu Xing Nao

Yu treated 32 cases of hypertension-induced cerebral hemorrhage with Tong Fu Xing Nao Injection (administered by rectum IV injection). The formula consisted of Yu Jin (Curcuma Root), Dan Shen (Salvia), San Qi (Notoginseng), Da Huang (Rhubarb), Shui Zhi (Leech), Tian Ma (Gastrodia), Fu Ling (Hoelen), Gou Teng (Uncaria), Shan Zha (Crataegus), Shi Chang Pu (Grassleaved Sweetflag Rhizome), and Yi Mu Cao (Leonurus). The formula was decocted with water, and administered one dose daily by rectum IV injection (30-40 drops per minute and one to two injections per day) for 3-10 consecutive days. During the recovery stage, some supplemental treatments were added, including Bu Yang Huan Wu decoction, acupuncture, massage, dirigation, and light quantum autohemotherapy. The results showed that 13 cases recovered, 16 cases significantly improved, and 2 cases improved. The total effective rate was 96.9%. (5)

Xue Ya Ping

Song, et al. treated 30 cases of senile hypertension with Xue Ya Ping nasal drops. The solution was made from Xia Ku Cao (Prunella), Dan Pi (Moutan), Chi Shao (Red Peony), Xin Yi (Magnolia), and Gui Zhi (Cinnamon Twig). The solution was administered 4 drops each time, and 3 times a day. The results showed that there was significant difference between the before and after treatment in blood pressure, heart rate, and S-T segment and T wave readings (p

Other Treatments

Li treated 136 cases of hypertension by externally applying to the feet a Chinese herb powder made of Wu Zhu Yu (Evodia), Chuan Xiong (Cnidium), and Niu Xi (Achyranthes), and reported a total effective rate was 92%. (6)

Zhao treated 56 cases of cervical hypertension with an orthopedic massage therapy, and reported 35 cases recovered, 16 cases improved, and 5 cases with no response. (7)

Zhang treated 139 cases of cervical spondylopathy by massotherapy, and reported a significant decrease in blood pressure. (8)

Fang treated 48 senile hypertension patients with a foot fumigation therapy. The fumigation was made from these herbs: Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae), Cao Jue Ming (Semen Cassiae), Bo He (Herba Menthae), Chong Wei Zi (Semen Leonuri), Chi Shao (Radix Paeoniae Rubra), Hong Hua (Flos Carhami), Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis), Gan Gian (Ginger), and Rou Gui (Cortex Cinnamomi). Each night before going to bed, the patients used one dose of the formula to first fumigate the feet for 15 minutes, and then soak them for another 15 minutes. While under the present treatment, the patients discontinued all other medications for hypertension. The results showed that 29 cases significantly improved, and 11 cases improved, giving a total effective rate of 80.2%. (9)

Acupunture & Acupressure

Wang, et al. treated 54 cases of Stage I and Stage II hypertension with micropuncture and blood letting therapy. The main acupuncture points treated were: Baihui (DU20), Taiyang (Extra 2), Dazhui (D14), Quchi (LI11), and Weizhong (B40). Additional points were included for treatment as the symptoms of individual patients dictated. The acupoints, 3-4 points per session, were punctured 0.2-0.3cm deep with three-edged needles by the pricking method (some of the acupoints were also treated with cupping). The control group was given compound Verticil Tablets. The total effective rates of the two groups were 88.9% and 73.6%, respectively (p


  1. Xin Xiao Yi, et al. Xinjiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1999;17(3):51-55.
  2. Zhang Xiao Tian. Xinjiang Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1999;17(2):55-57.
  3. Liang Jing Wen, et al. Beijing Journal of TCM. 1999;18(1):49.
  4. Zhang Guo Yin, et al. Hubei Journal of TCM. 1999;21(11):515.
  5. Yu Heng Ca. Journal of Integrated Medicine of First Aid Clinical Application. 1999;6(1):33-34.
  6. Li Jian. Shaanxi Journal of TCM. 1999;20(3):130.
  7. Zhao Yu Xin. Journal of Folk Chinese Medical Treatment. 1999;7(4):5.
  8. Zhang Hun Guo. Journal of Massage and Physical Excercises Therapy. 1999;15(3):9-10.
  9. Fang Zhuo, et al. Journal of Changchun College of TCM. 1999;15(2)12.