Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the treatment of Hypertension

Article contributed by Physician ONG Kwee-Nam

Hypertension is an important worldwide public-health challenge with high mortality and disability.

Considerable progress has been made by domestic and foreign clinical experts and researchers for the treatment of hypertension. However, only 25% of patients could achieve the goal and recurrent cardiovascular events still occur in those who take antihypertensive drugs. Mortality rates of hypertension are still far from optimal.

What’s more, numerous adverse reactions, including headache, dizziness, orthostatic hypotension and decreased sexual function, limit the clinical practice of antihypertensive drugs.

Due to the limitations and concerns with current available hypertension treatments, many hypertensive patients have turned to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Today, TCM is commonly used to treat hypertension in Asia and the West.

Different from Western medicine, TCM has formed a unique way to diagnose and treat diseases.

Hypertension could be divided into three major types on the basis of the stage and symptoms of the disease in TCM.

The first one is fire syndrome which could be found in various stages of hypertension. It can also be further divided into three types such as liver fire, heart fire and stomach fire. The second one is phlegm-fluid retention syndrome which often appears in the later stage of the disease. The last one is deficiency syndrome. The most common deficiency syndromes are spleen deficiency syndrome and kidney deficiency syndrome.

Chinese herbal therapy is the most commonly used for treating hypertension. Clinical studies showed that combination therapies, just TCM combined with Western medicine, showed better results than those of Western medicine for treating hypertension.

It is also widely accepted that herbal medicine is undoubtedly safe for various diseases.