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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 132912, 8 pages
Research Article

Cardiovascular Protective Effects of Adjunctive Alternative Medicine (Salvia miltiorrhiza and Pueraria lobata) in High-Risk Hypertension

1Institute of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
3Room 186, Science Centre South Block, School of Life Sciences, Biochemistry Programme, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
4Department of Medicine, Yan Chai Hospital, Hong Kong
5Department of Medicine, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hopsital, Hong Kong
6School of Medical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Received 11 December 2012; Accepted 29 January 2013

Academic Editor: Kashmira Nanji

Copyright © 2013 K. S. Woo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Hypertension in association with diabetes (DM), renal impairment (RI), and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) increases the risk of future cardiovascular events. We hypothesize, traditional herbal medicines Danshen and Gegen (D&G) have beneficial effects on atherogenesis in these high-risk hypertensive subjects. Subjects and Methods. 90 asymptomatic hypertensive subjects associated with LVH (63.3%), DM (62.2%), or RI (30%) were randomized to receive D&G herbal capsules 1 gm/day, 2 gm/day, or identical placebo capsules in double-blind and parallel fashion for 12 months. Brachial flow-mediated dilation (endothelium-dependent dilation, FMD) and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) were measured by ultrasound. All data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences in Windows 16.0. Results. Their mean age was years, and 74.4% were male. After 12 months of adjunctive therapies and compared with baseline, there were no significant changes in blood pressure, heart rate, hematological, glucose, and creatinine profiles in both placebo and D&G groups. FMD improved significantly during D&G ( ) and less so after placebo treatment ( ). There was a mild but significant decrease in carotid IMT after D&G ( ) but no significant changes after placebo. A trend of better improvement in FMD after higher versus lower D&G dosages was seen. D&G were well tolerated, with no significant adverse events or blood biochemistry changes. Conclusion. D&G adjunctive treatment was well tolerated and significantly improved atherogenesis in high-risk hypertensive patients, with potential in primary atherosclerosis prevention.