Use of natural herbs can prevent hypertension  

By Zainab Abdul-Hamid / Kristodia Otibu Asiedu 

Tema May 18, GNA – Ghanaians have been urged to consider adding natural herbs to their diets as they have some healthy components that can help prevent and control the increasing rate of hypertension among the public. 

Dr. Michael Tetteh, the Head of the Herbal Unit of the Tema General Hospital, who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said natural herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, garlic, camomile, prekese (Tetrapleura tetraptera), lemon grass, and hibiscus carpels had anti-hypertensive properties that help manage hypertension. 

Dr. Tetteh, who is also a herbal physician, explained that cinnamon had high levels of antioxidants that aid in managing hypertension by promoting blood vessel dilation, which relaxed the blood vessels and eased tension within the cardiovascular system. 

He added that incorporating cinnamon into meals, whether in steaming meats or other dishes, can significantly lower the risk of developing hypertension, adding that prekese also acts similarly. 

He cautioned, however, that people who are already on anti-hypertensive medications should consult their doctors as taking both could lead to drug interactions that could drop the blood pressure too low. 

He said sobolo (hibiscus carpels), when used as an anti-hypertensive, should be boiled raw without any additives to get its full benefits. 

Touching on other lifestyles that could reduce the chances of contracting hypertension, he stressed the need for people to reduce their salt intake, noting that excessive salt consumption leads to high blood pressure. 

Dr. Tetteh noted that it was important that people increase their consumption of foods containing potassium and magnesium, which played a vital role in regulating blood pressure levels. 

He said incorporating foods rich in potassium and magnesium, such as beans, soya beans, peanuts, and avocado, could help manage hypertension effectively. 

He further cautioned the public against consumption of saturated fats, such as the fatty parts of meat, but rather should opt for polyunsaturated fats like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and turkey meat. 

He stated that more foods rich in fibre, fruits, and vegetables should be part of the daily diet of people, as that could also promote heart health and contribute to the overall well-being of an individual. 

The herbal doctor said a good diet could contribute to better heart health and aid in controlling blood pressure.