Traditional herbal medicine use among hypertensive patients in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review.


Hypertension is increasingly common in sub-Saharan Africa, and rates of hypertension control are low. Use of traditional herbal medicines (THM) is common among adults in sub-Saharan Africa and may affect hypertension therapy. We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, and Web of Knowledge in June 2013 to find studies about THM use among hypertensive patients living in sub-Saharan Africa. Two independent reviewers evaluated titles and abstracts. Qualifying references were reviewed in full text. Data were extracted using a standardized questionnaire. Four hundred and eighty-one references were retrieved, and four articles from two countries met criteria for inclusion. The prevalence of THM use was 25-65% (average 38.6%). THM was the most common type of complementary and alternative medicines used by patients (86.7-96.6%). Among THM users, 47.5% concomitantly used both allopathic medicine and THM. Increased age (p