Medicinal Plants with Multiple Effects on Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review.
INTRODUCTION: Hyperlipidemia, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes are the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this systematic review article is to introduce the medicinal plants that exert significant clinical effects on hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and diabetes. METHODS: In this review article, the international research databases including MEDLINE, Google scholar, EBSCO, Academic Search, Web of Science, SciVerse, Scopus (SCOPUS), EBSCO, Academic Search, Cochrane, Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and a Chinese database (China Network Knowledge Infrastructure [CNKI]) were searched using the key words hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, herbal, obesity, and phytomedicine, matched by MESH, from their respective inceptions up to March, 2016. The plants that were effective on one, two, three, or all of four diseases were determined. The doses, side effects, the most important pharmaceutically effective compounds, the used organs, and important points regarding usage were separately recorded. Also known clinically significant interactions were presented. RESULTS: 1023 articles were found to be about medicinal plants and hypertension, 1912 articles about medicinal plants and hyperlipidemia, 810 articles about medicinal plants and obesity, 1174 articles about medicinal plants and diabetes. Of 144 plants included in the analysis, 83 were found to be effective on hyperlipidemia, 100 on hypertension, 66 on obesity, and 72 on diabetes. 43 plants were found to be effective on two diseases, 14 on three diseases, and 34 on all four diseases. Three plants (Tomato, Cranberry and Pomegranate), in food and therapeutic doses, were found to be used to treat cardiovascular diseases especially in pre-eclampsia and hyperlipidemia in pregnancy. CONCLUSION: Regarding the findings of this study, we can argue that the medicinal plants, other than monotherapy, can be used as poly-therapy, to treat cardiovascular diseases.