Lavender was one of the plants that the scientists tested in the recent study.
Currently, hypertension affects an estimated in the United States.
Although dietary and lifestyle changes can sometimes be sufficient, medication is necessary in some cases.
Antihypertensive medications work well for some people but not for others, and the side effects can be unpleasant.
For these reasons, researchers are keen to find innovative ways to tackle the growing issue of hypertension.
Some scientists are turning back the clock and looking to ancient herbal remedies. Humans have been self-medicating with the herbs that they find since before history began.
The fact that people have used these treatments for millennia is certainly not evidence that they are effective, but they are surely worth a second look.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine recently zeroed in on a group of plants that have, historically, been a treatment for hypertension. They published their findings in .
The scientists took herbal extracts from a range of unrelated plants, including lavender, fennel seed extract, basil, thyme, marjoram, ginger, and chamomile.
Under the leadership of Prof. Geoff Abbott, Ph.D., they identified a bioactive trait that all of the extracts shared. This trait, the scientists believe, might help explain why some herbs appear to have mild antihypertensive properties.