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Vasoconstrictor Herbs

Vasoconstrictor Herbs

Vasoconstrictor Herbs

Peripheral Vasoconstrictor Herbs

Introduction: Peripheral arterial vasoconstrictors are uncommon amongst herbs. Pharmacological mechanisms are poorly understood, but the overall effect is on arterial smooth muscle tone causing an increase in peripheral resistance and hence increase in afterload and consequent elevation of blood pressure. These agents should be distinguished from herbs which cause elevation in blood pressure or heart rate from central and neuroendocrine actions. (See herbal concerns below) Agents that specifically increase venous tone are not included here.

herb affecting drug performance:
Vasoconstrictor herbs may theoretically interact with the following drug classes: to possibly reduce their effectiveness in regulating blood pressure:
* ACE Inhibitors
* Beta-adrenergic Blockers
* Calcium Channel Blockers
* Loop Diuretics
* Thiazide Diuretics

herbal concerns:
Indirect interaction with other herbs may take place through various physiologic herb action mechanisms with herbs in the following groups:
* Hypertensive and Tachycardic Herbs
* MAO Inhibitor Herbs
* Sympathomimetic Herbs
* Xanthine-containing Herbs

Common herbs with vasoconstrictor activity:
* Ephedra sinica (Ma Huang)
* Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel)
* Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal)
* Lycopus virginicus (Bugleweed)

Restricted and unusual herbs with vasoconstrictor activity:
* Aspidosperma quebracho (Quebracho blanco)
* Cytisus scoparius (Scotch Broom)


Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Second edition., Sandy, OR: Eclectic Institute Inc, 1998.

McGuffin M, et al. (eds) AHPA Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, 1997.

Newall C, Anderson L, Phillipson JD. Herbal medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London, UK: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.


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