In this study, Korean medicinal herb extracts were investigated for their in vitro effect on anti-hypertensive activities, including nitric oxide (NO) production in the human umbilical vein endothelial cell line EA.hy529 and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity. Traditional remedies related to the treatment of hypertension were identified using DongUiBoGam, the most comprehensive source for Korean traditional pharmacopoeia. Herbal remedies were selected by translating the symptom terminology into westernized medicinal terms using the Korean classification of disease in Oriental medicine and Korea Traditional Knowledge Portal. Seven types of herb extracts were selected and screened for in vitro anti-hypertensive activities. Among the extracts, those of Evodiae fructus, Bambusae caulis in Taeniam, Sophorae fructus, Melonis calyx, and Schizonepeta rhizome produced significant increases in NO production, although their ability to inhibit ACE were weaker. Using Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry, the major flavonoids exhibiting anti-hypertensive activities were identified: quercetin, apigenin, and luteolin. Our results indicate that these medicinal herbs are potent natural anti-hypertensive agents that can be developed for clinical therapies. In addition, our systematic approach to identifying candidate herbal remedies in the traditional Korean pharmacopoeia can be used to search for additional traditional remedies, such as for hypoglycemia and obesity.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition
- Anti-hypertensive activity
- Medicinal herb
- Nitric oxide
- Traditional Korean pharmacopoeia