A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of Fufang Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) as add-on antihypertensive therapy in Taiwanese patients with uncontrolled hypertension

Phytother Res. 2012 Feb;26(2):291-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3548. Epub 2011 Sep 2.


Hypertension generally requires the use of a combination therapy to achieve the satisfactory control of blood pressure. A traditional Chinese herb, Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), has been shown to have cardioprotective effects in animals and humans. The study investigated the add-on effect of Fufang Danshen extract capsule in Taiwanese hypertensive patients with uncontrolled blood pressure. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, single-center study clinical trial. Fifty-five patients with uncontrolled mild to moderate hypertension were enrolled under current conventional antihypertensive treatment, randomized equally to receive a Fufang Danshen capsule (formula mixture) 1000 mg twice-daily or a placebo capsule for 12 weeks. Primary endpoints were the control rate and the response rate. By ITT analysis at week 12, the control rates were 25.5% in the Fufang Danshen group and 7.3% in the control group (p = 0.016). The response rates were 45.6% in the Fufang Danshen group and 38.2% in the placebo group (p = 0.946). A significant reduction of systolic blood pressure at week 12 was noted in the Fufang Danshen group compared with the placebo group (13.8 vs 4.2 mmHg, p = 0.005). A decrease of pulse rate was also noted in the Fufang Danshen group (- 3.2 vs +2.7/min, p = 0.027). Adverse events were not statistically different between the two groups. It was concluded that Fufang Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) extract reduced systolic blood pressure and pulse rate, and was well tolerated in patients with hypertension.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza / chemistry*


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • fufang danshen