Hibiscus sabdariffa (HS) has been traditionally used as a herbal medicine in Nigeria mainly because of its antihypertensive action. In view of the recent increase in the prevalence of renal failure, we have investigated the effect of HS consumption on renal function in Nigerians with mild to moderate hypertension. A total of 78 newly diagnosed but untreated subjects with mild to moderate hypertension attending the medical outpatients unit of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (Enugu, Nigeria) were recruited for the study. These subjects were randomly divided into three equally sized groups that received HS or lisinopril (treatment groups) or placebo (control group), once daily for 4 weeks. Indices of renal function (urine volume and creatinine clearance) were measured at baseline and weekly throughout the study period. HS and lisinopril significantly increased (P < 0.001) urine volume compared to placebo, and HS significantly (P < 0.001) increased urine volume more than lisinopril. HS significantly increased (P < 0.001) creatinine clearance compared to placebo whereas lisinopril did not. These results indicate that HS consumption improved indices of renal function in our study population of Nigerians with mild to moderate hypertension.
Keywords: Creatinine clearance; Essential hypertension; Hibiscus sabdariffa; Lisinopril; Urine volume.