I read with interest the article written by Serena Cameron on the Solomon Island herbs.

Undoubtedly Solomon Islands has a lot of herbal medicines and they have been using these herbs for many years.

However, to say that these herbal drugs which our people have been using for the past decades or even centuries do not have adverse effects or side effects is not true.

All drugs whether synthetic or raw as in herbs do carry to some extent adverse effects. Some of these effects do not show up immediately. It takes some time after which the person starts feeling the effects of it. Since the general populace lacks the knowledge about the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of these herbs, they are assuming that their medical condition is something else not knowing it could be due to the herbal practice. It is only through therapeutic drug monitoring that can determine the adverse effects of medicines and this is only done in hospitals.

The Solomon Islands people should be discouraged from using herbal drugs until studies have proven these herbs to be the appropriate therapy for the various medical conditions they have.

We have hospitals and clinics where people should go to not only when they are sick, however for general medical checkup as well.

Until a herbal drug is being pharmacologically proven, all herbs have mild to severe adverse effects.

(Joseph Lefoto'o, a Pharmacy student from the Fiji School of Medicine)