Banaban Voice

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Rabi Islanders learn herbal tonics, welcome rain

FIJI TIMES ONLINE Maneesha Karan Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THE people of Rabi have been given new insights into herbal medicine.

More than 60 islanders have been involved in a workshop on herbal remedies, courtesty of Rakiraki Hospital. Rabi Council of Leaders official Mialere Simoteo said hospital staff staff have been teaching the people the types of treatment and the right foods for good health.

She said the villagers have also been informed about herbal medicine use and fruits to prevent non-communicable diseases.

"We use garlic, onion and lemon to create herbal tonics and these help prevent diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and ulcers," said Ms Simoeto.

"These medicines are easy to attain for people who live away from health centres. In addition, taking tablets and hospital medicine effects the body if they are taken often - fruits and herbs have no side-effects."

She said the people have been encouraged to plant fruits and vegetables.

"This way we will be making optimum use of our natural resource -the land. People will maintain health by working on their farms because this will provide them with exercise and fresh fruits and vegetables. The workshop ends next week. Meanwhile, the islanders are happy with the prevailing wet weather because it has improved their water supply and farming conditions.

"Crops are now growing properly and the villagers have began planting cassava, potatoes, dalo and vegetables," said Ms Simoteo.

The majority of the produce is for household consumption although some farmers sell crops on the island, some take theirs to Savusavu and others take theirs to Suva.

"Many of the farms were affected during the dry season and some lost their crop to the drought," Ms Simoteo said.

"The farmers are happy that we've had rain because it encourages them to farm and also pull back farmers who had resorted to fishing during the dry season to earn money

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Comment by Stacey King on November 25, 2010 at 10:00am
Banabans relied on their traditional herbal medicines over the centuries and it worked then and will work now! It's only now in today's society that the medical profession are realizing the power of these tradtional medicines. It is important that this important aspect of Banaban culture and history is not lost. Many families have their own family books of herbal tonics. These must be treasured and preserved for future generations.

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