A Cook Islands doctor and former prime minister says traditional medicines have their place but more controls should be placed on them.
Joe Williams attended the Pasifika Medical Association conference in Port Vila where traditional medicine was on the agenda.
Dr Williams says in Vanuatu and the Cook Islands people are going to see their traditional healers and some countries, like the Cooks Islands and Samoa, even have traditional healers associations.
He says this is because people are realising there is a place for traditional healing alongside modern medicine.
However, Dr Williams says any potential side-effects of traditional medicine need to be examined.
"The medicines are not subject to the same controls as modern medicine. It's the safety aspect of the drugs, of the medicine that we use that is always a concern. The same type of concern, of control should be put on traditional medicine, for the safety of our people."