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By Charlene Thompson

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (July 24, 2002 – Cook Islands News)---Hypertension and diabetes are two areas of concern for health officials.

However, Aitutaki's Dr. Mata Strickland says he may have found a cure for the diseases that everyone can have access to -- lime or lemon juice.

"A few years ago we had so many people with hypertension or diabetes. Now we have fewer hypertension cases than before," he says.

He credits this drop in cases to drinking juice from half a lemon or lime three times a day.

Dr. Strickland says the juice acts as a funnel, which goes through the bloodstream and cleanses it.

He says there is also another "miracle cure" on the island, which he describes as an "anti-biotic" and an "anti-diabetes" cure.

It is a common weed on the island, which one resident says they have been trying to kill off because it is a pest -- the mile-a-minute creeper.

Dr. Strickland claims that extracts of the plant have restored the sight of a blind girl and enabled the re-growth of skin.

He also claims that wounds and cuts have been treated using the plant and when healed -- "it leaves no scars."

He is aware that people would be skeptical about his claims but he says "that's their choice. I won't force anyone to believe it -- but come to Aitutaki and see the results."

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News Online.

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