The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.

Letter to the editor

Editor, – In his table, Dr A. Bonaventura outlines various therapies for oral complications of cytotoxic therapy ('Dental implications' Aust Prescr1995;18:68). In my experience, his recommended remedies, at best, give minimal, short -term pain relief and, at worst, suppress the immune system.

I would like to suggest he try a herbal extract called Oralmat Drops, available over-the-counter at pharmacies, with which I have observed remarkable efficacy in all of the conditions he mentions. Pain relief is, in many cases, almost instantaneous following application of the drops. Healing of lesions is facilitated while antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals are rarely necessary. This suggests to me the likelihood of immunomodulatory activity by the extract which, because of its potential importance in medicine generally, calls for closer scrutiny.

C.L. Reynolds
General Practitioner
South Yarra, Vic.

Author's comments

Dr A. Bonaventura, the author of the article, comments:

Oralmat is a herbal extract from secale cereale (rye) manufactured by Ensign Laboratories for Schumacher Pharmaceuticals in Melbourne. It is available in a solution or cream over-the-counter.

Dr Reynolds has sent me his personal observations on the efficacy of this extract in various clinical settings. No clinical trial has been done comparing this extract to placebo or other standard approaches. Based on these observations, it may be worthwhile pursuing further.