Last year I raised the question (Arming ourselves against the Superbugs) of just how much money in medical research was allocated or used towards non-pharmaceutical alternatives such as essential oils and other complementary therapies. While I don’t yet have an exact figure, but my suspicion is that the answer is very little. An article posted in Natural News, some 5 years ago focused just on the area of cancer research.  It found that out of some 7080 clinical cancer trials, only 3 focused on natural alternative methods of treating the disease. That works out to about 0.04% If we extrapolate this figure to the rest of medical research then my suspicion is not entirely unfounded.
I decided to do some research of my own and try and find organisations that were conducting research into alternative and complementary medicine; organisations that might need support and would likely accept donations. There’s a lot of good will out in the community. People are prepared to part with their hard-earned cash in order to fund research that will benefit all of humanity. However if our efforts are being directed into solely producing more drugs (and more profits for the pharmaceuticals) what is our good will achieving? So I think it’s important that people have alternatives to direct their donations to. This post is a small contribution towards providing and alerting people to the choices out there. It’s not a definitive list; I’m sure there’s more out there and these are mainly focused on the U.S., Australia and the UK. Over time I hope to uncover more.
Till next time
AIRASE (Association for the International Research of Aromatic Science and Education) (U.S.)
The first one on the list is an organization dedicated to research in essential oils. AIRASE is categorised as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in the U.S. Their aim is to promote the scientific validity of essential oils as an alternative form of treatment and to disseminate information worldwide on the scientifically proven therapeutic uses of essential oils.
AlterMed Research Foundation – Complementary and Alternative Medicine CAM (or Integrative Medicine) Research and Education (U.S.)
AlterMed Research Foundation is listed as a 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S.. They are looking for support to help promote integrative medicine research and education Donations will be used to support AlterMed’s mission to achieve full integration of evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine into conventional health care. Donations can be made via PayPal.
Australasian Integrative Medicine Foundation (AUST & NZ)
Donations are used to promote the integration of evidence based complementary therapies into mainstream medical practice and greatly supports their ongoing cause in lobbying with medical and government organisations to promote the practice of safe IM in Australia and New Zealand.
Foundation for Integrated Medicine in Africa (CAN)
Foundation for Integrated Medicine in Africa (FIMAFRICA), is a registered Canadian charity delivering integrated medical services to remote and impoverished communities living in Northern Kenya. We provide mobile clinical services to deliver integrated medicine, using homeopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine, diet, clinical nutrition, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and other integrative holistic methods to improve integrated health care in these remote areas for communities that receive minimal medical care.
Massage Therapy Foundation (U.S.)
The Massage Therapy Foundation was set up to advance the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education and community service. Since the inception of the Foundation’s granting programs in 1993, over $302,000 has been awarded to fund research, and almost $172,000 has been awarded to fund Community Service projects. By underwriting scientific research, partnering with community organizations, and through education and information sharing, the Foundation encourages excellence and innovation in the field of therapeutic massage.
Maulfair Medical Center’s Foundation for the Research and Development of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (U.S.)
The Maulfair Center focuses on research and education in the benefits of Chelation therapy
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) (U.S.)
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), a Federal agency of the United States Government. Although NCCAM is federally funded organization and not a fund-raising organization, it has been authorized by the U.S. Congress to accept donations and bequests to support the mission of the Center. All contributions to NCCAM are tax-deductible to U.S. citizens pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 170.
National Institute of Complementary Medicine (AUST)
NICM comes under the University of Western Sydney. It was established to provide leadership and support for research into complementary medicine and translation of evidence into clinical practice and relevant policy to benefit the health of all Australians. Its establishment follows the 2003 recommendation by the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Australian Health System that the government has a social responsibility to fund complementary medicine research given the high community use of complementary medicines and therapies
The Research Council for Complementary Medicine (UK)
The RCCM is a UK Registered Charity founded in 1983 to develop and promote research into complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and enhance evidence based medicine in this area. The RCCM is unique in its focus on developing research into CAM. It’s aim is to widen the availability of and access to safe and effective complementary therapies for patients within the National Health Service in the UK. Their members are researchers, practitioners and non-commercial organisations involved with the complementary medicine sector. They are grateful for any donations to support their work. Their Making a Donation page gives further details.
University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Research Center (U.S.)
Research has been conducted here to investigate the effectiveness of several complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of heart conditions, cancers, pain and depression. Much of their research is supported by grants, but they do also accept gratefully donations from the public.
For information on how you can support our program, please contact Amy St. Amour, Development Officer, at 734-998-7120 (ext. 330) or 734-645-0423, or by email at email@example.com. Donations in any amount are gratefully received and all contributions will be acknowledged, with your permission, in our UMIM publications. Donations can be mailed to the following address:
Amy St. Amour
University of Michigan Integrative Medicine
Office of Medical Development and Alumni Relations
301 East Liberty Street, Suite 400
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
University of Nth Carolina, Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Program on Integrative Care (U.S.)
The University of North Carolina’s program on integrative care aims to bring together complementary, alternative and mainstream medical research and their aim is to develop facilities and personnel for research in conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, musculo-skeletal disorders such as arthritis, infectious diseases, heart disease, asthma and diabetes. They also wish to develop their teaching capacity in this area as well as expand clinical services including:
- Providing services to low-income populations
- Developing the IM Clinic as a teaching site
- Funding the cancer consult service
- Enhancing communication & facilitating partnerships between CAM practitioners and conventional health professionals
Their contact is listed as Program Director Susan Gaylord for any questions regarding donations and funding opportunities: 919-966-8586; firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Analysis: virtually zero alternative cancer research occurring, by Adam Miller, Natural News, 28th April 2008