“Complementary and alternative medicine is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CAM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health or well-being. Boundaries within CAM and between the CAM domain and that of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed.” CAM Research Methodology Conference, April 1995.


Complementary and alternative medicine is gaining more and more attention worldwide as a mean of finding solutions for miseries of ill health where contemporary medicine has failed. Meantime concerns are also raised by many parties on the safety and efficacy of such treatments and practices creating a gap between the beliefs and available evidence in relation to Complementary and alternative medicine.

Sri Lanka has a unique history in relation to Complementary and alternative medicine practices. Indigenous medicine in Sri Lanka, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and other systems are widely practiced in Sri Lanka. Despite the availability and wide wide practice over time the contemporary medical stream has kept away from CAMs hindering the opportunities for useful research and interventions.

The need for a collaborative center for research and development in CAM was felt as a dire need of the time and FMAS of RUSL pioneered into this area of vacuum by establishing this center.

1. This center will enlighten the future of CAM aiming the following objectives.

2. To promote the study and research in fields of complimentary, Alternative and Traditional Medicine.

3. To gather information about different systems of Health care provision available in Sri Lanka.

4. To promote research in this area of health care with the intention of developing evidence based practices and evidence based medicine In relation to CAM.

5. To organize workshops and study programs in CAM .

6. To act as a centre offering elective appointments for foreign and local students.

7. To liaise with other institutes in the field of CAM for scientific research.

8. To publish a scientific journal in Complementary and Alternative medicine.

9. To act as a centre providing certificate courses and higher levels of education programs to Allopathic doctors and professionals of different disciplines.

10. To develop a state of the art laboratory for research and developments in CAM.

11. To Attract local and International grants for research and developments in the field of CAM.

12. To work on getting patent rights for new inventions in CAM carried out by the

13. To act as a centre with multidisciplinary specialization. This will enable the unit to be eligible to look into the validity of different claims made by different people and institutions involved in CAM. Hence in the future will be able to act as a National level Advisory unit to the state institutions in resolving the scientific nature of such claims.

14. To Promote and implicate the concept of Integrated medicine in a scientific manner, becoming the pioneering unit in Sri Lanka to introduce this concept.

This center is established in the professorial building of the Teaching Hospital Anuradhapura, attatched to the department of medicine and the the director, A research assistant and a computer application assistant are working in the center as the staff members.