Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UK


Edzard Ernst, Barbara Wider

Our unit is specifically devoted to clinical research in this area. It was established in 1993 following a substantial endowment from The Maurice Laing Foundation. Today it is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the area of complementary medicine research.


  • To conduct rigorous, inter-disciplinary and international collaborative research into the efficacy, safety and costs of complementary medicine.
  • To be neither promotional nor derogatory but to struggle for objectivity.
  • To promote analytical thinking in this area.
  • To maintain our status as an international centre of excellence for CAM research.
  • The overriding aim of all our research is to maximise the benefit and minimise the risk of complementary medicine for the patient and consumers.

Areas of interest

The unit focuses on the most commonly used complementary therapies in the UK:

  • acupuncture
  • herbalism (phytotherapy)
  • homoeopathy
  • manipulative therapies (osteopathy and chiropractic).

Other therapies are also included, particularly if funding is available.

The main research tools used within the unit are:

  • systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • clinical trials
  • surveys.

For more information please visit our website at