I recently had the pleasure of joining Dr. Molly Fantasia on her HealthWatch radio program on WWDB-AM Philadelphia where we talked about the state of Integrative Medicine and the American Association of Integrative Medicine (AAIM) of which we are both members. You can listen to it as a streaming podcast at


AAIM is the pioneer organization supporting integrative medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). What is CAM? The National Institutes of Health recently created a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to explore the current and future contributions of CAM therapies in sustaining health and treating disorders and diseases. According to NCCAM, CAM therapies specifically include natural products; mind/body practices like relaxation techniques, meditation, massage, accupressure, physical and other movement therapy, acupuncture; energy therapies; healing touch; and hypnotherapy. That the application of any or all CAM therapies can make a difference to health isn't the issue so much as defining the biological mechanisms, specific effects, side effects, and interactions with traditional western medicine.

In a 2007 NCCAM survey, it was reported that 17% of American adults had used natural [dietary, supplemental and medicinal] products in support of their health or to assist in recovery from a disorder, illness or disease. Dr. Fantasia and I talked about current and future natural products in integrative medicine, and I introduced some research I'd done in the past in identifying the substances in and properties of plant transpirates. I pointed out that using plant transpiration water (PTW) rather than plant biomass made such an approach one of the first truly sustainable ones, and sustainability counts big in a world of diminishing resources. My research is still that: research. I'm looking for companies interested in pursuing this are of PTW phytopharmacology and natural products.

We also talked about integrative medicine and AAIM. I think I can say that we both strongly agreed that AAIM was a forward focused organization that merited medical and CAM therapist attention. In the past, most health research focused on better medical treatments; today's focus needs to include integrating these myriad therapies and ascertaining which groups together can best provide for optimal health, well-being and recovery from a disorder, illness or disease.