Improving public health through natural medicine
Blackmores spearheaded the natural health industry in Australia and has set an unequalled standard, consistently combining the best of nature and science to deliver natural medicine products that help people achieve optimum health.
The company was founded more than 85 years ago by Maurice Blackmore, who was a naturopath and a pioneer. He made it his life’s work to provide people with natural health solutions.
A series of firsts
Maurice Blackmore developed some of the first naturopathic products in the country and opened one of Australia’s first health food stores and naturopathic clinics. In addition, he published the first consumer and industry journals and established the nation’s first naturopathic education facility.
He also established a number of educational bodies, and to honour and continue this commitment to education, the Maurice Blackmore Research Foundation was established in 1983. The Foundation’s initial communique noted, ‘The outcome of research and education undertaken by the Foundation should benefit the community as a whole and we see the Foundation as being largely the extension of his visions.’
As the use of natural medicine continues to rise, the industry needs to remain at the forefront of knowledge on the evidence, efficacy, safety and quality of natural medicine andits effective integration with other modalities. It is from this need that the Blackmores Institute was established, representing yet another first in the history of the company.
Blackmores Institute Heritage
The Blackmores Institute is the academic and professional arm of Blackmores, established to support and drive an evidence based approach to natural medicine. Its focus is on research and education; its primary purpose is to improve the quality use of natural medicine by translating the evidence base into practical healthcare education, resources and advisory services.
Its team includes researchers, academics, healthcare professionals and communicators, working together to promote the quality use of natural medicines through:
• Research funding
• Education programmes
• Healthcare professional advisory services
• Research symposia and conferences
• Interactions guidelines
• News and research updates
• Systematic reviews
• Academic projects.
Message from Dr Lesley Braun, Group Director, Blackmores Institute Herbal medicine and diet and lifestyle modifications have been a mainstay of health for millennia. Pharmaceutical treatments are a relative newcomer in history, yet some healthcare professionals (HCPs) rashly dismiss its precursor.
No single system of medicine holds a monopoly on curing illness and disease, with approximately 60% of the world’s population continuing to rely heavily on traditional medicine and many using a combination of both modalities to achieve increased health and wellness.
In addition to traditional evidence, a growing scientific base for complementary medicine (CM) has enabled an improved understanding of the mechanisms of action, potential safety issues and how to minimise risk, and – most importantly – the best way to use CM for optimal benefits. Some of these uses have been shown to improve public health, with substantial cost savings.
It could be argued that HCPs who don’t incorporate CM recommendations into their patients’ management plans aren’t delivering the best standard of care. Many HCPs understand this imperative and are increasingly asking for the tools to provide better care and help patients make informed choices about CM.
Blackmores Institute builds knowledge development by supporting research and translating the evidence base into practical education, resources and support services. Our motto ‘Sharing knowledge, changing lives’ sits at the heart of how we empower people to take more control of their health and live an optimised life, with our new state-of-the-art multi-language education portal for users across the globe proving the perfect complement to regular scientific symposia, weekly research newsletters and training programmes for pharmacy assistants and students.
Privileged to collaborate with thought leaders at home and abroad, Blackmores Institute has regional offices in Singapore and Malaysia, and formal partnerships with respected universities including Rangsit University in Thailand, Taylor’s University in Malaysia, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia.
We support future leaders of the industry with academic grants and fund PhD scholarships and leadership programmes with prestigious research groups such as the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University and the University of Technology Sydney.
With many new natural treatments yet to be explored, we are also supporting independent clinical research across the region. Australia is fortunate to have some of the highest quality and manufacturing standards of CM products in the world.
As industry leaders, Blackmores Institute will continue advocating for good government regulation to ensure the continuing discovery and delivery of new safe and efficacious CM. Our aim is to further unlock the potential of natural health and ensure the public’s right to the best.
The journey ahead is exciting and important. With a strong team and great partnerships in the region, we feel confident that natural medicine will continue to grow so more people will benefit now and in the future.
The science of natural medicine Research to support the quality use of complementary medicine Blackmores Institute is committed to supporting scientifically rigorous research that improves the understanding of health professionals and the community on the role of complementary medicine (CM) in advancing public health.
Overseen by the Blackmores Institute Research Council, our focus is on research that will build the knowledge base of CM in three key areas: novel ingredient development; discovery and innovation; and legacy.
We also proudly support CM leaders of the future through academic and practice grants.