British Society for Ecological Medicine

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What Is Ecological Medicine?


Ecology describes the scientific study of the relationships that all living organisms have with each other and their environment.

Ecological Medicine is known better as Functional Medicine in the USA; the differences are minor, apart from the concern for the environment. In the UK and elsewhere it has historically been called AENM – Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine, after its main components.

Ecological Medicine is firmly rooted in the science of conventional medicine and additionally recognises the key importance of external influences (such as nutrition, environment e.g. exposure to toxins and lifestyle) and internal influences (such as gut bacteria, genetic disposition, allergy, nutritional deficiencies, biochemical disturbances) in causing disease. Ecological Medicine aims to maintain or restore health by making use of those same influences in a therapeutic way.

Ecological Medicine has proven particularly effective in the understanding, prevention or treatment of the multitude of complex chronic conditions we are facing over the recent years incuding autoimmune and metabolic conditions e.g. Diabetes, severe allergies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) to name only a few. 

Methods typically used in Ecological Medicine are for instance allergy treatments like elimination diets and food challenges, Provocation/Neutralisation and Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation (EPD) or Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy (LDA). Nutritional Therapy is another fundamental part of Ecological Medicine and includes other dietary interventions, oral supplementation and i.v. nutrient therapy. The environmental approach focuses on supporting the body's various pathways of excretion and detoxification, trying to reduce the overall body burden of pollutants that we inevitably accumulate living on Earth these days. These classic methods are then combined with the insights of recent research e.g. in immunotherapy, genomics and epigenetics.  

The multitude of different interactions with the environment and the complexity of genetic disposition, means that each patient needs to be assessed thoroughly as a unique individual, making Ecological Medicine the most comprehensive, patient centered form of medicine!


Next events

Reversing Obesity & Type II Diabetes: Failing with Diet, Succeeding with Fasting

A morning of ‘Inconvenient Truths’: the evidence for how and why the dietary guidelines for reversing obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease fail and an exposé of the true culprit(s).  - An afternoon of Fasting: how and why it works for reve More

10 November 2017 00:00 to 23:59

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Sign up to receive our regular monthly newsletter which is full of useful tips and advice, as well as the latest news from the world of Ecological Medicine and details of our upcoming events.

Membership Offer

Members-Only Offer

All 'full members' joining as a new member in 2017 will receive a free copy of our textbook Environmental Medicine in Clinical Practice which retails for £28.

For oversea 'full members' a postage fee may be applied

BSEM focus

BSEM Conference Recordings Available !!

BSEM Conference Recordings Available !!

Have you missed any of the BSEM conferences?? We have a selection of BSEM recordings available. More

Letter in The Guardian by Dr Jenny Goodman (BSEM)

Letter in The Guardian by Dr Jenny Goodman (BSEM)

The Guardian: Vitamin D 'proved to cut risk of colds and flu' - letter by Dr Jenny Goodman (BSEM) 21.02.17 More



BSEM is proud to be able to contribute to the Advanced Training in Clinical Environmental Medicine recommended by the European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM). More

The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators - A BSEM Report

March 2013: Sutton Council just gave the go-ahead for a big incinerator to be built in South London. For more information about the health effects of waste incineration please see the BSEM report "The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators". More

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