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Institute for Transcultural
Health Sciences (IntraG)

Welcome to the IntraG-Website


The Institute for Transcultural Health Sciences studies issues of health and medicine from the perspective of cultural science. 

Topics include the culture of medicine, medicines of the cultures of the world, health and disease in historical and global context, and disease prevention. 




Our basic principles of conduct

The foundation of our conduct is the World Health Organisation (WHO) Bejing Declaration, a binding agreement  issued by the 61st conference of the WHO. In this agreement it has been emphasised that natural and traditional systems of medicine should be a preferential subject of research, that their usefulness should be studied, and that those systems that prove useful should be integrated into the medical care systems of the member countries.

Our connecting factor in the German Sozialgesetzbuch V (Code of Social Law) is §2, which introduced "special therapies" as early as 1989: "Methods of treatment, medicine and healing remedies of special therapies are not excluded. Quality and effectiveness of those therapies must comply with the generally consolidated standards of medical findings and medical progress." With the term "special therapies", the legislative body explicitly refers to homeopathic, phytotherapeutic and anthroposophical medicine and remedies.

The Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Phillip Rösler, points out in his welcoming speech during the 44th "Week of Medicine" (Medizinische Woche) in Baden-Baden, that the "majority of the German population regularly makes use of natural and alternative medicine". He states that "the reasonable inclusion of complementary medicine in the medical care of our country thus has an important value in our health care policy". The Federal Minister of Health wishes for "dialogue between complementary and academic medicine in order to merge the best of both systems and thus mutually balance the shortcomings of the respective other system, as well as to prove their usefulness and effectiveness with actual results from high quality surveys."