In 1983, in Peru there were only a few isolated studies
worth mentioning, conducted by university professors and researchers
attempting to include Traditional Medicine and Natural Medicine
into the university curricula. However, their efforts either did
not materialize or only achieved limited academic success.
When in 1999 Fr. Edmund Szeliga was asked how he would define Andean
Phytotherapy, he replied: “As an invaluable cultural legacy
undergoing academic development”.
Edmund Szeliga, sdb
in IPIFA - Chaclacayo, 2002
Did this prompt the decision
to establish the Peruvian Institute of Andean Phytotherapeutic Research?
No, as a matter of fact. This Institute was actually formed, unexpectedly,
at the initiative of a Spanish citizen who had come from North America
where he had been receiving cancer treatment, until someone there
suggested that he should contact Fr. Szeliga by phone. Once in Lima,
impressed by the favourable results of the initial treatment that
he was advised to follow, the patient proposed that the service
which was being provided in an individual and private manner should
be institutionalized. Father Szeliga agreed, although not precisely
for academic reasons, but bearing in mind the pressing needs of
the population as far as healthcare is concerned.
So it was that between April and May 1983, thanks mainly
to the above-mentioned patient’s persistent determination
-even though he was only passing through Lima- IPIFA was legally
incorporated as a private, non-profit organization for scientific,
medical-healthcare and promotional purposes, in which licensed health
professionals have been providing services since the end of 1984.
Climbing the Andean counterfoot, 1998
Among the eight friends and collaborators who initially
contributed to the emergence of this Institute we find: Ing. Javier Santolalla S. first co-founder associate together with Miss Constanza Barera C., Mr Juan Alfonso Aspillaga P. and Dr. Iñigo Aspillaga P.