Are randomized controlled trials (RCTs) redundant for testing the efficacy of homeopathy? A critique of RCT methodology based on entanglement theory

J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Oct;11(5):831-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.831.


Introduction: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have yet to deliver unequivocal results demonstrating the efficacy (or otherwise) of homeopathic remedies and individualized homeopathic prescribing. This could be caused by an implicit assumption inherent in RCT methodology that specific effects of a remedy and any nonspecific effects of consultation are independent of each other. Reported here is a theoretical investigation of the consequences arising from this assumption proving to be false.

Methods: A previously developed theoretical model of entanglement in homeopathy between patient, practitioner, and remedy (called PPR entanglement) was used in this investigation.

Results: The adherence to RCT methodology could result in such trials completely disrupting the formation or survival of any three-way PPR entangled state.

Conclusions: Assuming the PPR entangled state is a necessary condition for therapeutic interaction, alternatives to RCTs are urgently required that can take into account possible entangled specific and nonspecific effects during trials of homeopathy. That RCTs sometimes deliver positive results for the use of homeopathic remedies may be caused by residual entanglement arising from homeopathic remedy manufacture.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Homeopathy / methods*
  • Homeopathy / standards
  • Humans
  • Materia Medica
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Metaphor*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Quantum Theory*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards
  • Research Design*
  • Systems Theory


  • Materia Medica