The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies--a systematic review of the literature

Complement Ther Med. 2007 Jun;15(2):128-38. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2007.01.011. Epub 2007 Mar 28.


Objective: Systematic assessment of the in vitro research on high potency effects.

Method: Publications of experiments were collected through databases, experts, previous reviews, citation tracking.

Inclusion criteria: stepwise agitated dilutions <10(-23); cells or molecules from human or animal. Experiments were assessed with the modified SAPEH score.

Results: From 75 publications, 67 experiments (1/3 of them replications) were evaluated. Nearly 3/4 of them found a high potency effect, and 2/3 of those 18 that scored 6 points or more and controlled contamination. Nearly 3/4 of all replications were positive. Design and experimental models of the reviewed experiments were inhomogenous, most were performed on basophiles.

Conclusions: Even experiments with a high methodological standard could demonstrate an effect of high potencies. No positive result was stable enough to be reproduced by all investigators. A general adoption of succussed controls, randomization and blinding would strengthen the evidence of future experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Cells / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Contamination / prevention & control
  • Homeopathy*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Materia Medica / pharmacology*
  • Materia Medica / standards*
  • Quality Control
  • Research Design


  • Materia Medica