RCTs and other clinical trial designs in Ayurveda: A review of challenges and opportunities

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (2021)




Ayurveda, Clinical trials, Non-hierarchical, RCTs


<p>Currently, there is a paucity of clinical trial designs that comprehensively evaluate the efficacy of most complementary and alternative systems of medicine (CAMs) like Ayurveda. Several factors such as complex interventions, individualized therapy, etc., make designing Ayurveda clinical trials challenging. The prevalent randomized control trial (RCT) designs largely involve symptomatology/pathology-based recruitment and standardized interventions in carefully monitored trial environments. The present paper critically reviews the suitability of the dominant RCT model to Ayurveda and argues for newer, more sensitive trial models including modified RCTs and other clinical trial designs. It also explores the merits of a non-hierarchical approach to clinical evidence generation.</p>