Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in Science, Skepticism | 32 comments

The Placebo Effect

I’m not going to go into an explanation of why homeopathy is bunk — if you don’t know, there’s an excellent video on the topic posted on YouTube by James Randi of the James Randi Education Foundation. But many studies have shown that homeopathic remedies are not dangerous and can have a positive placebo effect, so I wonder, are they inherently harmful and totally unnecessary? Isn’t believing that you feel better part of feeling better? While I would never advocate for homeopathic remedies instead of traditional medicine when it comes to treatable or preventable diseases, what harm is there to trying them once traditional medicine fails? And what harm is there to using them to treat symptoms (e.g., pain) when traditional medicine for those symptoms has significant and even permanent side effects? Are people really being scammed out of their money if correct information is easy to find via google, and they experience a positive effect from a homeopathic remedy?