Research shows that knowingly taking placebos can be highly beneficial
On Amazon, you can shell out about $15 to buy pills made of cellulose, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and dye. None of these ingredients have any medical effect, but customers report taking these pills for pain relief, to reduce excessive sweating, and even to quit smoking. It’s not surprising, really. Medical quackery has a long and proud history, and so long as there’s gullible people, there will be somebody selling snake oil. But here’s the rub: Right on the bottle, in big, blue letters is the word “placebo.” The only claim the manufacturer makes about these pills is that they are guaranteed not to contain any kind of medicine.