No matter how many real diseases there are, with real doctors treating them and real researchers developing real cures for them, there will always be medical quackery. it seems that alternative medicine is the latest in this trend, with plenty of trendy "cures" and "cleanses" designed to give users a quick and easy path to total wellness and a perfect chi. The only problem? There's very little science behind these mythical cures. Which alternative therapies are just plain nonsense?
People in search of easy answers to difficult problems run headlong into scam artists and sham healers looking for their next mark. Through gibberish sciency-sounding terms, appeals to ancient wisdom, sleight-of-hand, and outright lying, these quacks prey on the sick, the searching, and the desperate. They generate billions of dollars in doing so, no matter how many lives their "medicine" costs.
These are the popular, yet almost completely fraudulent, alternative medicine forms of "healing" the proof behind why they just don't work. Sadly, these are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, with dozens of other sham therapies and dangerous, unproven treatments out there - and more thought up every day. These health fads might be all the rage, but they certainly won't cure you of anything, and might even be harmful instead.Read on to learn about the science behind these alternative medicine practices and stay informed - when in doubt, ask a doctor!
WHAT IT IS:
Heating glass bowls that you then put on the skin to bruise it, drawing toxins out.
WHY IT DOESN’T WORK:
This has become a popular alternative therapy among celebrities and in big cities. Indeed, spend enough time around such treatment places and you’re bound to see folks walking around with a line of large, perfect circle bruises on the backs of their legs. Sadly, these people have injured themselves for nothing, because alt medicine toxins aren’t real. Cupping has never been studied as a treatment, and the fact that it was supposedly also performed in ancient China and Greece doesn’t mean it’s a legitimate therapy.
Herbal Womb Detox Pearls
WHAT THEY ARE:
Small bags of an herbal tea-like concoction that ladies can insert into their...womb...to cure a variety of ailments, "flush out toxins" and "tighten the vagina."
WHY THEY DON'T WORK:
First, the psuedoscientific definition of "toxins" is nonsense, as is the notion of flushing them out. Your body already has perfectly functioning systems to flush out toxins, and you use them every time you go to the bathroom. Beyond that, inserting herbs or anything into your vagina is extremely dangerous, and you risk toxic shock syndrome by doing so.
Detoxifying Foot Pads
WHAT THEY ARE:
Adhesive pads the wearer puts on the soles of his or her feet that supposedly draw toxins out of the body. The pads turn dark, indicating the toxins that were once in the body. Supposedly, Japanese people have used them for hundreds of years and are all in perfect health.
Putting aside the fact that the alternative medicine definition of “toxins” is bogus, detox footpads turn a darker color for one reason: their active ingredient is powdered wood vinegar. In its normal liquid state, this is dark brown or black, but in its powdered form, it’s colorless. Contact with perspiration from your foot liquefies the wood vinegar, and the dark liquid turns the pad dark. This is as basic as science gets.
Bach Flower Remedies
WHAT THEY ARE:
A homeopathic form of aromatherapy based on distilling the essence of certain wild flowers. The goal is to transfer the “spiritual energy” of the flowers into water, which the user drinks in a solution of brandy and mineral water.
WHY THEY DON’T WORK:
A fairly mild and old-timey type of energy therapy, Bach flowers were much more popular in the '30s and '40s. But they still have their devotees today, and can be purchased through a variety of questionable Internet sources, usually for much more than they’re actually worth. They were also recommended as a form of healing by Dr. Oz, despite no clinical trials proving them to be any more effective than a placebo.