This is a reply I made to a reply to something I said on Facebook. I thought it was worth sharing, with an added link for more information.
I have nothing but respect for the placebo effect. Give me a sugar pill and explain that it’s a drug that’s been clinically tested and tell me a bit about how it will work and the chances are that my body will respond and alleviate the problem at least a little. Feed me the pill and tell me it’s going to work because of water’s memory and I’ll know there’s nothing there so it won’t work.
Obviously, I’d rather have the drug itself to go with the pep talk and explanation.
I don’t know just how much the placebo effect is understood, but I have read (in this Wired article from 2009) about trials where they tested the difference between just being handed the drug (or sugar pill) and having a doctor talk about what it would do. The subjects who were kept informed responded better than those who just taking the same pills. Homeopathy is about convincing you to cure yourself. If you could team the psychology with drugs that have been proven to work,then you’d be able to work wonders.