Here's A Handy Cheat Sheet For Which Alternative Therapies Actually Work

Homeopathic pills, which (if correctly manufactured) do nothing. (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images)

Apple cider vinegar doesn’t shine your hair or rev your metabolism. Yoga is good exercise but not a miracle cure. Homeopathy is useless.

On the other hand, light therapy can help seasonal depression. Alternative medicine is kind of a grab bag, and it can be tough to remember what’s what.

That’s why we like Consumer Reports’ Guide to Natural Cures, which gives a one-paragraph summary of the evidence behind (or against) each of 38 different supplements, techniques, foods and therapies. Their conclusions pretty much match what you’ve read about here, and they’ve covered a few things we haven’t, such as reiki (pointless) and red yeast rice (mixed results). Bookmark it for the next time somebody says “Have you tried...?”

Guide to Natural Cures | Consumer Reports


    To quote Tim Minchin:

    By definition, alternative medicine has either not been proved to work or been proved not to work. Do you know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? Medicine.

    It's still what ABC's Checkout said. "there is nothing this side of the pharmacists counter that cures anything at. Maybe vitamin C. "

    What is on this side of the counter are farce products that make businesses a bundle, and a loss for the gullible consumer. These products are not illegal because the claims are difficult to prove. ie. fish oil might help cardiovascular in 1% of cases. The cream might reduce wrinkles in 1 in 1000, but it still worked for that one.

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