What are Placebos? Are They Good for You?

A placebo is commonly thought of as a thing; that is a pill , a device, a procedure that is employed by a healer to help or seem to help his or her patient. It is more instructive to think of it as an effect: the effect of a treatment that goes beyond its intended pharmacological or physiological effect. It is more or less a component of all healing. Reviewed 2009.