What actually is the placebo effect?

What actually is the placebo effect?

Everything that we take and from which we expect a certain medicinal effect has a placebo effect.

This can be beautifully observed, for example, by taking valerian tablets: Valerian is taken half an hour before bedtime and is supposed to support both falling asleep and sleeping through the night.

But what many do not know: The tablets must be taken every day, because the effect occurs only after about two weeks.

In the pharmacy, I hear time and again that patients only take the tablets now and then, when they have the feeling that they canā€™t fall asleep. And lo and behold, after taking the tablets, they find it easier to fall asleep.

But how can they work then? The placebo effect provides the answer.

Knowing we have done something about our insomnia, we calm down, we are ready for sleep ā€” and we actually fall asleep.

Of course, we then attribute the effect to valerian; after all, we have just taken a tablet so that we can fall asleep better. But it wasnā€™t valerian, it was the placebo effect.

It is also possible that valerian only has a placebo effect if we have taken it regularly.

Medizin Transparent, a project of the Cochrane Austria science network that scientifically reviews health claims, states theā€¦

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