askyermom

Oh my goodness. Some questions really point up the way I have failed in my vigilance to teach you all to be super skeptical. Slimming tea? Tummy detox? Placeholder Placebo? Come on!

There is a huge industry selling us wellness products we don’t need, and it’s only getting bigger and more predatory, like a shark made of money and teeth. We’re going to need a really big boat of reason to deal with it.

Now, it is established that for most of us, tea makes us feel better. If we believe it will calm our nerves, it will; likewise if we believe it will help soothe a sore throat that throat will be soothed, at least a little bit.

If every variety of tea had the same expected effect, we could confidently call it placebo effect tea. That doesn’t mean that the tea isn’t helpful, but it does mean that the tea is only making music with the tremendous efforts of its back up singers — our enormous brains. Our strongest beliefs lead the way and make the choices, whether or not we are paying conscious attention to any of it.

The fuzzy area between expectations and results leaves a lot of space for unscrupulous people to sell potions and notions. They may tell you that putting butter on your scalp will do more than give you a greasy pillow and some rancid hats. Not only that, they wouldn’t recommend normal butter, because butter is cheap and sold by a great many other suppliers. What they want to do is create the path to their wallet that insists you must buy their Exclusive Formula Baldness Butter.

It’s not a new problem. A hundred years ago, folks had a terrible time navigating the legitimate cures for all the baloney. Making manufacturers prove their claims was a revelation. Science could rescue us from all the malarkey!

The trouble is, people really love malarkey. They love to feel they have some control. If I swallow this pill I will get to the better place. If I rub this butter on my noggin, I will at least have something to do besides feel disappointed at my thinning locks. Everything is better with butter, I bet.

I’m a big believer in doing your own thing and if that thing includes Baldness Butter, live it up. However, I would suggest, gently, that you avoid spending a lot of money on placebos. You’re going to need your money for real help at some point. I’m sorry. That’s just how life works.

I was taking an expensive supplement for about a year and I don’t even remember where the suggestion came from. This stuff promised to make my cells more youthful and shiny or something. It certainly didn’t do anything harmful. Probably.

As I recognized that my supplement habit was getting a little silly, I stopped ordering more bottles of anything until I had researched the studies that science people had done on them. You know, that pesky proof thing.

Unfortunately, the website I found that provided good, plain English evaluations of clinical trials is no longer free and easy to use. I’m not going to get all worked up about the conspiracy that could be at work here, that’s concept doesn’t need a boost from me.

It’s up to you to decide if any of the snake oil you are supporting is really doing anything for you. You should definitely spend a little time researching to make sure it won’t do any harm!

Some of the hucksters may actually convince you that the big investment you are making in their stuff somehow makes it more effective. It certainly shows you are committed to the idea of giving them more money when you sink those big costs into their ideas.

Just don’t forget that that is another trick, another fallacy that has been making predators fat forever.

If that tea works, great, but are you sure it’s working? Try something else for a bit and see what your mileage looks like. Really pay attention and see if you are getting the results you assume you are getting. Maybe it’s not worth ten dollars a day to wreck your sleep and tax your organs.

If you think you need wine and a detective show to help you relax in the evening, maybe employ only the detective part for a couple of nights. Then you’ll find out if the wine is really doing what you think it’s doing.

You’ll find something that’s truly helpful if you keep trying and keep looking.

You’re smart, especially when you are awake.

Love,
yermom

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