This article gives you a complete overview of placebos. We introduce the definition of placebos, provide a quick overview of their history, provide some fun placebo facts, and share how we can use placebos to create positive change in people’s lives now and in the future.

Definition of a Placebo

A placebo is a medically inactive substance or experience “taken” by a person, usually at least once a day, with the intention of creating positive change. While placebos have usually been imagined as pills, they can come in any form, and can even be entirely formless!

History of Placebos

Placebos have been a critical healing tool throughout history – even when it wasn’t understand by the givers or a receiver that it was a placebo given by the healer. Much of the medicine given throughout history has been discredited today as having real medicinal health benefits. But surely that medicine carried with it a powerful enough placebo effect for many patients to experience remarkable change.

In the more modern era, doctors began to regularly prescribe placebo pills in the 1800′s for the sake of making their patients feel more confortable. By the 1950′s, placebo pills became a part of virtually every double-blind pharmaceutical study – as they provide the baseline against which new medications are tested. Learn more about placebo history!

Fun Facts Revealed in Placebo Studies

  • Red placebos excite patients and blue ones put them to sleep!
  • More expensive placebos work better than cheaper ones. learn more
  • Bigger placebos work better than smaller ones.
  • Placebo syringes work better than placebo pills. learn more
  • Placebos taken more often work better than those taken not as often.
  • Placebos even work when people know it’s a placebo.

The Next Generation of Placebos

Now that we know placebos can have life saving effects on people across a range of maladies,  the task ahead is to figure out how to optimize the placebo effect, and how to customize placebos to perform better for individual cases.The Placebo Research Center is beginning to issue this future into reality today by taking placebo research out of the laboratories and into a world where place into a world where placebos can be studied, analyzed, and optimized. Learn more

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  1. Cindy, March 16, 2013
    Hi Daniel, Great work, I am impressed. I have been annoyed for many years at the phrase "its just a placebo" Thanks for turning it upside down. Yes, we have the power to make a big difference in our own heath, wellness and ability to magically connect, and in that way inspire others. Peace to you. Reply

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