Nutraceuticals and Placebo

Nutraceuticals and Placebo

Herbal medicines are often¬†perceived by the general¬†public as a ‚Äėsoft‚Äô alternative¬†to Western medicine, but the
use of these substances can be risky since they can induce nocebo effect. In 1961 Walter Kennedy chose the
term nocebo (Latin for I will harm) as the counterpart of placebo. This term was introduced a few years after Henry Beecher published his paper on placebo effect. Most clinical studies explored the beneficial effects of nutraceuticals and ignored their nocebo effects; the seeds/oil of Nigella sativa has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, antimicrobial, hypotensive, hypoglycemic, antiepileptic and antineoplastic activity.

Garlic, considered either food or herbal medicine, possesses antimutagenic and antiproliferative properties that can be used in anticancer interventions, hypoglycemic. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential electron carrier in the mitochondrial respiratory chain and an important antioxidant. It exerts a beneficial effect on cognitive, digestive, cardiovascular and immune systems, and modulates inflammatory and degenerative processes in the body.