Misleading words in alternative medicine

Alternative medicine is a growing business and some people firmly believe in it. Although certain forms give good results and have a proven effect, there is also a lot of junk on the market. The control is not nearly as strict as with medication from the doctor. Beware of the misleading words in advertisements below.

Misleading words

You regularly see advertisements in magazines for a new supplement, herb or vitamin. Supposedly proven treatments make you lose weight, make your skin glow or improve bowel movements. Although most people can see through the sales technique, it’s not that easy if you have one of the problems and you’ve tried everything. Below is a list of common advertising words that should prick your ears. If you hear or see one, it’s not too bad, but if two or more appear, it is strongly advisable to obtain more information. This can be done via the manufacturer, via internet forums, via a Google search or via your doctor. If you are unsure about a particular product in your specific situation, take the advertisement to your doctor and discuss it.

Commonly used advertising words


This word is used to contrast the product with common products.

Best sold

Without proof this is an empty phrase. When? And where?


Organic does not mean it is healthy. Moreover, it may be that only some of the ingredients meet the conditions to be called organic, and the manufacturers therefore call the entire product organic.

Essential vitamins/minerals

We all know we need these, but which vitamins and minerals are meant by the word “essential”? Moreover, you should always ask yourself whether the vitamins and minerals are being absorbed correctly. For example, does it help to rub them on your skin?

Used by Indians/mountain peoples/indigenous inhabitants

This implies that it is a method that is being held back by the big pharmaceutical companies, that it is better than what they have to offer.


That sounds great of course: smoother skin is guaranteed. And what if you didn’t get this? Will you get your money back? This word is often used without giving any real guarantee.

Cures cancer

This isn’t possible, don’t believe it.


Which substances? Toxins is a vague word.


This is another vague word. Is it really a drug? Then perhaps it can claim this. If not, then it’s nonsense.


This word sounds vague, new-age and therefore attracts people with the idea that you have to tackle the entire body if something is wrong in one place.

Clinically proven

What exactly has been proven? The advertisements often state in small print that in a study with 30 people there was an effect. You do not know who these people are and under what conditions they used the drug. Moreover, 30 people is a bit small to generalize to everyone. A large manufacturer should be able to finance research with more test subjects.


This word tries to contrast itself with the regular means that are said to be synthetic. It implies that these products are therefore wrong. But that is very simplistic: after all, synthetic products are an abstraction of natural products.


What does this actually mean? How can you notice this?


It’s always nice to get reassurance that something isn’t going to make you sick!

Ancient remedy

This is comparable to saying that something is used by Native American peoples.


Why should this be necessary? What kind of poison do we have in our bodies that is not already excreted normally through sweat and feces?


If it concerns soap, fine, but if something claims to cleanse something within the body, I would ask what is being cleaned more than the body itself already does.


What does this actually mean? It’s meaningless.


By giving the impression that it is something completely new, the manufacturers hope to convince people to give it a try. Ultimately it means nothing.

Melts away fat

This is not possible.


This is impossible. There are no products that slow down or stop the aging process.

Strengthens or improves the immune system



This word conjures up an idea of luxury, but is actually only synonymous with the word “fine”.

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