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Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine, fringe medicine, or pseudomedicine are practices that claim to have the healing effects of medicine but are disproven, unproven, impossible to prove, or are excessively harmful in relation to their effect. They are a form of quackery or health fraud. Scientific consensus states that such therapies do not, or cannot, work because the laws of nature are violated by their basic claims; or that the treatment is so much worse that its use is unethical. Alternative practices, products, and therapies – range from ineffective to having known harmful and toxic effects. Perceived effects of alternative medicine may be caused by: placebo; decreased effect of functional treatment (and therefore potentially decreased side effects); and regression toward the mean where alternative therapies are credited for improvement which occurs anyway; or any combination of the three. Alternative treatment is not the same as experimental treatment or traditional medicine, although both can be misused in ways that are alternative and ineffective.

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