Your mother lied to you, and you lie to your kid. Parents lie all the time – especially when it comes to booboos. Have you ever said, “Let me use my magic to make the pain disappear,” or “I’ll blow on it and it’ll stop hurting.” How about, “Let me kiss it and make it feel better.” Lies, lies, lies, but every parent will attest that these little white lies work.


One ingenious and entrepreneurial mom has decided to bottle all of that warm, fuzzy deceit. Forget the medicine, Jennifer Buettner suggests simply administering spoons full of her cherry-flavored sugar. Jen’s non-drug pill, Obecalp, (how long will it take for you to figure out the name’s origin?) was “invented by a mommy as the first standardized placebo”. It’s for those moments when an Elmo bandage won’t keep the tears in. The pills can be bought at placebostore.com.

The lies don’t have to leave my lips anymore as I can simply pop a sugar pill in his mouth, but my son thinks tickle therapy is still more fun. Give a listen to RadioLab’s Placebo episode to unlock the powerful potential of the placebo effect. Pay special attention to the documented medical evidence of curative ways – from putting on those white coats, to blatantly lying to patients – in which doctors use placebos.

+OrangeYouLucky (illustrations)
+ Placebostore