Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lifestyle-brand ‘Goop’ and the expensive products it peddles are just the newest in a long line of medical quackery leading back to the 1800s. America has a long history with selling and buying Snake Oil, bogus cures to any ailment you can imagine, starting with the cowboy showman of the wild west, who sold to the masses through traveling vaudevillian performances. In addition to fake cures, historical American doctors and scientists also have a dark history of identifying and pathologizing both biological and mental illnesses that simply didn’t exist, ones that said much more about the culture’s values than it did about the people who were said to be ill. At the same time, the rich were being diagnosed in spades with a disorder known as Americanitis, leading to much more luxurious treatments. American alternative medicine, as dubious as it may be, formed as citizens rightly grew suspicious of the flawed medical establishment. Though fake cures are not grounded in science, researchers are actually finding that alternative medicine does work to help relieve us of our pain, just not in the ways you might think.
American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Assistant produced by Derrick Smith
Voice acting by Will Rogers
Research assisted by Riley Smith
Art by Roache
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