Unscrupulous schemers are quick to take advantage of someone suffering from a major malady. Take our quackery quiz to see how much you know about charlatans and crazy cures both past and present.
Brandt claimed that a grape-based diet cleared her of stomach cancer and used her experience to market her Grape Cure to the public. The American Cancer Society states that there is no evidence that a diet of grapes treats cancer or any other disease.
Despite winning two Nobel Prizes (for unrelated work), Pauling earned a reputation as a quack in some circles for claiming that excessive amounts of vitamin C could eradicate the common cold.
Physicians drained between 5 and 7 pints of blood from Washington in a single day, which most likely worsened his condition and led to his death in 1799.
The National Institutes of Health states that there is no evidence that magnets help with pain or any other condition.
Apitherapy treatments are honeybee-based and may include the pollen, honey or hives of the bee. According to the American Cancer Society, while some apitherapy treatments show some promise in laboratory mice, there is no evidence that these treatments can be used to cure cancer or other conditions.
Nearly 4 million American adults try homeopathy each year. This treatment, developed in Germany more than 200 years ago, relies on incredibly diluted quantities of various substances to treat disease. According to the NIH, there's little evidence that homeopathy is effective at treating any condition.
Wakefield's study led many parents to skip routine vaccinations out of fears about autism. His study was later retracted, but the effects linger in the form of higher rates of measles, whopping cough and other diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other major organizations agree that there is no scientific link between vaccines and autism.
Snake oil salesman Clark Stanley took advantage of a 19th century fascination with Chinese snake oil cures to dupe the public. His patented cure-all was really made of mineral oil and offered little benefit.
Despite multiple warnings from the FDA and a Grade F rating from the Better Business Bureau, Dr. Joseph Mercola's website still sees 2 million visitors each month.
Dr. Oz touted the benefits of green coffee beans and Garcinia Cambogia on his show, but evidence of the effectiveness of these supplements is still lacking.
The 1906 passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act helped bring about the establishment of the modern FDA.
Corn flake inventor Kellogg touted the benefits of fletcherizing, or chewing food into tiny pieces, at his Battle Creek Sanitarium. He was also a fan of cleansing the colon via frequent yogurt enemas.
Chelation therapy is a legitimate and effective way to treat lead poisoning by injecting a chemical known as EDTA into the body. Despite claims made by some alternative medicine practitioners, this treatment does not effectively treat other conditions like cancer or heart disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
The Revigator was a special crock with a lining made from uranium, which was guaranteed to make your water extra radioactive. While popular at the time, it wasn't long until the public learned the true dangers of this type of product.
Despite numerous claims, the National Institutes of Health state that the acai berry is not proven effective as either an anti-aging tool or a weight loss supplement. This simple yet delicious relative of the cranberry and blueberry continues to serve as the subject of many forms of quackery.
A pot of beef stew inspired Reich to develop special treatment boxes where he could capture orgone in the 1940s and 1950s. By sitting in these boxes, patients could "cure" diseases ranging from cancer to the common cold.
Brinkley promised that he could cure conditions like impotence and dementia by implanting goat glands into his patients. In addition to his role as the "goat gland doctor," he was also a radio pioneer and a two-time candidate for governor in the state of Kansas.
Gerson therapy requires a special diet along with coffee enemas to help rid the body of cancer. The American Cancer Society warns that this therapy is not only ineffective, but also potentially dangerous.
Phillips claimed that flatworms were the true cause of AIDS and promised to cure the disease in as few as 7 minutes. The Massachusetts Attorney General issued a restraining order against her in the mid-1990s, forcing her to stop making unproven claims in online ads.
The Greek Cancer Cure uses a serum made of brown sugar and vitamins to "treat" the disease. Its creator temporarily lost his medical license when he refused to submit a sample of the serum to Greek authorities for testing. The American Cancer Society states that this treatment is not proven effective at preventing, detecting or treating cancer.