Placebos are simulations of an actual medication that is prescribed to a patient being treated of a particular disease. They also come in the same pill or tablet form as the medicines they simulate. Often, they are also released in the same packaging as the actual pills are in. Technically, placebos are prescribed for the purpose of deceiving a recipient into thinking that he or she has been given a certain medicine.
The placebo pills do not actually work in the same way that a real medicine does. They have no chemicals in them that can target diseased cells and provide relief and treatment. But there is a whole lot other way through which a placebo pill functions. It deals more with the psychological aspect of a patient.
In medical studies, there is the phenomenon known as the placebo effect. Consider a controlled medical research in which a number of patients are grouped into two. They have the same type of disease of the same level of severity with the same environmental and natural factors at play. It means that there will only be room for one difference: the use of placebo pills.
One group of patients will be given placebo pills to take and the other will be left on their own. The patients who are given placebo pills would be informed that the decoy medicines are meant to treat them of their disease. At the end of the experiment, it is found that the group that is given placebo pills has the idea of actually being cured of the disease than the other team. This is of course regardless if the group has actually been treated, which they usually are not. It is actually a therapeutic approach in that when people believe that they are cured, they tend to enrich their bodies more-which eventually really treats their disease.
Generally, placebos do not work medically and biologically as they are actually non-existent medications. But they do work in terms of psychologically conditioning the minds of patients that they are being cured even if they are not. This is why most doctors still recommend the intervention of placebos in most treatment courses of their patients. They can make wonders, too. It is just important that they are used with utmost discretion and extra care so that they do not compromise the health of the patients they are supposed to treat.