Several examples are discussed in this review, where substances without proven effects were proposed for practical use within the scope of evidence-based medicines. The following is discussed here: generalizations of the hormesis concept and its use in support of homeopathy; phytoestrogens and soy products potentially having feminizing effects; glycosaminoglycans for the treatment of osteoarthritis and possibilities of their replacement by diet modifications; flavonoids recommended for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins; acetylcysteine as a mucolytic agent and its questionable efficiency especially by an oral intake; stem cells and cell therapies. In conclusion, placebo therapies can be beneficial and ethically justifiable but it is not a sufficient reason to publish biased information. Importantly, placebo must be devoid of adverse effects, otherwise, it is named pseudo-placebo. Therapeutic methods with unproven effects should be tested in high-quality research shielded from the funding bias. Some issues discussed in this review are not entirely clear, and the arguments provided here can initiate a constructive discussion. © 2019 Bentham Science Publishers.