The Pulse – May 29, 2015

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    This week on The Pulse, we take a trip into the unknown. We explore things many people swear by but the science to support them isn’t quite there. Think cleanses, kombucha and brain booster drinks. Also, we’ll talk about once crazy-seeming science becoming mainstream and mainstream approaches getting questioned.

    Our first story involves a deep dive into the world of alternative medicine and we’re talking really far out. Crystal healing. Steven Jackson takes us to a crystal healing shop to hear from owners and customers about the healing power of crystals and we also hear from an expert/skeptic to get a mainstream clinical opinion.

    Leeches were once a go-to cure for pretty much everything, then became seen as completely crazy, and now they’ve reclaimed a place in modern medicine. Elana Gordon explores the leech’s role in medical history.

    The cleanse craze isn’t going away and seems to be getting bigger and bigger. You can find hundreds of options online and all tend to avoid some or most foods for several weeks. Pulse Host Maiken Scott decides to try one out to see what all the fuss is about.

    There are products out there claiming to make your brain more powerful and increase your focus, but do they really work? We talk to Bethany Brookshire, regular Pulse contributor and writer for Science News, to find out how we, as consumers, can separate fact from fiction in these types of health products.

    Kombucha is a drink that claims to have magic powers. How has this ancient beverage turned into a modern fad?

    Also on the show, could it be possible that mindfulness and meditation might have a negative impact on some of us? Miguel Farias, author of the new book “The Buddha Pill,” tells us about his research and the backlash he’s already receiving on the concept.

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