What is NuCalm? Is Meghan Markle’s skin patch a scam?

August 17, 2023

Meghan Markle recently had the Internet buzzing after paparazzi snaps showed the Duchess of Sussex strolling casually through Montecito, California, flaunting an unusual skin patch on her left wrist, reports the New York Post.

Eagle-eyed observers noted that the patch is just one product sold by an obscure wellness company called NuCalm.

The topical treatment, as the name implies, claims to bring calm and relaxation to stressed-out celebrities—or anyone with $50 a month to subscribe.

Meghan But does NuCalm actually work? Or is it just another costly New Age gimmick?

The product is marketed with a windstorm’s worth of woo-woo, or pseudo-scientific jargon, such as the following:

“The NuCalm biosignal processing disc is a revolutionary delivery mechanism that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, by tapping into the body’s Pericardium Meridian with particular electromagnetic frequencies of inhibitory neurotransmitters to interrupt the HPA axis and downregulate sympathetic tone,” according to the company’s website.

And despite several online endorsements claiming that the NuCalm devices are “FDA-approved,” there’s no evidence that the company has received a stamp of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“The FDA is not aware of any legally marketed medical devices under the trade name: NuCalm Biosignal Processing Disc,” an FDA spokesperson told the Post.

The manufacturer did not respond to the Post’s telephone messages, but one woman’s experience with a suite of NuCalm devices and products was thoroughly underwhelming.

“The NuCalm treatment itself was perfectly pleasant,” Kayleigh Roberts wrote on Grateful, after being fitted with headphones playing soothing sounds and the company’s now-famous wrist patch.

But after experiencing no real effects, “I left feeling disappointed and a little anxious about my failure to feel less anxious through the treatment,” Roberts said.

Roberts also chewed on a tablet purportedly containing GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, a naturally-produced compound that’s known to produce a calming effect, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

However, the use of GABA supplements to treat insomnia, anxiety, or other conditions is questionable at best, say medical researchers.

“There is some evidence in favor of a calming effect of GABA food supplements, but most of this evidence was reported by researchers with a potential conflict of interest,” said the authors of a study from Frontiers in Psychology.

The jury, then, is still out about the effectiveness—if any—of the NuCalm Biosignal Processing Disc.

But the company wasted no time in using the Duchess of Sussex’s image to promote their products. After photos of Meghan Markle with the wrist patch became available, NuCalm posted them—along with a free seven-day promotional trial offer —on their Instagram feed.

Research contact: @nypost