Does it "do harm" to your patient?? I guess I would say that we follow an alternative diet- that does have a significant body of scientific evidence in its use for patients with IBD/colitis and other conditions. Our docs thought it was not warranted when begun in our household BUT for my children, there have been remarkable improvements with no other known cause... had I listened to nay-sayers, we would NOT be where we are now with regard to my children's health status. I am not the typical patient tho. Had the data not supported continuing the diet, we would have gone back to our prior regimen.
I guess it might not matter what you tell the patient if they BELIEVE it is helping them and your role might well be only to guide them away from things which will cause harm. Magnets without a pace-maker seem pretty harmless. Pomegranate juice might be ok for hydration and is probably cheaper than other beverages they might consider.
I absolutely want my doc/ my kids' docs to provide an opinion on things known to be harmful- to give medically sound advice. I also don't expect them to make a decision FOR me short of clear medical decisions. I have worked in the field of autism for years and find the BEST way to help families is to provide them a framework for evaluating information/intervention strategies. TEACHING them to look for scientific evidence, to assess risk/benefit for them/their child - it's much more about teaching someone to fish, than providing all the fish for them.
We have about ten minutes to educate, evaluate and answer questions. If there is a subsequent visit, then we do it all over again. Balance that ten minute visit with their having listened to Aunt Sally or Uncle Googie for the last 40 years about whichever brand of snake oil they are using.
I educate the patient on the specific benefit the med provides (decreases ankle swelling, improves your breathing) and have them focus there.
If they want to take something that 'detoxifies the liver' , that's OK, as long as there is no interaction, it causes no additional problems and they're not skimping on the prescribed med to buy the snake oil.
And I insist on having a list of EVERY medication, prescribed and woo, they're taking.