Historical foundations of hormesis

The present paper provides an historical assessment of the concept of hormesis and its relationship to homeopathy and modern medicine. It is argued that the dose–response concept was profoundly influenced by the conflict between homeopathy and traditional medicine and that decisions on which dose–response model to adopt were not based on “science” but rater on historical antipathies. While the historical dispute between homeopathy and traditional medicine has long since subsided, their impact upon the field has been enduring and generally unappreciated, profoundly adversely affecting current drug development, therapeutic strategies and environmental risk assessment strategies and policies.

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