Hormesis: a concept to understand the distinct indications of Chinese herbal medicine at different doses

Tao Huang, Ran Tian, Zhaoxiang Bian


The term “hormesis” refers to a non-traditional dose-response model in the field of pharmacology and toxicology. In the traditional model, dose-response displays the “S-shape” curve, where the biological effect gradually increases by drug amount, and finally reaches the plateau (Figure 1A) (1).