Open letter to ECH members

by Simonetta Bernardini and Andrea Dei

With this letter, we would like to extend a warm greeting to all the members actively involved in this institution, thanking them for the work they are doing for the benefit of the entire community. Unfortunately, our health and age no longer allow us to play an active role in ECH and pursue a battle that has engaged a significant part of our lives, avoiding compromises and accommodations, but simply believing in the strength of our ideas. Ultimately, what remains of a person life are the ideas carried forward with dignity and credibility. We are happy to have been able to do so without any financial interest, following the example of eagles that do not fly in flocks, leaving that prerogative to others who favor the spirit of doves or pelicans.

Classical Hahnemannian homeopathy is a mature discipline if limited to its therapeutic aspect. In support of this claim, we cite the significant number of doctors practicing this discipline successfully and satisfying their patients. Distinguished figures who played a decisive role in human history chose it as their preferred discipline and declared their joy in benefiting from it throughout their lives. However, a discipline makes sense in the history of evolution if it can foresee future developments, and this primarily requires a plausible scientific foundation, which, unfortunately, many practitioners, as doctors, are often unable to provide. This is because, as Canguilhem, one of the greatest philosophers of medicine, writes, doctors are not scientists because medicine is at the crossroads of different sciences and has different interests, such as taking the patients by the hand and joining forces with them in the fight against disease.

The real problem of homeopathy, in other words, is the lack of a scientific reference personality, and those who have incautiously attempted have done more harm than hail, especially due to communication deficiencies. The Benveniste affair demonstrated this: a series of scientific experiments, perhaps well conducted, was presented by the author with a flat-earth formulation, leading to the equation homeopathy = fraud being still defined in encyclopedias. This is because no one could have believed that, as Benveniste claimed, throwing keys into the Seine in Paris could recover them in Le Havre due to the imprint it left on water molecules. Therefore, the revolt that followed the interpretation appearing in Nature in 1988 was widely justified, and it mattered little to the scientific world that a series of studies conducted in different laboratories partly confirmed Benveniste’s results, at least regarding the specific experiment. What mattered was the interpretation, which was clearly absurd in its formulation “water memory”. In fact, the insistence of one individual discredited an entire category (homeopathic doctors) that operated with great dignity.

Let us leave aside Benveniste actions; after being dismissed, he gleefully devoted himself to cultivating another absurdity related to the teleportation of information from a drug, followed by Montagnier, who coupled the Nobel Prize with the IgNobel by presenting a Benveniste-like device to the patent office that didn’t work (a television antenna installer could have told him that), and who ended his life as an idol of the anti-vaxxers by denying the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. From a scientific standpoint, “memory” means “specific configuration of objects capable of living long enough to be observed or used”. Since water gives rise to proton exchange billions of times per second and its molecules are continuously tumbling, it is clear that the memory of water made no sense from the perspective of justifying the terapeutic effect of a medicine, as it inherently could not provide information. The most accurate calculations using supercomputers limit physicists to characterizing situations with a lifetime on the order of 10-14 seconds.

However, as often happens in human society, there is always an emulation spirit in somebody who see diversity and absurdity as a source of progress, although delusional hypotheses cannot be simply interpreted as personal opinions. This approach, therefore, has defined the spirit of many works, without the authors realizing the harm they were causing, without considering that if their hypotheses made sense, theoretical physicists would have arrived decades earlier. In fact, one of the most significant experimental works ever done in homeopathy (the authors actually try to distinguish themselves from homeopaths by referring to RAD, Release-Active Drugs, but it is still homeopathy​1​) is based on crazy hypotheses invoking “water memory”, but shows results of great importance that the authors did not notice and refused to comment on when we asked.

We have proposed an alternative explanation of the observed experimental data. One of the great consequences of the neuronal hypnosis induced by water memory has undoubtedly been the rejection of hormesis. This is because hormesis was based on the existence of active principle molecules and could not justify the effectiveness of a homeopathic drug from 12C onwards. It mattered little if its discoverer Schultz had been nominated for the Nobel Prize about a century ago and if a great figure like Linn Boyd had emphasized its importance in his wonderful “The Simile”. Yet hormesis fully justified the principle of “Similia Similibus Curentur” which is the foundation of homeopathy, and for this reason, it had been buried by academic medicine for more than half a century. However, scientific evidence cannot always be overcome, and finally, after years of struggle, Edward Calabrese, who rediscovered and brought hormesis to the attention of the scientific world, received the recognition he deserved. Now hormesis constitutes a pillar of modern pharmacology and toxicology. However, Calabrese carefully refrained from associating it with homeopathy, as Schultz had imprudently done, since fans of “water memory” would have been among his fiercest opponents, in full agreement with those who extolled the wonders and up to date deny wrongdoing of academic medicine. In fact, the only one who tried to associate hormesis with homeopathy, using the solvent as a reference, managed to drown in the last two pages in ten centimeters of water, after crossing the English Channel swimming.​2​

Following our experimental data on DNA arrays​3–5​ and combining our results with those of Edward Calabrese on hormesis​6​ and Jayesh Bellare on solute flotation​7​ (both experimental), we have formulated the hypothesis that:

  • the effectiveness of homeopathic medicine is due to the existence of active principle molecules;
  • due to flotation, the dilution of the drug gives rise to solutions of higher concentration than expected;
  • succussion in glass is necessary not so much to dynamize the drug as to allow the transfer of ions from the container walls necessary for the stabilization of nanoassociates of the active principle;
  • interaction with the biological substrate occurs according to the rules of hormesis (which is not limited to a single process but to multiple processes depending on the concentration of the active principle, justifying the different efficacy and specificity of a homeopathic drug at different potencies);
  • in summary, homeopathy is just a chapter in the pharmacology of microdoses in the classical sense, and in principle it makes no sense to make distinctions.

Details concerning this view were reported in the past​8​. It is worth noting that our hypothesis requires the introduction of the concept of “non-solution” character of the homeopathic drug​9​, thus removing the bias constraints of the quantization of the matter, i.e. Avogadro’s number expectations. This perspective allows for future developments in the discipline, in addition to having a significant social impact. We were particularly comforted by the publication in a Scientific Reports article by Nature on January 7, 2024​10​, which fully supports our hypothesis with abundant experimental data and simplifies the lives of homeopathy operators. In fact, the work shows that at approximately 10-60 M (it is worth recalling that the canonical laws of dilution predict the absence of active principle molecules from 10-24 M onwards), Arsenicum album homeopathic drugs are populated of active principle molecules of diarsenic trioxide with a cubic structure (which is only a structural notation), and the drugs are acting due to the presence of these molecules without any need for memories.

We hope that ECH can benefit from all this. Indeed, it justifies Benveniste’s experiments, which would not have disqualified the discipline and harmed its enthusiasts if he had simply argued that his own experimental results can be interpreted not in terms of “memory of water”, but more correctly “as if there were more active principle molecules than expected”.

Thank you for the attention.


  1. 1.
    Tarasov S, Gorbunov E, Don E, et al. Insights into the Mechanism of Action of Highly Diluted Biologics. J Immunol. 2020;205(5):1345-1354. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.2000098
  2. 2.
    Ullman D. Exploring Possible Mechanisms of Hormesis and Homeopathy in the Light of Nanopharmacology and Ultra-High Dilutions. Dose Response. 2021;19(2):15593258211022984. doi:10.1177/15593258211022983
  3. 3.
    Dei A, Bernardini S. Hormetic effects of extremely diluted solutions on gene expression. Homeopathy. 2015;104(2):116-122. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2015.02.008
  4. 4.
    Bigagli E, Luceri C, Bernardini S, Dei A, Filippini A, Dolara P. Exploring the effects of homeopathic Apis mellifica preparations on human gene expression profiles. Homeopathy. 2014;103(2):127-132. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2014.01.003
  5. 5.
    Bigagli E, Luceri C, Bernardini S, Dei A, Dolara P. Extremely low copper concentrations affect gene expression profiles of human prostate epithelial cell lines. Chem Biol Interact. 2010;188(1):214-219. doi:10.1016/j.cbi.2010.06.009
  6. 6.
    Calabrese E, Giordano J. Ultra low doses and biological amplification: Approaching Avogadro’s number. Pharmacol Res. 2021;170:105738. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105738
  7. 7.
    Chikramane P, Kalita D, Suresh A, Kane S, Bellare J. Why extreme dilutions reach non-zero asymptotes: a nanoparticulate hypothesis based on froth flotation. Langmuir. 2012;28(45):15864-15875. doi:10.1021/la303477s
  8. 8.
    Dei A. Experimental Evidence Supports New Perspectives in Homeopathy. Homeopathy. 2020;109(4):256-260. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1701445
  9. 9.
    Dei A. Hormesis and Homeopathy: Toward a New Self-Consciousness. Dose Response. 2017;15(4):1559325817744451. doi:10.1177/1559325817744451
  10. 10.
    Rath S, Jema J, Kesavan K, et al. Arsenic album 30C exhibits crystalline nano structure of arsenic trioxide and modulates innate immune markers in murine macrophage cell lines. Sci Rep. 2024;14(1):745. doi:10.1038/s41598-024-51319-w

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