Mistletoe

Bouquet with mistletoe and a cup of coffee on the table. Still life.

How Can Mistletoe Help Me?

Mistletoe is a plant that has been used in cancer treatment for a century. It is one of the most widely studied naturopathic medications prescribed as a complementary treatment for cancer patients in Europe. 

Mistletoe is appropriate for use in patients with cancer, including those currently undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation. It can also be used by patients with a history of cancer as part of a program to reduce the risk of a reoccurrence of cancer. 

Research has subsequently shown that Mistletoe has several effects on cancer and the immune system including:

  • Activation of the immune system and the production of defense cells
  • Stimulation of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells and blockage of angiogenesis (new blood supply)
  • Protection and stabilization of the DNA of healthy cells against damage caused by drugs, such as chemotherapy
  • Improvement in general well-being
  • Reduced fatigue, particularly during and after chemotherapy
  • Reduced nausea during chemotherapy
  • Improved appetite
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy
  • A slight increase in body temperature 
  • Less sensitivity to pain, so pain medication is needed

There are no known drug interactions with Mistletoe, including with chemotherapeutic agents. 

If you would like to discuss whether or not you may benefit from Mistletoe therapy, schedule a 10 Minute Discovery Call for Cancer Patients and Survivors 

  1. Bussing, Arndt. Mistletoe: The Genus Viscum. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Harwood Academic Publishers, 2000. Print.
  2. Huber R, Barth H, Schmitt-Graff A, Klein R. Hypereosinophilia induced by high-dose intratumoral and peritumoral mistletoe application to a patient with pancreatic carcinoma.J Altern Complement Med. 2000; 6(4): 305-10.
  3. Braedel-Rudolf S. Immunomodulatory effects of Viscum album extracts on natural killer cells: a review of clinical trials. Forsch Komplementmed 2010; 17(2): 63-73.
  4. Valentiner U, Pfuller U, Baum C, Schumacher U. The cytotoxic effect of mistletoe lectins I, II and III on sensitive and multidrug resistant human colon cancer cell linesin vitro. Toxicology 2002; 171(2-3): 187-99.
  5. Troger W, Zdrale Z, Tisma N, Matijasevic M. Additional therapy with a mistletoe product during adjuvant chemotherapy of breast cancer patients improves quality of life: an open randomized clinical pilot trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2014; 2014: 430518.
  6. Weissenstein U, Kunz M, Urech K, Baumgartner S. Interaction of standard mistletoe (Viscum album) extracts with chemotherapeutic drugs regarding cytostatic and cytotoxic effects in vitro. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014; 4: 6.
  7. Bar-Sela G. White-Berry Mistletoe (Viscum album ) as complementary treatment in cancer: Does it help? Euro J Int Med 2011;3(2):e55-e62

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