Mistletoe wins more fans as a cancer treatment

Mistletoe wins more fans as a cancer treatment

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on apple and other trees. The ancient Greeks swore by it as a treatment for all manner of ailments. It seems to increase immune response and can increase overall survival times in cancer. 

Mistletoe active ingredients include alkaloids, polysaccharides, lectins and viscotoxins – lectins are known immune boosters while viscotoxins have been recorded by the American Cancer Society as having the ability to kill cancer cells. German research has shown mistletoe’s ability to reduce side-effects, protect the liver, strengthen the immune system, kill cancer cells and increase cancer survival. And the National Cancer Institute records that mistletoe can also inhibit angiogenesis (the ability to build new blood vessels to a tumour).

But, the potency of the mistletoe seems to depend on what the host tree was and how the mistletoe is used.

In Australia, a mistletoe grown on ash trees (Fraxini) was more potent against colorectal cancer cells than a standard chemo drug. Clinical trials are planned.

But then, there has been over 60 Clinical Trials to date – one a seven year American study showed people with colorectal cancer and using Iscador as an Integrative therapy alongside standard chemo and radiotherapy, exhibited less side-effects and longer survival times.

The National Cancer Institute have now produced an overview(1) which seems to suggest that they view it as having potential in cancer treatment. 

They say that it kills cancer cells in vitro, and boosts the immune system in vitro and in vivo. 

They say that it seems to have three ’active’ ingredients - viscotoxins, lectins and polysaccharides.

Go to: Mistletoe increases cancer survival 


1. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/mistletoe-pdq#section/_7

2014 Research
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