When you think of mistletoe, you no doubt picture a holiday kiss under a sprig of the plant.
But in addition to being an iconic Christmas symbol, mistletoe is one of the most widely studied alternative therapies for cancer. There is evidence that it not only boosts survival but it may reduce tumor growth, support the immune system, and ease the side effects of chemotherapy.
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on trees such as oaks, maples, and elms. It has been used as a folk remedy for hundreds of years to treat epilepsy, high blood pressure, headaches, arthritis, and menopause symptoms.[i]
Mistletoe first grew in popularity as a cancer treatment in Europe in the 1920s. It is still widely used there today to help cancer patients.[ii]
At least 10 different lab studies show that mistletoe kills cancer cells. And in recent years, researchers have conducted several clinical studies showing that it is an effective treatment.[iii]
One of the most impressive trials tested it in 220 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. This is one of the deadliest cancers.
Researchers found that those treated with mistletoe survived longer. And they had better quality of life. They had less pain, fatigue, nausea, and weight loss than those who took a placebo.[iv]
Another study looked at mistletoe extract in 804 colon cancer patients who were also treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation. The researchers found that patients whose conventional treatment was supplemented with mistletoe had fewer cancer symptoms and stayed in remission longer.[v]
How Mistletoe Fights Cancer
Scientists believe two components in mistletoe are responsible for its anti-cancer benefits:[vi]
Viscotoxins: These are small proteins that exhibit cancer-killing activity.
Lectins: These complex molecules stimulate the immune system to help it fight cancer.
Although mistletoe is a common cancer treatment in Europe, most conventional American doctors don’t routinely offer it. The European Union has approved mistletoe extract for cancer patients, but the FDA has not.
In Europe, mistletoe extract typically does not replace conventional treatment. It is used in addition to them. It usually does not have severe side effects. In fact, as we mentioned earlier, mistletoe often reduces the side effects of conventional treatments. But mistletoe can give some patients headaches, fever, or chills.[vii]
Even though the FDA has not approved it, there are ways that patients in the U.S. can access high-quality mistletoe extract. It’s most often sold under the drug names Iscador and Helixor. They are available in American clinical trials.
If you have cancer and are interested in taking mistletoe extract, show your oncologist this article. Several major cancer centers in the U.S. now offer it as part of ongoing studies. Your doctor may be able to arrange treatment by enrolling you. For more information, go HERE.
Editor’s Note: If you’re worried about cancer, you need to read our monthly journal Independent Healing. It’s your best source for unbiased, evidence-based medical advice.
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