Mistletoe: Treatment for Cancer and Other Health Problems

Traditionally, during Christmas time, standing under the mistletoe, beloved person beside you, for a kiss. Several species of mistletoe (European and Korean), each type grow on the branches, of many common tree species, including oak, apple, elm, pine, birch, and maple. These trees provide minerals and water, for mistletoe to live. In Europe and Asia, processing the mistletoe, is common, for the treatment of cancer, inflammatory conditions, and AIDS. This herb has lowered elevated blood pressure. Also, leaves, twigs, and berries are extracted, for herbal medicine. In 1920, Dr. Rudolph Steiner an Austrian Swiss physician first purposed, using the extracts of mistletoe, for treating cancer. The physician founded Society of Cancer Research, promoting this research. Currently, Welda AG (Headquarters in Arlesheim, Switzerland) manufactures Iscador, which is fermented extracts of mistletoe. Adding, to this extracted herb, are traces of silver, copper or mercury. Besides Iscador, other similar medications, are extracts of mistletoe, includes: Helixor, Eurixor, and Isorel, mostly available, in Europe. European regulatory agency approved mistletoe, for use in tumor therapy, in Austria, Switzerland, and West Germany.

The treatment of cancer, by extracts of mistletoe, is not common in the United States. Physicians in the United States are permitted, purchasing this product, from European or Welda AG manufacturers. As reported in 2001, Actress Suzanne Somers was treated with Iscador. After, she had breast cancer surgery, boosted her immune system. Some physicians argue, Iscador treatment is less effective or risky, instead of conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Germany has spend, at least $30 million, on mistletoe extract, for fighting cancer. In 2001, issue of ‘Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine,’ mistletoe treatment, prolonged the survival rate of patients, with breast, rectum, throat, lung, and stomach cancer. However, in 2001, issue of the ‘European Journal of Cancer,’ studying effects of mistletoe, had shown no significant improvement, for cancer survival, and failed to improve the immune system, during five years study, of 500 patients. Reported in June 2005, United States Food and Drug Administration approved mistletoe extract, in cancer treatment studies. Testing will evaluate, how effective mistletoe extract works, in comparison to conventional anticancer drugs. The study is sponsored by National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). The clinical trials government identifier number, for this evaluation: NCT000044161

Mistletoe extracts stimulate the immune system, reducing cancer tumor size and kill cancer cells. Also, provides relief, for patients undergoing Chemo and radiation therapy, for treating cancer. Study conducted by Dr. Ronald Grossarth – Matice, of the institute for Preventive Medicine, evaluated cancer treated patients and treatment with mistletoe extract medication. His studies concluded, increase in survival time, maximum forty percent. The extent of treatment depends, on patient’s sex, age, type of cancer, and general health. Medication is administered, by injection, into the cancerous tumor of the liver, esophagus, and cervix. Injects are given in mornings, for three to seven times a week. The course of treating patients extends months to years. Sometimes, oral medication is administered, for brain and spinal cord cancer.

On May 16, 2004, Harald Matthes, MD, medical director and chief of the Department of Gastroenterology, at Havelhohe Hospital for Antroposophically Extended Medicine in Berlin, Germany, presented test results, using extracted mistletoe, combined with other therapy, for treating hepatitis ‘C’ (About four million Americans are infected with hepatitis ‘C.’). Previously, these eighty-four tested patients, failed responding to interferon therapy or had specific reason, why they couldn’t receive the therapy. Overall: Forty-four percent of these patients, experienced improvement, during a twenty-four month period. No side effects where observed, during testing. Also, researchers estimated, cost for completed therapy, using inferon is $28,000, compared to $5,600, for herbal extracts.

In animal studies, mistletoe medication has been used, for treatment of inoperable solid tumors, including cancer of bladder, stomach, intestine, genital organs, and skin. Cancers of the breast, lungs and esophagus, have shown least improvement, by this treatment. Furthermore, process of treatment, transforms tumor cells into semi-malignant form, then to chronic inflammation, and finally to normal tissue.

Mistletoe extract, for cancer treatment has minimum to severe, side affects or allergic reactions. Allergic symptoms include: Flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain with nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, headaches, chest pain, and low blood pressure. Unfortunately, overdose can cause poisoning, leads to seizures, coma, and death. During therapy, patients experiencing high body temperature, discontinue treatment. Research studies administering Iscador injections, advised women, in their first few days of menstrual period, avoid this medication, for possible side effects, from seizures and death. Chemicals in European mistletoe, attributed to miscarriages, by causing contractions, on the uterus. Mistletoe medication is not recommended, for women currently breast-feeding or children under twelve years old. No doubt, eating mistletoe berries, poisonous to humans.

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