What is Mistletoe?
Mistletoe is a parasite that grows in certain trees (apple, oak, maple, elm, pine, and birch, for example). Mistletoe can actually suck the life out of the trees that it lives on. But extracts from this "nuisance" plant have proven to kill cancer cells as well as to boost the human immune system. Do not go out and grab yourself a handful of mistletoe to eat, though. The cute little white berries of the mistletoe plant are very poisonous. Obtaining a mistletoe extract is a multistep process that is best left to professionals.
Mistletoe extracts can be purchased at health food stores; but actually in medical trials and studies, the mistletoe extract is administered by injection or intravenously.
Several groups of compounds have been shown to contribute to the medicinal action of mistletoe. Most notable are mistletoe lectins (also called viscotoxins), choline derivatives, alkaloids, polypeptides, and polysaccharides.
The lectins, peptides, and polysaccharides have shown immune-stimulating activity in human studies when mistletoe extracts are given by injection. Some studies suggest these compounds, as well as mistletoe alkaloids, can also kill cancer cells in animals or in the test tube. Numerous clinical trials have found that subcutaneous injections of mistletoe extracts can help people with cancer of various organs, though some have also failed to show any benefit.
Sacred Herb of the Druids - the traditional herbal uses of Mistletoe include;
Nervous and endocrine systems
Metabolism, menopausal and period problems
** Excellent for stress this deep, broad acting, yet calming herb should be considered as a regenerative aid to health, in many cases. The leaves (unlike the berries) are non-toxic and safe.
The Druids held mistletoe in great reverence as a sacred plant that could remove every ill. It was gathered with great ceremony and cut from the tree with a golden knife. These days its wonderful virtues have almost been forgotten, many people think it is poisonous; this being true only of the berries, the leaves however are completely non poisonous and may be taken like any other herb on a regular basis.
Mistletoe like Noni, has a wonderful impetus for a natural healing of the nervous system. Its other main actions include a kind of systemic action on the glandular system, helping to redress hormonal imbalance, including the pancreas.
According to Maria Treben (quoting from Health Through God's Pharmacy):
"Since mistletoe benefits the whole glandular system it also aids the metabolism. At the same time it favourably influences the pancreas so that through drinking mistletoe tea over a long period, diabetes loses its original cause. Especially people who suffer from chronic metabolic disorders should try to drink mistletoe tea regularly for six months...."
"For hardening of the arteries mistletoe is an excellent remedy, esteemed and recommended for stroke, which would have scarcely have happened had the tea been drunk regularly. After a stroke, drink 3 cups a day for 6 weeks, 2 cups for 3 weeks and 1 cup for two weeks...Mistletoe is the best remedy for heart and circulatory complaints. I cannot emphasise mistletoe enough for circulatory problems. Since it has active substances that normalise the whole system, it lowers high and raises low blood pressure. It soothes the heart and strengthens it. All the side effects of abnormal blood pressure such as blood rushing to the head, dizziness, buzzing in the ears and visual defects disappear. Mistletoe it can be said is invaluable in all heart and circulatory disorders..."
Mistletoe also has natural benefits for women's disorders:
"The normalised circulation brings uterine and menstrual disorders into equilibrium, especially heavy menstruation. For palpitations, difficulties in breathing and hot flushes with anxiety in the menopause mistletoe tea drunk regularly, brings relief and you will pass through the change naturally".
Mistletoe also has a good contribution in the treatment of fatigue and chronic fatigue, where hormonal and nervous systems need gently toning up at the same time.
In summary, due to its broad-spectrum normalising and toning effects, one may use mistletoe as part of a regenerative programme alongside Noni and superfoods such as Pollen and Chlorella.
From the Ayurvedic point of view Mistletoe is slightly heating (pitta) and reduces excess vata and kapha (excess air and damp, both stubborn conditions).
The conclusions drawn from clinical trials of using mistletoe as a cancer treatment are mixed. There isn't much doubt that mistletoe extract does boost the immune system. Most researchers agree that mistletoe extract does, indeed, boost the immune system, but whether mistletoe extract is effective as a cancer treatment has not been established to any degree of medical certainty.
There have been problems associated with all of the studies that have been done. Studies have only been conducted in Europe, and in every study, there were limitations - the study was too small, the results were mixed, the patient data was incomplete, the information about dosage and frequency was skewed, or there were problems with the design of the study.
Mistletoe may be our next best hope for treating cancer, but at this point, there is no proof of its effectiveness.
Herb Pharm's Mistletoe
Herb Pharm's Linden/Mistletoe