Mistletoe is a popular plant this time of year, but it is worth far more than holiday romance. Mistletoe is a semi parasitic plant that grows on trees such as apple, oak, pine and elm. Mistletoe extract has been used for centuries to treat many ailments.(1)
Mistletoe extract is one of the most widely studied complementary and alternative therapies for cancer. In European countries, preparations with mistletoe are prescribed to patients for cancer treatment.91)
Mistletoe extract has been shown to kill cancer cells!
It has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory and affects the immune system. Mistletoe extract is most commonly administered by injection under the skin or into a vein, pleural cavity and or tumor.(1)
A large number of studies using mistletoe to treat cancer have been completed since the 1960’s. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved mistletoe for treatment for cancer or any other medical conditions.(1)
Mother of four diagnosed with colon cancer beats cancer by using mistletoe extract!
In 2008, Ivelisse Page, a 37 year old mother of four children was diagnosed with colon cancer. She had 28 lymph nodes and 15 inches of her colon removed. Later that year, she received devastating news that her cancer had spread to her liver. She was then given an 8 percent chance of surviving more than two years.(2)
Page had more surgery and removed 20 percent of her liver. Dr. Peter Hinderberger, was on Page’s treatment team and was a specialist at Ruscomb Mansion Community Health Center. He specialized in complementary therapies and had seen positive effects from injecting mistletoe extract.(2)
Page’s doctor, Luis Diaz, was an oncologist who treated with chemotherapy but Page desired to try Mistletoe extract. Diaz agreed to continue to work with Page as she started Mistletoe extract. The next time Diaz saw Page, he was amazed. He reported, “The one thing I noticed was that as soon as she went on it, she started feeling better,” he recalls. “That’s a universal feature I’ve seen in all patients who get mistletoe. Their [color] improves; they have more energy.”(2)
Page has been cancer-free since the operation on her liver. She attributes her turnaround to combination of surgery, diet, exercise and mistletoe. Since then Page has been working with Diaz, trying to get the FDA to approve the use of mistletoe extract. Diaz attempted to convince Diaz that it would cost millions of dollars, but instead of subduing Page, she went into overdrive to find a way to fund clinical trials. She and her husband have formed a nonprofit call Believe Big, to connect cancer patients with doctors who use nonconventional cancer therapies. The organization has continued to raise money to fund research for mistletoe extract.(2)
Mistletoe extract reduces effects of chemotherapy and radiation and improves patient’s emotional wellbeing!
One study showed that mistletoe can reduce side effects of chemotherapy. Some breast cancer patients even reported a reduction in hair loss. The study also showed an improvement in emotional wellbeing, with patients feeling less worried and depressed. (3)
Another study found that mistletoe helped people feel less tired while receiving radiation therapy. The study included 220 patients diagnosed with breast, ovarian, and lung cancer. Those that received mistletoe extract experience less fatigue, insomnia, anorexia and nausea.(3)
One study assessed the affects of mistletoe extract on stomach cancer. Patients who received the extract had lower chances of diarrhea compared to those who weren’t given the extract.(3)
As cancer rates continue to grow, more and more people are searching for treatment alternatives. It’s possible that mistletoe extract could be an option with the right physician and the right location.(3)