Mistletoe, scientifically known as Viscum album, is one Europe’s most commonly used non-conventional cancer treatments that is still in use today. Supplementing oncological therapies with mistletoe therapy has shown to have numerous benefits, including:
How Common is Mistletoe Therapy?
A 1995 national survey conducted by Germany’s Society for Biologic Cancer Defense found mistletoe preparations to be the most frequently prescribed biological drug (80%), followed along by vitamins, trace elements, enzymes, as well as xenogenic peptides (tissue from other species), such as thymus preparations.
In another study, 72% of 125 currently hospitalized cancer patients had used unconventional treatment methods. Mistletoe was found to be the most commonly used among these therapies — at 43.2%, followed by immune stimulants, vitamins and trace elements, respectively.
The German Cancer Information Service in Heidelberg, Germany, reports 20% of their estimated 60,000 calls over the past several years have been in reference to unconventional therapies. In analyzing a snapshot of those calls seeking information on non-conventional therapies, 23.9% were in reference to mistletoe therapy.
Can Cancer Patients Live 40% Longer with Mistletoe Extract?
Information about mistletoe extract has been hitting North America’s airwaves ever since actress Suzanne Somers announced she is using it as an adjunctive therapy to fight breast cancer following lumpectomy and radiation. Some medical experts have claimed there is no scientific evidence to support taking this natural approach. However, a major, ground-breaking study was published in the May issue of the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. The study showed that individuals who took mistletoe extract in addition to their standard medical treatment for cancer lived 40% longer.
This work followed 35,000 participants for over 30 years. Of the 35,000 patients studied, 5,000 developed cancer. A rigorous design with 300 pairs matched for tumor type, stage and conventional treatment received, demonstrated that those cancer patients who also had mistletoe showed 40% longer survival. Other studies confirmed low toxicity and favourable impact on the patients’ quality of life.
Research indicates that mistletoe extract is most effective when used in conjunction with standard medical cancer care for the treatment of solid tumors such as breast, liver and colon cancers.