What does Christmas remind you of ? Mistletoe, holly, Christmas tree, Christmas pudding, and so many wonderful things. When the heart is happy, Christmas can never be dull. It’s not just about feasting and fun. It’s also a time for happy reunions with family and friends.
Mistletoe is known to bring happiness, safety, and good fortune as long as it does not touch the ground. This is probably why it is hung up in homes in Christmas time and is supposed to bring luck to those who kiss under it.
Extracts and preparations from the parasitic plant mistletoe (Viscum album ) have been used in the treatment of cancer for decades.
First recorded use in oncology was by the Dutch physician Ita Wegman who used a mistletoe extraction for the treatment of a breast cancer patient following a recommendation by Rudolf Steiner in 1917.
Extracts from the plant are used in adjuvant cancer therapy mainly as injections.
The most important active agents are lectins, which have cytotoxic and immunostimulating effects.
Mistletoe extracts have low toxicity. No fatal side effects have been reported.
Breast cancer is among the most frequent types of cancer in women worldwide. Current conventional treatment options are accompanied by side effects. Mistletoe is amongst the important herbal medicines traditionally used as complementary remedies.
The benefit of mistletoe in laryngeal cancer treatment requires further investigation, and might be considered in selected patients, as an adjunct or when other conventional therapies have failed.
Mistletoes of the Loranthaceae and Viscaceae are hemiparasitic plants and their preparations in the form of injectable extracts, infusions, tinctures, fluid extracts or tea bags are widely used in various cultures in almost every continent to treat or manage various health problems including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory conditions, irregular menstruations, menopause, epilepsy, arthritis, cancer, etc.
In Germany mistletoe extract is one of the most commonly used complementary therapeutic strategies in the treatment of urological tumours.
Clinical effects of mistletoe products include improvement of quality of life, reduction of side effects from chemotherapy and radiation, and possibly increased survival.
In central Europe, white-berried mistletoe (Viscum album) preparations not only are among the most common types of treatments used in integrative medicine but also have been among of the most commonly prescribed cancer treatments in Germany per se in 2010.
By 2017, mistletoe preparations will have been used in the treatment of cancer patients for 100 years.
- [Mistletoe in the treatment of cancer].
- Preclinical and clinical effects of mistletoe against breast cancer
- [Mistletoe (Viscum album) preparations: an optional drug for cancer patients?].
- Mistletoe: from basic research to clinical outcomes in cancer and other indications
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