Mistletoe Therapy was studied and popularized by Dr Rudolf Steiner (PhD) during the 1920s, and has received considerable attention in Europe since then. Considered sacred in ancient times, mistletoe was used historically to treat a wide variety of acute and chronic health conditions. More recently, preparations of the Common Mistletoe (Viscum album) have seen resurgence for aiding the treatment of various forms of cancer.
Although not yet widely accepted in North America, mistletoe therapy today is one of the most highly prescribed drugs to cancer patients in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. In fact, the numbers of German cancer patients who receive mistletoe therapy in addition to their other treatments now outweigh those who do not.
Mistletoe Therapy is seen as a dual function plant therapy, acting as a booster to the immune system preventing against the spread of tumor cells, while also acting directly to gradually halt and reduce growth in existing tumors. It is typically used in conjunction with more conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment.
Patients have reported experiencing improved quality of life with fewer side effects, especially those receiving chemotherapy, who can suffer discomfort due to damage caused to healthy tissues during the process of killing cancer cells.
Treatment with mistletoe typically begins with tolerance testing. Each patent is tested to determine the correct dosage, as well as which preparation of the plant is best suited to their system, while also accounting for the type and stage of the cancer.
Once treatment begins, dosage is increased very gradually until a slight reddening begins to appear around the injection site, a desired effect showing increased circulation and a proper response by the immune system. Should this reddening not occur, often a different preparation will be chosen for that patient, usually by selecting mistletoe that was grown on a different type of host tree.
Occasionally a change in the course of the patient’s disease may also suggest a change in preparation.
Cyclic maintenance therapy with mistletoe usually follows over the next several years, under the observation and guidance of a specialized physician.