Mistletoe plant

The Power of Mistletoe: An Integrated Approach to Cancer Care

In the realm of functional medicine, mistletoe isn’t just a festive decoration; it’s also recognized for its potential as a cancer therapy. While conventional treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy remain primary options, interest in complementary and integrated therapies continues to grow. Mistletoe emerges as a promising natural approach to cancer care.

Mistletoe (Viscum album), has been used for centuries for it’s medicinal properties. However, its role in cancer treatment has garnered significant attention in recent years. Excitingly, John Hopkins University recently completed a phase I clinical trial of intravenous mistletoe, demonstrating both safety and clinic benefit, warranting additional phase II studies in combination with chemotherapy as the next step.

Mistletoe extracts have long been recognized for their immunomodulatory effects. Numerous studies have demonstrated their ability to stimulate various components of the immune system, including natural killer cells, macrophages, T cells and B cells. Cancer often evades immune surveillance, allowing tumors to thrive unchecked. Mistletoe extracts contain compounds that enhance the activity of these immune cells which play crucial roles in identifying and eliminating cancer.

Furthermore, mistletoe extracts have been found to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells. This targeted cytotoxic effect helps to reduce tumor burden without harming healthy cells, which presents a significant advantage over conventional treatments that may cause widespread side effects.

Beyond its direct anti-cancer properties, mistletoe has also been shown to aid with conventional treatment-related adverse effects and improve quality of life for cancer patients. Studies have shown that mistletoe therapy can mitigate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, boost energy levels, and enhance overall well-being.

From bolstering the immune system to directly targeting cancer cells, mistletoe extracts hold promise as a complementary therapy alongside conventional treatments. At IHC we prescribe mistletoe regularly as part of a holistic cancer plan, it is a most valued tool in our naturopathic toolbox.

Call the clinic today at 604-888-8325 to learn more.

In health

Dr. Alanna Rinas, ND