A presentation was made at our 4th Annual Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies conference by Michele Sanz of Weleda Corporation which supplies Iscador to patients in the US and Germany.
Mistletoe has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It appears in legend frequently as a panacea and interest in mistletoe as an anticancer drug began in the 1920s.
There is no evidence of mistletoe destroying cancer cells. Investigations of mistletoe's ability to inhibit cancer cell growth in animal models have yielded mixed results, depending on the extract used, the dose, the method of administration, and the type of cancer evaluated. Research continues.
There is substantial evidence of mistletoe's ability to modulate the human immune system and results of animal studies suggest that mistletoe may be beneficial in decreasing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and that it may counteract the effects of drugs used to suppress the immune system. Numerous forms of mistletoe have been used in animal and human studies with minimal side effects. However, there have been reports of seizures, slowing of the heart rate, abnormally high or low blood pressure, vomiting, and death after eating mistletoe plants and berries.
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