Healing effect of mistletoe

Perhaps the most effective weapon against cancer lies within the patient himself: the immune system. This system naturally has an impressive ability to suppress tumor cells, with great precision and without side effects. Why wouldn’t they make use of that? In this context, treatment with mistletoe can be useful for all forms of cancer. Mistletoe injections activate the immune system. Mistletoe therapy can begin at any time: before surgery, immediately afterward, or at another time. You can also use it during chemotherapy (not on the day of the infusion itself, but better the day before or after), but the effect is not reduced. On the contrary: chemotherapy is often much better tolerated. The preparations are usually injected under the skin. Under medical supervision, mistletoe preparations are sometimes administered directly into the vein or injected directly into the tumor. Sometimes also in body cavities, which are infected with tumor cells.


  • Improve immune system
  • Lectins and viscotoxins improve the immune system
  • Mistletoe stimulates the production of white blood cells
  • Healing effect of mistletoe again in interest
  • The production: from juice to healing extract
  • Mistletoe injections activate the immune system
  • Slight fever indication of proper functioning
  • The mistletoe as a plant
  • Extremely slow growth
  • Autonomous plant with eternally youthful appearance
  • Different types of mistletoe


Improve immune system

It has been found that cancer patients almost always have a severely reduced immune system. It is therefore very important that not only the derailed cells are removed, but also that the internal control system functions optimally again. This is usually difficult to achieve with current therapies. Radiation and chemotherapy are intended to destroy cancer cells, but unfortunately they also damage the immune system.

Lectins and viscotoxins improve the immune system

Two substances in mistletoe extracts are particularly responsible for improving the immune system:

  • lectins;
  • viscotoxins.

The missing lectins have been discovered to inhibit cell division of tumor cells. The viscotoxins appear to damage the walls of tumor cells, causing them to die. You would expect that this effect is also toxic to healthy cells in the organism, as is the case with chemotherapy. This may indeed be the case with isolated lectins and viscotoxins. However, this appears not to be the case when an extract of the entire plant is used. The combination with the other ingredients appears to reduce toxicity.

Mistletoe stimulates the production of white blood cells

It appears that a number of cell types are stimulated to multiply and respond more strongly after administration of mistletoe. This proliferation and increase in activity is mainly visible in the white blood cells that check the cells’ own cells for properties that are a sign of virus infection or tumor activity. When this is the case, these diseased cells are rendered harmless.

Healing effect of mistletoe again in interest

Mistletoe has become the center of attention over the last hundred years. The Celtic Druids already revered her and for them she was the all-healing plant. In the Middle Ages, mistletoe, also called mistletoe, was used against liver ailments and later also against high blood pressure. At the beginning of the twentieth century, new interest arose in this plant. In 2003, two German researchers described all the data about mistletoe and all the research that had been done on it in a particularly extensive book. This makes her scientific status transparent in a clear manner. (GS Kienle and H. Kiene, Die Mistel in der Onkologie, Fakten und konzeptionelle Grundlage, Schattauer 2003.)

The production: from juice to healing extract

Research has shown that mistletoe has a high level of viscotoxins in summer. In winter, on the other hand, the content of mistellectins is much higher. For this reason, harvesting takes place twice a year: in spring and in autumn. The juices obtained from this are from the same species of mistletoe, but because they are picked at different times of the year, their active substances are different. The harvested plants are first processed into an extract. The summer and winter extracts are then mixed. After this procedure, the mistletoe extract is diluted to various strengths and placed in injection ampoules.

Mistletoe injections activate the immune system

Mistletoe preparations are almost always administered in the form of subcutaneous injections. This is quite simple and in most cases the patient or partner can administer the injections themselves based on the doctor’s instructions. The mistletoe preparation is usually injected under the skin with a very thin needle two to three times a week.
Usually, a so-called local reaction occurs shortly after the injection: the skin around the site where the substance has been injected becomes red and may itch for a while, swell slightly and feel warm to the touch. But these reactions do not occur in every patient, nor do they occur after every injection. However, if they are too intense, the doctor will consider whether it is wise to reduce the dose.

Slight fever indication of proper functioning

The fact that a local reaction occurs means that our organism responds to the mistletoe treatment. And you can interpret that answer as a positive signal, because it shows that the mistletoe preparation activates the immune system. This system fights all foreign cells, pathogens and tumor cells in our body, as long as it is intact. One of the signs that you can tell that it is working is a fever. In almost all cases, after the administration of a mistletoe injection, the patient’s temperature rises slightly, sometimes to fever pitch, and then decreases again within six hours. (Side effects such as fatigue, headache and muscle pain, which are often accompanied by fever, should not occur.)

The mistletoe as a plant

The first thing you notice when you look at the mistletoe (botanical name Viscum album) is that the plant grows like a bulb, with no preference for top or bottom. Even the leaves have no difference between top and bottom. This is unique in the plant world, where it is common to grow from the bottom up: against gravity, from the earth to the sun with the root to the center of the earth. The mistletoe cannot even grow on the earth, only in certain trees, the so-called host trees.

Sun is an important factor in the plant’s light metabolism

Also striking is the mistletoe’s relationship with the sun. The plant rests in summer and autumn, only in spring it grows and in winter, in February, it blooms, while the berries ripen in December. Mistletoe is always green, but unlike other evergreen plants, the green color is deepest in summer and a bit more yellow in winter. In the spring this yellow turns green again. The chlorophyll, which plays a role in the plant’s light metabolism, is not only in the leaves but in the entire plant: also the stems and the root, which is anchored in the tree branch. The leaves never wilt, they are shed green after one and a half to four years.

Extremely slow growth

Unlike other plants, mistletoe seed is green. It is not actually a seed, but a juicy green plant embryo, which can only survive and ripen when daylight continues to shine unhindered through the skin of the berry and the flesh. In other plants, the seed must go through a rest period in the dark in the soil. The mistletoe will no longer germinate if the berry has spent more than five days in the dark on the ground. Germination is done via birds. When a bird eats a berry, it tries to get rid of the sticky contents (Viscum comes from viscous, sticky, hence the Dutch name birdlime) by wiping its beak on a branch. Other birds eat the berries, but the sticky contents with the seed pass through the digestive tract unhindered and are deposited on a branch. The seed is thus stuck to a branch.

A root that grows upward: very exceptional

When germinating, the root grows upward first; that is also very unusual. The seedling, like other plants, has two oval leaves. Unlike other plants, mistletoe always retains this leaf shape. Mistletoe grows extremely slowly: the first leaves of the seedling only appear in the second year, the first branch only after four years. Each subsequent branch (of no more than about 5-8 cm) only occurs after a year. Only after five to seven years do the first flower shapes form. The plant is dioecious, that is, there are male and female plants. The berry only ripens after nine months in December. The berry stays fresh into the summer (when it remains on the plant and is not picked up by birds). So in February we find berries and flowers on the plant at the same time.

Autonomous plant with eternally youthful appearance

We are dealing with an unprecedentedly autonomous plant, which, like other plants, is not at the mercy of the season, heat, light and gravity. Although it appears to grow like a parasite in a tree (like a tumor in humans), it is not an invasive plant, it does not grow at the expense of the host. Due to its abundant leafy green, it builds its own substances with the help of light and nitrogen and carbon from the air. She therefore possesses an abundant vitality that is underlined by her eternally youthful appearance (always green everywhere and an eternal seedling). This vitality is used in a very controlled manner: the unusually inhibited and severely shaped growth shows a kind of victory over its proliferating tendency. Of course, this cannot be considered proof that this plant is an additional medicine for cancer; only practice can provide that proof. It is an example of a way to look for new medicinal plants in nature.

Different types of mistletoe

The Viscum album is used to produce a mistletoe preparation. There are three types of this in Europe:

  • the deciduous mistletoe;
  • the pine mistletoe;
  • and the spruce mistletoe.

These are botanically different. The pine mistletoe cannot grow on a deciduous tree or a spruce, and the same applies to the other species.

Specific effect on different tumor types

The types also look slightly different and there are also differences in the ingredients. For example, pine mistletoe contains much fewer mistletoe lectins than the others. The deciduous mistletoe can grow on a variety of host trees . For the expert, there is even a difference in appearance between the mistletoes that grow on different deciduous trees. And the remarkable thing is that this difference is also reflected in the composition of the ingredients. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, had already stated that extracts of mistletoe from different host trees would be specifically effective against different tumor types. This has been confirmed using tissue cultures from various tumor types. Mistletoe preparations are made from mistletoe from pine, oak and apple trees

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