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MistletoeMistletoe May Kill Off Cancer Cells

Dec. 17, 2008

Mistletoe is renowned for inspiring Christmas-time kisses, and Australian scientists are now probing its power to kill off cancer cells.

 Work is underway at the University of Canberra to improve understanding of the parasitic plant, which is used extensively in cancer treatment programs in Germany.

Dr. Ljubov Simson, said Australian laboratory tests had confirmed mistletoe's ability to stimulate the body's immune system while killing off cancer cells.

 Most importantly, Dr. Simson says, it does so without harming healthy cells nearby.  "So now we're interested in dissecting out how it is being so selective. We really don't have an answer for that at this stage... several of the components are yet to be fully characterized."

Lab tests conducted outside of a human body had shown a mistletoe extract could kill 80 per cent of a cancer tumor.

The extract was known to activate a sub-class of white blood cells, the eosinophil, which Dr. Simson said had already been shown to be effective in the treatment of cancer.  Mistletoe also acted as a "coagulant" when introduced to the cancer cells, she said.  "It increases adhesion and it helps the mistletoe product to basically start to break apart the tumor cells," Dr. Simson said.  "There is also a toxin in the mistletoe - so you'd have to be careful with the dosage that you'd give to patients - the toxin is also directly effective at killing tumor cells."

While it was not a cure, Dr. Simson said it could provide cancer patients with more treatment options and improve quality of life during treatment with mainstream chemotherapies.

Source: Australian Associated Press Pty Limited (AAP), Dec. 17, 2008
 
 
Dr. Iverson's Comment
 
A festive choice this one is…although I missed it for Christmas! Never to late for a Christmas kiss of Mistletoe for your health in the New Year! 
 
Mistletoe has been used for centuries in Ancient European texts by the Druids and other groups who considered it to possess special healing powers. Interestingly, this plant is a parasite and according to homeopathy, which works on the principles of “like cures like,” cancer is like a parasite to our body, living off of it. Interesting, eh? 
 
The Europeans have been using a version of mistletoe for some time called Iscador. You might remember this was part of the treatments that Suzanne Sommers chose to treat her breast cancer. It has been used successfully both with conventional treatments and as a stand-alone.
 
For those who wish to research further on mistletoe, the following information is by Maria Treben, a famous European herbalist:
 
MISTLETOE (Viscum album)
Common names: European Mistletoe and Birdlime Mistletoe.
 The well-known Mistletoe, an evergreen, parasitic plant, grows on deciduous trees and pine trees in a ball-like bush and is an excellent medicinal herb one should not do without. The evergreen, leathery leaves are of a yellow-green colour. The berries are whitish, somewhat opaque and sticky. Birds distribute the sticky seeds in this way: by sharpening their beaks on branches or passing the undigested seeds in droppings. Only in this way is it propagated since it has been demonstrated that seeds do not sprout when placed either in water or soil. Mistletoe, an old magic and medicinal plant, is shrouded in mystery. The Druids held it in great reverence as a sacred plant that could remove every ill. It was gathered with great ceremony and cut from the tree with a golden knife. Old herbalists used it as an excellent and effective remedy for epilepsy. This remedy is also acknowledged by the "Kneipp" physician, Dr. Bonn. He recommends Mistletoe for chronic cramps and hysterical complaints. The leaves and small twigs which are cut for drying are gathered from the beginning of October to the middle of December and then in March and April. In the remaining months of the year, Mistletoe is without medicinal properties. Plants with the greatest healing power grow on oaks and poplars; but those growing on pines, firs and fruit trees are also medicinally strong. Again a hint on gathering: In March and April the Mistletoe has hardly any berries. The birds have picked them in winter. There is less work then in cutting the leaves and twigs, since the removal of the sticky berries that are still there between October and December is no longer necessary.
Frequently I have been asked why I praise Mistletoe so much, since it is supposed to be poisonous. The leaves and twigs are not; only the berries, if taken internally. An ointment made of the berries and lard is excellent for frost bites (see "directions"). A woman had chilblains on her nose for years. During winter she was reluctant to leave the house because of her blue-red nose. It got worse from year to year. I advised her to apply a poultice of fresh Mistletoe berries on her nose overnight. Although it sounds unbelievable it is a fact that her nose was normal after a few days. Since Mistletoe benefits the whole glandular system it also aids the metabolism. At the same time it favourably influences the pancreas so that through drinking Mistletoe tea over a long period, diabetes loses its original cause. Especially people who suffer from chronic metabolic disorders should try to drink Mistletoe tea regularly for six months. It is excellent for hormonal imbalance. In this case at least 2 cups a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, are sipped. For hardening of the arteries Mistletoe is an excellent remedy, esteemed and recommended for stroke, which would scarcely have happened, had the tea been drunk regularly. After a stroke drink 3 cups a day for 6 weeks, 2 cups for 3 weeks and 1 cup for 2 weeks; the first cup, half before and half after breakfast, the second cup before and after lunch and the third cup before and after dinner. Mistletoe tea is also used as a blood-staunching remedy. It stops nose-bleeding when used cold, if drawn up into the nose. As a tea it arrests lung- and intestines-bleeding caused by typhoid or dysentery. Mistletoe is the best remedy for heart and circulatory complaints. I cannot emphasize Mistletoe enough for circulatory problems. Since it has active substances which normalize the whole system, it lowers high and raises low blood pressure. It soothes the restless heart and strengthens it. All the side effects of abnormal blood pressure such as blood rushing to the head, dizziness, buzzing in the ears and visual defects disappear. Mistletoe, it can be said, is invaluable in all heart and circulatory disorders. People in our fast moving times, with the tensions of modern living and working under stress, surely need an aid like Mistletoe. In many letters I have received, people state that thanks to Mistletoe they have found relief in a short time from high blood pressure, bad circulatory problems, lack of energy, heart disorders, heart flutters, dizziness and unwillingness to work. 3 cups of Mistletoe, made as a cold infusion and sipped throughout the day, will normalize your heart and your circulation and guarantee an increased work activity.
In general, Mistletoe tea should be drunk for six weeks, once a year; 3 cups for 3 weeks, 2 cups for 2 weeks and 1 cup for 1 week. Blood pressure and circulation will have recovered after this. To keep it that way it is of benefit to keep on drinking 1 cup in the morning for a year. A gentleman from the district of Mainz (Germany) suffered from low blood pressure for years, sometimes so badly he was unable to work. He had tried different doctors, but still he was no better. He was very sceptical about my advice that Mistletoe lowers high blood pressure and raises low blood pressure. It was April and the Mistletoe still had its healing powers. A few months later, during a talk I gave in Upper Austria, he sat in the first row and told everyone that now his blood pressure was normal. Women, too, should take Mistletoe tea. The normalized circulation brings uterine and menstrual disorders into equilibrium, especially heavy menstruation as well as bleeding after confinement. For palpitations of the heart, difficulties in breathing, hot flushes and feelings of anxiety during menopause, Mistletoe tea, drunk for a few years, brings relief and you will pass through the change naturally. The fresh juice of Mistletoe, 25 drops in water on an empty stomach before breakfast and 25 drops in water in the evening before going to bed will remedy barreness in woman. Some time ago an announcement appeared in the London press that three independently working research groups came to the conclusion that a high percentage of women over 50 years of age developed cancer of the breast, if they have, for treatment of high blood pressure, taken blood pressure reducing medication over a long period. Why take this risk, when we have our valuable Mistletoe? Lately, Mistletoe is used medicinally to counteract and prevent cancer. Again and again we are shown, how herbs are effective in disease prevention as well as cleansing the body of harmful substances. -Use the herbs and do your body a favour; it will keep you healthy and strong.
DIRECTIONS
 Infusion: Mistletoe tea is made as a cold infusion. A heaped teaspoon of Mistletoe powder is soaked in 1/4 litre of cold water overnight, the next morning slightly warmed and strained. If a larger amount per day is needed, the tea is kept in a thermos flask that has been rinsed with hot water, or warmed in a water bath each time.
For more information on Maria Treben, her life's works and her healing experiences, go to: www.SwedishBitters.com
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