The mistletoe therapy is a method of herbal medicine goes back to the founder of anthroposophy Rudolf Steiner. He introduced the mistletoe preparations as cancer therapeutics.
Today mistletoe therapy is mainly used in complementary oncology (accompanying cancer treatment) as an immune stimulant.
The mistletoe extracts are mainly obtained from the leaves and not from the berries. The preparations are made from pressed juices, aqueous cold extracts, aqueous liquid extracts or from lactofermented extracts.
The most important active ingredient are sugary proteins, the so-called mistletoe lectins. .
The stimulating effect of the mistletoe extract leads to the release of cytokines, interferons and the tumor necrosis factor (mediators of the immunological reaction).
In addition, there is an increased maturation of lymphocytes (immune cells). Furthermore, the secretion of endorphins (endogenous morphines – the body’s own substances which, as neuropeptides, control the sensation of pain and the development of euphoria) increases.
In addition to lectins, there are also known viscotoxins that have a cytotoxic (toxic for cells) effect and possibly attack tumors directly.
The main modes of action of mistletoe preparations are:
- Apoptosis : Apoptosis describes the destruction of cells (cell death), which is triggered by genetic information in the cell itself. The lectins contained in mistletoe influence the amino acid synthesis (protein metabolism) and thus cause the onset of cell apoptosis, both in healthy cells and in cancer cells. Since cancer cells multiply more rapidly and are therefore present in large numbers, apoptosis can help reduce the number of cancer cells.
- Immune modulation : Substances such as lectins, viscotoxins and polysaccharides have a positive influence on the body’s immune response. As a result of a mistletoe injection, antibodies such as cytokines and defense cells (T helper cells, cytotoxic T cells (killer cells), and B lymphocytes or plasma cells) and scavenger cells (macrophages) are formed, which leads to a strengthening of the body’s immune system .
- DNA-stabilizing effect : Chemotherapy often causes damage that can sometimes be prevented by mistletoe treatment. The therapy has a protective effect on the DNA.
The individual treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease. First, the tolerance of the mistletoe preparations is tested in an introductory phase. For each patient we identify the best individualised Mistletoe source via bood analysis.
The duration of therapy is usually 6 months, followed by a 4-8 week break. Therapy is then repeated in shorter intervals. The preparation is injected subcutaneously (under the skin) in the patients are trained to perform this by themselves.
- Bronchial carcinoma (lung cancer)
- Bladder cancer (bladder cancer)
- Breast cancer (breast cancer)
- Gastric cancer (stomach cancer)
- Malignant melanoma (black skin cancer)
- Malignant ascites – ascites due to a tumor disease
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
- Laryngeal cancer (throat cancer)
- Colon cancer / colorectal cancer – colon and rectal cancer
- Ovarian cancer (ovarian cancer)
- Pancreatic cancer (pancreatic cancer)
- Prostate cancer (prostate cancer)
- Cervical cancer (cervical cancer)
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