Many cancer patients look to alternative or naturopathic treatments to boost their treatment outcomes and enhance their quality of life. Using mistletoe injections as an option is one way that naturopaths can provide patients with beneficial therapies that are safe and non-toxic to the body.
European mistletoe extracts (Viscum album) are one of the most common unconventional cancer therapies prescribed in some European countries. The mistletoe extracts stimulate the immune system, improve survival and reduce side effects of chemo- and radiotherapy.
Reduced Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Mistletoe has a direct anti-cancer effect on tumor cells. It contains lectins and viscotoxins that have immunostimulatory and cytotoxic activities. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the immune system and helps reduce pain and fatigue.
Several studies have shown that mistletoe has anti-cancer activity by inducing apoptosis, inhibiting cell cycle progression, and activating the immune system. In addition, it can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy by stimulating the body’s natural ability to kill cancer cells.
Another benefit of mistletoe is its reduced side effect profile when used with conventional therapies. Therefore, it can be essential for chemotherapy patients who may also receive several other drugs simultaneously.
Chemotherapy can affect the cells that line your gastrointestinal tract, which can cause diarrhea or constipation. You should eat five or six small meals during treatment and drink plenty of fluids to prevent diarrhea. If diarrhea worsens, ask your doctor about medications to prevent it. You can also try eating apples or drinking flat ginger ale to help with the symptoms.
Many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience nausea, vomiting, numbness, extreme fatigue, hair loss, and other side effects that can severely impact their quality of life. Mistletoe injections for cancer may mitigate some of these symptoms so that patients can enjoy a better quality of life during their treatments.
Several studies show that mistletoe extracts can reduce pain and help cancer patients cope with symptoms. They also increase energy levels and decrease inflammation in the body.
This type of therapy is used with conventional treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It can be initiated as early as 14 days before surgery or during treatment.
Mistletoe lectins have been shown to stimulate the immune system and promote tumor growth inhibition. In addition, the extent of lectin-bound cells in a cancer cell correlates with disease outcome and survival.
Mistletoe is a natural anti-inflammatory, and it helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. It has also been demonstrated to aid in reducing the harm chemotherapy causes.
The cytotoxic drugs used in cancer therapy damage your body’s DNA, which promotes aging and inflammation. The body then works to repair the damaged DNA, and mistletoe stimulates this process.
As a result, it may also strengthen your immune system and increase your body’s ability to resist disease. It is essential, as your immune system directly impacts your quality of life and survival.
A study on women with ovarian cancer found that mistletoe injections improved their quality of life and reduced the side effects of treatment. In addition, patients in the mistletoe group reported fewer side effects, including nausea and fatigue, than those in the control group.
Patients in the experiment were randomized to receive chemotherapy combined with lentinan or chemotherapy along with mistletoe extract. Results showed that patients with breast, ovarian, and non-small cell lung cancer experienced a more significant improvement in their quality of life and a lower rate of side effects when receiving chemotherapy plus mistletoe than when they received chemotherapy plus lentinan.
Using mistletoe in combination with chemotherapeutics is safe and effective, and most patients tolerate the treatment well. Some people experience a temporary rise in temperature and fatigue, but this is usually only short-term. If a higher fever develops, therapy is typically stopped, and the patient should consult their doctor.
Mistletoe is a plant that grows on many different trees throughout the world. Its berries, leaves, and stem are used for health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, relieving stress, and boosting the immune system. It is also a popular complementary cancer therapy.
In laboratory and animal studies, it has been shown that some of the chemicals in mistletoe stimulate the body’s immune system and kill cancer cells. It may also protect the DNA in healthy cells, reducing the risk of developing other diseases later in life.
It also decreases the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Additionally, it has been demonstrated to enhance the quality of life for cancer patients by lowering tiredness, nausea, vomiting, pain, and other side effects from conventional therapies.
Patients with breast cancer who receive mistletoe extract along with their standard of care treatment experience fewer adverse reactions (nausea, diarrhea, depression, fatigue, and mental symptoms) than women who only receive the standard of care. In addition, it has been shown to improve patient’s quality of life and overall survival rates. Mistletoe is injected subcutaneously into the skin three times a week for up to three months.