Mistletoe therapy is one of the original immune system approaches that assists the body help fight disease.
Mistletoe Therapy (also known as Viscum album) is a widely used treatment in Europe and has been used as early as the 1930’s. Results of a national survey conducted in Germany in l995 by the Society for Biologic Cancer Defense found that mistletoe preparations were the most frequently prescribed biologic drug (80%) followed by trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, and xenogenic (tissues from other species) peptides like thymus preparations.
Another survey of 125 hospitalized patients in two clinics found that 90 (72%) had used unconventional methods and that the most frequently used unconventional therapy was mistletoe (43.2%) followed by immune stimulants, vitamins, and trace elements. The German Cancer Information service in Heidelberg reports that about 20% of their estimated 60,000 calls over the past 6 years are about unconventional therapies, and that 23.9% of the queries in one series of documented calls were about mistletoe.
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant grown on different tree’s which in turn produce unique qualities that target the immune system and lead to its supportive effects on the body. For example, Mistletoe P implies that it has been grown on a Pine tree and Mistletoe M stands for “mele” which is the Apple tree.
Mistletoe extract had been in the news in North America since actress Suzanne Somers announced that she was using it as an adjunctive therapy.
Several brands of Mistletoe (i.e. Iscador, Helixor, Abnoba) have research in this area.
Further information from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)