What You Need to Know about Mistletoe and Breast Cancer

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Essential #6: Repair with Therapeutic Plants | Jan, 02 2024

What You Need to Know about Mistletoe and Breast Cancer

Disclaimer: Mistletoe therapy for breast cancer healing could be ONE of the therapies you use for recovery. Since one thing did not cause breast cancer, relying on only one thing can not heal the cancer. Please always consult with your medical team before trying anything new.

Mistletoe isn’t just for cheeky kisses or decorating around your home during the winter. It can be a powerful, complementary therapy for breast cancer healing. Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner first recommended mistletoe extract as a potential cancer treatment in 1920, and Dutch physician Ita Wegman was the first to use it in practice.

While there is always room for more research, we can rely on a solid group of evidence that mistletoe therapy may enhance the survival rate, improve HRQoL (Health-related quality of life), and diminish some side effects of chemotherapy. This blog will discuss the above, and if you want to dig deeper into studies, please click here.   

how mistletoe can help with breast cancer

What kind of mistletoe is used for breast cancer support?

Mistletoe is recognized by its oval green leaves and small white berries. Worldwide, there are over 1,500 mistletoe species that grow on every continent except Antarctica. Besides supporting your cancer journey, mistletoe is essential to the cycle of life in the plant world. It provides food, shelter, and hunting grounds for animals (from birds to mammals). The nutrients of fallen mistletoe leaves ripple through the food chain. 

In Europe, mistletoe extract is one of the most widely studied and used complementary therapies for integrative cancer treatment. Side note: Do NOT eat the berries, as they can be poisonous. Only the extract of the European species (Viscum Album) is currently in use for cancer therapies.

A large study conducted in Germany using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Health-Related Quality of Life Core Questionnaire concluded: “Viscum Album (European mistletoe) applications coadministered with conventional treatments had improving effects on fatigue, insomnia, and physical functioning. Thus, add-on Viscum Album applications might be suited to alleviate symptom burden during anticancer strategies in breast cancer patients.” You can review the full study focusing on nonmetastasized breast cancer patients HERE.

Mistletoe Therapy can be used for Integrative Breast Cancer Oncology.

Mistletoe is an amazing example of integrative cancer therapies. If you are curious to learn more about how natural and conventional (chemo, radiation, etc.) can work together to provide better outcomes, please check out my Survive & Thrive: Conquering Breast Cancer with Conventional Treatments and Natural Medicine online program. 

Mistletoe can be used for numerous reasons, but the most common practices used for breast cancer treatment are the following:

  1. Decrease miserable symptoms: Sometimes chemotherapy, radiation, and other conventional immunotherapy drugs are essential for effectively getting slowing down the growth of an aggressive cancer. Combining these treatments with mistletoe can reduce their miserable side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and a lack of appetite. Mistletoe also can decrease tumor-related pain.
  2. Stimulate bone marrow activity: The three most important roles that bone marrow plays are: carrying oxygen to tissues, helping prevent blood clots, and fighting infections. All of these are critical for optimal recovery and healing, especially when doing major treatments such as chemotherapy. 
  3. May increase survival rates. The immunomodulatory and apoptosis/cytotoxic activities of mistletoe are a reason why: “The majority of the included clinical trials suggested a beneficial effect with good evidence with respect to survival…” Learn more via this study.

What details should I know about mistletoe therapy for breast cancer?

Mistletoe is currently being used for malignant and non-malignant tumors. It is administered by injection or intravenously (IVs) as frequently as doctors recommend by a patient’s unique needs. You can start mistletoe therapy immediately after diagnosis since it stimulates your immune system and better prepares your body for surgery and other treatments. 

Rarely do health insurance plans cover mistletoe therapy. However, most treatments range from $150-250/month for injections and $350-500 per IV infusion. Reported negative side effects are extremely rare and mild.

Where should I buy mistletoe?

You must have a prescription to order mistletoe from a compounding pharmacy. Working with a doctor is essential because every woman’s healing journey is unique. In my case, I did mistletoe therapy for a few months; my max dosage of reaction was 7 mg, while some women may require up to 50 mg. 

What does mistletoe therapy entail? 

Mistletoe is injected just under the skin via a small needle. It should not hurt, and injections should be done three times a week or per your doctor’s instruction. Some doctors inject directly into the tumor. However, I would prefer nto to “poke the bear” and have yet to see major changes in women who do so. Within 24-48 hours of a sub-cutaneous injection,  you should notice a raised red bump about the size of a quarter. You may also notice some mild itching around the injection site. If your body does not react, then most likely, your doctor will increase the dosage. 

Many women also ask if they can orally take a mistletoe extract liquid instead of doing an injection under the guidance of they doctor. I always recommend that while you are actively on a healing journey, injections and IVs are most effective. However, please discuss this with your medical team. 

Believe Big

BelieveBig.org is an incredible resource for mistletoe therapy and research in partnership with The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. It’s an amazing resource and worth talking to your medical team about it.

Never Fear Breast Cancer Again!

You are blessed to live in a time with immense access to research and therapies that focus on your complete self—mind, body, and heart. For example, you can take advantage of the power of herbs to help improve chemo outcomes and reduce the risk of its awful side effects. You can also focus on healing your emotional wounds, which may partially be why cancer snuck its way into your body. Countless options for full-self healing are at your fingertips!

The 7 Essentials System® provides a guidebook for total healing, and the Survive & Thrive: Conquering Breast Cancer with Conventional Treatments and Natural Medicine online program gives you an action plan.

All of the Breast Cancer Conqueror family is here to support your unique journey each step of the way. Reading the Healthy Breast Blog and listening to the Wellness Warriors Podcast is a great way to start. If you want tailored care and support, please look into working with one of our dedicated coaches. We are always here to help you take the strategic and empowering actions needed to be a Breast Cancer Conqueror! 

Author: Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as  Dr. V, is a Doctor of Chiropractic & has 44 years of experience in the wellness industry. For personalized support, please partner with a trained Breast Cancer Conqueror Coach.