Integrative Cancer Support
History of Mistletoe Therapy The advent of mistletoe therapy for therapeutic applications in cancer care began to take root in the early 1900’s, pioneered by physicians Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman. The ideology of mistletoe stems from the principle of the immune system’s response to fever. Therefore, the goal with mistletoe therapy is to enhance warmth which elucidates an immune system response. This involves identification of unhealthy cells, proliferation of appropriate immune mediators, and induction of direct cytotoxic effects. This mechanism is the reason one might expect a pro-inflammatory response upon administration of mistletoe, such as a slight, transient increase in body temperature and/or fatigue. [[i]] What is Mistletoe and How is it Used Medically? Mistletoe in its natural form exists as a semi-parasitic plant, inhabiting various types of host trees. The tree in which the mistletoe is derived implies some qualities about the mistletoe that may be useful in cancer care. Other variables influencing the qualitative aspects of the mistletoe include time of harvest and extraction method. Mistletoe is most commonly administered via subcutaneous injection or intravenously. This requires careful consideration from an experienced practitioner to determine the type of mistletoe and route of administration that is preferable...