Our age-long Christmas decoration friend, the Mistletoe, symbolizes peace, love, and friendship. But does it also serve other purposes than decorating?
Mistletoe has a long history of usage as a natural medicine for various ailments.
Its berry, leaves, and stems are extracted for medicinal purposes to treat multiple diseases.
Generally, Mistletoe extract contains various nutrients and is beneficial in treating asthma, stress, anxiety, arthritis, menopause, and several other cardiovascular problems. Additionally, it is effective in complementary therapy for cancer treatment.
Want to know more about the Mistletoe extract benefits? Continue reading.
Table of Contents Show
- Overview of Nutrition-Enriched Mistletoe Extract
- 8 Amazing Benefits of Mistletoe Extract
- Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
- How to Use Mistletoe?
- Where to Buy Mistletoe Extract?
Overview of Nutrition-Enriched Mistletoe Extract
Mistletoe extract contains various nutrients and adds high nutritional value in treating various problems.
Their composition and concentration highly depend on the host plant, season, stage of development of the plant, and time of harvest.
Here is a summarized table of nutrition present in Mistletoe and its potential benefits.
|Mistletoe Lectins (ML, I, II, III)||It is a glycoprotein with carbohydrate contents differing from 4-12% depending on the host tree and season of harvest.
It has an antitumor effect and helps in damaging cancer cells, and stimulates the immunological processes.
|Kutton's Peptides||They are low-molecular, heat-stable peptides that show cytotoxic, anti-tumoral, and immunostimulatory effects.|
|Oligo and Polysaccharides||They have immunologically and anti-tumoural effects and also protect from radiation damage.|
|Flavonoids||They are phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects and also help fight off free radicals responsible for oxidative stress in our bodies.
|Thiols||It has anti-oxidative potential.|
|Viscotoxins||These are heat resistant and strongly alkaline low molecular polypeptides consisting of 46 amino acids.
It is known to have immunogenic effects and also cytotoxic effects.
8 Amazing Benefits of Mistletoe Extract
A Mistletoe is a hemiparasitic plant that grows on the surface of various trees such as apple, oak, maple, pine, polar, etc.
Mistletoe’s name symbolizes its health benefit, derived from a Celtic word, “all-heal.”
Historically Mistletoe extract was used in treating all sorts of diseases, from bleeding to tumors.
In Europe, Mistletoe extract is sold on a medical prescription for intravenous injection. It’s also used as a dietary supplement.
Although there is extensive research on European Mistletoe benefits, there is no solid and clear evidence regarding its benefits as the research outcomes are diverse.
Nevertheless, many recent studies have shown its benefits in treating cancer and other related issues.
1. Cancer Treatment
Mistletoe extract’s benefits on cancer treatment are the most widely studied topic for its effectiveness in complementary and alternative medicine therapies.
According to certain studies, Mistletoe extract is an effective cancer alternative medicine therapy.
Besides, some studies point towards Mistletoe extracts effectiveness in treating or relieving the symptoms of early-stage breast cancer symptoms, metastatic pancreatic cancer, and Non-small cell lung cancer.
Also, the nutritional components of Mistletoe like visoctoxins, polysaccharides, and lectins help in treating cancer as they have anti-tumor effects.
Meanwhile, other evidence suggests that it is inefficient in promoting cancer patients’ health.
Despite the high benefits of Mistletoe, it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
2. Helps Reducing Anxiety/Stress/Insomnia
People traditionally used Mistletoe as a therapeutic agent to help sleep better.
Likewise, it contains substances that help relax the nervous system and promote quality sleep by increasing neurotransmitter release.
Similarly, Mistletoe lowers cortisol, a stress hormone, and has relaxing and coping effects.
Mistletoe contains Flavonoids which are associated with their ability to lower the level of the active hormone cortisol.
Besides, Mistletoe also helps in alleviating snoring problems and sleep apnea syndrome.
The active ingredients of Mistletoe, like retin, polysaccharide polysaccharides, and flavonoids, soothes respiratory problems.
So, a cup of Mistletoe might help you resolve your snoring problem by calming nerves and inducing sound sleep.
Want to learn more about nutrition present in Mistletoe extract? Read Constituents of mistletoe extracts.
3. Treating Diabetes
Traditionally, people used Mistletoe tea to treat diabetes.
Many researchers point out that Mistletoe is potentially helpful in treating Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
In fact, Mistletoe extract helps balance blood sugar levels by promoting insulin production from the pancreas.
Moreover, research on the African Mistletoe, concludes Mistletoe is an effective ingredient in treating diabetes mellitus.
Similarly, another research on the crude methanoic extract obtained from Mistletoe shows to decrease in blood sugar levels in diabetic albino rats.
4. Cardiovascular Problems
Mistletoe has proved to help lower blood pressure.
Low blood pressure puts less strain on the heart and circulatory system, reducing the chance of artery shrinkage, and protecting against coronary heart disease and strokes.
In the same way, Mistletoe also regulates the nitric oxide pathway. Its lack can lead to heart failure and other fatal heart complications.
Furthermore, the book “Medical Herbalism” points out that the Mistletoe helps open up circulation to areas blocked from optimal blood supply due to tension.
Mistletoe extract experiments on hypertensive activity in rats revealed anti-hypertensive, anti-atherogenic, and vasorelaxation properties linked to cardiac events.
5. Inflammation Reduction
Inflammation is the body’s defense mechanism for responding to infections or external invaders.
Interestingly, Mistletoe has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which help reduce inflammation.
For centuries, people have used Mistletoe to relieve internal and external inflammation.
Moreover, it also aids in treating inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Besides, researches show that Mistletoe extract is also beneficial in calming issues related to gastrointestinal inflammation that helps in improving the digestive problem.
6. Treat Skin Conditions
People traditionally used Mistletoe sprigs for bathing and rubbed them on the skin to treat enlarged veins, ulcers on the lower legs, and eczema.
There is no concrete evidence regarding whether Mistletoe treats such skin conditions.
But, recently, various clinical trials and studies have been done regarding its effects on malignant melanoma.
A couple of research suggests that adjuvant treatment with a standardized Mistletoe might help treat malignant melanoma.
In contrast, other research points toward the ineffectiveness of the Mistletoe in improving the survival time or treating melanoma.
But, most of the recent research has found Mistletoe effective as an alternative therapy for conditions such as melanoma.
7. Hormonal Balance
Hormonal imbalance is one of the significant problems females today face.
Such imbalance is responsible for problems like irregular periods, which, if prolonged, might cause menopause and infertility.
Likewise, specific evidence shows that Mistletoe extract benefits in controlling menopausal symptoms.
Moreover, post-menopausal women are most likely to suffer from osteoporosis which weakens bones and makes them brittle.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects women and is caused by genetics and hormone imbalances. Mistletoe extract is an excellent treatment for endometriosis.
In Seoul, a recent study at the Catholic University of Korea has concluded Mistletoe extract kills the rogue cells that cause the condition.
8. Respiratory Health Support
We have already discussed that Mistletoe has antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulatory properties.
These properties make it one of the effective ingredients in treating colds and illnesses, sore throats, fevers, and coughs.
Honestly, there have not been many studies regarding mistletoe extract’s benefits in supporting the respiratory health system in humans.
But, a couple of studies in animals show its effectiveness in treating respiratory problems like asthma.
Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
There are no severe side effects of Mistletoe extract when used under proper prescription and recommendation.
However, it might show some trivial side effects, especially when the dose is higher.
You might exhibit nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, inflammation in the injected area, or dizziness.
The second thing to remember is that Mistletoe extract is not recommended for children or pregnant women.
According to National Cancer Institute, high doses of Mistletoe extract might damage the liver, but the problem might be repairable.
In rare cases, Mistletoe extract might also cause angioedema, a severe swelling underneath the skin.
Alert: Take Mistletoe extract only on the prescribed label or per doses marked in the product.
Furthermore, you should seek medical advice before using Mistletoe extract. When you consume Mistletoe extract orally, it may induce adverse effects.
How to Use Mistletoe?
You can find Mistletoe in several different forms and use it differently.
Generally, medical practitioners use Mistletoe extract by injecting it under the skin, or orally.
Likewise, it is injected directly or subcutaneously in doses ranging from 0.01 to 30 mg numerous times a week in adjuvant cancer therapy.
Also, medical personnel uses Mistletoe extract to increase dosages, starting with the lowest dose, to avoid potential side effects.
Here is a Recipe to Make Mistletoe Herbal Tea:
- Take 1-2 teaspoons of dried Mistletoe in about 250ml of boiling water,
- Brew it for 5-10 minutes,
- Now, your drink is ready.
Alert: Do not drink Mistletoe tea more than 2 cups per day.
Where to Buy Mistletoe Extract?
You can find mistletoe extract in several portals and pharmacies. It comes under various names depending on the company, its geopolitical origin, and its host plant.
Here are a few portals where you can find Mistletoe extract.
|Places to Buy||Delivery|
|Amazon||Within 5-8 days|
|Mistletoe Pharmacy||In Europe, within 5-7 days
Other parts within 12-32 days
|I Herb||Ships over to 185 countries
Delivery days may vary
|Vitaminsbecause. biz||Within 7-14 days|
You can use Mistletoe as herbal extracts, tea, medicines, or injections. Besides, it is one widely studied species, especially as an alternative therapy to cancer.
It helps reduce cardiovascular problems, Diabetes, colds, fever, respiratory issues, balancing hormones, and potentially enhances the survival span of cancer patients.
Lastly, although Mistletoe extract is beneficial, consult medical personnel before using it as it shows severe reactions in case of a high dose.