By: PF Louis
Mistletoe is commonly known as the Christmas holiday’s “kissing plant,” and if two people are caught underneath where a mistletoe plant is hanging, they are traditionally obligated to share a kiss. Silly stuff, but the mistletoe plant has an interesting history of suppressed curative powers.
The plant itself, its leaves and berries, are considered poisonous. But a 2007 NY Times article explains how this aspect of mistletoe is exaggerated. Nevertheless, the medicinal factor is mistletoe extract. It’s common in Europe under different trade names; the most well known seems to be Iscador.
Mistletoe is a hemiparasitic plant, meaning it derives its nutrients from host trees but also engages in photosynthesis. That property prompted renowned philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner to investigate the plant’s hemiparasitic nature in relation to the “doctrine of signatures” for a potential cancer treatment in the early 20th Century.
Mistletoe extracts are commonly used in Europe as adjuncts for mainstream “orthodox” treatments, especially cancer. There have been notable successes with Iscador only, which will be reviewed later in this article.
Fatty liver treatment potential with mistletoe extract
What is reviewed now is a recent study published in December 2014 to determine the mechanics of using mistletoe extracts for reducing fatty liver issues.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased noticeably over the past couple of decades throughout the industrial processed food world, probably due to hydrogenated fats, excess refined carbohydrates and HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup).
Cirrhosis of the liver is a potential consequence of NAFLD, forcing a liver transplant or causing fatal liver failure. But even if not that extreme, chronic nagging symptoms of poor digestion, inflammation and obesity can create a cascade of declining health, including diabetes and heart disease.
So a group in South Korea performed both in vitro (specimens in glass) and in vivo (living creatures) experiments to determine how mistletoe extract reduced obesity, which has been observed, and if it could be used as viable treatment for fatty liver.
If you can swim in a sea of biochemical and biological technical terms, the abstract is available here. But simply put, the researchers discovered that cellular liver fat and liver weight was reduced in obese mice with a compound called viscothionin, which can be isolated from mistletoe extract.
That may lead to Big Pharma’s evil ingenuity at developing an expensive pharmaceutical with side effects that can be patented, unfortunately, instead of simply using natural mistletoe extract.
Pure mistletoe extract successes with cancer
Maybe middle-aged Joan van Holsteijn of England had read Suzanne Somer’s book Knockout where she shunned chemo and got her doctor to order the mistletoe extract Iscador from Europe under the “compassionate use” doctrine that allows AMA physicians to use medicines not approved by the FDA.