Iscador (a mistletoe extract)

Iscador is an herbal treatment derived from fermented European mistletoe. Mistletoe, a semiparasitic plant that grows on various trees, has been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of conditions, including epilepsy, hypertension, headaches, menopausal symptoms, arthritis, and more. It also has been used to treat cancer. In fact, mistletoe is the most widely studied complementary and alternative medicine therapy for cancer. The products made from mistletoe—some fermented and some not—are sold under various brand names, including Iscador (also called Iscar), Helixor, Iscucin, Lekitinol, and abnobaVISCUM.

Mistletoe contains viscotoxins (believed to be able to break down cancer cells) and lectins (which may inhibit the growth of cancer cells).

Rudolf Steiner, a physician, astrologer, and founder of the Waldorf School, tried mistletoe as a treatment for his own cancer in the 1920s, naming the treatment “Iscador.” When, in 2001, actress Suzanne Somers opted for mistletoe as one of her treatment’s for breast cancer, she sparked renewed interest in the plant as an alternative treatment.

Numerous studies have been done on mistletoe’s effect on cancer, including:

Although widely used throughout Europe as an adjunct in cancer treatment, Iscador still lacks FDA approval in the United States. A promising clinical trial of Iscador is underway, thanks to cancer survivor Ivelisse Page, who went on a mission to win FDA approval for Iscador after treatment with it helped her become cancer free. The three-phase study, that her organization helped fund at Johns Hopkins, launched in 2011. The Swiss manufacturer of Iscador—Weleda Group—is providing free extracts for the trial. Solid findings from this study will be known in five to eight years.

For Further Exploration:

Use of Iscador (European Mistletoe) in Cancer Treatment

National Cancer Institute’s Take on Mistletoe

American Cancer Society Discusses Mistletoe

Previous Tool Back to Healing Tools Index Next Tool


© Copyright Laura Rennard cancer-theteacher.com - Web Hosting by Mosaic Data Services - Photos by Sarah Clarehart Photography