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    Can Mistletoe Cure Cancer?

    Traditional holiday mistletoe has a relative that packs more than just a big smooch. Studies indicate that the European mistletoe may actually be a viable cancer fighter. As a common plant in Great Britain, mainland Europe and even Western Asia, the twigs and leaves have been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for common ailments in the body. However, the real potential lies in what’s inside the plant. The extract from the semiparasitic plant has been used in multiple studies. Findings concluded that the extract has shown the ability to kill cancer cells. However, studies have not yet proven that the extract can help the human body fight cancer. Studies performed in Europe in 2009 were only performed on animals and in test tubes. That said, the results were very positive. Researchers agreed that the extract could effectively increase survival rates of cancer patients by reducing tumor growth as well as bolstering the immune system. These findings have Europeans using the extract in cancer therapy injections, mainly under the skin. The injections are also sometimes placed into veins or into the tumors themselves. These treatments are used to combat symptoms from malignant tumors in order to improve the quality of life of patients. Encouragingly, these injections have shown few negative side effects. In the United States, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the mistletoe extract for any medical conditions. Furthermore, it does not allow the import of injectable mistletoe to be imported, sold, or used for anything other than research purposes. It is clear that European mistletoe has proven to provide many benefits to cancer patients, including combating side effects of chemotherapy, decreasing fatigue, and raising morale. But can it actually cure cancer in humans? The answer right now is no. Many human studies have been conducted since the 1960s, but no substantial evidence has been found. However, the findings do provide some hope that the European Mistletoe may someday be the answer. So stay tuned!   By Pat DeRiso Sources: healthline.com, cancer.gov