When you think of mistletoe what comes to find? For most people, they think of the decoration that is hung above doors during the holiday. However, there is a new way to view mistletoe and it’s much more than a decoration, it is showing to be an effective treatment for colon cancer.
Yes, that’s right. Researchers have found that that this Christmas plant has properties that can be effective for killing cancer cells and even be used as an alternative treatment to chemotherapy.
Each year 130,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States alone. It is also the second leading cancer killer in the western world, making it one of the most deadly types of cancer. Europe has already begun using mistletoe as a treatment for colon cancer, yet more studies need to be conducted before the United States will begin to implement this treatment for cancer patients.
There are several different species of mistletoe and researchers are working towards finding which species will create the least damage to the healthy intestinal cells once treatment is complete. The idea is to use a mistletoe extract that will effectively kill the cancer cells, but keep the good cells alive. A health science student at the University Adelaide studied the performance of three different mistletoe species and chemotherapy against colon cancer. According to the results, a species of mistletoe named Fraxini was the most effective at killing cancer cells and caused the least damage to healthy cells. This particular species is made into an extract which contains a protein that effectively targets only the cancer cells according to the student’s observations.
The student stated that the results of this study were very important because we already know that chemotherapy targets and kills both cancerous and healthy cells. By finding a method that kills only the cancerous cells, many of the harmful side-effects related to cancer treatment can be avoided completely. She also observed that high concentration of Fraxini made chemotherapy more effective for the cancer patient.
These observations are encouraging researchers to find out more about this extract and its ability to provide a safer, yet effective method to chemotherapy. After more research is conducted with positive results, they hope that mistletoe will become a common method for effectively treating colon cancer.
If you were diagnosed with colon cancer, would you look into this alternative treatment using mistletoe?
– The Alternative Daily