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New Herbal Studies about Cancer

As an herbalist, I tend to believe in the power of plants even without “scientific” proof since we have a lot of anecdotal proof spanning centuries. But I get great joy from herbal studies like these that prove what herbalists have been doing for years.

Granted I still wish we wouldn’t isolate the constituent that “works” and discard the rest of the plant but baby steps, right? The other constituents of the plant could help with “side effects” like with willow. Aspirin hurts your stomach, but you don’t experience the same when taking willow since the other constituents in willow help to not have the “side effects”.

At least one of these articles states “Anti-cancer drugs obtained from traditional Chinese medicine have higher efficacy than chemical synthetic drugs and with less toxic side effects.” If we were to synthesize the other constituents with the "active" one, would we get closer to how plants work in our systems?

The mistletoe article is the one I find most interesting since I have always been intrigued by this plant. As a kid, we use to have it hanging up during the holidays until we found out it is poisonous. Then for a year or so, it hung during the holidays in a plastic bag then it just quit being around. When I grew up and moved out I looked at the holidays for it and could only find the fake plastic ones.

Then last year while in a herbal class, someone mentioned it and mentioned that it grows like crazy here. This piqued my interest again and I started reading about it. I still haven't found where she was referring to where it grows on my island, but I will.

I haven't had a chance to look up many studies and really research this plant since other things in life have had my attention. This study has my interest piqued again.

Although ME is widely used for cancers, its efficacy and safety are uncertain. This first phase I trial of intravenous mistletoe (Helixor M) aimed to determine phase II dosing and to evaluate safety. We recruited 21 patients with relapsed/refractory metastatic solid tumor. Intravenous mistletoe (600 mg, 3/week) demonstrated manageable toxicities (fatigue, nausea, and chills) with disease control and improved QoL. Future research can examine ME's effect on survival and chemotherapy tolerability. -Phase I Trial of Intravenous Mistletoe Extract in Advanced Cancer
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