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The Best Herb for Heart Health

By on February 12, 2015
Screen shot 2015 02 12 at 9.43.46 PM 300x336 - The Best Herb for Heart Health

Mysterious Mistletoe with its healing powers taken from the Hawthorn host gives us the partaker,  folkloric love and the best medicine of the heart.

European mistletoe (Viscum album) – not to be confused with the red-berried and highly poisonous American mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on trees with soft bark like hawthorn and apple trees. It is primarily birds who transport the white, sticky berries from one tree to the next as they sharpen their beaks on the branches. Once the seed sprouts it sends a hair-like root through the bark of the tree deep enough to fuel its continued growth into a small round bush. While the white berries are considered poisonous, the leaves and twigs used in herbal medicine are not.

Mysterious Mistletoe in Folklore
    Mistletoe was famous among the Druids who believed it protected the beholder of all evil and all illness because of the powerful cures it made. The branches were used as decoration to welcome the coming of the New Year which eventually encroached into Christmas. The Scandinavians popularized its association with love and that everyone who passed under it should receive a kiss.  

Medicinal Uses
    It’s earliest uses were centered around the nervous system, specifically for the “falling sickness” which we now know as epilepsy. The first published paper on mistletoe came in the 1720’s by Sir John Colbatch and was called “The Treatment of Epilepsy by Mistletoe”. As a successful remedy, it was also used to treat convulsions, anxiety, hysteria, neuralgia and the more prevalent heart disease. 
    In the early 1900’s the use of European mistletoe for cancer was popularized by alternative medicine practitioner Rudolf Steiner and is now the subject of many promising cancer studies including breast, ovarian, colon, lung, stomach, leukemia and lymphoma. 
    Contemporary European Herbalists Maria Treben and Jim Strauss used formulas with European mistletoe to treat heart conditions with great success. Both herbalists recommended it as the best remedy for heart and circulatory complaints including: hardening of the arteries, stroke, high and low blood pressure, poor circulation (cold hands and feet), lack of energy, heart flutters and palpitations. They also noted it calms a restless heart but also strengthens it, something we all need to help with the stresses of modern life.
    In the last 5 years, studies are showing that mistletoe can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation including nausea, numbness, fatigue, insomnia, anorexia, diarrhea, hair loss and chemo induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) ) also known as “pins and needles in hands and feet”. It was also reported the patients using mistletoe felt less anxious, less depressed and overall had a healthy and hopeful outlook. 
    In 2009 an article published in Bio Medical Center cancer researchers discovered how mistletoe treatment used after conventional treatments reduced tumor growth while simultaneously improving immune system function.
    Laboratory studies on European mistletoe extracts have been shown to kill cancer cells (mouse, rat, human) and prevent the growth of new blood vessels that increase tumor growth. It protects the DNA in white blood cells including those that have been exposed to DNA damaging chemotherapy drugs. 
    European physicians commonly employ mistletoe preparations (injections) in their cancer patient protocols. Thankfully these same treatments are now available in Canada and the US and are becoming more common since being popularized by Suzanne Somers; who chose to treat her breast cancer with a European mistletoe extract. 
    Homeopathic preparations containing European mistletoe are available along with some rare herbal formulas made in Canada that contain a much higher dosage of this healing herb. 
    So remember the mysterious mistletoe, not just at holiday time but as a powerful, everyday treatment for cancer and curative medicine of the heart. Bearing these tremendous benefits it’s no wonder European mistletoe evokes strong feelings, kisses and love.

Stephen Case is an expert in culinary medicine. A classically trained French chef with advanced knowledge in the areas of herbology, nutrition, supplements and superfoods. With over 20 years of industry experience he writes, and lectures on important aspects of natural health.

BMC Cancer, Quality of life, immunomodulation and safety of adjuvant mistletoe treatment in patients with gastric carcinoma – a randomized, controlled pilot study Kab-Choong Kim1, Jeong-Hwan Yook1, Jürgen Eisenbraun2, Byung-Sik Kim1 and Roman Huber

BMC Cancer, Survival of cancer patients treated with mistletoe extract (Iscador): a systematic literature review. Thomas Ostermann†, Christa Raak and Arndt Büssing

Anticancer Res. 2004 Jan-Feb;24(1):303-9. Impact of complementary mistletoe extract treatment on quality of life in breast, ovarian and non-small cell lung cancer patients. A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial. Piao BK1, Wang YX, Xie GR, Mansmann U, Matthes H, Beuth J, Lin HS.

Anticancer Res. 2006 Mar-Apr;26(2B):1519-29. Quality of life is improved in breast cancer patients by Standardised Mistletoe Extract PS76A2 during chemotherapy and follow-up: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre clinical trial. Semiglazov VF1, Stepula VV, Dudov A, Schnitker J, Mengs U.

About Charleen Wyman


  1. Dave Hammond

    February 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Hi there,   I am a qualified and practicing Medical Herbalist working in the UK, and I use Mistletoe for the many reasons, including high blood pressure (especially if caused by anxiety) and palpitations.
  2. Therese Kearton

    May 24, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Can you advise me please? I have been diagnosed with Amyloids on my heart. The hospital told me that this was terminal. Can you et me have your thoughts on this please?
  3. Charleen Wyman

    May 29, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Therese, So sorry to hear this. You are best served by talking about options and next steps with your heart specialist, family physician, naturopath and seek support from family and friends. However, I will share this article with you, "33 people with chronic illnesses share the best advice they've received." Maybe hearing some of their words will resonate with you. Charleen

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