Mistletoe products are made from the white-berry mistletoe which grows on a variety of deciduous and coniferous trees. The mistletoe behaves very differently from all other plants:
⤑ It is an evergreen that blooms and reproduces in winter.
⤑ It does not grow in the earth – it’s a semi-parasite that lives on trees.
⤑ It has no roots, only a so-called “sinker” that connects the mistletoe to the host tree.
⤑ Its growth is independent from sun and gravity, so its branches grow out into all directions – giving it a spherical shape. No other plant grows in this way.
In Europe, there are three subspecies of white-berry mistletoe: deciduous tree, pine and fir mistletoe. Helixor produces mistletoe extracts for fir mistletoe, the apple tree mistletoe and pine mistletoe.
The mistletoe contains over 1,000 different constituents. Its effects on the immune system and the tumor-inhibiting properties of mistletoe extracts are primarily due to a glycoprotein called lectin (specifically three sub-groups: mistletoe lectin I, II, and III).
Different mistletoe subspecies have different lectin patterns. Pine mistletoe, for example, has no mistletoe lectin I, but large amounts of mistletoe lectin III, while apple tree mistletoe primarily contains mistletoe lectin. I Scientific studies show that it is important to consider the effect of the whole extract. Other constituents include viscotoxins (special polypeptides) and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), which also show immunostimulatory effects and can complement or enhance the action of lectins. Arginine (an amino acid), flavonoids (secondary plant metabolites), and a high level of vitamin C also contribute to immunomodulation.
Patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving supplementary mistletoe treatment in addition to chemotherapy were able to survive significantly longer than patients receiving chemotherapy alone, a new observational study has found.