Iscador Therapy in Homoeopathy Practise
Iscador (Mistletoe extract) as its homoeopathic preparation is called, has been found beneficial in treating patients with some forms of cancer.
Iscador therapy is a type of treatment for cancer used by doctors trained in anthroposophic medicine. The use of mistletoe in cancer therapy is gaining popularity. It has its origins in Rudolf Steiner’s 1920s work when he was developing many ideas about medicinal value of plants. He identified ISCADOR(mistletoe) as a species that could help with cancer treatment and in the following decades his teachings and suggestions for mistletoe treatments have been substantially developed in mainland Europe, particularly in Germany and Switzerland.
In terminal cases of cancer and in treatment of various complications of malignancy, Dr FAROKH J.MASTER has pioneered the use of ISCADOR therapy with HOMOEOPATHY leading to pain relief, reducing haemorrhage and increasing periods of remission.
Homoeopathy and Iscador can help in keeping side-effects of conventional treatment to a minimum.
KEYWORDS: Iscador, medicines, diseases, homoeopathy, cancer, immunostimulant, therapy.
Abbreviations: QOL – quality of life, RCT – randomised controlled trials, RES – reticuloendothelial system
Cancer is a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymphatic system. There are several main types of cancer as follows
- Carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
- Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
- Leukaemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
- Lymphoma and multiple myeloma are cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.
- Central nervous system cancers are cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.
Iscador is the trade name of a group of anti-cancer treatments, all prepared from different types of mistletoe extracts. Treatment with Iscador aims at intensifying the body’s own forces against the cancer cell’s tendency towards autonomy.
Mistletoe therapy is an herbal preparation of the Mistletoe plant, which grows commonly in Northern Europe. The clinicians at NCIM prescribe preparations manufactured by ISCADOR AG, made of fermented aqueous extracts of the freshly harvested white-berried mistletoe (Viscum album L.) grown on different host trees. Host trees used are apple (Malus, M), oak (Quercus, Qu), pine (Pinus, P), elm (Ulmus, U). Mistletoe contains viscotoxins and lectins which have been shown to have a stimulating effect on the immune system.
Iscador therapy is a cancer treatment formulation derived directly from the plant Viscum album (mistletoe plant). Ninety years ago, Iscador was first put to use in Switzerland. Today, thanks to ongoing scientific research and development, it is the most frequently used alternative treatment for cancer in the world.
The three most frequently prescribed cancer treatments are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Practitioners of these treatments are increasingly recognising the effectiveness of complementary cancer remedies, such as Iscador as an essential component of an integrative treatment protocol.
One of the primary functions of Iscador is that it stimulates parts of the immune system that can slow the growth of cancer cells and does so with very limited side effects. For this reason, it is often used in conjunction with conventional therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Many patients treated with Iscador report an improved quality of life, feeling better and more positive and in need of less pain relief medications.
Extensive research and clinical experience demonstrate the vast array of health benefits that Iscador provides:
- Improvements in general condition (increase in appetite and weight) and vitality
- Restoration of normal sleep pattern
- Improvement in mental state (depression/anxiety, courage to face life and ability to take initiative)
- Improvement in quality of life
- Prolongation of life
- Other major effects include
- Reducing adverse effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Immunomodulatory effect
- Inhibition of malignant growth
- Reducing the risk of recurrences and metastases.
MISTLETOE AND CANCER:
There is research to show that it stimulates the group of white cells in the immune system that treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy can sometimes lower. These cells are called the natural killer cells and the aim of giving this medicine is that a number of these cells will be increased in your body.
In Europe, Viscum album L (mistletoe) is the most commonly used complementary therapy by patients with cancer and is integrated into conventional oncology treatment programmes in Germany, Switzerland and Holland. In recent years it has been the subject of many randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Although there are some limitations to these studies due to poor design, a relatively consistent finding of these trials was a reduction in the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and/or improvement of quality of life of the patient (QOL).
Extracts of mistletoe have been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory and to boost the immune system (the complex group of organs and cells that defends the body against infection or disease). For this reason, mistletoe has been classified as a type of biological response modifier (a substance that stimulates the body’s response to infection and disease). Extracts of mistletoe have also been shown in the laboratory to prevent the growth of new blood vessels needed for tumours to grow.
Ingredients in mistletoe that have been
studied for their usefulness in treating cancer include:
MODE OF THERAPY-
Mistletoe therapy can be given ORALLY (as a liquid by mouth) Or INJECTABLE (by subcutaneous injection).
Homoeopathy, a therapeutic system of medicine discovered by a German physician, Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), in the late eighteenth century based on fundamental idea of similarity (or similia) principle: Similia similibus curentur: “let likes be treated by likes”. This implies that substances capable of causing disorder in healthy subjects are used as medicines to treat similar patterns of disorder experienced by ill people.
These substances in diluted form are believed to stimulate the body’s self-regulatory mechanism and a healing response in the body. The other important principles of the system include: law of simplex, law of minimum dose, doctrine of drug proving, theory of chronic diseases, theory of vital force, and doctrine of drug dynamisation. 
Holistic concept of health and disease:
A holistic model of health in homoeopathy, taking an overview of the patient, including their individual mind, body and spirit, life situation and other circumstances, is central in evolving a curative approach to chronic and complex diseases. The holistic view uses the totality and the constitution of each patient to find a remedy that suits him/her, rather than just the disease. This is a paradigm shift from the conventional model of treatment approach, i.e. how illness is viewed.
Alternative systems of medicine like homoeopathy take a more holistic approach. With this approach, one realises that the cancer cells themselves are not the villains. They are just the manifestation of something going wrong within the defence mechanisms of the body. It is now known that tumour development is preceded by a pre-tumour phase, that may persist for years if not decades. There is a gradual failure of the immune system, with the system becoming unable to distinguish between self and non-self. A healthy organism with a fully functional immune system identifies malfunctioning cells as alien and destroys them. Plenty of such cells arise from time to time in every individual. Failure of the monitoring system may result in de-differentiation of cells in certain organs, which are then no longer under central control. These cells begin to program their own ‘circuit diagram’ and it is then possible that they may proliferate without any control. The code of those deviant cells no longer connects with the ‘human being’ program.
To understand the homoeopathic approach to treating people with cancer,
we must first clarify that homoeopathic medicines not only treat the cancer but
more importantly they treat the person with this cancer. The natural remedies
individually prescribed, on the basis of the totality of a person’s physical
and psychological symptoms, reduce that person’s susceptibility to disease.
Once this concept is understood it becomes very easy to assist patients.
Homoeopathic medicines not only help to control the growth of cancer (if brought to the homoeopath in the early stages) but they also help to alleviate the other accompanying symptoms like loss of weight, difficulty in eating, pain, weakness, cough, etc.
Following are some of the aspects of Cancer management with homoeopathy:
One of the most distressing complaints associated with some varieties of cancer is the agonising pain. Conventional medicines can provide pain relief but only to a certain extent and these medicines are not without any side effects. Moreover there is always a restriction to the dosage that can be safely administered to the patient. The advantage of administering homoeopathic medicines in such cases is that there can be effective pain control without inducing any side effects.
Homoeopathy can help in improving the general well-being and vitality of the patient.
Conventional treatment options for cancer (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc.) are associated with distressing side effects and homoeopathy can play a definitive role to counter these side effects.
The diagnosis of cancer often leaves the patient with a sense of depression, anxiety and fear. The treatment may induce additional irritability, impatience and mood fluctuations. Homoeopathy can influence the psyche of the patient and help him to deal with these emotions in a better way.
Homoeopathic medicines may also have a role to play in controlling the pace at which the disease increases and spread of the disease to other organs.
CANCER: A CHALLENGE AN INTEGRATED ONCOLOGY APPROACH WITH HOMOEOPATHY AND ISCADOR THERAPY:TVAT_DR ZUBIN MAROLIA
Since while Iscador therapy and homoeopathy shares the same umbrella, its basically immunostimulant therapy that leads to mistletoe therapy.
Iscador therapy is a well-documented, well-researched, alternative plant therapy for cancer patients.
As in HOMOEOPATHIC system of medicine too, homoeopaths usually not only treat the disease but treat the patient as a whole through raising the immunity power or by boosting the immunity similar to ISCADOR THERAPY.
MODE OF ACTION OF ISCADOR THERAPY:
2. Lessens the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
3. It has cause certain biological rhythm properties, wherein aids cancer patients dropdown the symptoms,patient feels better for example_improves diet,sleep,weakness, etc.
4. Stabilising neuroendocrine function of cancer patients.
PROTOCOLS FOR MANAGEMENT OF CANCER PATIENTS WITH HOMOEOPATHY AND ISCADOR THERAPY:
Below are the points achieved only trough homoeopathy_
- Find out where the energy balance has been lost in the patient.
- CAUSATIVE FACTOR:
- Find out the cause of the disease (i.e.mental,physical, or emotional, etc.) that has made the patient ill.
- COMMENCING TREATMENT WITH HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES-INDVIDUALISTIC AND SIMILIMUM.
- FOLLOWED BY ISCADOR THERAPY-AN INTEGRATIVE IMMUNOLOGICAL THERAPY.
- MULTIVITAMINS LIKE VITAMIN B12,VITAMIN C ETC IF NEEDED.
Many a times patient already undergone radiotherapy or chemotherapy and various radiations. Here is the necessity of a HOMOEOPATHIC PHYSICIAN.
Then the work of the physician begins and he looks for different factors that is going in patient’s life to find out the most important factor, i.e. causative factor.
But at every stage, a physician must possess two documentation as:
1. Scientific documentation of a patient.
2. A Holistic documentation.
By combining the above two go for integrative oncology approach.
# To treat a patient, identify 3’S in life_
CONCEPT OF 3’S OF HEALING IN A PATIENT:
1. SUPPRESSION- when a patient feels suppressed either emotionally or mentally like a suppression of not able to achieve ambition,aspiration or a disappointed love etc.
2. SPONTANITY- when there is urge to do something like to fullfill your desire which comes first in mind.
3. FREE SPIRIT-free in mind, body and spirit like feeling of happiness after doing the things you wished for in life.
HOLISTIC CANCER THERAPY
INDIRECT CANCER INHIBITION BY STIMULATION OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
TREATMENT OF THE LOST,RESTORING OF WELLNESS AND HEALTH
THE RATIONAL MANAGEMENT OF CANCER INVOLVES:
1.Reduction of tumour mass by surgery with results in elimination of tumour antigen dose.
2.Stimulation,reinforcement and restoration of R.E.S( reticuloendothelial system), immune mechanism against cell proliferation i.e.
- Iscador therapy/Mistletoe therapy_ Immunostimulant.
- Constitutional homoeopathic medicine_ the simillimum.
- Supportive therapies such as meditation,yoga,relaxation techniques_ reorientation of “LIFE AND LIVING”.
It should be remembered that Iscador has to be continued for several years, with few gaps in between as suggested by the treating physician.
Iscador potentiates the action of homoeopathic therapeutics as both act on the immune mechanism. When understood and practised, these therapies become limitless in their possibilities for development and their power to treat the millions of sick people in the world.
Use of Mistletoe extract in cancer patient is associated with better survival despite obvious limitation. It also improves QoL (quality of life) of cancer patient. Iscador treatment can achieve a clinically relevant prolongation of survival time of cancer patients and appears to stimulate self-regulation. Use of Iscador also helps in reducing side-effects of conventional treatment like chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
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2. National Centre for Integrative Medicine Available @ https://ncim.org.u.k.
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6. Standard treatment guidelines in Homoeopahy available @ https://www.ccrchindia.nic.in
7. Fritj.of capra, The Web of Life.A new Scientiifc understanding of living systmems-1996 Available @ http://Hpath.com
8. David Owen,Principles and Practice of Homoeopathy.Elsevier Ltd.Churchill Living Stone.2007 available @ http://Hpath.com
9. Why Homoeopathy? AVAILABLE @
10. Webinar clinical diaries. Current trend in homoeopathic management of cancer(Insight into Mistletoe Therapy-Viscum Album)-TVAT DR ZUBIN MALORIA on You Tube Channel
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12. Mistletoe in Homoeopathic cancer treatment-PubMed available @ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
About the Author:
Dr Maryam Salman
BHMS From NHMC,DU
CNCC,MSCDFSM from IGNOU
Currently doing online consultation in Bahrain.