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Against allopathy
Alternative medicine
Clinically unproven

Iscador® is an alternative patent medicine cancer treatment that uses extracts of European mistletoe, Viscum album. It was invented by Rudolf Steiner as part of anthroposophy, though it's not clear on what basis he thought it would work.

Unsurprisingly, it does bugger-all to treat cancer. It kills cancer cells in vitro (which, in alternative medicine terms, is huge success), so is the subject of continuing research, but has shown no clinical effectiveness as a drug.[1]

Surprisingly, it might do a little to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.[2] Research is ongoing.

As a popular form of cancer woo, it is highly controlled in the US to keep the quacks out. You can only even import the mistletoe extracts into the US for approved research or for "individual use," and then have your quack doctor inject it for you.[1] It's apparently readily available in Eastern Europe, though.

Although the mistletoe plant and berries are poisonous, the extract is not considered likely to harm you directly.[3] Particularly when, as is common, it's prepared homeopathically.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 National Cancer Institute. "Mistletoe Extracts (PDQ)."
  2. National Cancer Institute. 5. What preclinical (laboratory or animal) studies have been conducted using mistletoe?
  3. Unless you are the Norse deity Balder