The mistletoe and the secret of its healing power

Signature of the mistletoe

The outer appearance of the European mistletoe is relatively modest compared with its relatives in Africa and Australia. The mistletoe doesn’t suck out its host tree (as do the mentioned relatives) but uses for itself only about 23 to 43 % of the carbohydrate and amino acids that it extracts from the host tree. The rest is being stored in the plant (water and the mineral nutrients of the soil + organic substances).

When we look at the slow growth over many years (only one pair of leaves per year) and the very slight differentiation of the plant, an inhibiting principle is clearly visible. This is a principle that is used to inhibit the growth of the tumor.

The characteristic spherical form of the mistletoe underlines that it does not adapt itself to its host tree, there is no integration, just like the tumor does not adapt itself to the body of the human being and refuses any integration.

Looking at the host trees of the mistletoe with an understanding of signatures it is most interesting to note that the mistletoe that is applied for the therapy of cancer of women grows on apple trees, while the mistletoe used for cancer therapy of men grows on oak trees. However, women with characteristic male qualities may also get an oak tree mistletoe preparation.

Rejection of Integration

In some parts of the world there are mistletoe species that adapt themselves completely to their host tree, including the form of leaves and blossoms, taking over even the identity and essence of the host tree. Not so the European Viscum.

The mistletoe has its origin on the “Old Moon”, as Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, calls the planet Earth at a previous state of development during evolution, when the shape and organization of the human body was extremely different from what it is at present. The tumor ignores its affinity to the human organization, just as the latter differentiates itself from the surrounding nature.

Humans and trees are relatives

The mistletoe lacks the capacity of standing up straight, which is the exact opposite to what is characteristic for a tree. The capacity of the tree to grow and develop upwards make the tree and the human being look much the same. A kind of personality can be discovered. A beautiful old tree with sufficient space for its full development, is something that leaves a great, deep impression on us. We feel profoundly associated with the trees.

There are many wonderful stories and tales about the relationship and experiences between trees and humans. Tree cults, reverence of trees, individual naming have always been an important issue in the course of history that made a deep impact on humans.

Court was held underneath lime-trees. Some people obtain vitality from trees to which they feel closely related. Others have a talent to experience trees as endowed with an individual, lively, elemental-spiritual personality, intelligence and a clear consciousness.

Just as we human beings do, also an old, mighty tree is marked by fights with the surrounding forces and challenges.

Uprightness is a health factor

Straightening up, standing up, uprightness are the factors that make the human being human. Is it possible, that these are the energies that the tree gives to the human being as a present so that he may be healed? This is so, when the human being can find himself, his Self, he can get rid of the parasite – the tumor.

This is also applicable to other “parasites” in life. Such parasites can come up as humans, trying to steal his uprightness and sincerity, breaking his resistance to adverse circumstances and pressure in life.

Our soul is a mirror, illness is a reflection of the soul

Pressure, often in combination with despair, hopelessness, futility, depresses the human being, leaves him disheartened. Self-awareness, uprightness, man’s ability to walk upright, begins to withdraw in the face of overwhelming problems. This happens on the psychic (the soul’s) level, continues to influence in a negative way the vital organization, and finally manifests itself in form of a disease of one or several organs. This is why we can say that an illness always reflects the state of our soul, an organic illness is always a symptom of something that is going wrong in our soul, of unsolved problems, challenges that we are unable to cope with. When we try to get rid of the symptoms only, we destroy the mirror. The problem remains unsolved. The illness will come back, in a different, new form. The more we suppress symptoms, the more difficult it gets for the physician to find out what the real original cause for the disease may have been.

What shall we do if we don’t like what we see in the mirror?

If, what we see in a mirror, does not please us, this is certainly not the fault of the mirror. Therefore, it would not make sense to destroy the mirror. It is necessary to go to the trouble of changing what the mirror is reflecting, or revealing.

Just a few examples:

a person suffering from repeated headaches should ask himself the question what he is “racking his brains about” all the time. Not pills against headaches are the right solution, but the solution of the problems that he is racking his brains about.

Or: in case of digestion problems pills do not solve the real problem. One must find out, which problems are not “digested”.

Our skin separates us from the world that surrounds us. Skin problems show that we have a (psychic) problem to distance us from surrounding problems, sometimes people.

Naturally, as a first help it makes sense to get relief from pills, tinctures, dilutions, injections …, followed by a closer look at our problems.

Often, however, it is very difficult to make out the reason for a disease, or change one’s personal conditions of life, even if the cause for the disease is recognized. And then there are very serious diseases where it is extremely difficult to determine their origin. Never should one tell a sick person, that “it’s his/her own fault”. A sick person needs in the first place help, comfort, support, warm attention and interest. First help on all levels: help for the spirit, the soul, the vital organization, and the physical body. Then we can look at the deeper-lying reasons for the illness.

Such a (tragic) disease is cancer. The possible causes for this worldwide plague are so deeply rooted in the human organization that it needs our most serious attention and understanding if we are to find ways of therapy.

Hardenings in our soul

A person affected by a tumor suffers from a hardened tissue of an organ. Might this have to do with a “hardening” on the psychic level? This question is relatively easy to answer, because everyone of us is familiar with such ”hardenings”: these can have the form of
1. a dogma, which again can be of a religious or social character;
2. or people let other people dictate or determine their life, or lifestyle (this often happens between partners, e.g. husband and wife);
3. or traditions, that are continued even against better insight;
4. rigid, inflexible clinging to decisions that were once made and will not be changed;
5. points of view that must not be questioned.

In short: when the soul gets rigid/hardened, the same thing happens then as a consequence to the organs of the body

Very often, the cause for cancer is to be found in our (negative) lifestyle in previous lives! But this is a different chapter (and a different Vitasophie article).

Let’s shed tears!

The Dutch anthroposophical physician Dr Mees once said: Cancer is laughter that has not been laughed, or tears that are not shed (but should be). Depressions often result in cancer. Depressions are often the result of many years suppressed emotions, of feelings of loneliness. What the person affected needs then, is neither chemistry nor treatment with deadly rays, but warmth of the heart, the rays of the sun, encouragement (courage is a quality of the heart), attention, warm interest by other people. His emotional world needs repair, stabilization. Our soul is our emotional world, the middle of the human being. Stabilization of the soul, the strengthening, and revival of our middle, a self-conscious, re-established, confident and swinging soul is the basis of therapy.

First aid is possible

How can we give first aid to a cancer-affected person? By encouraging him, showing sincere interest and warm feelings, supporting him spiritually, not blaming him for anything. And we must be very careful with wise pieces of advice. Even if we are “sure” about the reasons of this person’s illness. Sometimes it is the better therapy just to listen to somebody. Just by describing one’s problems to someone else, a person may suddenly find the right answers all by himself. This approach is used in biography work.

Help on the spiritual-psychic level is just one part of any therapy. The healing process must also be supported on the level of the physical body. In cancer therapy it is the mistletoe that offers such a help.

There is no magic formula, or ready-made solution

Every human being is an individual person, with his own personal abilities, talents, and possibilities. Therefore, there are also many different ways of therapy. What is helpful for one person, may not at all be recommendable for another. What is sometimes working wonders with one person, may not have the desired effect on someone else.

The interaction between the human being and nature also needs to be studied and tried out quite individually. It is the task of the therapist to find out what the ideal solution for his patient is. He does this in form of a cooperation and coordination with his patient, who always must be aware of what is happening with him and in his body.

The purpose of the present Vitasophie article is not to provide detailed therapy instructions but to work out, in the first place, how the forces, properties, and vitality of the tree can, in cooperation with the mistletoe, possibly contribute to healing cancer.

How does the mistletoe work, how is a healing process possible?

The mistletoe uses two proteins, cytotoxins, to help the organism, affected by a tumor, to “become again master in his own house”. These two cytotoxins – lectines and viscotoxins – come into being and have an effect in space and time in two different ways: the lectines are concentrated mainly in the central parts of the mistletoe, namely in the stalks and in the root. The viscotoxins are formed in the peripheral organs, the leaves. Correspondingly, they have an effect on different parts of the tumor-affected cells: the lectines destroy the inner part of the cell, whereas the viscotoxins destroy the cell walls. This way they complement one another in the tumor-affected organism. An additional aspect is: the toxin contents is the highest in summer, the lectine contents in winter. This is why winter and summer juices are mixed for the production of the mistletoe preparations.

Letting go on all levels

This way the lectines and toxins help the body to get rid of waste cells, let them go, so that there is space for new, healthy cells. We have here a good example for what the process should be also on the level of the soul, if effective, sustainable healing is to be realized: let go old, no longer usable but blocking situations, so that there is space for new qualities, or possibilities: new, inspiring ideas, a new lifestyle, so that we can whirl, swing through life again, on all levels!

Everybody needs warmth

Another most important effect of the mistletoe is that it creates warmth in the human organism. After the injection of a mistletoe preparation it is normal that a slight fever comes up. This is desired! The Self of the human being is (spiritual) fire, a one-dimensional, vertical love-fire pillar that lives in the warmth of the blood. It by way of the blood that the Self transfers its spiritual creative structures, of which it is composed, to the organs of the body.

For this process warmth is needed. Something comparable happens in the case of childhood illnesses, and in all illnesses that are accompanied by fever. A person’s Self uses the warm, or even hot blood to transform, or change all unsuitable cell structures (the structures of the present physical body that do however not fit the spiritual creative organ structures of the human’s Self) so that the human’s Self can better unfold and develop it’s qualities, talents, and plans for life.

Every human being is different! When medicaments are used to suppress fever, a person’s Self is not in a position to transform the unfitting organs that it needs to unfold and develop properly in life. In this case the Self has to be happy with the available organs, and it is well possible that the planned development cannot be realized because it is blocked. Therefore, it is important that the responsible physician does not suppress his patient’s fever but observes and controls it, so that the transformation of one or several organs can take place.

The mistletoe has a long past

In order to round up the picture of the mistletoe I would like to add the following: it’s originally Celtic name means “the one that heals everything”. The Celtic priests, the Druids, deemed the mistletoe so important, even sacred, that they climbed up the oak trees in long white garments, to harvest the mistletoe with a golden sickle, after which they collected the mistletoe bunches in white sheets (at that time the oak-tree mistletoe only was used). The idea was that the magic charm and vitality of the mistletoe was transferred to the person who consumed it. Among the consumers were and still are the mistletoe thrushes, which take care that the mistletoe is disseminated by their excretion, while sitting on the branches of the next tree.

The mistletoe was also believed to heal epilepsy and ulcers. The mistletoe made sterile women just as fertile as it does with livestock. Also the Ainu (Ainu means “man” or “human being”), people of white skin living in the extreme north of Japan are convinced that the mistletoe has these properties. The mistletoe has these powers because it comes right from heaven (the mistletoe doesn’t grow on the soil, but on trees only) and falls down on sheets. Its origin in heaven and the fact that it was disseminated by birds, explains why the old Germanic people was able to communicate with the spirits after consumption of the mistletoe.

The Galliards harvested the mistletoe that was growing on oak-trees because the oak-tree was awe-inspiring thanks to its enormous size and robust age. The consumption of the mistletoe meant taking up the “water of the oak-tree”, its forming vitality, its juice, its blood, its essence.

Kisses under the mistletoe

A mistletoe bunch from the oak-tree, hanging at the ceiling, is said to give stability and duration to the love of the lovers embracing and kissing each other under it on 31 December at midnight. This is the same effect that the mistletoe has when it is used as a pharmaceutical preparation (Viscum album; Weleda: Iscador; WALA: Iscucin), to support the immune system of the human being in a sustainable way – but only if he wants it!

The trees help heal

So far the mistletoe. Actually, it is not the mistletoe itself that has the healing powers, but the host trees are our helping, healing friends. In the case of the mistletoe host trees these are mainly the apple tree, the oak-tree, the elm, the pine-tree, the lime-tree and others (presently 13 trees are known).

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Many people think they are thinking. In reality they are just sorting out anew their prejudices.

William James

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Man is what he is bearing in mind all day long.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The first step towards wisdom consists in questioning everything; the last is coping with everything.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

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You do not have to be afraid of anything in life, you just have to understand it.

Marie Curie

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A prayer is not a substitute for working, thinking, vigilance, suffering, or giving; but it supports all these efforts.

Georg Buttrick

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Love means living. He who misses love, misses life.

Leo Buscaglia

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