Mistletoe Therapy

What is mistletoe therapy?
The liquid extract of the mistletoe plant has been used as an alternative method to treat cancer for close to a century! Mistletoe injections are currently among the most widely used unconventional cancer treatments in Europe. Estimated 80% of German and Swiss medical doctors advise cancer patients to use it as part of their protocol.

Primary actions: toxic to cancer cells, DNA protective, anti-inflammatory, immune modulation.

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Is mistletoe effective for my type of cancer?

Mistletoe (sold as Iscador or Helixor) can be used in malignant and not-malignant tumors to stimulate immune function. When combined alongside conventional treatments, mistletoe has been shown to offset the side affects of chemotherapy/radiation like nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. It can also be used to diminish tumor-related pain and to reduce the risk of tumor recurrence.

Why are mistletoe treatments not available at cancer institutions in North America?

Even though it is used all over the world and proven effective in treating cancer, a clinical trial has not yet been done in North America. Until this happens, oncologists cannot offer this treatment as standard of care. Mistletoe can be prescribed by licensed naturopathic physicians who are trained in integrative oncology.

What does a mistletoe treatment look like?

Mistletoe is given as a subcutaneous injection (like an insulin shot, just below the skin) every 2-3 days. These injections can be done at home, making it a very cost effective treatment option.

Cost is dependant on personal response and required maintenance dose.

The ideal reaction to a mistletoe injection is a red flare or welt at the site – which indicated an immune system response. The welt may get red and itchy but should not exceed 2 inches in diameter and should vanish within 48 hrs. A good indication that the mistletoe is working is a slight increase in body temperature (1 C) within a few hrs of the injection and lasting no longer than 12 hrs after.

What benefits can I expect?

It is common to see tumour progression slow or stop, improved health, and reduced pain. Increased survival time is well documented. Quality of life is nearly always improved, including reduction in pain level, improved appetite, and general wellness.

What are the risks?

Negative side effects to mistletoe therapy are rare and minimized with the appropriate dose schedule. However, bruising as well as inflammatory reactions (which are desired and expected but can sometimes become problematic such as fever, flu-like symptoms, and headache) are possible.

*Notes: Deepest gratitude for Dr Neil McKinney, a naturopathic oncologist in Victoria, BC has over 30 years of experience working with cancer patients. He is a trusted source for mistletoe information and has seen a good response (improved quality of life, extended survival) in cases of advanced cancers.

Contact us for more information about the benefits and options of integrative cancer care.

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Our beautiful IV room. 

Our Favourite ADAPTOGENS

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I love herbal medicine. Herbs are gentle, yet powerful medicine and can be blended in formulas to suit an individual’s specific needs. Not everyone experiences stress in the same way, so I am very mindful of choosing the herb or herbal combination that best suits YOU.

We carry a wide variety of herbs in different forms – loose herbs for tea and soup blends, essential oils, tinctures, and powdered herbs in capsules are all options we like to have on hand when choosing the right blend for the individual.

Adaptogens are herbal allies that increase our resilience to stress. Adaptogens can help our adrenal (or stress) glands recharge and overall reduce the negative impact stress can have on our bodies and minds.

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A few of my favourite adaptogens include:

 

RHODIOLA ROSEA

Studies of Rhodiola rosea’s medicinal applications have appeared in the scientific literature for decades. Rhodiola rosea is generally used as a tonic and remedy for fatigue. People who take rhodiola often notice improvement in feelings of overall wellness and vitality.

Numerous studies have also shown rhodiola to be beneficial for mild-to-moderate depression. Through its ability to strengthen the nervous system, rhodiola is especially helpful for people who respond to stress with feelings of helplessness.

 

SIBERIAN GINSENG

Although not a true ginseng, Siberian Ginseng, also known as eleutherococcus, is a potent adaptogen that is useful in cases of mental fatigue. It also supports healthy mood. Studies find people who take Siberian ginseng have better mental health and social functioning and benefits are seen as soon as 4 weeks of taking the herb.

 

PASSIFLORA INCARNATE

Passion flower has sedative properties and is used for people who experience anxiety related to stress. This adaptogen is especially helpful for people who notice upset stomach (“nervous stomach”) and have trouble sleeping in response to high levels of stress.

 

ASHWAGANDHA 

This amazing plant helps to lower cortisol levels. It has been used for centuries, primarily in its native country of India, for people who are worn out and exhausted. Research on the benefits of ashwagandha have shown that people who take it report feeling more relaxed and calm. They also demonstrate significant reduction in depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

 

HOLY BASIL

Also known as “Tulsi”, holy basil is a sacred plant in India, valued for its benefits on the mind, body, and spirit. Multiple studies have found that supplementation with holy basil relieves anxiety, reduces cortisol levels, and helps the body respond optimally during times of stress.

 

Summary

Stress resilience requires a multi-disciplinary approach that includes mind-body strategies, natural nutrition, herbal medicine, and exercise. There are a wide variety of herbal option that are effective options to help manage stress.

If you are feeling like stress is getting the best of YOU, call today for a comprehensive plan to help you address your concerns and achieve sensational health.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Oregano!

Oregano is a tasty herb when used in the kitchen, but did you know its antibacterial benefits are similar to that of antibiotics!!

This herb makes it to the top of the list for cold busting symptoms:
5 Things You Need to Know About Oregano!

  1. It’s loaded in Vitamin C and A! Not only does this help our immune system function its best but it helps protect our mucousal membranes (nose, mouth/throat, and respiratory tract!)
  2. Because of its broad-spectrum antibacterial effects it will kill our good bacteria with the bad bacteria – with this in mind, supplementing with probiotics are an important follow-up step to using Oregano to kill the germs that you’ve caught.
  3. Although it’s amazing for the immune system and killing bacteria, it’s not great at killing viruses.. This means it isn’t a top choice for the flu (usually caused by viruses) but it has been shown effective in killing fungal (and as we know, bacterial) infections and interestingly, it prevents cold sore breakouts (even though it is caused by a virus! – it’s likely there’s more to Oregano then what has been shown so far in studies).
  4. You can use it as a fresh or dried herb or as an essential oil! One of my favourite ways to use it is steeped in olive oil as you can see in the picture. I add it to salads or use it with a little balsamic and bread as an app! It also cooks nicely with chicken, or makes a delish pesto!
  5. On top of it’s immune boosting benefits, Oregano helps ease allergies, menstrual cramps, and slows aging with its potent anti-oxidant content!

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What are your favourite ways to use Oregano?? 

Change of Season Soup

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I love herbal medicine and Change of Season Soup blend is one of my favourites for boosting immune health. This post and recipe is from a colleague, Dr. Mahalia Freed. Her website is: http://www.drmahaliafreed.com

BUILD YOUR IMMUNE POWER WITH CHANGE OF SEASON SOUP

This herbal formula is a great harmonizer, helping to balance the body and mind in times of stress, especially during the change of seasons. It enhances the immune system and increases the body’s own adaptive energies. Thus, it is also excellent for those involved in active sports.
Traditionally, there is no separation between food and herbs in Chinese medicine. This herbal tonic was often prepared as a nourishing chicken soup using an old hen.
You may prepare the herbs as a well-simmered tea, or use the recipe below as a guide to make a soup that you will enjoy, adding seasonal vegetables and spices as desired.

Basic Ingredients

**Pre Packaged blend now available at The Pear Tree

Astragalus membranaceus / Huang Qi
Codonopsis pilosula / Dang Shen
Dioscorea sinensis (Chinese wild yam)
Lyciium barbarum (Chinese wolfberries or Goji berries)

Soup Ingredients

Chicken and Marinade

400 g of skinless chicken pieces, on the bone

2 tbsp fresh grated garlic

2 tbsp fresh grated ginger

Salt

Pepper

Tasty Additions

1 tbsp dry ginger

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves

5-10 peppercorns

Handful of Chinese Dates

Final Additions

1/2 C thinly sliced carrot

1/2 C chopped celery

1 C chopped bok choy

1/2 C chopped onions

Fresh coriander as garnish

Steps

  1. Wash and dry the chicken. Marinate it in the fresh ginger and garlic in the fridge overnight. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Put all of the “basic ingredients” into about 15 cups of water in a large soup pot.
    Add the marinated chicken and the “tasty additions”.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours or until the chicken is cooked. (If you are making the soup without chicken simmer for only 1 hour).
  4. Remove the Astragalus, Codonopsis and Chinese wild yam from the pot.
  5. Add the “final additions’ of carrots, celery, bok choy, onions and any other vegetables you enjoy in soup and continue simmering for about 20 more minutes.
  6. Let it cool and serve garnished with fresh coriander

Elderberry Syrup for Cold & Flu

Sambucus canadensis, or Elderberry, is one of our favourite herbs this time of year.

  • It acts deeply on the respiratory tract, decreasing congestion (quickly at that!)
  • promotes detoxification through our pores and digestive tract – helping us prevent and recover from the flu!

It’s powerful but gentle and safe – and a definite go-to if you have children in the house. When we start see runny noses and coughs with mucus 1 tbsp of Elderberry syrup 2-3x a day is a must.

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Recipe: 

In a small pot add…

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of Elderberries (We have ordered them in at The Pear Tree just for you!)*
  • 1 tsp of ginger

Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the elderberries and store in airtight container (if you’re anything like us, mason jars are all over the house and these work perfectly!).

Store in fridge. Use 1 tbsp/day preventatively or 2-3tbsp/day at first signs of cold and flu.

Happy Healing!

Your Sensational Health Experts.

*You can pick up elderberries from The Pear Tree, call ahead to make sure we’re open! 857-1300

Everything Chamomile

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I absolutely love having chamomile in the house because its healing properties are endless. Teas, poultices, herbal baths, and soaps are a few effective ways to extract and use the healing properties.

As a tea chamomile is a mood stabilizer and helps alleviate nervousness and irritability. Drinking it also helps soothe the gastrointestinal tractas it alleviates heart burn, soothes mouth and gastric ulcers, and helps reduce bloating. Also, a quick mix with mint tea and say goodbye to complaints of constipation.

As a cream it decreases inflammation making it an extremely effective treatment for allergies; it’s especially useful in the treatment of eczema (as a cream or in a bath). The effectiveness is comparable (actually, it is slightly superior) to over the counter hydrocortisone cream that is often pharmaceutically prescribed. Side-effects that can accompany hydrocortisone use are: allergic reactions, change in skin colour, nausea, headaches, cataracts (if touching eyes after using), dizziness, and acne. 

Along the same lines as the cream, using Chamomile as a soap can help clear acne, and heal wounds or cold sores.

Chamomile is a very easy herb to grow in the spring. It has a short annual life of 8 weeks, usually growing as spring begins and dying near the end of June. It’s a beautiful daisy-like flower with an apple scent hence the spanish name Manzanilla meaning ‘little apple’. It’s medicinal uses date back to 1550 BC, being introduced to North America from Europe in the 1500’s and named Plant of the Year in 1987.

Chamomile is gentle yet effective. I find the word gentle doesn’t often translate to effective, but chamomile’s gentle nature makes it a herb that can be used for children or pets and it truly is effective!

Interested in learning how other herbs could help your health concerns? Book a Naturopathic Visit today! 857-1300

Dr. Jodie Tatlock, ND 

*For tea mix one tea bag with 1-2 cups of boiling water, steep for 5-7 minutes and drink warm. Add 1 green tea bag for an afternoon pick-me-up or 1 mint tea bag to help aid digestion after a meal!

 

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Disclaimer: Speak to your healthcare provider or a veterinarian before making any medical changes. Allergies to Chamomile may exist, especially if you have one to another herb in the Asteraceae Family.

 

 

(1) A. Godfrey, P. Saunders (2010). Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine. Volume 1: Botanical Medicine Monographs.

(2) A.Weil (2012). National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. The Worlds Most Effective Healing Plants. 

(3) J.Srivastava, E.Shankar, S.Gupta (2011). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/

(4) M.Morgan (2010). Chamomile from a clinical perspective. Retrieved from: http://www.mediherb.com/pdf/tc_31f.pdf

(5) j.Cunha (2014). Hydrocortisone Side Effect Centre. Retrieved from: http://www.rxlist.com/hydrocortisone-side-effects-drug-center.htm