European Mistletoe

European Mistletoe
European Mistletoe


There have been clinical trials of European mistletoe for cancer, mostly in Europe. Although some trials indicated that European mistletoe improved survival or quality of life, almost all of the trials had major weaknesses that raise doubts about their findings. These weaknesses have included small numbers of patients, lack of information about the patients, lack of information about the dose, and problems with the design of the studies.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the National Cancer Institute performed a preliminary trial to evaluate the safety of injected European mistletoe extract in combination with a cancer drug in patients with advanced cancer. It showed that patients could tolerate the herb/drug combination.

This is not a proven cancer treatment. It should not be used as a treatment for cancer outside of clinical trials.

Side Effects Of European Mistletoe

European mistletoe berries and leaves can cause serious harmful effects when taken orally (by mouth).

It is probably unsafe for use during pregnancy. Little is known about whether it’s safe for use while breastfeeding.

Injected extract may cause soreness and inflammation at the injection site, headache, fever, and chills. A few severe allergic reactions have been reported.


Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make shared, well-informed decisions.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.