Conclusions

The present knowledge has provided some fundamental understanding of these products, which will be beneficial for further studies. There is increasing evidence that not only lectins, but also other substances present in European mistletoe, show cytotoxic and immune modulating activity. Mistletoe extracts intrinsically consist of a large number of substances. Among them, the lectins, viscotoxins, and polysaccharides are the best described. According to the recent studies, V. album L. var. C. growing in Korea shows similar cytotoxic and immunological activities as compared to those of European mistletoe which has been studied intensively. Extracts from V. album L. var. C. have inhibitory effects on tumour angiogenesis and metastasis. It will be necessary to further investigate the chemical components and biological activities of the plants and the possible mechanism of actions, such as the synergistic interactions between the individual components for the cancer therapy. Those results will shed light on the cancer therapy in the future.

Although Korean mistletoes and other East-Asian populations have been used traditionally as therapeutical herbs for a long time, scientific investigations of those plants are very limited. It is also necessary to investigate scientifically the mistletoe distributed in Korea and other East-Asian countries as traditional therapeutic herbs.

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