Viscum Album in the Treatment of a Girl With Refractory Childhood Absence Epilepsy

J Child Neurol. 2015 Jul;30(8):1048-52. doi: 10.1177/0883073814541473. Epub 2014 Jul 17.


Viscum album (European mistletoe) extracts have known immunomodulatory effects but little data exist on anticonvulsant activity despite its usefulness having been reported for centuries. A 4½-year-old girl with childhood absence epilepsy and global developmental delay was treated with different antiepileptic drugs and ketogenic diet but failed to become seizure free over a 2-year period. She also received different herbal remedies as part of an integrative medicine approach. Initial improvement occurred on valproate-ethosuximide, a further improvement was seen after adding clobazam to valproate. Final cessation of absence activity occurred after a dose increase of V album. She was still seizure free at the 12-month follow-up. V album appears to have been a necessary adjunct treatment for this child to become seizure free. We call on physicians to report their experiences of V album in epilepsy and suggest further study.

Keywords: European mistletoe; Viscum album; absence epilepsy; case reports; integrative medicine.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Waves / drug effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Absence / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Absence / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Viscum album / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic