Other Names of Mistletoe

  • European mistletoe
  • Christmas mistletoe
  • Oak mistletoe
  • Herbe de la croix
  • Mystyldene
  • Lignum crucis
  • Gui de chene
  • All heal
  • Bird lime
  • Devil's fuge
  • Golden bough
  • Viscum

Useful Parts of the Plant: Berries, leafy shoots, and stems

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows as a hanging bush on branches of trees such as poplar, pear, hawthorn, cherry, birch, willow and chestnut to name a few. Mistletoe that grows on fruit bearing trees such as apple and pear are valued the most and are considered to be of better quality. The fruits of the mistletoe plant mature in December in the shape of round white-colored berries. Mistletoe has long since been considered a pagan religious symbol. Believed to have magical properties, mistletoe was used to cure diseases and as a talisman of good fortune and fertility. The Romans legalized marriages by kissing under mistletoe. The custom of kissing under mistletoe continues till today.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • Mistletoe extract is used to treat recurring and chronic coughs and other respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. This is due to it anti-spasmodic and calming properties. Asthma attacks caused by stress and tension can also be prevented using mistletoe.
  • The calming and healing properties of mistletoe result in it being used to treat cases of epilepsy, hysteria, anxiety attacks, nervous fits and neurosis.
  • The negative effects of chemotherapy are reduced with mistletoe extract. In such cases, mistletoe injections are administered to cancer patients prior to surgery.
  • Along with this the immunity is improved and can prevent diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis, and hypertension.
  • Certain types of cancers may also be prevented using mistletoe. However, research is still being conducted in this area and there are no definite conclusions as yet.
  • Mistletoe can also be used in the form of a tincture and applied to areas of the body affected by gout or sciatica for instant pain relief.
  • European mistletoe can be used to lower blood pressure. Keep in mind that American mistletoe can increase blood pressure so utmost care has to be taken when choosing the plant.
  • Mistletoe berries are poisonous when eaten but the leaves can be used to brew a mistletoe tea. The tea is used to treat a variety of ailments such as breathing difficulties, poor blood circulation and hot flashes experienced by women during menopause.
  • Mistletoe extract can prevent and treat menstrual problems such as heavy flow and cramping. Uterine disorders and fertility problems may also be helped with mistletoe.
  • Mistletoe is used to treat problems such as migraines, infections, diarrhea, tinnitus, and bedwetting.
  • Mistletoe is often used as an herbal sleeping aid.
  • The herb has been used since ancient times to treat low energy levels, irritability and dizziness.
  • Native Americans have used mistletoe to treat paralysis and to stop bleeding after childbirth.

Mistletoe tea can be made by adding one spoon of finely chopped mistletoe leave to a cup of cold water. Let it stand for 12 hours at room temperature before drinking. Mistletoe extract dosages vary from case to case. Only take mistletoe supplements under the close supervision of a trained doctor or herbal practitioner as the herb has several adverse side effects and is poisonous if not used properly. As of date, mistletoe is not yet FDA approved. Breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women should avoid mistletoe. Berries should be kept away from children and pets as well. Consuming mistletoe berries can cause seizure, high fever, diarrhea and hallucinations.

Other Uses:

Apart from its medical uses and its decorative role, there are no other significant uses of mistletoe.