Mistletoe (Viscum album)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Viscum album

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Mistletoe is chiefly used to lower blood pressure and heart rate, ease anxiety and promote sleep. In low doses it can also relieve panic attacks and headaches, and also improves the ability to concentrate[254]. The plant’s efficacy as an anticancer treatment has been subject to a significant amount of research – there is no doubt that certain constituents of the plant , especially the viscotoxins, exhibit an anticancer activity but the value of the whole plant in cancer treatment is not fully accepted[254]. It is said that the constituents of mistletoe vary according to the host plant it is growing on – that found on oak trees is said to be superior[238]. Because of the potential side effects, this plant should only be used internally under the guidance of a skilled practitioner. Using the plant internally can provoke intolerant reactions to certain substances[7].

    The leaves and young twigs contain several medically active compounds[279]. They are antispasmodic, cardiac, cytostatic, diuretic, hypotensive, narcotic, nervine, stimulant, tonic and vasodilator[4, 7, 19, 21, 46, 66, 165, 238, 279]. They are harvested just before the berries form and are dried for later use[4]. Mistletoe has a reputation for curing epilepsy and other convulsive nervous disorders[4]. The effect of the correct dosage is to lessen and temporarily benumb the nervous activity that causes the spasms, but larger doses can produce the problem[4]. Mistletoe has also been employed in checking internal haemorrhages, in treating high blood pressure and in treating cancer of the stomach, lungs and ovaries[4, 9, 238, 279]. Externally, the plant has been used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, chilblains, leg ulcers and varicose veins[238].

    A homeopathic remedy is made from equal quantities of the berries and leaves[4]. It is difficult to make because of the viscidity of the sap[4].

  • Edible Use

    The ripe fruit is edible[272]. Some caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    All parts of the plant are poisonous[10, 19], though the toxicity level is very slight[65].

Cultivation & Habitat

This is a parasitic plant that grows entirely on the host tree. To grow it you need to obtain berries and squash them onto the branches of host trees in late autumn and early winter[11]. This is best done on the lower side of the branch[1]. It is then simply a matter of waiting and hoping.
A parasitic plant, growing on the branches of several deciduous species of trees. It is not usually found on coniferous trees, though the subspecies V. album abietis is found on conifers, especially Abies spp, whilst V. album austriacum is found on pine and larix. The host tree must be at least 20 years old[200]. Although the host branch might eventually succumb, the host tree is seldom killed[200].
Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa, central Asia and Japan.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.