Mistletoe – Viscum album

Viscum album


Common name: Mistletoe
Latin name: Viscum album (English Mistletoe), Phoradendron serotinum (American Mistletoe)
Other names: All-Heal, Birdlime, Devil’s Fuge, Golden Bough, Holy Wood, Witches Broom Wood of the Cross
Family: Viscaceae
Habitat: Viscum album has a European origin, while the Phoradendron serotinum is native to North America. Grows on various mature, deciduous trees.
Description: Mistletoe is an evergreen, hemi-parasitic plant, usually found attached on the branches of their host. Leaves are oppositely arranged, yellow-green in color. It has pale yellow or green flowers, which appear from March to May. The female flowers are developing into white berries, which ripen from September to November.
Parts used: Leaves, branches, berries
Useful components: Glycoproteins, polypeptides, flavonoids, caffeic and other acids, lignans, acetylcholine, polysaccharides
Medicinal use: European mistletoe is mainly used as cardiac, diuretic, stimulant and vasodilator. It has beneficial effects on the circulatory and cardiovascular system: it lowers the heart rate and blood pressure. It can ease anxiety and promote sleep. An external application is used in treatment of leg ulcers and varicose veins.  It also stimulates digestion and is helpful in promoting digestive processes.
Safety: Berries are considered to be poisonous. Large doses could have dangerous effects on heart action. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption of any herb.

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