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What is mistletoe, what is it for and more curiosities about this plant

22 mayo, 2021

We’ve all heard about him mistletoe and the tradition of kissing when a couple happens to meet under this plant. However, there is much more you should know, and here we tell you all about it:

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What is mistletoe and its benefits

It is a semi-parasitic plant that grows on the branches of different trees, such as apple trees or poplars, and is characterized by having long branches, and having a small berry as its fruit.

Since time immemorial, mistletoe has been attributed different properties and benefits:

  • It has been used to relieve various pain such as sciatica and for antirheumatic treatment.
  • Regulates the heart rate.
  • Relieves fever.
  • It works as a treatment for gallstones and kidney colic.
  • Avoid liquid retention.
  • It is a natural antispasmodic that helps alleviate various respiratory diseases and asthma.
  • Some people use it as an alternative treatment for cancer (alternative oncology).
  • Relieves hypertension and lowers blood pressure levels.

Remember: Before using any remedy, it is important that you consult your doctor.

Special care must be taken when consuming mistletoe, as it contains viscotoxin, a substance that is harmful to humans.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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  • For the Scandinavian peoples, it was a sacred and magical plant, as it remains green all year round.
  • Since the Middle Ages, it has been considered to have impressive aphrodisiac properties, which is why it was prescribed for women seeking to get pregnant.
  • Its multiplication occurs through birds, which carve their wings on the branches, causing their seeds to stick to the feathers.
  • Italians were the ones who related the “powers” of this plant with love. Hence, it is tradition that couples kiss under it.
  • For Scandinavians it also represents a symbol of peace: with it, combatants could declare a truce in battle or celebrate their weddings.
  • In England they placed it at the door of their homes so that unmarried daughters could find a partner.
  • The Druids claimed that mistletoe protected them from lightning, disease, and other ills.
  • Of course: after being cut, the mistletoe could not touch the ground, if it did not lose its magical properties.

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