Added/Modified on October 11, 2013
Also Known As: Viscum album, European mistletoe, Common Mistletoe
A semi-parasitic plant that grows on several types of trees, including apple, oak, maple, elm, pine, and birch, mistletoe was first utilized by the Druids and ancient Greeks as a panacea or “cure –all.”
Since the 1920s modern medicine has studied mistletoe as a possible cancer treatment.
Mistletoe berries of both the American and European variety of mistletoe have long been considered poisonous. However the leaves used in the form of a tea have historically been used as a home remedy to treat a number of ills.
It was even used by some as a pleasant-tasting substitute for coffee due to the high price of coffee beans.
What is mistletoe tea? Mistletoe tea is traditionally made from the leaves of the plant.
Mistletoe Tea Preparation: ◦1 tsp of mistletoe leaves – finely cut
◦2 Cup of cold water
Steep the leaves at room temperature for 12 hours, then strain with cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to get all traces of the leaves out.
Home Remedies Using Mistletoe Tea:
Historical uses of mistletoe tea include a digestive aid, heart tonic, and sedative. It was used to treat arthritis, hysteria and other mental disturbances.
Mistletoe was a treatment for amenorrhea, asthma, bed wetting, infection, to stimulate glands, and in wound treatment. Herbalists throughout Europe used Mistletoe for many centuries to reduce symptoms associated with high blood pressure. These symptoms included dizziness, headaches, loss of energy, and irritability.
Today American mistletoe is thought to raise blood pressure and increase both uterine and intestinal contractions.
On the other hand, European mistletoe is believed to do the exact opposite, having a reputation for reducing blood pressure and acting as an antispasmodic and calming agent.
European Mistletoe is utilized primarily to lower blood pressure and heart rate, promote sleep, and ease anxiety. It is used as a treatment for epilepsy and tinnitus.
Mistletoe tea in low doses is used to relieve panic attacks, headaches, and improve concentration. It has been recommended in the treatment of breast cancer, high blood pressure, to support HIV patients, and as a treatment for type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Clinical research on mistletoe extract has shown that, “Some test tube and animal studies suggest that certain mistletoe constituents, including the alkaloids, can also kill cancer cells.
Numerous clinical trials have found that subcutaneous injections of mistletoe extracts can help people with cancer of various organs, though some have also failed to show any benefit. There is no evidence that people with cancer would benefit from receiving mistletoe orally.
Side Effects of Mistletoe Tea:
Mistletoe tea is not recommended for use in children, or for women during pregnancy, or breast-feeding.
Mistletoe tea may be toxic to the liver. Do not use mistletoe tea if you have hepatitis as it may cause additional liver damage.
Mistletoe tea is not recommended if you take monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor antidepressants, such as Nardil. The potential reactions include a dangerous rise in blood pressure and a lowering of blood potassium levels (hypokalemia).
Mistletoe tea may interfere with the action of anti-diabetic medications. It can increase the activity of diuretics, and may increase the risk of a toxic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs.
Cancer patients should consult with their doctors or practitioners before taking mistletoe tea.
Side effects with mistletoe tea include a rise in body temperature and flu-like symptoms. There may be nausea, abdominal pain, and allergy-type symptoms may result.
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