Does the Mistletoe Have Health Benefits?

Posted on December 25th, 2009 by admin  |  3 Comments »

It’s that time of the year again to hang a mistletoe above your doorway. Kissing under a mistletoe dates back to the ancient times of the Druids. Legend has it that when enemies met under a mistletoe in the forest, they have to observe a truce and resume hostilities the following day.

Couples, friends and strangers have been sharing kisses under this green, leafy plant for hundreds of years but did you know that the mistletoe isn’t just good for holiday snogging?

Only two mistletoe varieties are used as ornaments. All mistletoe species are considered as parasites by the timber industry as they steal food and water from shrubs and trees like apple, pine, plum and poplar. The mistletoe’s white berries are potentially toxic but the European mistletoe can actually be used to treat a number of health conditions.

The Druids revered the mistletoe as a sacred plant which can cure every ill. Studies show that the mistletoe is a herb and can be used to help:

•    address hormonal imbalance
•    alleviate chronic fatigue
•    lower blood pressure
•    manage stress
•    normalize circulation, and
•    treat problems related to metabolism, menopause, monthly period, and the nervous and endocrine systems

Laboratory tests show that extracts from the European mistletoe (Viscum album) can help kill cancer cells and stimulate immune cells that can help your body fight cancer. Several animal studies have suggested that the extracts may help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, but human studies that have been performed so far haven’t provided conclusive findings.

But how exactly does mistletoe, which is not exactly known for its medicinal properties, affect your body?

Mistletoe is a homeopathic solution. Homeopathy is a system of medicine based on the Law of Similars, which states that the body can be stimulated to recover by giving patients miniscule doses of something that causes symptoms similar to those they are already experiencing, Dr. Joseph Mercola explains.

When a healthy person ingests too much mistletoe, it will cause side effects such as aching, seizures, slower heart rate and vomiting. But in homeopathic medicine, mistletoe is used to relieve aches and pain and treat high blood pressure, nausea and seizures, Dr. Mercola points out.

So, when using a homeopathic solution, how do you know that you’re getting better and not getting worse?

Simple: you stop the treatment.

A healing response will make you feel better but if your health problem is progressing then you will continue to feel worse.

If you want to try homeopathy to deal with a health problem, be sure to find a highly skilled practitioner, Mercola advises.  It takes decades for a homeopath to learn how to effectively develop homeopathic remedies. You should also keep in mind that alternative modalities like homeopathy should be used to support a healthy lifestyle, not take its place.

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