MISTLETOE

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 202 views

Occurrence

Mistletoe is widespread in both Europe and northern Asia. As a so-called semi-parasite, it grows on deciduous and coniferous trees and extracts water and nutrient salts from its host plants.

Looks

The evergreen shrub can grow up to a meter in diameter. The leaves and twigs are yellow-green. Inconspicuous, yellowish-green flowers appear between March and May. From July, white, glassy berries with sticky flesh develop from them.

Toxic parts

In addition to the stems, the leaves and berries are also poisonous. The main active ingredients are the so-called viscotoxins, which are toxic protein mixtures.

Possible symptoms

Mistletoe can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Larger amounts of viscotoxins can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea , vomiting and diarrhea. Sweating is also typical of mistletoe poisoning.

First aid

Drink a lot, it dilutes the toxic substances. If you notice any of the above symptoms, see a doctor.

useful information

During the Christmas and New Year period, mistletoe is considered a lucky charm. The Celts believed that the plant possessed powerful magical powers. The drink prepared from the berries promised courage and invincibility.

In modern medicine, mistletoe preparations are said to have a good effect on cancer. So far, however, there has been no recognized scientific evidence of this effectiveness.

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