Mistletoe (Viscum album) is a 30 - 60 cm tall evergreen semi-parasitic shrub of the mistletoe family, which receives water and minerals from the host plant - pears, apple trees, maples, willows, aspens, elms, hemlocks, rarely pines and dogwoods. The bush has a spherical shape. Depending on the host and age, its diameter can reach up to 120 cm. Branches upward or drooping. Mistletoe branches false dichotomously. The plant is yellow-green, fragile, breaks easily in separate sections. Leaves opposite, leathery, thick, yellowish or olive green, lanceolate or oblong-ovate, glabrous, sessile. They fall off in the fall of the second year. A dioecious plant. Flowers yellow-green, four-parted, small, sessile, 3-6 at the end of the branches. They have a distinctive apple smell and are pollinated by flies. Blooms in March, April. Fruit a false, white, shiny berry with sticky pulp and 1 seed. The seeds are spread by birds.

Young shoots and leaves are used for medicinal purposes. Medicinal drugs are collected when the host tree has no leaves, in late autumn, winter or early spring. Drying takes place in shaded, well-ventilated areas or in dryers, spreading the plant in a thin layer to prevent fermentation. It is recommended to store in cardboard packaging for no longer than 2 years.

Mistletoe - a white amorphous substance found in it - viscotoxin (up to 0.1%), which consists of amino acids and sugars; viscerin, alpha-viscol (beta-amarin) and beta-viscol (lupeol); oleanolic and ursolic acids; alkaloid-like substances (choline, acetylcholine and propionylcholine); alcohols (pinite, inositol, quebrachite); amines (viscalbin, norviscalbin, tyramine, β-phenylethylamine viscamine), vegetable fat containing oleic acid, linoleic and palmitic acids; ascorbic acid, carotene, glycosides syringinin (in the peel), rubber (in the berries), resins and mineral salts.

Medicinal significance

Mistletoe has blood-stopping, hypotensive, astringent, diuretic, blood-restoring, laxative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antisclerotic, antipyretic, tonic effects.

By the way, mistletoe also reduces arterial blood pressure, reduces irritations of the nervous system, strengthens heart function, expands blood vessels, reduces excitation of the CNS system, enhances diuresis, enhances the excretion of nitrogenous products and increases the amount of milk in nursing women.

In folk medicine, mistletoe is used as an infusion or poultice, for epilepsy, hypochondria, hysteria, abdominal pain, as a blood stopper, atherosclerosis, inflammatory diseases of the kidneys, chronic inflammation of the uterus, white flowers, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the intestines and stomach, pancreatic diseases, convulsions, in cases of night incontinence, pulmonary tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, sciatica, neuralgia, varicose veins and trophic ulcers, increased function of the thyroid gland, diabetes, prostate enlargement, exhaustion, dizziness and other diseases.

A water infusion of leaves and twigs improves the functioning of the intestinal tract, stops internal bleeding, calms the nervous system, reduces fever and epileptic attacks, relieves headaches, increases milk in nursing women.

Mistletoe juice is used in dysentery and rectal prolapse. Effectively helps in case of poisoning with poisonous plants. Mistletoe tea can be used during hypertensive crisis, stroke, atherosclerosis, sclerosis, menstrual cycle and other hormonal problems.

Mistletoe berries are used to make a flower, which is used to treat edema and frostbite; its juice is also used as a wound healer (cuts treatment), as well as against tumors, boils and various ulcers on the skin. A decoction of berries is used to treat uterine erosion and white flowers.

Most often, mistletoe is used today for the treatment of various unfavorable tumors and for reducing the growth rate of metastases.

Decoctions of various types of mistletoe are used externally as compresses and applications to heal scars, furunculosis, ulcers, and other skin diseases and injuries. Also, these compresses are used for rheumatism, gout, lymph node inflammation, muscle pain (bruises, overuse); and also used in baths to reduce hysterical attacks.

In folk dermatology, mistletoe extract is used orally, in case of psoriasis, vesicular dermatosis, hyperkeratosis, as a body strengthening agent. Externally, the leaves are used to reduce the effects of gout, rheumatism, ulcers, etc.

In folk cosmetology,  mistletoe is widely used as a skin softener and for the treatment of various inflammations.

Not recommended for use

Mistletoe is a poisonous plant , so it is forbidden to use it for a long time, because a large amount of toxic substances will accumulate in the body. Mistletoe preparations can be used only under the supervision of a doctor.

All products containing mistletoe should be used in short-term courses, with a two-month break between them!

Do not use during pregnancy, asthenia and hypotonia, reduced thyroid function. Likewise, if there is an individual intolerance to it.


Infusion of mistletoe: take 5 grams of drug per 1 glass of boiling water, place in a bath of boiling water for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, separate the layers. Take 1-2 tablespoons 3 times a day, 30 minutes before meals.

Water infusion or decoction of mistletoe is used in folk medicine to improve bowel function, as a means of stopping bleeding (intestines, uterus, etc.).

Decoction of mistletoe: in 1 L of boiling water, take 40 grams of drug, keep it on a low heat until the water starts to boil, boil for 5 minutes, let it rest for 15-20 minutes, separate the layers. It is used externally, in case of inflammation of lymph nodes, radiculitis and myositis, muscle pain (from fractures and bruises). It can also be poured into the bath to reduce hysteria and treat hemorrhoids.

Mistletoe tea is drunk as a tonic, it is especially useful for the elderly.

Extract of mistletoe leaves and branches: pour 10 grams of the plant with 200 ml of brandy, leave for 10 days and separate the pulp. Use 10-15 drops, 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals - in case of diabetes, loss of strength, dizziness, prostate enlargement and pulmonary tuberculosis.

Fresh mistletoe juice: 10-15 drops, 2 times a day for dysentery, poisoning with poisonous plants and prolapse of the intestine.

The juice is recommended to be used orally for patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, externally for furunculosis, rheumatism and gout.

Mistletoe berries: dried and powdered, steeped in red wine, useful in epilepsy.

Cosmetic significance

Mistletoe is used for cosmetic purposes as an emollient and anti-inflammatory agent. The plant contains beta phenylethylamine, tyramine and related compounds; polypeptides, including viscotoxin; glycoproteins, including viscumin; phenylpropanoids, including syringin. Mistletoe leaves and fruits contain caffeic and hentisic acid, polysaccharides (gummy substances), biogenic amines and other valuable phytocompounds.

Mistletoe in cosmetics has a versatile meaning - it works as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and soothing agent; soothes the skin and creates a light, disinfecting effect. One of the main actions of mistletoe is related to the proliferation of keratinocytes, slowing down this process (the plant is considered as a perspective in the case of oncological diseases).

Mistletoe extract has the ability to remove inflammation. Increases the skin's protective functions, promotes skin regeneration processes, reduces skin hypersensitivity, reduces moisture loss and hair loss.

Mistletoe preparations are universal and can be used for the care of all skin types. They can reduce inflammation, prevent microbial infection, soften and soothe the skin. In general, mistletoe is worth using to soothe sensitive or irritated skin.

The properties of mistletoe are very useful in case of scabies. It reduces the production of abnormal cells on the surface of the skin, which also reduces the formation of "scales" and peeling of the skin. Mistletoe also works similarly when used for scalp care, especially against dandruff. Of course, mistletoe can also be used preventively to care for hair and scalp, especially if it is sensitive or inflamed.

Mistletoe is one of the poisonous plants, but it does not show this property in any way when its means are used externally. Moreover, the more it is used to care for sensitive and even hypersensitive skin! Of course, if you are allergic to substances contained in this plant, then it will not work.