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.
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.