Viscum album

Mistletoe - Viscum album (in the Loranthaceae or Mistletoe family)

Part used: Stems and leaves.

Taste/smell: Bitter.

Dosage: Infusion: 1/2-1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:5 dry strength liquid extract: 1-15 drops 1-4 times per day. Note: Practitioners prefer fresh extracted leaves, but it is difficult to import this fresh herb into the U.S.

Mental picture and specific indications: It is specific for agitated or spasmodic muscles. The symptoms are worse in the winter, in cold, stormy weather, in bed, with movement and lying on the left side.

Use: (a) Possible calcium antagonist, (b) Antispasmodic and (c) Hypotensive in small doses, (d) Spasmodic and (e) Hypertensive in large doses.

Mistletoe is a motor, vasomotor and parasympathic relaxant for gastrointestinal and genitourinary functions. It is used for congestive headaches, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, rheumatic and gouty symptoms, neuralgia, sciatica, metrorrhagia, post-partum hemorrhage, cancer and to induce smooth, even contractions in parturition. The historic use of mistletoe for cancer is now being tested by research. It is interesting to note that mistletoe grows on trees similar to a cancerous growth in the body.

Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the emmenagogue and abortifacient effects in animals which are associated with tyramine. It is also contraindicated in protein hypersensitivity and chronic, progressive infections like tuberculosis and AIDS. This is a potentially dangerous herb and should only be used by skilled practitioners. Toxic dosages may cause nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, muscular spasms and convulsions, prostration, respiratory difficulty, hallucinations, cardiovascular collapse, coma and death. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.