Mistletoe (Viscum album) is actually a shrub, albeit a parasitic one, that grows exclusively on stem of other trees. It lives by seeping nutrients out of the tree using structures embedded deep in the wood. It prefers to live in broad-leaved trees, like apples, lime and poplar trees.
Ancient cultures have long used mistletoe as medicine, and religious purposes. Druids used it in fertility rites and in healing diseases such as tumors, insomnia and mental problems. Today, there’s a renewed interest in using mistletoe tea in addressing conditions such as cancer, heart diseases and hypertension. In laboratory, mistletoe extracts are shown to kill tumor cells but the problem is how to channel it into cancer cells without being metabolized by the liver. More studies are needed before mistletoe can be used reliably against cancer.
Mistletoes used in teas are known as European Mistletoes. It is native to Europe and southern areas of Asia.
Effects on Muscles
Mistletoe has a profound effect on muscles of the body; most especially on specialized muscles found in uterus, arteries and intestines. Mistletoe tea is great in calming these muscles, which is somewhat beneficial in conditions such as amenorrhea, indigestion or dyspepsia. But using mistletoe tea for hypertension may not be good because it has both hypertensive and hypotensive effects.
Men may find mistletoe tea useful to lower down muscular metabolism after workout to induce rest.
Calming Effect of Mistletoe Tea
Mistletoe herbal tea helps calm the body’s senses mostly without causing analgesia or drowsiness. It is useful in cases such as panic attacks, irritability and anxiety.
Mistletoe Tea for Infection
Mistletoe tea is a useful wash for wounds and inflamed lesions that are in danger of infection. This makes mistletoe tea good in chilblains, leg ulcers and as compress for varicose veins. Mistletoe tea, when washed on the face, may be helpful for acne (pimples).
Contraindications of Mistletoe Tea
Effects of mistletoe to the body are not yet fully known to science; all we knew is that mistletoe has numerous compounds and some is known to be harmful to body. Therefore, very sick people, pregnant and nursing mothers should never take mistletoe. Mistletoe may cause allergies in some people, so first-time users should be watchful for symptoms (swelling, difficulty of breathing, rashes, etc.)
People who are taking drugs for medical conditions should consult their doctors first before taking mistletoe tea because of danger of drug interactions. For example, a person on anti-hypertensive medication who took mistletoe tea may experience dangerous drop of blood pressure.
Preparing Mistletoe Tea
People have known for years that some parts of Mistletoe plant is poisonous such as stalks, roots and berries. Some commercialized tea bags of Mistletoe may actually contain young stalks, berries and adulterants, so it’s better to use fresh leaves instead.
There are two ways to prepare Mistletoe tea. Dried leaves maybe infused in hot water (1 tsp. to 1 pint of water) for 10-15 minutes. Or, fresh leaves can be torn into pieces and soaked in tap water for at least 12 hours.