There are countless varieties of mistletoe – 900 species spread across 73 genres! The diverse range of this species has, in fact, triggered a speculation that it is a toxic parasite. But, not all Mistletoes are bad. The European mistletoe, according to folk medicine, has medicinal properties and was considered as magical. A fertility symbol in the traditional European medicine, it is touted to be beneficial for managing blood pressure, inflammation, respiratory ailments, and even prevent cancer.
Why Should You Use Mistletoe and its Health Benefits?
1. Beneficial during cancer treatments
According to studies, using mistletoe during chemotherapy helps in easing and diminishing the negative impacts of radiation and chemotherapy. Another research conducted in Europe suggests that it has innate anti-cancerous properties that enable it to recuperate faster. Harmful effects of using it have very little.
In laboratory, Mistletoe has shown signs of killing cancer cells and boost immune system. However, it is not yet fully proved if this boost helps in fighting cancer.
2. Helps with diabetes management
The studies on the hypoglycemic properties of this herb are on a research stage, yet whatever laboratory results are available do shed a ray of hope. According to the study that was conducted in vitro, this herb has the potential to stimulate the synthesis of insulin, improving the insulin sensitivity. It also showed a positive impact in managing the levels of glucose in blood. People in Europe have been reportedly using this herb as a potent anti-diabetic natural remedy.
According to another research, African mistletoe have good amount of anti-diabetic properties but its activity is also dependent on host species of the plant.
3. Cure for respiratory ailments
Mistletoe has the power to calm down the irritated airways and bronchioles, thereby easing chronic coughs. The anti-inflammatory nature of the herb soothes the inflamed lungs, offering a potential natural cure for respiratory ailments like bronchitis and asthma.
4. Beneficial for pain management & Muscles
Topical application of this herb as poultice helps in relieving pain instantly and hence, it has been used as a powerful home remedy for painful, inflammatory conditions like sciatica and gout.
This hemiparasitic plant has good effects on muscles primarily found in intestines, arteries and uterus. It possesses properties which help in calming these muscles. This in turn helps in health conditions like dyspepsia and indigestion. However, people suffering from hypertension should avoid it due to its side effects.
5. Good for your cardiovascular health
Mistletoe has an impeccable effect on high blood pressure. It helps in lowering the blood pressure, there by alleviating the pressure on cardiovascular system. It also prevents the shrinkage of arteries, one of the prominent triggers of atherosclerosis. Thus, mistletoe takes care of your cardiovascular system, and lowers the risk of lethal conditions such as stroke and coronary heart disease. Try using the Japanese or European variants to reap the anti-hypertensive properties of mistletoe.
6. Beneficial for women
Folk medicines suggest the use of this anti-spasmodic herb to prevent and ease menstrual disorders like cramps and heavy blood flow. Regular use of this herb, according to traditional women of Europe, could cure uterine disorders and improve fertility.
7. Helps in soothing your nervous system
Mistletoe is one of the most prominently used natural solution to ease stress, calm your nerves, and relax the entire body. This could be the reason why it has been used as a natural antidote for insomnia, anxiety attacks, and depression.
8. Good for gastrointestinal health
Inflammation of the gut impacts the entire health. Using this herb could tame the inflammation and promote gut health by boosting digestion and taking care of other gastrointestinal troubles.
9. Improves immunity
A compound present in this herb is known to boost the immune system and shield you from chronic, recurring illnesses. It also has powerful antiviral, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, making it a perfect immune-booster.
How to use Mistletoe?
You can use mistletoe in the form of a tea. Chop one teaspoon mistletoe leaves after cleaning them thoroughly to 250 ml cold water. Keep it at room temperature for 12 hours before consuming.
Where it is available?
Misletoe is available primarily in UJ, Netherland and Switzerland. It is available in drug stores with name Helixor. The injection for it is approved in Germany where it is used to tone down tumors and give relief to patients from uneasiness.
In USA it is only available for clinical trials and is not available at drug stores. However, its diluted form is available which is often mixed with alcohol or water. If you want to give it a try, talk to your doctor.
What are side effects?
There are certain studies that indicate the side effects of using mistletoe.
Pregnant women should be cautious while using this herb as it could induce a miscarriage by stimulating the uterus.
While there is much said and written about the anti-cancerous properties of this herb, there are some contradictory findings as well. There are cases where using European mistletoe has worsened the symptoms of leukemia.
If you are already on anti-hypertensive drugs, be extremely careful while using this herb as it could dangerously lower the level of blood pressure.
Stop using European mistletoe at 15 days prior to your surgery as it could impact the blood pressure levels.
There is a theory that using this herb could have negative impacts on liver health.
There are no scientific evidences that offer any information regarding the appropriate dosage and usage of European mistletoe. So, please be very careful! Check with your doctor before using this drug and adhere to the dosage and directions he gives you to avoid undesirable negative impacts.
Have you ever used Mistletoe? What was your experience? Share with us.