The German word for mistletoe is Mistel (scientific name: Viscum album). Its pale sticky fruit ripens in December, birds eat the fruit, which falls onto the trunk and branches, roots sprout, and it feeds off the host tree (the pale fruit is poisonous, so please ensure your children don’t put it in their mouths). Although mistletoe absorbs moisture and nutrients from the host tree, it can photosynthesize by itself, so it rarely kills its host. When winter comes and the trees drop their leaves, the mistletoe can be seen clearly as round shapes, making it obvious that, true to name [the Japanese name for mistletoe is “yadorigi” or “lodging plant”], they are living parasitically off another plant.
The leaves of the mistletoe are thick, light green, and have a cute ear-like shape. They have also long been said to be a medicinal plant with wondrous powers.
Apparently, mistletoe is especially effective for preventing high blood pressure. It also helps with heart weakness and artery hardening, and in homeopathy it is said to prevent cancer.
How to make medicinal mistletoe tea
Mistletoe (Mistel) contains a small amount of toxins, so always use cold water when making the tea.
•Boil some mistletoe leaves in cold water overnight. (8-12 hours)
•The next morning, take the leaves out, slowly heat the liquid to a suitable temperature for drinking, and sip a little at a time.
You can of course buy the ready-made product.
Being a parasite, mistletoe has a bad name, but since ancient times it has been considered an auspicious plant with mystical powers, so when you go for a walk, I hope you look at the mistletoe high up in the trees with a sense that you are receiving its wondrous energy.
Nevertheless, in Germany mistletoe is protected under nature conservation, so please, don’t just go and pick some!