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is mistletoe toxic?

By Anonymous December 21, 2008 - 3:44pm
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I hear that mistletoe is poisonous. Is that true?


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I have found so many different explanations, but they all seem to have in common either religion or war/peace implications for why we kiss under the mistletoe. Mistletoe was thought to be sacred for some of it's medicinal properties (the extract can be used; the plant and berries are poisonous).

"Mistletoe was also the plant of peace in Scandinavian antiquity. If enemies met by chance beneath it in a forest, they laid down their arms and maintained a truce until the next day. This ancient Scandinavian custom led to the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe."

What have others found as the tradition/reason we kiss under the mistletoe?

December 23, 2008 - 4:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

If mistletoe is poisonous why do we use if for Christmas, stand under it and kiss?

December 23, 2008 - 7:59am

Yes, mistletoe plants and berries are extremely toxic to humans (according to National Cancer Institute, consuming them can cause seizures, slowing of the heart rate, abnormal blood pressure, vomiting, and death).

However, did you know that mistletoe extract can be used as an injection (not approved by the FDA) to kill cancer cells?! It has been used as a possible cancer treatment since the 1920s. In fact, "mistletoe has been used for centuries to treat medical conditions such as epilepsy, hypertension, headaches, menopausal symptoms, infertility, arthritis, and rheumatism."

To find out more:

December 21, 2008 - 7:31pm

Yes, Mistletoe is very poisonous. Don't ever eat it or allow any of your pets to eat it.

December 21, 2008 - 5:21pm
EmpowHER Guest


December 21, 2008 - 3:45pm
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