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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are poisonous[1][2], though the toxicity level is very slight[3].

Edible uses

Notes

The ripe fruit is edible[4]. Some caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity[K].

Fruit

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Viscum album.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Mistletoe is chiefly used to lower blood pressure and heart rate, ease anxiety and promote sleep. In low doses it can also relieve panic attacks and headaches, and also improves the ability to concentrate[5]. The plant's efficacy as an anticancer treatment has been subject to a significant amount of research - there is no doubt that certain constituents of the plant , especially the viscotoxins, exhibit an anticancer activity but the value of the whole plant in cancer treatment is not fully accepted[5]. It is said that the constituents of mistletoe vary according to the host plant it is growing on - that found on oak trees is said to be superior[6]. Because of the potential side effects, this plant should only be used internally under the guidance of a skilled practitioner. Using the plant internally can provoke intolerant reactions to certain substances[7].

The leaves and young twigs contain several medically active compounds[8]. They are antispasmodic, cardiac, cytostatic, diuretic, hypotensive, narcotic, nervine, stimulant, tonic and vasodilator[9][7][2][10][11][12][13][6][8]. They are harvested just before the berries form and are dried for later use[9]. Mistletoe has a reputation for curing epilepsy and other convulsive nervous disorders[9]. The effect of the correct dosage is to lessen and temporarily benumb the nervous activity that causes the spasms, but larger doses can produce the problem[9]. Mistletoe has also been employed in checking internal haemorrhages, in treating high blood pressure and in treating cancer of the stomach, lungs and ovaries[9][14][6][8]. Externally, the plant has been used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, chilblains, leg ulcers and varicose veins[6].

A homeopathic remedy is made from equal quantities of the berries and leaves[9]. It is difficult to make because of the viscidity of the sap[9].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

This is a parasitic plant that grows entirely on the host tree. To grow it you need to obtain berries and squash them onto the branches of host trees in late autumn and early winter[15]. This is best done on the lower side of the branch[16]. It is then simply a matter of waiting and hoping.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Viscum album. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A parasitic plant, growing on the branches of several deciduous species of trees. It is not usually found on coniferous trees, though the subspecies V. album abietis is found on conifers, especially Abies spp, whilst V. album austriacum is found on pine and larix. The host tree must be at least 20 years old[17]. Although the host branch might eventually succumb, the host tree is seldom killed[17].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Viscum album. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Viscum album.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Viscum album
Genus
Viscum
Family
Viscaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    1 x 1 meters
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Illustration Viscum album0 clean.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Viscum album0 clean.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Illustration Viscum album0 clean.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration Viscum album0 clean.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    3. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.2 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea World Health Organisation, Manila ISBN 92 9061 120 0 (1998-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.69.7 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Freethy. R. From Agar to Zenery. The Crowood Press ISBN 0-946284-51-2 (1985-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    14. ? 14.014.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    16. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    18. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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