Our Plant of the Month: Mistletoe
Mistletoe is our plant of the month for a good reason. Besides the Christmas tree, no other plant embodies the holidays quite like this one does! Let’s take a closer look.
Mistletoe: it’s known as the plant that warrants a smooch.
And though mistletoe has been cherished for a while (think 3,000+ years), it’s kind of hard to tell where things started. Mistletoe shows up in ancient Norse mythology, but under less-than-romantic conditions...it makes an appearance in ancient Greece, too, but this time as a ‘golden bough’ providing supernatural protection.
It seems Mistletoe’s modern-day role really began to take shape around 100 BC with the Greek’s wintertime celebration Saturnalia. Eventually people began getting married under the mistletoe...Greek armies would even use it to symbolize the end of their wars.
Fast forward to today, and it’s pretty clear that mistletoe enjoys universal (well, worldwide) appeal. In light of all its surprising health benefits, that’s not much of a surprise!
Before getting into these benefits, though, we should probably answer an important question. What is mistletoe, exactly?
In simpler terms, it’s a plant that grows on the branches of larger trees. Not so great for the host tree, perhaps, but great for birds that need a nesting place (and people who need an excuse to kiss).
The most important among mistletoe’s health benefits? It’s a nervine, or a plant remedy that calms the nerves. It may also lower blood pressure, and early physicians even recommended it for epilepsy. Kind of like CBD, right? Today, herbal enthusiasts can harness mistletoe’s essence by making a tincture out of the plant.
Why We Love It
We love mistletoe for all the great things it stands for! It can be used in a myriad of Christmas-themed ways: as home decor, as the perfect gift, as a facilitator of that holiday kiss, and more.
And while it’s worth noting that mistletoe should not be eaten raw, you can still experience the plant’s health benefits if you so desire! You’ll just need to order dried leaves from European mistletoe (harmful compounds are reduced this way) and make a tea out of them.
Apparently the taste is a love-it-or-hate-it sort of thing...but what’s life without a little variety, anyway?