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6 Potential Health Benefits of Mistletoe
Jan 28, 2019

For most people, mistletoe brings to mind none other than Christmas. But besides serving as a festive holiday decoration, did you know that mistletoe is also used in herbal medicine and has been for hundreds of years?


It’s a little known fact that there is actually more than one type of mistletoe; in fact, it’s believed over 100 different mistletoe species grow around the world. A few of these are commonly harvested for their medicinal purposes.


American mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescen) is the type that grows in the United States and is used as a romantic holiday decoration, while European mistletoe (Viscum album) is the species that has been used for centuries in traditional herbal medicine. A third species of mistletoe (Loranthus ferrugineus) is less common but used by some to treat high blood pressure and gastrointestinal complaints. Other species, including Japanese mistletoe (Taxillus yadoriki Danser), are known for their many antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.


Mistletoe


When it comes to health-promotion and preventing common conditions, what is mistletoe used for? According to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), some of the many ailments that mistletoe may help treat include seizures, headaches, arthritis symptoms and potentially even cancer. While it may have been considered a top herb for healing throughout history and currently in Europe, there’s not much evidence showing it definitely works … and some that indicates it may be dangerous.


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