White mistletoe – white mistletoe

Any creations of nature are amazing. Some of them delight us with their beauty and elegance of forms, others attract us with their rarity and uniqueness. Mistletoe is not elegant or beautiful. However, at the first meeting with it, the plant impresses with its unusualness. First of all, the strange spherical structure in the crown of ordinary trees, more often deciduous species, attracts attention. Moss and lichens on the trunk and branches of trees are a familiar picture, but here everything is different: only if you look more closely, you can notice that this “ball” has its own branches covered with leaves, different from those of trees, as well as flowers and fruits. But how did this plant grow on a tree? The solution lies in the fact that mistletoe is a semi-parasite that feeds on the juices of the host plant. The question arises: why a semi-parasite? But because it has not yet lost the ability to photosynthesize, unlike parasitic plants,

Now let’s describe the mistletoe in more detail. It is an evergreen shrub with bare forked branches thickened at the nodes. The leaves are opposite, leathery, entire, oblong-elliptical, sessile, yellow-green (rarely green). The flowers are yellow or yellow-green, unisexual, arranged in groups of 5-6 in the forks of the branches. They bloom at the end of March – May. The fruit is berry-like, white, one-seeded, with sticky pulp (a close species with red fruits grows in the Far East – colored mistletoe – V. colomtum). Mistletoe is pollinated by insects, more often flies, and the seeds are spread by birds that eat mistletoe fruits. Brushing their beaks against the branches of other trees, they get rid of sticky seeds stuck to them, after which they germinate on the living body of the tree.

Mistletoe grows in Eurasia, Africa, and Northern Australia. In Russia, it grows in the western and southern regions, but also occurs in the middle lane and in the Far East. In Ukraine, it grows in forest-steppe areas, in Polissia, rarely in the north of the steppe zone and in the Crimea. Parasitic on deciduous species (poplar, maple, birch, linden, oak, elm) and fruit trees (apple, pear, sod), attaching to them with special sucker roots, so-called haustoria, which penetrate into the vascular conducting bundle of the plant- the host It rarely occurs on conifers. With strong growth, mistletoe can cause drying and death of trees.

As if nothing useful can be found in this plant. However, mistletoe has long been known as a medicinal plant, it was even included in the State Pharmacopoeia of the USSR, and in some countries it is still used in scientific medicine.

Young twigs with leaves are used to prepare medicinal products from mistletoe. Raw materials are harvested in late autumn, cut with secateurs or garden shears. The collected plant is dried in warm, ventilated rooms, spread out in a thin layer on paper or cloth, and additionally processed in dryers at a temperature of 40-50 °C. Store in tightly closed jars in a dry and dark place.

The raw materials of white mistletoe contain viscotoxin (0.03-0.1%) – a white amorphous substance that consists of many amino acids and sugars, a- and b-viscols, viscerin, oleanolic and ursolic acids, choline and its derivatives (acetylcholine and others), amines, alcohols, flavonoids, fatty oil, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), carotene (provitamin A), resinous and mineral substances.

Mistletoe preparations lower blood pressure, calm down, have an astringent and hemostatic effect, stimulate urination. Infusion of the herb is recommended for hypertensive disease of the I-II stages, atony of the intestines, various bleedings, especially uterine with hypertension in the climacteric period. It has been experimentally proven that the purified extract of mistletoe has cytolytic properties, accordingly, it contributes to the treatment of some neoplasms, especially in inoperable forms.

In folk medicine, the plant is used for various bleedings, epilepsy, hysteria, as a remedy for dysentery. Mistletoe tea has general strengthening and tonic properties. Externally, folk healers use the powder and infusion of the herb as a softening and pain-relieving agent for abscesses and skin diseases. The plant is also used in homeopathy. It must be remembered that long-term use of mistletoe products can cause poisoning.

Herbal infusion. 15 g of raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse until cool, filter. Take 1 tablespoon three times a day.

Mistletoe tea. 1 teaspoon of raw material per 200 ml of cold boiled water. Insist for 8 hours. Take 1/3 cup three times a day.

Tincture of mistletoe. It is prepared in 70% alcohol in a ratio of 1:5. Insist for a week. Take 40 drops three times a day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *