White mistletoe (Viscum album L.)

White mistletoe is a perennial parasitic shrub from the Loranthaceae family Other names: witch’s nest, bird mistletoe, winter seeds, goat nuts, bird nuts, bird glue, vortex nest, willow.


A parasitic shrub that forms hemispherical bushes on various, mostly deciduous trees. The branches are woody, forked, arranged oppositely; leaves sessile, opposite, thick-skinned, with clearly visible 3-4 longitudinal veins, yellow-green, overwintering; plants are dioecious, flowers are small, inconspicuous, crowded 3-6 at the top of the stem and in the forks of the stems, stamens are larger than pistils; the fruit is a juicy, white, shiny globular berry with sticky pulp, with one or more seeds. Mistletoe blooms in March – April, berries ripen in May-June. Mistletoe spreads with the help of birds that willingly eat its berries; cleaning the beak on the bark of trees, they leave seeds adhering to the beak on it, which, due to the content of rubber, stick to the branches and germinate.


For medicinal purposes, young stems with mistletoe leaves – Stipites Visci cum Foliis or leaves alone are used. Raw materials are collected in late autumn or early winter (November-December). Both fresh leaves and dry raw materials are used.

Contains active substances:

The chemical composition of mistletoe is complex, many constituents have been found, but the active substances have not been established. According to some reports, a white amphora substance viscotoxin (up to 0.1%) was isolated from mistletoe, consisting of viscerin, oleanolic and ursolic acids, as well as choline and its derivatives (acetylcholine, propylethylcholine), which are considered the main active ingredients; contains amines (viscalbin, viscamine, etc.), alcohols (pinite, quebrachite, etc.), fatty oil, vitamin C, carotene, resinous substances, etc.

Medicinal use:

Currently, in medical practice, a decoction of young mistletoe branches is used for hypertension and as a tonic for intestinal atony. A liquid extract from young mistletoe leaves is used for pulmonary and nosebleeds. For the treatment of the early stages of hypertension, a thick extract of “Omelen” and a new-galenic product “Viskulen” are used. The drug “Ascofit”, which includes a tincture of fresh mistletoe leaves, is used to treat all kinds of neuralgia (radiculitis, ischalgia, lumbago). Mistletoe is widely used in folk medicine to treat various diseases: as an anticonvulsant for epilepsy, hysteria, dizziness, as a hemostatic agent for uterine and hemorrhoidal bleeding, as an external remedy for soothing abscesses. Usually used mistletoe from birches. Water decoction is drunk with increased blood pressure, headache, epilepsy. A decoction of mistletoe from hornbeam, oak, pine is used for heart disease, nervous diseases, asthma, rheumatism, tangles, cancer, and pulmonary tuberculosis.

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