Common mistletoe (Viscum album L.)
Common mistletoe is a semi parasitic shrub that grows (and feeds) on other tree's trunks.
It takes home over the younger branches of both coniferous and decidous trees.
All mistletoe species have almost spherical form that attaches to the branch and sucks the juices through a root-like formations.
The shrub is also dioecious (There are female and male plants). Blossoms are often 3 to 6 together in the base of the branches, the fruits are oval fake-berries, as big as a pea. First the fruit is green but later with growth becomes white-to-transparent.
It blooms between March and April.
Uses of mistletoe
It drops blood pressure to acceptable values and helps in ill children to avoid spasticity in hyperthermia. It is also very good to stop bleeding.
Bulgarian natural medicine also promotes mistletoe for increasing milk in young breastfeeding women. It is also given raw in a glass of wine to help the young girls get pregnant.
Gathering of mistletoe
is done only on species growing on coniferous plants such as pine. Between September and March.
Gather only young autumn sprouts with light green color, no more than 1 hand-span from the top. Leave enough for the spring growth. (And don't worry about the tree. Mistletoe does not destroy trees it grows on).
Drying is done in shadow or indoors in temperature no more than 45 C (113 F). It becomes yellow-green, without odor and with lightly acerbic taste.
is made by boiling two tablespoons of finely crushed sprouts in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes.
A glass of this decoction is taken before meals, three times a day for high blood pressure and spasms.
The small berries are poisonous in big quantities but they are proven to stop dizziness, remove swelling and stop blood cough.
I don't recommend taking them, because of the Viscotoxin inside, but I did eat one of them once and felt quite sharp after this.
Just remember - mistletoe berries - poisonous in high doses.