This parasitic plant which can be found growing in the branches of trees or shrubs has a long mythological history dating back to Ancient Rome and Greece. It bears it’s fruits during the Winter Solstice and may of been used in druid or celtic rituals as a symbol of immortality. In Christian tradition it was believed that this plant was once a tree but the wood was used to build the cross for the crusifixion. Afterwards it became a parasitic vine forevermore. Kissing under the mistletoe originated in Scandinavia where it is considered a plant of peace. If enemies came upon each other underneith this plant they laid down their weapons for a day as a truce. It has an ecological purpose today for wildlife and the host plants. The leaves are used as food and nesting for many animals and birds. There has been some evidence of it increasing berry production on Junipers which attract wildlife as well. Nowadays the foliage of this plant is popular with herbalists for treating various respiratory and circulatory ailments in Europe. They have also used it in the treatment of cancer and tumors. Of course these remedies have not been approved for use in the United States yet. Just another plant with a long history of uses and traditions.
Archive for December 21st, 2008