Mistletoe has historically been considered one of the most sacred plants. It is mentioned in many myths and sagas of ancient cultures around the globe. Powerful medicinal properties were attributed to mistletoe. It was used to protect from misfortune and evil, as an aphrodisiac and to ease conception. Traditional herbal uses have included protection from misfortune and evil,
poor circulation, headaches, convulsions, female disorders, exhaustion, hypertension, etc. In 1922 Rudolf Steiner recommended the potential role of a mistletoe preparation in the treatment of cancer.
Modern science has reaffirmed the therapeutic importance of mistletoe, through identification of the viscotoxins (literally, "mistletoe toxins"), lectins, and alkaloids thought to be responsible for its anticancer and immune modifying activities. Presently 60% of all cancer patients in Germany and Switzerland are prescribed mistletoe at some point in their treatment. For more detailed information on mistletoe therapy’s role in an integrative approach to cancer, visit:
Mistletoe is especially interesting botanically because it is a partial parasite (a "hemiparasite"). As a parasitic plant, it grows on the branches or trunk of a tree and actually sends out roots that penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients. But mistletoe is also capable for growing on its own; like other plants it can produce its own food by photosynthesis.