Report on Mistletoe Side Effects and Usage


Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Mistletoe (Viscum album). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 – Contraindications: Not recommended for children, during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Warning 2 – Cancer: Cancer patients should consult with their doctors before consuming Mistletoe tea.

Warning 3 – Diabetes: Mistletoe Tea may interfere with the action of anti-diabetic medications.

Warning 4 – Diuretics: Mistletoe Tea can increase the activity of diuretics. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 5 – Hepatitis: Mistletoe tea may be toxic to the liver. Do not use Mistletoe tea if you have hepatitis as it may cause additional liver damage.

Warning 6 – MAO (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) antidepressants: Mistletoe may cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure and/or a lowering of blood potassium levels (hypokalemia). Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use if you use a MAO. Example: Nardil.

Warning 7 – NSAIDs: When combined with aspirin or other NSAIDs, Mistletoe may increase the risk of a toxic reaction. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Used as a natural health remedy: Mistletoe tea is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:

  • amenorrhea
  • antispasmodic
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • bed wetting
  • breast cancer
  • calming agent
  • digestive aid
  • dizziness
  • ease anxiety
  • epilepsy
  • headaches
  • heart tonic
  • high blood pressure
  • hysteria and other mental disturbances
  • improve concentration
  • increase intestinal contractions
  • increase uterine contractions
  • infection
  • irritability
  • loss of energy
  • lower heart rate
  • promote sleep
  • reduce high blood pressure
  • relieve panic attacks
  • sedative
  • support HIV patients
  • tinnitus
  • type 1 and 2 diabetes
  • wound treatment

Side Effects of Mistletoe

Using Mistletoe tea may result in one or more of the following:

  1. abdominal pain
  2. allergy-type symptoms
  3. flu-like symptoms
  4. nausea
  5. rise in body temperature

Other side effects may also occur when using Mistletoe tea. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Common names of Mistletoe include European Mistletoe and Birdlime Mistletoe.

DIY: To prepare Mistletoe Tea

  • 1 teaspoon of Mistletoe leaves – finely cut
  • 2 cups of cold water

Step 1. Steep (soak) the leaves at room temperature for 12 hours.

Step 2. Strain with cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to get all traces of the leaves out of your tea.

Step 3. Warm the tea but don’t boil it before drinking and enjoy.

Alternative Recipe:If you have Mistletoe powder, put a heaped teaspoon of the powder to soak in 1/4 litre of cold water overnight. The next morning strain the solids from the tea, slightly warm and serve.

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