Botanical Name: Viscum album Format: dried, cut & sifted
Size: 1 oz package
Farming Type: Normal Origin: Eastern Europe
Viscum album is an evergreen plant that grows in deciduous trees. Partially parasitic, mistletoe forms clusters on treetops, drawing nourishment from its host. In traditional healing practices, mistletoe herb was often blended into formulas to synergize its powerful beneficial properties. It can even be steeped as mistletoe tea or extracted. Mistletoe also has a long history of folklore associated with peace, protection, and ceremonies.
Mistletoe has historically been associated with peace; According to legend, any enemy who stepped under mistletoe was required to lay down their arms and declare a truce until the next day. Mistletoe was also thought to be the "golden bough" written about in the Aenid by Virgil.
Kissing under the mistletoe is a winter tradition that began with the Greek festival of Saturnalia, celebrated in late December. The Druids believed that mistletoe protected its possessors from misfortune and used it as an aphrodisiac, an antidote for poison, and to bestow long life and fertility.
In Norse mythology, Balder, the son of Odin, was killed by an arrow made of a mistletoe branch shot by the Norse trickster Loki, who knew that this was the one tree that Balder's mother Frigga had not enchanted to do her son no harm.
In magical folklore, mistletoe has long been used for protection against misfortune and as a good luck charm. When placed near the bed, mistletoe gives restful sleep and pleasing dreams.