(European Mistletoe)

Other names:  All-heal, birdlime, devil’s fuge, European mistletoe

Scientific name: Viscum album

Common names:                                          

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    دبق (dabaq)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Loranthaceae

Approximate number of species known: 

Common parts used: Twigs, (the berries aren’t used), leaf

Collection:  The twigs are collected in spring

Annual/Perennial: Perennial


Actions:  Anti-spasmodic, anti-tumous, cardiac depressant, cardiac diuretic,  hypnotic, hypotensive, narcotic, nervine, tonic

Known Constituents:  Viscotoxin (cardio-active polypeptide), triterpenoid saponins, choline, histamine

Constituents Explained:


A plant that is called a semi-parasitic plant.  The reason it is called this is because it grows on other trees using the nutrients of the host.  The stem is smooth and yellow, it seperates into forks and when the flowers fall off it looks like a bone like joint.  The leaves are yellowy-green and are opposite (picture), shaped like a tongue, and are very thick and leathery. The female flowers turn into white, sticky berries.

Traditional Use:

Mistletoe is used to treat high blood pressure, relax blood vessels and ease anxiety.  Sometimes used as a heart tonic, it has also been used for epilepsy and tinnitus. Its effect on the heart has been believed to its effect on the vagus nerve?.  This has seen it often used if people have nrvous tension that is leading to an increased heart rate.

A different distinction between from the American mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens).  People with heart trouble should be careful with mistletoe. The berries are poisonous.

When the twigs or leaves are used it can sometimes speed up the pulse while lowering  blood pressure. It has been used for digestion, epilepsy and nervous disorders.

Externally it has been used on varicose veins, chillblains and ulcers.  

Clinical Studies:

Mlignant ascites is a major problem in the management of advanced stages of certain malignancies. The possibility of reducing the accumulation of ascites by intraperitoneal injections of a Viscum album extract (Iscador M) was evaluated.

Twenty-three patients, with end-stage malignancies of varying histology, requiring repeated peritoneal punctures, were eligible for analysis. The time-interval between the first two punctures was measured and defined as the baseline.

Following each subsequent puncture, Iscador M 10 mg was injected intraperitoneally. The intervals between later punctures were compared to previous intervals.

Following the first injection, the median time-interval between injections increased from 7 to 12 days, reaching 13 days after the second injection. No toxicity was observed. his phase II study suggests that installation of Iscador M into the peritoneal cavity may reduce the need for repeated punctures. 


Bar-Sela G, Goldberg H, Beck D, Amit A, Kuten A. “Reducing Malignant Ascites By Repeated Intraperitoneal Administrations Of A Viscum Album Extract.” 2006 January-February http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16739342a