For a healthy beverage, try the mistletoe tea! You should already know the plant thanks to its association with the Christmas traditions. However, there’s more to mistletoe than just being a decorative plant. Find out about the health benefits ofmistletoe tea!
About the Mistletoe Tea
The main ingredient of the mistletoe tea is the hemi-parasitic plant, the mistletoe. It is an evergreen plant that usually grows on the branches of various trees, such as elms, pines or oak. The mistletoe can be found in Europe, Australia, North America, and some parts of North Asia. The woody stem has oval, evergreen leaves, and waxy, white berries. The berries are poisonous; the leaves are the ones used to produce themistletoe tea.
Mistletoe is often used as a Christmas decoration. It is hung somewhere in the house, and remains so during next Christmas, when it gets replaced. It is said that it protects the house from lightning or fire. Also, legends say that a man and a woman who meet under a hanging of mistletoe are obliged to kiss. The origin of this custom may be Scandinavian, and the first documented case of a couple kissing under the mistletoe dates from 16th century England.
There are two types of mistletoe that matter: the European mistletoe and the American mistletoe. Regarding their appearance, they look pretty similar. The difference is that the American mistletoe has shorter leaves, and longer clusters of 10 or more berries. Other differences between the two are related to health benefits.
How to prepare Mistletoe Tea
Properly preparing a cup of mistletoe tea takes some time. First, you add a teaspoon of the dried mistletoe herb to a cup of cold water. Let the cup stay overnight at room temperature. On the next day, heat the mix before drinking.
To enjoy its rich flavor, don’t skip any of these steps!
Benefits of Mistletoe Tea
The mistletoe tea has many health benefits thanks to its main ingredient, the mistletoe. The herb includes various active constituents, such as amines, caffeic and myristic acids, mucilage, terpenoids, and tannins. Mistletoe is also an essential ingredient of the European anti-cancer extract called Iscador, which helps stimulate the immune system and kill cancer cells. Therefore, it’s said that mistletoe teahelps you fight against cancer.
Another health benefit of the mistletoe tea is that it reduces symptoms associated with high blood pressure, such as irritability, dizziness, headaches, and loss of energy. This, however, applies to the mistletoe tea made leaves of European mistletoe. The leaves of the American mistletoe is said to raise blood pressure.
Another health-related difference between the European and the American mistletoe is related to uterine and intestinal contractions. The European mistletoe acts as an antispasmodic and calming agent, while the American mistletoe increases uterine and intestinal contractions. Be careful with the type of mistletoe tealeavesyou use.
Mistletoe tea can also help with relieving panic attacks, nervousness, and headaches. It is a useful treatment against hysteria, epilepsy, and tinnitus. It is also recommended in the treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and to support HIV patients.
Drinking mistletoe teahelps with diarrhea, as well. It is useful when it comes to menopause and pre-menstrual syndrome. It is also useful when dealing with respiratory ailments such as coughs and asthma.
Side effects of Mistletoe Tea
First of it, it is recommended not to have children drink mistletoe tea. Also, if you are pregnant or breast feeding, it is best that you stop drinking mistletoe tea.
If you have hepatitis, you need to stay away from mistletoe tea. Consumption of mistletoe tea will only cause more damage to the liver.
Also, despite being useful when treating diabetes, mistletoe tea mayinterfere with the action of anti-diabetic medications. It is best that you check with your doctor, to make sure it doesn’t cancel the effects of the medication. Cancer patients should also consult with their doctors first, before adding mistletoe tea to their daily diet.
Other side effects that you might experience because of mistletoe tea are flu-like symptoms, including fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and various allergy-type symptoms.
Lastly, don’t drink more than 6 cups of mistletoe tea a day. If you do, it might cause you more harm than good. You might get some of the following symptoms: headaches, dizziness, insomnia, irregular heartbeats, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. If you get any of these symptoms, reduce the amount of mistletoe tea you drink. Also, this can apply to all types of tea, not only mistletoe tea.
Don’t just think of Christmas when you hear someone talking about mistletoe. Remember the many health benefits of mistletoe tea. Check for side effects and if it’s all safe, feel free to include mistletoe teain your daily diet. It will definitely help you stay healthy!