mistletoe?

Discussion in 'Plant and Tree Identification' started by barefooted, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. barefooted

    barefooted Active Member

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    I'm visiting family in north GA,wondering if the green plant growing in the top of the trees are mistletoe?
     
  2. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    Betcha it is..... there is a lot of mistletoe in GA. I see it from the interstates all the time. This time of year if you see green leaves in an otherwise deciduous tree it is most likely mistletoe.

    To harvest: you need gold sickle, large white sheet and enough virgins to hold the sheet above the ground. if the mistletoe hits the ground the magic is gone so make sure the virgins are doing their job as far as catching the mistletoe in the sheet goes.

    never tried it personally but that's what I hear.....
     

  3. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Here are some pix.

    http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&q=mistletoe&btnG=Search+Images

    And some info:

    Description: Evergreen parasitic plant, growing on the branches of trees, where it forms pendant bushes, 60cm-1.5 metres in diameter. It will grow and has been found on almost any deciduous tree, preferring those with soft bark. The European Mistletoe (Viscum album) is readily recognised by its smooth-edged oval leaves in pairs along the woody stem and waxy white berries in dense clusters of 2-6 together. Other names for it include All-heal, Birdlime, Devil's Fuge, Mystyldene, Golden Bough, Holy Wood, Thunderbesom, Druid's Bough, Witch's Broom, Wood of the Cross. American Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) is similar but has shorter, broader leaves and longer clusters of ten or more berries together. It is often called False Mistletoe. Australia has 85 species of mistleoe.

    Cultivation: Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, growing on the branches of several deciduous species of trees. It is not usually found on coniferous trees. When one of the sticky berries of the mistletoe comes into contact with the bark of a tree (usually from bird droppings), after a few days it produces a thread-like root, flattened at the extremity like the proboscis of a fly. This finally pierces the bark and roots itself firmly in the growing wood. The host tree must be at least 20 years old. Although the host branch might eventually succumb, the host tree is seldom killed. To grow it, you need to obtain berries and squash them onto the branches of host trees in late autumn and early winter. This is best done on the lower side of the branch.

    Harvesting: Collect leaves and twigs in spring, just before the berries form and dry for future use. If using artificial heat, make sure the temperature does not exceed 41C. Store away from light. (or see below under Folklore!)

    Medicinal Uses: Leaves and twigs are used to treat muscle spasms, epilepsy, convulsions, delirium, hysteria, neuralgia, nervous debility, urinary disorders, heart disease and to lower blood pressure. The tincture has been used as a substitute for Foxglove, to strengthen the heart’s beat, while raising the frequency of a slow pulse. The birdlime of the berries is also used as an application to ulcers and sores. Has also been used to check internal and post-partum haemorrhage. May improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In low doses, it also relieves panic attacks, headaches and improves the ability to concentrate. It may be used to treat hyperactivity in children. It has been employed in the treatment of uterine and lung cancers. Externally, the plant has been used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, chilblains, leg ulcers and varicose veins.

    Usual Dosage: Steep 2.5g (1/2 teaspoon) of finely cut leaves in 1 cup of cold water for 12 hours at room temperature. Strain. Take 1-2 cups per day. Or boil 60g of the bruised green plant with 300ml water. Take 1 tablespoonful several times a day. The powdered leaves can be used, 2-6g per day. For mistletoe wine, mix 40g (8 teaspoons) of the herb with 1 litre of wine. Wait 3 days before using. Take 3-4 glasses per day. Tincture: Take 5-10 drops with 1 or 2 tablespoonsful of cold water.

    Folklore: Long used for protection against lightning, disease, fires, and misfortune of every kind, it is carried or placed in an appropriate spot for these uses. The leaves and berries are used. Mistletoe is placed in cradles to protect children from being stolen by fairies and replaced with changelings. A ring carved of mistletoe wood will ward off sicknesses when worn and the plant will cure fresh wounds quickly when carried (do not apply to the wound). Mistletoe is also carried or worn for good luck in hunting and women carry the herb to aid in conception. It has also been utilised in spells designed to capture that elusive state of immortality and to open locks. Laid near the bedroom door, mistletoe gives restful sleep and beautiful dreams, as it does when placed beneath the pillow or hung at the headboard. Kiss your love beneath mistletoe and you'll stay in love. Burned, mistletoe banishes evil. Wear it around your neck to attain invisibility. Mistletoe should be cut on Midsummer’s Day, or else when the moon is 6 days old. Druids would use a golden sickle to cut it and it wasn’t allowed to touch the ground. It is traditionally hung in the home at Yule (Christmas) and those who walk under it exchange a kiss of peace. Bunches of mistletoe can be hung as an all-purpose protective talisman. Laid near the bedroom door, mistletoe gives restful sleep and beautiful dreams, as it does when placed beneath the pillow or hung at the headboard. Burned, mistletoe banishes evil. Use in floor wash to attract patrons to a business. It was credited with endowing fertility to all animals. Mistletoe was harvested in a ritual fashion. Those who meddled with it without respect were said to be struck blind in one eye, lame in one leg or shortly to suffer terrible injury to a limb. Mistletoe is never to be seen in modern churches. Rites which involve holding a branch of mistletoe are believed to compel a spectre to appear and speak.

    Warning: Do not use when pregnant or lactating. Not for use by persons with protein hypersensitivity and chronic-progressive infections such as tuberculosis and AIDS. Do not use if suffering from a fever. Do not exceed recommended dosage. If children eat the berries, they may suffer from convulsions. Avoid if using MAO inhibitors, with high blood pressure or a history of asthma or heart disease. This is a potentially dangerous herb and should only be used by skilled practitioners. Toxic dosages may cause nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, muscular spasms and convulsions, prostration, respiratory difficulty, hallucinations, cardiovascular collapse, coma and death.
     
  4. barefooted

    barefooted Active Member

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    Wow, Thanks for all the info.
     
  5. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    I live in NE GA and chances are if it is green and high in the tree it is misletoe.
     
  6. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Or a shotgun.....I hit it alot during squirrel season.
     
  7. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    shotguns scare the virgins.... they jump and run, and the mistletoe falls to the ground..

    i cant believe you people.... shotguns.... geez :rolleyes:
     
  8. Farmerwilly2

    Farmerwilly2 Well-Known Member

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    I spect round here you'd need a shotgun to gather up enough virgins to hold a sheet up wide enough to catch anything.