is european mistletoe poisonous
There are several types of mistletoe which can be poisonous to pets: Phoradendron serotinum (American variety) and Viscum album (European variety). A study of 1754 American mistletoe exposures revealed none resulted in death, even though 92% of the cases involved children. Isn’t mistletoe poisonous? Enter Phoradendron serotinum, otherwise known as Eastern Mistletoe — which does grow wild in North America. Mistletoe Toxic Components Both mistletoe species are toxic to horses. The European variety is Viscum album and the common mistletoe in the US is Phoradendron serotinum. Consumption of a large number of berries is extremely dangerous and warrants a call to Poison Control. ...Celtic druids regarded mistletoe as sacred, believed that it was capable of curing all ailments, and used it as a cure for infertility? Often used as a symbol of renewal because it stays green all winter, mistletoe is famed for its stolen-kisses power. The plant so associated with love is actually a hermiparasite that feeds off other plants as well as the sun. As opposed to true parasites, it also uses photosynthesis to create its own organic substances. There are multiple species of mistletoe. The European variety has a documented history of being highly poisonous to humans and pets. V. album is not native to or sold in the US, but it could be privately imported. While kissing under the mistletoe is perfectly acceptable, eating the plant or its berries is not a good idea. The symptoms are caused by a … American mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescen) is the type that grows in the United States and is used as a romantic holiday decoration, while European mistletoe (Viscum album) is the species that has been used for centuries in traditional herbal medicine. For the purists out there, most of what you can buy in the way of live mistletoe is the European species (Viscum album) which would have been the species favored by those dancing Druids. Aside from its parasitic nature, every part of the plant is poisonous when ingested, particularly that of the European variant of the plant. All of them produce toxic compounds. (The plants aren’t poisonous to chickens, of course.) In folk medicine, it has been used for its cardiovascular properties. Check your species! The American mistletoe is less toxic than the European varieties of it. Do remember that this site is mostly about European Mistletoe, Viscum album, and any medical issues described relate to that species only. Mistletoe is an angiosperm, living as a hemi-parasite on other plants. Distribution – Europe, Asia (Viscum album) In the USA, the FDA has not approved the use of mistletoe. The risk of poisoning is higher for children and particularly for pets. According to the National Cancer Institute, mistletoe extract has been demonstrated to affect the immune system and kill cancer cells in the laboratory. For the most part, mistletoe therapies are used in healthy adults, although there are reports of successful use in pediatric patients. Is Mistletoe Poisonous? The literature on the European variety includes reports of serious poisonings and deaths, usually due to excessive concentrated herbal use such as brewing mistletoe in tea. In fact, although until recently American mistletoe was widely considered to be as poisonous as the European species, downing a few berries is likely to lead to no more than a stomachache. The European variety of mistletoe has oval leaves and small clumps of 2-5 white berries. That being said, the average healthy adult can tolerate a few berries. The leaves and berries of European mistletoe are poisonous. The white berries of mistletoe plants are poisonous to humans but valuable food to many other species. The toxins responsible can be found in the leaves and berries of the plant. Overview Information European mistletoe is a plant that grows on several different trees. Mistletoe IS poisonous, although it is doubtful as to whether it will actually cause death. European Mistletoe. The number for Poison Control is 1-800-222-1222. The irony of this is not lost on us at all. This plant has paired, oval leaves and yellow-green flowers. It can grow on deciduous or coniferous trees, dependent on the subspecies. But the other side of this botanical coin is all species of mistletoe are poisonous. Alternatively, drinking a tea from the plant can result in sickness and possibly death. There is particular confusion sometimes in North America, where local mistletoe species (especially Phoradendron) may be significantly more poisonous than our European variety. 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