Natural Health Products

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European Mistletoe

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General Information

Mistletoe that is commonly used medicinally refers to the European mistletoe, and is different than the American mistletoe which is used as a decoration during holiday seasons.

Common Name(s)
European mistletoe, mistletoe
Scientific Name(s)
Viscum album L.
How is this product usually used?

Both the berries and the leafy stems are used orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed).

What is this product used for?

European mistletoe has been used to treat seizures, headaches, cancer, and various other conditions.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Studies in laboratory settings have found that this herb kills cancer cells and stimulates the immune system. It has also been studied in European clinical trials as a cancer treatment. There have been some positive outcomes from these trials, but all of these trials have had major design weaknesses that makes the findings questionable.

Raw mistletoe is poisonous and can cause vomiting, seizures, slowing of the heart rate, and even death. Only European mistletoe can be used medicinally as the American mistletoe is unsafe.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Herbs at a Glance. European Mistletoe. Accessed March 19, 2014.

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