My mother always had mistletoe hanging in the house at Christmas, and I have to admit, it’s been years since I purchased any. I might have to change that this year. We've probably all heard of a kid that ate a berry or two and didn’t die, and birds do eat the berries—yet the plant is poisonous, so do be cautious of it around animals and children. There are several varieties, and all should be treated with respect, though not avoided. Handling it is fine. It’s digestion of the leaves themselves that is harmful—from what I read.
Here’s a bit more about mistletoe.
It is a parasite plant that needs another plant to grow, often times a tree due to the fact birds love Mistletoe berries and after eating them usual fly ‘home’ to sit on a tree branch, where they leave droppings that contain seeds. Within six weeks those seeds can become a plant, however it will take five years before it blooms, which can be a variety of colors, from red to yellow and green, with either white or red waxy berries. Mistletoe is easy to spot in winter because its leathery leaves stay green.
Mistletoe has been claimed to be many things: magical, can heal wounds, increase fertility, ward off evil spirits, bring good luck, an aphrodisiac, and a symbol of peace.
It even has its own etiquette—A man is to remove a berry after kissing a women. When all the berries are gone, there is no more kissing under that plant.
A few myths: Married couples who kiss under the mistletoe are assured good luck, those who refuse- bad luck, and a maiden who isn’t kissed under the mistletoe will remain single for another year.
A maiden who places a sprig of mistletoe under her pillow will dream of her Prince Charming. Also burning a sprig of mistletoe will foresee a woman’s happiness. A full flames means a happy, long lasting marriage, a smoldering weak flame means she’ll marry a fool.
It's also just fun!
Merry Christmas to all of you!