Mistletoe Toxicity (Episode 1)

Mistletoe Toxicity (Episode 1)


  1. There are two types of mistletoe (European is harmful, American isn’t)
  2. Distinguish between toxic and harmful, all will give GI effects (articles)
  3. History of mistletoe?

There are two types of mistletoe, American and European.

They look similar but two completely different species. The American variety is called Phoradendron serotinum and the European variety, Viscum album. It contains a toxin, viscumin ?dose? that stops protein synthesis. Every function in your body requires proteins and renewal of those proteins as they run out. Similar in action to ricin. Tricky because first sign of toxicity from both mistletoes is GI upset, but Europan progresses.

The American version causes GI upset (nasuea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea). The European one

Toxic vs Harmful

Medical toxicologists use the term toxic to mean, essentially, something they need to treat, a substance that has a deleterious effect on the body that will not work itself out with time and stopping exposure to the harmful substance.