How to Use Mistletoe

Mistletoe kiss image by Photo by Ryn Gargulinski

Mistletoe is usually hanging around during the Christmas season so you can kiss someone beneath it. In reality, the magical herb can be used year-round for quite a number of things other than stealing a smooch. You can use mistletoe for some fascinating things with a little caution and a few helpful tips.


Step 1

Respect it. Mistletoe is surrounded by a number of myths, legends and magical tales. It is also extremely toxic, especially to children and pets. Any mistletoe you do use should never touch the ground, for both folkloric and safety purposes. It should also be the first Christmas décor you put up and the last to take down.

Step 2

Hang it in a doorway so you can kiss. Perhaps the most widely known use of mistletoe is to kiss someone beneath it. Hang it in an archway, doorway or high-ceiling hallway with the instruction that any pair who pass beneath it have to at least give each other a peck on the cheek. It makes for lots of fun, and even embarrassing situations, at holiday parties.

Step 3

Hang it anywhere in the house for safety. Mistletoe can be kept hanging anywhere in the home all year long. Folklore has it that mistletoe protects the home from being burnt to the ground or struck by lightning, not necessarily in that order. Year-round mistletoe should be replaced every year during the Winter Solstice when new batches of fruit are borne.

Step 4

Cure things. Mistletoe has been used to alleviate high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches and even to treat cancer. The herb, usually of the European variety, is dried out, chopped up and mixed with water to be ingested. The site, however, warns not to play with the stuff unless you do much more research so you don’t make yourself sicker.

Step 5

Kill Norse gods. You might not have any Norse gods running around the house that need to be slain, but you can still use mistletoe as a powerful deterrent against evil energy. One legend said mistletoe brought Norse god Baldour his death and the herb is long thought to bring others good luck, magical powers and overall peace. You can wear it around your neck, keep a snippet in a small pouch or simply hang it somewhere in your general vicinity.

Tips and Warnings

You can get mistletoe from garden stores, in little packets from places that sell holiday décor or online from a variety of sources. If you are careless, mistletoe can kill. Just ask that Norse god.

About this Author

Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.

Photo by: Photo by Ryn Gargulinski

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Use Mistletoe