This highly effective mistletoe tincture is easy to make and has a various spectrum of uses. From stimulating your immune system and helping you fight infections to calming your nervous system thus helping you with anxiety or fatigue.
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Although the foraging season seems to be over this versatile herb is evergreen and has many surprising medicinal benefits.
We talk about mistletoe, the sacred plant of the Celts that called it “all-heal” or “cure-all” plant.
We can find more than one hundred species of mistletoe all over the world, but there is only one species Viscum album that is native to Europe and that has been used for centuries in traditional herbal medicine.
This small hemiparasite forms clusters or “bushes” on coniferous and deciduous trees (especially on oak, linden, apple, pine or elm). It blooms in spring so that it can dazzle white pearl-like berries in the winter.
All parts of mistletoe are harvested and used in supplements, tinctures or consumed as a tea.
If you cannot find any mistletoe in nature you can order dried online.
If you aren’t able to make your own tincture, I have searched the web and found this high-quality organic mistletoe tincture available online
Alternatively, try tinctures using other herbs such as calendula.
We will prepare a homemade tincture with mistletoe and alcohol.
Why make a tincture?
- Tinctures are easy to make and portable thus easy to carry anywhere you go
- Very convenient for people that are busy and have no time to prepare teas every day
- Tincture tends to have a long shelf life and can last years.
- They are simple to dose
- Their absorption, as well as action, are really fast.
- They can be easily diluted in drinks to cover their taste.
- Tinctures are herbal extracts in alcohol of various concentrations. After several weeks of extraction, the plant material is strained and remaining concentrate full of active ingredients is used.
Herbs can also be infused in wine to make herbal wine with many medicinal properties.
How to make a mistletoe tincture?
Identify and forage 1 bunch of mistletoe. Since it grows on tall trees you might need a ladder or long rake. Note that the best mistletoe grows on an apple tree. It’s not recommended to forage from poplar. I was lucky to find some on a pine tree that was quite small so I could reach it.
Remove all white berries. We will use just leaves and stems for this tincture. Ideally use a ceramic knife to finely chop the mistletoe and fill the glass jar to ½.
Select the alcohol. Since leaves and stems of mistletoe are not super juicy we will use 40 % alcohol by volume equal to 80-proof vodka. Feel free to use any alcohol that doesn’t have any specific flavour or colour, that is why vodka or grain alcohol is recommended.
Cover plants completely with the alcohol to the very top of the jar.
Use a glass jar with a plastic lid if possible. If your glass jar has a metal lid use parchment paper in between to avoid any corrosion. However, tighten it properly to avoid the tincture developing rot. Put on the lid, stir well and set in a cool place. Shake occasionally to help break the cell walls of the herb. In case the alcohol evaporates, top it off with some more to make sure the herb is completely covered The whole process of extraction can last 6-8 weeks.
Strain the tincture through a cheesecloth or muslin without leaving any solids in the tincture that might lead to mould development and spoilage.
Store the tincture in a dark bottle with a dropper in a cold place. It can last up to 2 years.
Don’t forget to label your tincture with the date you made it.
Uses of Mistletoe tincture
Mistletoe (Viscum album) is as a herbal remedy to relax, calm and soothe the nervous system down. This powerful nervine herb lowers the stress hormone cortisol and may help with anxiety, fatigue and depression.
Studies show that turmeric also has a similar antidepressant effect that helps control anxiety and improves overall mental health.
Mistletoe tincture is used in herbal medicine to lower blood pressure and strengthen veins and arteries thus preventing arteriosclerosis. Although mistletoe has fascinating historical uses there is very limited clinical evidence and this herb should be only taken under a physicians supervision. It is a powerful cardiac herb with reports of poisoning when its leaves and berries are ingested (3)
Mistletoe tincture may help reduce diabetes symptoms by stimulating the release of insulin from pancreatic cells (1)
Several (2) studies confirm the antioxidant effects of mistletoe as well as its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The mistletoe tincture will stimulate the immune system and help the body defend against various infections and illnesses.
This wild spruce tips tincture has similar properties to support the immune system and boost your body with energy, you might want to try it as well.
The mistletoe tincture's calming properties on the nervous system might also relieve irritation in the respiratory system. The mistletoe tincture might relax and calm a cough and soothe a sore throat
How to take mistletoe tincture?
Mistletoe tincture is concentrated dietary supplements with a wide spectrum of uses.
Their effect depends on frequency and amount taken so it is advisable to consult with a reliable herbalist, medical professional, trusted book or online for appropriate uses and dosage and possible contraindications.
Mistletoe Tincture can be taken straight by a dropper or diluted in a warm tea (not hot as it might destroy some of its benefits.
Can I make the tincture without alcohol?
If you want to make non-alcoholic tincture replace alcohol with glycerin that is considered a weaker solvent than alcohol however safe preservative.
An alcohol-free version of mistletoe tincture is also available online.