Last Updated on October 8, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Mistletoe, an evergreen shrub with white berries, parasitically grows on the branches of some trees. It has been used traditionally in festive decorations. According to Medieval mythology and Norse mythology, it is a symbol of peace, love, and friendship.
Is Mistletoe Poisonous?
Although mistletoe is poisonous, it is not likely to cause death. The plant’s leaves, stems, and berries are all toxic. When ingested, the Mistletoe plant has Phoratoxin (or Viscotoxin) which are both toxic proteins. There are over 1500 types of Mistletoe around the globe and some are more toxic than others.
What Happens if You Eat Mistletoe?
Consuming white berries will likely cause a more severe reaction than drinking tea with leaves. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe. The following are possible symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Stomach pain
- Slowing of the heart rate
- Heart problems
- Mistletoe has been known to cause miscarriage in pregnant women
A child who has eaten any part of the Mistletoe plants is more likely to have a severe reaction than an adult who has consumed the same amount. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice Mistletoe ingestion.
Is Mistletoe Poisonous For Animals?
What happens if your dog or cat eats a few berries from the holiday wreath? Mistletoe berries are fruits that aren’t good for dogs and cats and cause the reaction as if they were eaten by a person. You might experience more severe reactions so make sure to consult your veterinarian immediately.
Advice For Avoiding Accidental Mistletoe Poisoning
The best way to avoid mistletoe poisoning is to keep it away from children and pets. Take out all the berries from festive decorations and place them high up so they are difficult to reach.