Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Mistletoe a cure for epilepsy?
I am always on the lookout for a cure for my epilepsy... never did I imagine that it would be hanging right above my head. Evidently, some cultures believe that mistletoe can cure epilepsy... along with just about everything else. The passage below is from the A. Austin Amerine Spiritual Retreat Center website and represents only a small portion of the many uses for mistletoe.
From the Middle Ages to the last century, the literature is filled with examples of different uses for mistletoe plants, especially among rural people. It was cut, tied in bunches, and hung in front of cottages to scare away passing demons. It was hung over doors of stables to protect horses and cattle against witchcraft. In Sweden, it was kept in houses to prevent fire. Swedish farmers hung mistletoe in the horse's stall and the cow's crib, to protect against evil trolls. They also used the wood to make divining rods. In Italy it was believed to be able to extinguish fire. It was widely held to be a universal healer. As a potion it would make barren animals conceive. Even Pliny had known it was a cure for epilepsy, and that it could be used to promote conception. It healed ulcers if chewed. In Wales, mistletoe gathered on Midsummer Eve was placed under the pillow at Yuletide to induce prophetic dreams. Norwegian peasants hung mistletoe from the rafters of their homes to protect against lightning. There are various customs in several countries that utilized mistletoe plants in rituals to find treasure. Collectively, these customs prove that mistletoe had a profound effect on people's lives and imaginations since the remotest past of human history.