Mistletoe: A Sexy Parasite?

Kym Kemp / Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 @ 4:31 p.m. / Humboldt , Humor ,  Rural

mistletoe, Christmas

For those of you who need a little mistletoe for Christmas kissing, here is a photo. I haven’t seen any of the real stuff for sale though its all over the oaks up here.

I simply didn’t understand why a poisonous parasite is supposed to encourage kissing. So I did a bit of research.

The actual word mistel means dung (not actually a word I usually connect with smooching.) Though the plant causes diarrhea if eaten, the reason its name is derived from excrement is because birds eat the berries and defecate the seeds. (Uh, are you getting a warm snuggly feeling? Cause I’m still not.)

But there is more. Because of the resemblance of the sticky white berry juice to certain…er…excretions on the part of males, the plant is associated with fertility and is considered an aphrodisiac. Thus, the tradition of passion under the plant which leads to luck in relationships.

Most people are unaware that the magic only works if the man plucks one berry off for every kiss he exchanges with a woman. When all the berries are gone, so is the plant’s potency.

I gather the man kisses the woman, crushes the berry, and winks as if to say, “Hey baby, want to see more of this stuff.” And the woman is so overcome by his virility and suavity that she succumbs to more than his lips. Then they have such great uh… excretions that their partnership is blessed.

Yeah, right…

Related tags: aphrodisiac, christmas, kiss, men, mistletoe, rural


  • Well, gee, Kym, thanks for spoiling the mistletoe tradition for me. LOL

    Not that I have EVER been kissed under the mistletoe. I just used to dream about it back in the day…
  • Way to suck the romance out of Christmas, Red.
  • Guess we won’t be seeing any on your Mom’s archway this year, huh?
  • Hey, I’m in the process of doing research. I have a huge bunch hanging in my house. If it works as an aphrodisiac, I’ll let you know…discretely of course.
  • “While mistletoe is widely viewed as a symbol of love and fertility, it’s also representative of peace. Ancient tales tell of enemies who encounter each other underneath trees bearing mistletoe. The enemies lay down their arms, embrace, and agree to a truce until the next day [source: Perry]. This act of goodwill is yet another possibility for why we kiss under mistletoe: abstaining from violence and exchanging greetings under the plant may have prompted the custom of kissing.”

    I like this idea, which I didn’t hear of before.
  • I have a huge bunch hanging. I was hoping for a cessation of hostilities with the teenagers—no such luck.
  • Ah, but did you embrace them under the mistletoe?
  • Hmm, I haven’t tried that. I’ll let you know if anything changes;>
  • […] one actually seems to know for sure. So I turned my investigative mind onto the problem last December and quickly discovered…ain’t no one hanging the stuff in my house this […]
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