Mistletoe and The Things We Believe

mistletoeAs Christmas roles around so does the mistletoe. Everyone gathers around and kisses anyone who comes in their path. It’s a crazy kind of tradition that happens only during this time year. Why do we do this? Certainly I am all for kissing, that and hugs are just about my two favorite things ever. Yet how come it’s ok to kiss people under the mistletoe yet no where else during Christmas?

It’s everywhere in Poland, I have never even seen mistletoe before and never when travelling through the US so I was quite surprised to find out what these giant green balls were on the trees. The beautiful big green balls with little berries on them can literally take over a tree. Mistletoe come to find out is actually a parasite. For those of you that know me and my struggle or journey with Lyme disease you might understand why a romp in the woods or a roll in the hay might paralyze me rather than have me giggling with joy or even standing under this tree would send chills down my spine. Hence the reason that although I adore kissing, you might not find me under the mistletoe.

In Lyme disease parasites are the co-infection or partner that mask themselves as other diseases such as Parkinson’s, Lupus, MS and so many other auto-immune disorders. Hence the reason it is so hard to detect.

This strange tradition of mistletoe is centuries old and dates back to the ancient Druids which were around before the time of Julius Caesar. It was a pagan ritual and as Christianity came to Europe this tradition was banned by the church. However, as you can see by the mistletoe that you may have hanging in your home at this very moment, this tradition is alive and well even today.

Mistletoe was said to have mystical powers that would bring good luck and ward off the evil spirits. Kissing under the mistletoe actually originated in England, where each time a person was kissed they would first pick a berry from the ball of mistletoe leaves and when all the berries were gone the kissing had to cease. So you can imagine the fights that must have ensued, at least they would have in my house.

Although mistletoe is a parasite and poisonous to humans, so please don’t eat the berries, it is a haven for birds, bees and butterflies. Interestingly enough the National Cancer Institute states that mistletoe is the most often used alternative medicine therapy for people with cancer. So even though mistletoe is spread by the feces of birds and it’s name translates to “dung branch” or so otherwise eloquently referred to as a “poop stick” this big green ball serves a multitude of purposes.

So kiss away and please don’t eat the berries.

originally posted December 12, 2015 (ourlifein50pounds.blogspot.com)

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