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Mistletoe: Generalities

The Scandinavian tradition is rich in tales and legends related to mistletoe. Already in ancient times the druids used mistletoe to obtain infusions and medicinal potions, in order to fight diseases and epidemics that scourged and decimated the populations of the time; among the druids, in fact, the mistletoe was known as the plant able to cure any disease. Norwegian mythology associates mistletoe with the figure of the god Balder, who died after being struck by mistletoe branches. In memory of the god, the Norwegians used to burn mistletoe branches near the summer solstice, with the aim of removing misfortune and invoking prosperity and well-being. Probably also the meaning today attributed to the plant derives from these ancient popular beliefs; in fact, we usually donate or keep mistletoe branches between the end of the old and the beginning of the new year in the hope of protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our home from trouble and misfortune. The value of the mistletoe is therefore that of lucky charms.