Mistletoes’ Host Trees
There are over 1‘000 mistletoe species worldwide. Among them, the white-berried European mistletoe (Viscum album L.) has the widest range of potential host trees. Three subspecies can be found in Central Europe: hardwood mistletoe on various deciduous trees (such as apple tree, elm and oak), pine mistletoe and fir mistletoe.
Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman already experimented with mistletoes from different host trees, starting from apple trees to pines and firs to oaks. We still focus on them for our preparations today. Later, we also added the elm, which only rarely carries mistletoe under natural conditions.
MIstletoe does not develop any roots but attaches itself to the host tree in order to access its internal circulation vessels. This way, it receives the nutrients dissolved in it. The tree either absorbs them from the earth as minerals or forms them itself as organic substances, and stores them in its roots. The tree therefore provides the nutrition to the mistletoe. According to Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman, the host tree influences the mistletoes’ pharmaceutical characteristics and therefore its suitability for treating specific types of tumours.