Current and future prospects of ethnomedicinal potential of Mistletoe, an ‘intriguing and mystic all-purpose herb'

ID: 613 / 386

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: Current and future prospects of ethnomedicinal potential of Mistletoe, an ‘intriguing and mystic all-purpose herb'


Maeleletse G. Mopai1, Semakaleng Mpai1, Ashwell R. Ndhlala1

Affiliations: Department of Plant Production, Soil Sciences and Agricultural Engineering, University of Limpopo, Limpopo Province, South Africa


Mistletoe is a common name for parasitic plant species that belong to the families Loranthaceae and Viscaceae, which are both taxonomically related. The most common Viscaceae genera is Viscum, which comprise of approximately 120 species and an estimate of 100 species under Loranthaceae. Mistletoe plants are known for their ethnomedicinal purpose for treatment of various ailments including cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, hypertension, headaches, menopausal symptoms, infertility, dermatitis, arthritis, and rheumatism. Mistletoe is abundant in forest regions and orchards as a hemiparasite and has long been used. The aim of this study is to comprehensively generate documentation of the dispersal and establishment mechanism on a host, nutritional and phytochemical composition and ethnomedicinal potential of some Mistletoe species in a consensus.  Researchers have reported on the effect of tissue culture on nutritional composition of the most Viscum species, in comparison with mistletoe plants and hosts. Moreover, the major phytochemical constituents of some extensively exploited mistletoe plants that have been reported previously include gastric-irritating alkaloids, cardiac toxins (viscotoxins, phoratoxins), saponins, and lectins as well as tannins, flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The morphology, ecosystem and economic impact, and mistletoe-host relationship of some mistletoe species has been intensively studied and documented. Therefore, this review will briefly show up research gaps in relation to the objectives herein.

Symposia selection: 7, 147, 56

Key words: Ailments, Loranthaceae, Mistletoe, Phytochemicals, Viscaceae