I was surprised to learn some strange and disturbing information about mistletoe from an article appearing in The Daily Beast, Weird Science section. Mistletoe is a Vampire! It’s been featured in the wrong holiday forever!!
Here’s an excerpt from the article on mistletoe, followed by an even stranger scientific discovery about kissing.
“. . . the same forest shrub that we love to smooch under every December is a parasite that spends its days sucking the “lifeforce” from trees round the globe. Out of roughly 1,400 species of mistletoe, most are hemiparasites.
Mistletoe’s parasitism starts with poop and exploding berries. Mistletoe bushes clump on branches like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Their parasitism is airborne. Birds eat their berries, which are coated in gluey material called viscin. The birds poop all over the forest, and thanks to the viscin, the mistletoe seeds in said poop stick to branches. Once firmly attached to the branch, mistletoe sprouts and drills down into the branch until it reaches the tree’s veins. It sticks a haustorium (basically a straw) in and sips the tree’s mineral and water cocktail.
Another group of mistletoes, dwarf mistletoes, does things a bit differently. In a dramatic twist on mistletoe reproduction, their seeds explode, literally. The blast zone can reach up to 15 feet. Seeds stick to saplings and wedge themselves into the tree’s innards, infecting the entire tree, and sprouting sometimes years later. These guys are full parasites, taking sugar, water, and minerals from the tree. “Dwarf mistletoe is freaky, freaky, freaky stuff,” says David Watson, an ecologist at Charles Sturt University in Australia.”
So, you ask, where is the scientific evidence proving the health benefits of kissing under the mistletoe? Right here, in this extraordinary video of couples kissing and what can be found under the microscope afterwards.
Better make that kiss under the mistletoe 10 seconds minimum. And make sure you repeat daily . . . at least eight more times, for maximum benefit.