Mistletoe, a semi-parasitic plant that grows on tree trunks, is considered a magical talisman and a symbol of the winter holidays in most European cultures. It has a similar importance for the villagers from the north of Moldova, more precisely Botoşani county.
In areas where the old traditions of doctors are still preserved, mistletoe has mainly medicinal properties, used as a real panacea. As for its magical role, it is mainly related to fertility.
The healing parasite of the village world
For the villagers from Botoşani county, mistletoe is a sacred plant. As with the ancient Celts. But not necessarily from a spiritual point of view, but especially from a medicinal point of view. In villages where the tradition has been preserved for hundreds of years, people are waiting for mistletoe to appear on the bark of tall trees, especially poplars. He harvests them from October to December. Not without risks.
“It’s hard because we usually find it on the upper branches of tall trees. We put stairs, we are careful, we use what we can to cut it exactly, without damaging it. It is our medicine, the best “, says a villager from Vorona commune.
The mistletoe was used by the village doctors, a kind of witch-witch from the archaic Romanian rural world. They knew best how to turn mistletoe into a miraculous medicinal plant.
“Those practices from the village doctors have been preserved and have been passed down from generation to generation until today. Older people, especially, know very well the extraordinary properties of mistletoe “, says Professor Aurel Ştefan, mayor of Vorona but also passionate about preserving archaic practices and traditions in the village world.
The mayor of Vorona also says that he heard from the village elders, who are well aware of the healing effects of mistletoe, that this semi-parasite can work wonders on the body, managing to improve diseases of the pancreas, circulatory system and even the digestive system.
“It has a beneficial influence in treating problems with the pancreas, in the case of the circulatory system it is particularly good. It helps to create a state of well-being, of balance in the body “, adds Aurel Ştefan.
It would even have beneficial effects, the villagers of Botoşani believe, on the psyche, healing the deep sadness, or depression as it is known in medical language.
A science of the initiated
For mistletoe to become a miracle for the body, a science is needed that only initiates have. Or, in short, those who have managed to learn from the elders, from generation to generation, how mistletoe is prepared to have a medicinal effect. First of all, it is harvested only in October, November and December. Only the leaves are used, dried according to a certain technique and consumed in the form of tea or tincture. “The mistletoe leaves can be used in the form of tea, tincture or even juice,” says Aurel Stefan.
The village elders say that mistletoe should be consumed as a medicine at certain times. “If you want to lower your blood pressure, drink tea before bed. If you have stomach problems, then definitely on an empty stomach. About three cups a day and it’s good “, says another villager from Joldeşti.
People are convinced that this plant has been inherited from the Dacians. “For the Dacians, it was a kind of sacred plant, with extraordinary effects for the body”, states Aurel Ştefan.
From medicine to magic
At the same time, the mistletoe is considered with magical properties by the villagers from Botoşani. As for many other European peoples. For the villagers it is considered especially to have magical aphrodisiac properties and with an important role in the fertility of the couple.
Although few still know the importance of mistletoe in the city, it is sought after in all markets in Botosani. Many villagers manage to make money by selling whole buckets of mistletoe to housewives who are in a hurry to bring it home.
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