Mistletoe: The Curious Parasite Essay

Mistletoe: The Curious Parasite Essay

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Throughout time and the existence of man, many great and wonderful things have been discovered and studied very precisely by scientist and powerful thinkers, such as Leonardo da vinci, Gregor Mendel , or even one of our founding fathers Benjamin Franklin. The many wonderful scientists in our history have also found vast information and great uses of before seemingless plants, fungi, and parasites through study and perseverance. It was the work of these great people that we have unlocked the secrets of items here on earth. It is also a reason why many cultures have made it a custom to find certain plants sacred and holy because of their uses or appearance. There are many plants and parasites that haven’t found a good role in today’s society unfortunately, one of the biggest though is the infamous Mistletoe. Mistletoe is used in medicine and traditions, however, a practical use is present in modern times.
Before we can even discuss about mistletoe, you should first at least know about what it is, what it looks like and what it does. There are many different types and breeds of mistletoe, but the most well know ones are the Dwarf mistletoe and the European mistletoe. You may not know exactly what a mistletoe looks like either, so I found a good description of what it is according to The Raintree Illustrated Science Encyclopedia, “Mistletoe has long forked branches with opposite oval leaves.” They also say that mistletoe creates a unique type of roots called haustoria. They go on to explain that they plant their roots inside another plant and steal some of it’s nutrients, thus them not being classified exactly as a plant. What is even more interesting is that mistletoe also goes through photosynthesis, which means that they absorb ...

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...ndation for Natural Cures, Inc." Joan Valentine. Burnett Entertainment, 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Kluwer, Wolters. "Mistletoe Uses, Benefits & Side Effects - Drugs.com Herbal Database." Mistletoe Uses, Benefits & Side Effects - Drugs.com Herbal Database. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc, 2009. Web. 02 May 2014.
Malcom, Noel. "Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain By Ronald Hutton: Review." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 17 May 2009. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Original Origin Unknown. "The Death of Baldur - Norse Mythology for Smart People." Norse Mythology for Smart People. Dan McCoy, 2013. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Various Scientific Contributors. The Raintree Illustrated Science Encyclopedia. Milwaukee: Raintree
1984. Print.
West, Larry. "Mistletoe - Fun Facts About Mistletoe." About.com Environmental Issues. U.S. Geological Survey, 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

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