Can mistletoe keep your cat calm?

Dorwest’s veterinary Skullcap, Valerian, Mistletoe, and Gentian mixture calms down Fido and Tiger

Spent the afternoon in pagan company today, with a mistletoe cutting ritual, (twenty-)first century style, and good conversation.  Many thanks to Keith et al – you know who you are – for organising it.

One of the issues discussed, during and afterwards, was mistletoe’s role in medicine – and the ‘usual’ issues – modern cancer therapy, traditional use as a herbal tea to relieve high blood pressure etc were discussed.

But we hardly touched on the other ‘big medicine thing’ for mistletoe – which is that for centuries it has been used to calm nerves – sometimes for extreme nervous problems (e.g. epilepsy) but most recently simply as something to calm you down.

So, should you throw away those Diazepam pills and use mistletoe instead? Not necessarily! Therapeutic effects of mistletoe are variable, depending on the preparation and nature of harvest, and I’m certainly NOT making any recommendation! (and do read my caveat below).

But it is interesting that mistletoe does pop up in the ingredients of some herbal medicines intended to induce calm – though the only ones readily available are for, er, your cat or dog.

The picture shows Dorwest Herb’s Skullcap & Valerian Tablets – which, despite not mentioning mistletoe in the title (why not?), are listed as containing Valerian 5:1 50mg. Mistletoe 3:1 50mg, Scullcap 30mg, Gentian 2:1 24mg.

They are described as a ‘licensed herbal medicine for the symptomatic relief of anxiety, nervousness, excitability, travel sickness, and as an adjunct in the treatment of epilepsy in cats and dogs. Particularly effective for calming pets suffering from noise phobias such as fireworks, gunshots and thunderstorms as well as anxiety related travel sickness and hyperactivity’.

So there you are, a new use for mistletoe you’d never thought about before – and just what your dog needs for those New Year’s Eve fireworks.  Available in many reputable stores including the all-conquering Amazon.


Caveat: This blog does NOT give medical advice – and is intended for discussion only.  All medical references are to Viscum album, European Mistletoe – do not assume its properties apply to other species – and do not, ever, try mistletoe medicines without professional medical advice.


Commercial break (a word from our sponsors):

Want to grow your own mistletoe? Looking for a cool Yule gift?

Mistletoe Grow-Kit Gift Card
Mistletoe Grow-Your-Own Kit

Why not buy a Grow-Your-Own Mistletoe Kit from the English Mistletoe Shop?

Kits aren’t sent out until February, but you can pre-order now, or you can buy a Grow-Kit Gift Card (4 designs available) to give at Christmas. 

Details of all at