Is Mistletoe Poisonous?

Can you tell me if mistletoe is poisonous?

The old tradition of kissing under the mistletoe has been around for a very long time, and the temptation for a small child or pet to munch one of the pretty red berries is always there. So is mistletoe really a poisonous plant or is it just an old wives tale? The truth is that it really depends on the variety of mistletoe that you have and what part is eaten. Since the side effects of eating mistletoe, such as nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and diarrhea, can be very serious; and since we are really never sure what type of mistletoe we have, always keep mistletoe away from children and pets. The poisonous ingredient, Phoratoxin, is found in all parts of the plant, but especially in the leaves. If any part of mistletoe is ingested immediately call:

American Association of Poison Control Centers



Mistletoe branch
Mistletoe Branch


Learn about common plants that can hurt kids & pets