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Family Loranthaceae
Viscum orientale Willd.

Scientific names Common names
Viscum cruciatum Sieber ex Boiss. Botgo (Tagb.)
Viscum orientale Willd. Dyer's oleander mistletoe (Engl.)
Viscum cruciatum Sieber ex Boiss. is an accepted name. It lists Viscum orientale Willd. as synonym (an earlier version lists it as unresolved) (TRO). The Plant List
Quisumbing's compilation lists many synonyms for Viscum orientale, many of which are not listed as Viscum species with The Plant List, only a few are accepted names: V. ovalifoilium (accepted, no synonym), V. monoicum Roxb. ex DC. (accepted, no synonym). The rest of the synonyms in his compilation are unresolved names:Viscum heyneanum DC., Viscum obtusatum DC., Viscum verticillatum Roxb., Viscum pamattonis Korth., Viscum roxburghiana Korth., Viscum navicellatum Korth., Viscum philippense Llanos, while Viscum opuntioides Cav. is unlisted.

Other vernacular names
HINDI: Banda.
INDIA: Dare-banda, Madang.
TELUGU: Chandrabadanika, Sundarabadanika.

A mistletoe is a parasitic flowering plant that attaches to the stem of another plant (usually gymnosperms and angiosperms). There are about 150 species of Viscum worldwide. They are included in the mythology of some ancient and contemporary cultures. Ecological evidence suggests that while some mistletoes are harmful pathogens, in some cases, they may be keystone species in many forests of the world. (8)

Botgo is a rather, slender, strongly branched, stem-parasitic shrub. Leaves are opposite, with the petiole not distinguishable from the blade, lanceolate to roundish obovate, up to 8.5 centimeters long, 3.5 centimeters wide, and obscurely 3- to 5-nerved, the base obtuse or rounded, or somewhat wedge-shaped. Flowers are few or many, in stalkless or short cymes, of which the middle flower is female and 1.5 to 2 millimeters long, and the lateral ones, male. Fruit is roundish-ellipsoidal, up to 5 millimeters long, 4 millimeters in diameter, smooth, and yellowish or brownish-green.

- Found In Benguet to Quezon Provinces in Luzon; in Lubang; and in Palawan.
- Parasitic on various species of trees at low and medium altitudes.
- Also occurs in India to southern China and southward to Australia.

- Common on dyer's oleander (Wrightia tinctoria) trees, growing in almost all districts of Tamil Nadu and Indo-Malaysia. (4)

- Phytochemical screening of chloroform and alcohol extracts of aerial parts yielded carbohydrates, phytosterols, triterpenes, and flavonoids. (4)
- Study of methanol extract of leaves yielded five polyphenolic compounds viz., gallic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid, ellagic acid, and quercetin at 17.54, 8.99, 99.61, 4523.31, and 100.15 mg/100 g dry weight, respectively. Total phenolic content was 73.4 mg gallic acid equivalent/g of extract, while flavonoid content 170.7 mg quercetin equivalent/g of extract. (see study below) (5)
- Phytochemical screening of methanol extract yielded tannin, phenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids. (6)

- Plant considered poisonous.
- Considered to possess medicinal properties more or less similar to those of the tree on which it grows.
- Studies have suggest antibacterial, antinociceptive, antioxidant, and CNS depressant activities.

Parts used


- Plant considered poisonous; in India used as a substitute for nux-vomica.
- Used for pustular itches. Leaves are burned to ashes which are then mixed with sulphur and coconut oil, and rubbed on the body.
- In India's Kalahandi district of Orissa, V. orientale is used with the host
plant: Fruits are ground together with equal quantities of the host plant and made into small pills, one pill is taken daily every morning for 4-5 days for giddiness and stiffness. (2)
- In Bangladesh, poultice of leaves used for neuralgia.
- In India, plant juice put in ear to cure pus formation; paste of whole plant in cow's milk used for bloody dysentery; plant ash used to treat ear ache; paste of stem and leaves used to induce abortion. (9)

In a study of aqueous extracts of 46 plants, Viscum orientale was one of 12 plants that exhibited antibacterial activity. Viscum orientale was effective against all test bacteria except E. coli, P. aeruginosa, P mirabilis and Strep faecalis. (1)
• Antioxidant / Antinociceptive / CNS Depressant Effects / Leaves: Study of methanol extract of leaves showed strong dose-dependent free antioxidant activity with IC50 6.63 µg/ml, compared with ascorbic acid with IC50 1.91 µg/ml). Antinociceptive activity in acetic acid and formalin induced pain models in mice was significant (p0.001), and 65.6 and 88.8% writhing inhibition at 300 and 500 mg/kbw, respectively. Overall behavioral testing showed significantly reinforced CNS depressant activity. Spontaneous motor activities were reduced (p<0.05) in both hole cross and open field tests compared to diazepam. (5)
• Cytotoxicity Towards Breast Cancer Cell Lines / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated six species of plants belonging to the Viscaceae family i.e., Viscum orientale, V. nepalense, V. ramosissimum, V. trilobatum, V. angulatum, V. capitallatum, and V. trilobatum for cytotoxicity, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory activities. V. orientale produced 30% reduction in paw edema induced by carrageenan and 39% reduction in paw edema induced by dextran. Levels of various pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1ß, IL-6, and CRP) and NO markedly increased by carrageenan were significantly reduced by V. orientale. It was also one of four Viscum species that showed cytotoxicity towards four types of human breast cancer cell lines. All six species showed considerable anti-tumor activity against EAC (Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma) cell induced ascites tumor, and one of four species that reduced solid tumor induced by DLA (Dalton's Lymphoma Ascites) cells. (7)


Updated October 2018 / March 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Viscum orientale / Copyright © 2012 by P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL52015] / Non-Commercial Use / click on image to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Viscum orientale. Sixtus & Arckenh. del. Sixtus lith. Chr.litho. 45 x 27,5 cm From: Flore Javae. Tab. XXIV. / C.L.Blume (1789-1862) FLORE JAVAE .(Flora of Java), Brussels, 1829. / Botanical Prints / Xeno Art

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Evaluation of the Antibacterial Potential of Some Plants Against Human Pathogenic Bacteria
/ S Satish, M P Raghavendra, and K A Raveesha / Advances in Biological Research 2 (3-4): 44-48, 2008
Ethno-medico-botanical survey of Kalahandi district of Orissa
/ Sobhagini Nayak, Soumit K Behera, and Malaya K Misra / Indian Jour of Traditional Knowledge, Vol 3 (1), Jan 2004, pp 72-79
Viscum orientale / The Plant List
Pharmacognostical and phytochemical studies on dyer’s oleander mistletoe, Viscum orientale Willd. / K N Sunil Kumar, B Sangeetha, M Rajalekshmi, B Ravishankar, R Muralidhar and B Yashovarma / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, September 2013; 4(3): pp 260-269
Antioxidant, Antinociceptive and CNS Activities of Viscum orientale and High Sensitive Quantification of Bioactive Polyphenols by UPLC / Amina Khatun, Mahmudur Rahman, Md Mahfizur Rahman, Hemayet Hossain, Ismet A Jahan, and Mst. Luthfun Nesa / Frontiers in Pharmacology, June 2016; 7: 176 / doi:  10.3389/fphar.2016.00176 / PMID: 27445814
Evaluation of angiospermic epiphytes for the presence of bioactive phytochemicals with special reference to phenol and tannins / Hamzah Jumah Essa Barkah and S Lokesh / Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2018; 7(3): pp 164-167
POTENTIAL ANTI-TUMOR AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY OF SIX MISTLETOE PLANTS IN THE FAMILY VISCACEAE PRESENT IN WESTERN GHATS, INDIA / RAMADASAN KUTTAN, SHIVAMURTHY G.R., GIRIJA KUTTAN / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2017; Vol 9, Issue 11: pp 57-64 / DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22159/ijpps.2017v9i11.20541
Mistletoes: Pathology, Systematics, Ecology and Management / Roberty L Mathiasen, Daniel L Nickrent, David C Shaw, David M Watson / Plant Disease, Vol 9, No 7 /
doi:10.1094 / PDIS-92-7-0988
Viscum orientale / Umberto Quattrocchi / CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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