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Ancient Druids Revered Mistletoe Berries

(Connemara, Ireland) If you’ve ever wandered the woodlands of Ireland you couldn’t help but trip over the mistletoe. It grows everywhere. Surprisingly when all the other green is in hibernation the mistletoe plant continues to produce berries all winter long.

     The Druid physician-priests held the berries dear for their medicinal benefits and very likely in prevention of conception. The berries contain high concentrations of progesterone (rhymes with testosterone) which stimulates the libido. We will paraphrase what may have happened next as theorized by Dr John Lee, author of Natural Progesterone – The Multiple Rolls of a Remarkable Hormone.

     Here’s the scenario: For many centuries the Druids sponsored a winter solstice festival that, according to our calendar fell on December 22 or 23. The event, which lasted one week was meant to keep the sun from disappearing completely from the sky. (The pagans were uptight about things too – especially the sun god taking a powder). The celebration was held so that Spring would someday return and the world would not die. Katy, bar the door! Debts were paid, gifts exchanged and feasts presented. In addition a sacred concoction of hot mead laced with mistletoe berries was plentiful. What? No Guinness?

     Once the party got started the influence of the warm alcohol and the progesterone helped everyone get quite relaxed, and get to know each other better.

     Modern medicine recognizes the fact that menstrual shedding is the result of an abrupt fall of progesterone, which no doubt occurred after the week of Celtic carousing had ended. Therefore, any conception that took place during the week of unrestricted sex would be lost in the induced flow. Besides allowing participants access to primitive sexual license, the solstice party reinforced the perception that festive sex without subsequent  responsibility was merely another gift from the gods. Simple enough.

     With the start of the new year everything returned to normal. And you thought you’d been to some parties…Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Solstice. Mistletoe berries and mead…