Angelica Archangelica is a biennial plant from the Apiaceae family, that grows spontaneously in mountain areas, in forests, in moist soil and especially along rivers.
It grows wild in some parts of Romania, Germany, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and is cultivated in certain regions in France. Angelica can also be found in South East Asia. It can grow up to around 180 cm or six feet tall.
It has large leaves and globular greenish-white flowers. The roots, leaves, and seeds are all used for curative purposes. Angelica is a plant that loves light and moisture, and it develops well in the loose and fat earth, rich in nutrients.
Roots contain volatile oil, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, angelic acid, fumaric acid, oxalic acid, fatty acids, tannins, carbohydrate substances, and vitamin B1.
The leaves and stalks of the plant are harvested in June or July, and fruits and flowers in July. Angelica requires a special regime for use, maintaining its curative qualities only if used within one year after the harvest.
Health Benefits of Angelica Archangelica
Phytochemical substances of the angelica root have tonic, stimulant, stomachic and carminative properties (soothing stomach pains and helping eliminate intestinal gas).
If administered in small doses, the volatile oil has stimulative effects on the central nervous system, while in higher doses it has shown a strong inhibitory and depressing action, affecting even one’s lucidity.
It is used in gastric conditions accompanied by an acidity or hypoacidity, to stimulate appetite, indigestion, stomach pain, cough, cold, flu, bronchitis, thrombosis. Also, fresh or dried leaves tea has proven to be effective in flatulence and rashes.
This plant has a long history in the traditional medicine of use as a potent medicinal herb, in particular for the treatment of problems with blood circulation and some digestive disorders. You can use it as follow:
- Treatment of hysteria, neuralgia, rheumatism: powder (root or stem). Take a pinch before meals.
- Stimulation of appetite and fighting colic: infusion of 2-5g root and one cup (200ml) of boiling water. Continue boiling for 5 minutes. Drink half a cup before meals.
- Treatment of rheumatism, neuralgia, skin rashes: decoction of 10-15g herb and ½ liter of water. Boil for 10-15 minutes and then decant. Drink a cup three times a day before meals.
- Treatment of fatigue, vomiting, gastrointestinal colic, neuralgia: decoction of 2 teaspoons equal parts powder mixture, root and fruit, and 2 cups of water. Boil for 5-10 minutes and then decant. Drink slowly, with rare sips.
- In order to delay the aging process, use oil in moderate doses of three drops a day.
- For asthma or in cases of nervous exhaustion, use one teaspoon of dried and ground plant in a cup of hot water. Drink two cups every day, for 20 days per month. Take a break for two weeks, and use the treatment again if necessary.
In order to treat rheumatism, use volatile oil (Angelicae aetheroleum) in local massage.
Aerial parts and fruits are used in food preparations such as salads, canned products, jams, liqueurs and tonic wines. While all the parts of this medicinal plant can be used for culinary purposes, they are not usable throughout the year.
Contraindications & Side Effects of Angelica Archangelica
The plant is not recommended for pregnant women and diabetics. Also, some people may experience an upset stomach, when a combination of angelica and other herbs is used.
It is recommended to see a homeopathic doctor before starting a treatment with this medicinal plant.