Angelica

“Angelica”

Angelica gives the liqueur Benedictine its distinctive flavour and candies stalks of the herb were traditionally taken as a tonic to fight infection and improve energy levels.


Latin binomial: Angelica archangelica

Common Name(s): Angelica

Family: Apiaceae

Part(s) used: Leaves harvested at the end of first year, the root harvested in the autumn of the first year or early spring of second year before flowering.

Leaves are generally considered less heating and more gentle than the root.

Qualities: Sweet, pungent, warm & generally drying (Ody)


Constituents:

  • Volatile oil including phellandrene, pinene, linalool, borneol.
  • Bitter furanocourmins including psoralens and bergapten
  • Angelic Acid
  • Valerianic Acid
  • The root has resin and tannins and also contains flavonoids and sterols
  • Nutritional constituents include Vitamin E and Calcium

“A water distilled from the root…eases all pains and torments coming of cold and wind…” – Nicholas Culpeper, 1653


Actions:

  • Expectorant
  • Carminative (oil)Antispasmodic (valerianic acid)
  • Diaphoretic
  • Digestive Tonic (furanocoumarins)
  • Diuretic (Braun & Cohen)
  • Topical Anti-inflammatory (Ody)

Indications:

  • Cardiovascular System
    • Circulatory stimulant
    • Fever
    • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Respiratory Tract (volitile oil contributes majority)
    • Coughs
    • Colds
    • Psychogenic asthma
    • Pleurisy
    • Bronchitis
    • Chronic mucus problems
  • Gastrointestinal Tract – the bitterness of the herb makes it a digestive stimulant, while the oils aid digestive process and stops any cramping and eases gas build-up.
    • Flatulant dyspepsia
    • Nervous dyspepsia
    • Indigestion
    • Anorexia
    • Colic

 SUMMARY:

Useful expectorant for coughs, bronchitis and pleurisy, especially when they are accompanied by fever, colds or influenza. (Hoffman)

The leaf can be used as a compress in inflammation of the chest. (Hoffman)

Historically used for epidemic diseases like the plague. Used as an antidote to poison. For ‘cold stomachs’. Used for urinary obstructions, aid to menstruation and expelling the afterbirth. Used as a poultice for lung and chest complaints.


Contraindications/ Cautions:

  • Furanocoumarins can cause photosensitivity if Angelica is taken in large doses
  • Avoid regular or large doses in pregnancy, as it is a uterine stimulant, and in diabetes – due to sugar content
  • Because this is a ‘heating’ herb – it may be contraindicated in ‘hot’ conditions
  • Angelica oil can increase photosensitivity – therefore avoid excess exposure to sunshine if using EXTERNALLY

Dosage: Dosage three times a day.

LEAF-

  • Infusion of herb 2-5g
  • Tincture 1:5 (45%) 2-5ml
  • FE (25%) 2-5ml

ROOT –

  • Decoction of dried root 1-2g
  • Tincture 1:5 (50%) 0.5-2ml
  • FE (25%) 0.5-2ml

Combinations:

  • For bronchial problems it combines well with Coltsfoot and White Horehound. (Hoffman)
  • For intigestion, flatulence and loss of appetite use with Chamomile. (Hoffman)

OTHER USES:
 
  • Leaves in INFUSION: Take in standard doses for indigestion
  • Leaves in TINCTURE: Take up to 3 ml TDS for bronchitis & flatulent digestion
  • Leaves in CREAM: Apply to skin irritations
  • Root in TINCTURE: Take for bronchial catarrh, chesty coughs, digestive disorders or as a liver stimulant
  • Root in COMPRESS: Soak a pad in the HOT diluted tincture or decoction & apply to painful rheumatic or arthritic joints
  • Massage Oil: Dilute 10 drops in 25ml almond oil for arthritic or rheumatic pains

‘It cureth the bitings of mad dogs and all other venomous beasts.’ – John Gerard


References & Links to Articles/Websites:

Modern Herbal – Angelica

Annie’s Remedy – Angelica

AAngelicaFP

Braun & Cohen, Herbs & Natural Supplements 3e

Hoffman, D. Holistic Herbal

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