Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

Angelica Identification:
This large variety is also known as Archangelica officianalis. The roots are long and spindle-shaped, thick and fleshy and have many long, descending rootlets. The stems grow 4 to 6 feet high and are hollow. The leaves are bright green and the edges are finely toothed or serrated. The flowers are small and numerous, yellowish or greenish in color, are grouped into large, globular

umbels. After blooming, they are succeeded by pale yellow, oblong fruits, 1/6 to 1/4 inch in length when ripe. Both the odor and taste of the fruits are similar to honey.

Family: Umbelliferae (Parsley family)

Cultivation: Although angelica is naturally biennial, the plants are perennial if they are prevented from setting seed. It will flower in its second year and then die off.
Seeds should be sown as soon as possible after removing them from the plant. Directly sow the seeds outdoors or start seeds indoors. If they must be stored, seal them in a plastic container, and store the container in the refrigerator.
Plant angelica in the coolest part of the garden. The soil should be deep, rich, moist and slightly acid. Soggy soil will cause the plants to die. Transplant seedlings when they have four to six leaves. They have long taproots, so don’t delay transplanting too long. Mulch and water well if the weather gets hot and dry. Fertilize in spring and midsummer.

Medicinal Properties:
Properties: Appetizer, carminative, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic. The seeds are also said to be diaphoretic and diuretic.
Main Uses: Angelica has recently become a very popular herb in the United States, and is often recommended by herbalists as a treatment for flatulence and stomach pains, and as a stimulant to invigorate circulation and warm the body. The most common use of angelica is as an emmenagogue to promote menstrual flow and help regulate irregular menstrual cycles.
Angelica has also been used for bronchitis, coughs, colds, lungs and chest, heartburn, gas, rheumatic complaints (especially the legs), sluggish liver and spleen, pleurisy, and strengthening the heart.
Take angelica tea or tincture to stimulate appetite, to relieve flatulence and muscle spasms, and to stimulate kidney action. It is useful for all sorts of stomach and intestinal difficulties, including ulcers and vomiting with stomach cramps. It can also by used for intermittent fever, nervous headache, colic, and general weakness. Externally, angelica salve can be used as a beneficial skin lotion and also to help relieve rheumatic pains. As a bath additive, angelica is said to be good for the nerves. A decoction of the root can be applied to the skin for scabies or itching and also to wounds. As a compress it can by used for gout.

Preparation And Dosages:
NOTE: The rootstock and roots of angelica are gathered in the second year.
Tincture: Fresh root (1:2), Dry root (1:5), 65% alcohol. Take 30 to 60 drops up to 4 times a day.
Decoction: Use 1 teaspoon root and rootstock with 3/4 cup cold water. Bring to a boil, then let steep 5 minutes. Take the 3/4 cup in two equal parts during the day.
Infusion: Use 1 teaspoon crushed seeds with 1/2 cup boiling water. Take as needed.
Bath Additive: Use a decoction from 7 ounces of root and rootstock.
Cold Extract: Use 1 teaspoon dried root and rootstock with 3/4 cup water. Let stand 8 to 10 hours, then strain. Take 1 to 1-1/2 cups a day.
Powder: Take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon three times a day.

CAUTION: All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight. May cause contact dermatitis.

Contraindications: May cause spotting in pregnancy.

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