MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
(Angelica Archangelica / Archangelica Officinalis)
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A MEMBER OF THE CARROT FAMILY
Angelica is also known as Angelica Archangelica, Angelica Officialis, Archangelica officinalis, European Angelica, Garden Angelica, Great Angelica, and Wild Parsnip. Angelica is the European cousin of the more familiar Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis). A graceful flowering plant related to Carrots, Dill, and Fennel, Angelica is found as far north as Nunavut and Lapland and as far south as Syria and South Carolina. The plant has an intense yet sweet aroma more like Carrots than like Dill or Fennel.
Angelica is native to northern and central Europe, where it is known as "an angel in plant form." In the Middle Ages, this herb, an Umbelliferae member, was cultivated for its healing root. Because of its apparent detoxifying qualities, Angelica was regularly used in treating lung ailments and ulcers. The plant is now primarily used to alleviate bronchial problems and digestive disorders. It can also warm cold hands and feet by stimulating circulation and is quite effective in strengthening the body. Teas made from the root can relieve respiratory congestion. In the garden, angelica grows to an impressive height and emits a sweet, pleasant scent. With its bittersweet taste, this herb is valued not only for its many medicinal qualities, but also for its culinary appeal.
For centuries, Angelica root has been hailed as the ultimate remedy for poisons and all infectious maladies. It was said to protect against contagious diseases and for use as a blood purifier. One popular explanation of the name of this plant is that it blooms on the day of Michael the Archangel, the Great Defender (Old Style, May 8th) and so is believed to be a preservative against evil spirits and witchcraft. According to the legend, Angelica was revealed in a dream by an angel to cure the plague. All parts of the plant were believed to ward off spells and enchantment. Held in such high esteem, Angelica root, was sometimes called "The Root of the Holy Ghost." As a medicinal plant, Angelica was considered to have "Angelic" healing powers. Angelica has a long-standing, ancient record as a medicinal herb. About twenty different Native American tribes have used Angelica species for medicine, including the Creeks (Muskogee) who chewed the root and swallowed the juice for stomach disorders.
European Angelica was used in medieval times to ward off the plague and witches. It is said that, in the mid 1600ís an angel appeared to a monk during a dream with a message that it could protect against the plague. As a result of this experience, the monk renamed the plant Angelica (from that of wild celery), and the British Royal College of Physicians used it of formulate the "King's Excellent Plague Recipe." Needless to say, it did not stop the plague and soon fell into disfavor. Also, during this time the liquid extract was dropped into the solders eyes and ears before going into battle, in belief that it would improve their sight and hearing.
Angelica is found in central and northern Europe, as well as in Iceland and Syria. As a moisture-loving plant, it grows in damp forests and along riverbanks there, though gardeners in the US can grow it in their herb gardens. A sturdy plant, angelica lives only until it blooms and bears seed, usually within two to four years. It has a carrot-like root with many side roots. The ribbed stem is hollow and branches toward the top. The pinnate leaves have long ribs, while the upper leaves are shorter and smaller. The plant's greenish-white, hemispherical umbels appear in summer and have a honey-like fragrance.
While Angelica is winter hardy, it needs moist, rich soil with compost thoroughly worked in. Make sure the soil is well drained, so that the large root can spread out. The plant must be watered regularly during dry periods. Angelica thrives in locations where there is sun to partial shade. It prefers moist, humus-rich soil. It does not like standing water. Angelica can grow as high as 5 to 8 feet, depending on the location.
Gather stems and leaves in the spring of the second year, before the plant blooms. The roots can be harvested at the end of the first season (late fall) or during the second season. Brush off any loose dirt, thoroughly rinse the root in water and cut into pieces. Air-dry the root in a shady, well-ventilated place, or in an oven set at 125°F. Once dry, store in a glass container with a tight-fitting seal. Collect the seeds when ripe.
CULTIVATION & PROPAGATION
Angelica can be raised from seed or purchased from a nursery. The seeds lose their ability to germinate after about 3 months, so they should be stored for an extended period of time. A majestic addition to any perennial bed, it grows especially well when planted near the edges of garden ponds. However, it does not tolerate standing water.
A very tall plant, Angelica grows as high as 5 to 8 feet and makes a stunning addition to any flower or herb bed. Be sure to plant it toward the back of the garden, so it does not overshadow the shorter plants. Angelica is generally considered a biennial, since it dies after blooming and producing one crop of seeds, usually during its second year of growth. However, this plant can be kept growing for several years at a time if the flower stalks are cut once a year, before the seeds have had a chance to form.
Seeding & Planting
1. Sow the seeds in rows either in late summer or early fall, pressing them into the soil gently with a fingertip. Be sure you do not cover the seeds, since they require light to germinate.
2. Thin the plants when they are about 1.5 inches to 2 inches high, leaving at least 3 feet of space on all sides.
If angelica flowers are allowed to mature, the plant reseeds itself. As an alternative, gather the seeds by hand and then sow them immediately in a suitable location.
ANGELICA USES, HEALTH BENEFITS, & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Angelica is largely used in the grocery trade, as well as for medicine. Angelica has a mild licorice flavor. Chopped leaves and stems can be used to season fruit, soups, sauces, salads, and stews. The stems can be candied or made into preserves. The roots and seeds are a favorite flavoring for confectionary and it is used to flavor herbal liqueurs, vermouth and gin. The appreciation of its unique flavor was established in ancient times when saccharin matter was extremely rare. The use of the sweetmeat may probably have originated from the belief that the plant possessed the power of averting or expelling pestilence.
The roots, seeds and leaves of the plant are used for medicinal purposes. The root stalks, leaves and fruit possess carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, stomachic, tonic and expectorant properties, which are strongest inthe fruit, though the whole pllant has the same virtues. A tea made from the dried roots can be helpful with gastrointestinal problems, and as an expectorant for coughs and bronchitis. Soaking in a bath with angelica can be effective in calming the nerves.
Every part of the Angelica plant can be used, seeds, leaves, stems and the root. The root is an abundant source of vitamin B-12, folic acid and niacin, which may explain its building attributes because these B vitamins are influential in making blood cells. Not only does angelica contain volatile oils and bitters, it also has furanocoumarins, including bergapten and angelicin, which enable it to relieve muscle cramps. The coumarin increase blood flow, relieves inflammation, stimulates the central nervous system and has antispasmodic effects. Research done in China has show that Angelica directly affects the uterus, causing both contracting and relaxing effects. Also, the plants active ingredients appear to affect nearly every part of the body, including the CNS, immune system, muscles, digestive tract, kidneys, blood vessels and cells. Listed below are some of the ailments that Angelica is used for today:
- Nervous headaches.
- Cardiovascular conditions and poor circulation, gives energy to the body, stimulates and warms the circulation.
- Female conditions - expels afterbirth (placenta), eases painful menstruation, gets the suppressed menstruation going, activates circulation in the pelvic region.
- Gastrointestinal conditions - stimulates the appetite and acts as an aid for digestion, triggering gallbladder and stomach secretions, warms the digestive system, helps with colic in children, eases gas/wind, also indigestion and heartburn, helps to combat stomach cramps and can also strengthen a weak stomach. It is a diuretic and can be used to treat feelings of fullness.
- Protects against disease.
- Eases rheumatism and gout, when applied externally.
- Liver conditions - hepatitis and liver problems.
- Respiratory tract conditions - problems breathing, bronchitis, lung disease loosens phlegm, pleurisy, soothes cough and throat.
- Calm the nerves.
- It is effective as a gargle for a sore throat.
The 1997 Commission E on Phytotherapy and Herbal Substances of the German Federal Institute for Drugs recommends Angelica root for loss of appetite, peptic discomforts such as mild spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, feeling of fullness and flatulence. Angelica root essential oil relieves intestinal colic and flatulence.
ANGELICA ESSENTIAL OIL USES
The elegant plant known as Angelica archangelica was named for its famed habit of blooming on the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel. A tall, stately and expansive plant, Angelica is considered one of the most potent herbs in the botanical world - a panacea for all ills. Similarly, the herbs essential oil seems to impart rejuvenation and strength to everyone who uses it. Extracted from either fresh roots or the seeds, Angelica oil is obtained from one of two different methods: steam distillation or solvent extraction. Both are available, but it's best to use the distilled oil for medicinal purposes. In addition, the root oil is more readily available and stronger than the seed oil. However, regardless of which type you use, Angelica oil eases these physical complaints:
On an emotional level, its balsamic, musky aroma eases these complaints:
- Boosts blood circulation.
- Eases respiratory ailments, including coughs, congestion and colds.
- Soothes digestive complaints, such as stomach aches, poor appetite, cramps and indigestion.
- Promotes sweating to relieve fevers.
Angelica Essential Oil contains lactones, acids, borneol, coumarins and terpenes, such as pinene. These components give the oil its strengthening effect on the body and mind. The oil can also stimulate the immune system and protect the body against infection. In addition, it relieves menstrual and intestinal cramps and alleviates indigestion, bloating and gas. Because it loosens mucus and quiets coughs, the oil helps relieve symptoms commonly associated with colds, flu and bronchitis. It is also effective for rheumatism, joint and muscle pain and helps relieve anxiety.
- Lifts the spirits.
- Eases anxiety and promotes relaxation.
An essential oil of Angelica, which is very expensive, was prepared in Germany some years ago. It is obtained from the seeds by distillation with steam, the vapor being condensed and the oil separated by gravity. One hundred kilograms of Angelica seeds yield on Kiloliter of oil, and the fresh leaves a little less, the roots yielding only 0.15 to 0.3 kilograms. Like the seeds themselves, the oil is used for flavoring. Besides being employed as a flavoring for beverages and medicinally. Angelica seeds are also used to a limited extent in perfumery.
ANGELICA ESSENTIAL OIL PROFILE
Angelica Root Essential Oil
Botanical Name: Angelica archangelica
Common Method Of Extraction: Steam distillation
Parts Used: Root and / or seed
Note Classification: Top to middle
Aroma: Sharp, biting odor of green stems, just broken, herbaceous, with peppery overtones
Largest Producing Countries: Canada, Europe (Hungary) and Siberia
Traditional Use: Laplanders believe that chewing on Angelica Root prolongs life. In Chinese medicine Angelica is known for promoting fertility. It has been used for centuries in Europe for treating respiratory and digestive problems.
Properties: Antibacterial, antifungal, antispasmodic, carminative, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, tonic.
Benefits: Accumulation of toxins, ammenorrhea, anemia, anorexia, arthritis, bronchitis, colds, coughs, dull and congested skin, fatigue, flatulence, gout, indigestion, irritated skin conditions, migraine, muscle aches and pains, nervous tension, psoriasis, rheumatism, stress related disorders, and water retention. Apply topically in a massage oil to help relief of muscle aches and pains or water retention.
Blends Well With: Citrus, Clary Sage, Costus, Oakmoss, Opopanax, Patchouli, and Vetiver essential oils.
Of Interest: Called the root of the Holy Ghost. Beware of using before being outdoors or participating in outdoor activities as it may attract insects.
Safety Data: The oil from both the root and seed are relatively non-toxic and non-irritant, however there have been a few cases of skin irritation reported, especially during times of sun exposure (phototoxic), so use with caution. Not to be used during pregnancy or by diabetics.
FOR RENEWED VITALITY
Angelica oil's fragrance has a stimulating effect that can promote emotional stamina and inspire new strength for daily living. Scent any room in the house by evaporating the following mixture in your aromatherapy lamp:
The relaxing, soothing effect of Angelica oil gently relieves headaches caused by mental overexertion.
1 drop of Angelica essential oil
20 drops of carrier oil, such as Sweet Almond or Olive bulk carrier oils.
Blend and massage the mixture onto your forehead and temples.
Inhalations with Angelica oil relieve respiratory ailments, such as bronchitis, colds, flu and congestion. The oil also loosens mucus and promotes expectoration, which helps to alleviate and calm stubborn coughs.
Add 2 drops of Angelica essential oil to a pot of boiling water, drape a towel over your head and inhale the vapors.
FOR FLU PREVENTION
Angelica oil boosts immunity and can help prevent viruses, including flu.
Blend a few drops of Angelica essential oil in a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over the bowl, inhaling the vapors.
Angelica oil's aromatic scent has a very beneficial effect on sleep.
Place 1 to 2 drops Angelica essential oil on the pillow to ease insomnia and promote a restorative sleep.
Added to the bath, Angelica essential oil can promote sweating, which helps reduce fevers as well as speeds the removal of toxins and wastes from the body.
FOR MOTION SICKNESS
Angelica oil can be used to relieve anxiety and nausea while traveling.
Dab a drop of Angelica essential oil onto a handkerchief or carry it in a vial to inhale the vapors.
For intestinal cramps, bloating and gas, take a Sitz Bath with Angelica oil to soothe and relax the digestive tract.
Add oils to a half-full bath and soak for 20 minutes. Rest for at least 30 minutes afterward with a hot water bottle on your abdomen.
FOR JOINT & MUSCLE PAIN
Massages with Angelica oil can alleviate joint and muscle pain from arthritis and rheumatism.
2 drops of Angelica essential oil
5 drops of Rosemary essential oil
2 drops of Juniper essential oil
1 ounce of Sweet Almond carrier oil
Combine oils and massage the blend into affected areas using gentle circular motions.
FOR MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
To alleviate menstrual cramps, use this blend.
Mix oils and massage the blend into your lower abdomen using gentle circular motions.
This blend can also be used on your chest to ease coughs or on the upper abdomen for intestinal cramps.
ANGELICA DOSAGE INFORMATION
Angelica is a good remedy for colds, coughs, pleurisy, wind and colic, as well as rheumatism and diseases of the urinary organs. It is generally used as a stimulating expectorant, combined with other expectorants, the action of which is facilitated, and to a large extent diffused, through the whole of the pulmonary region. It is a useful agent for feverish conditions, acting as a diaphoretic. An infusion may be made by pouring a pint of boiling water on and ounce of the bruised root, and 2 tablespoons of this should be given 3 to 4 times a day, or in the powdered root, administered in doses of 10 to 30 grains. The infusion will relieve flatulence, and is a stimulating bronchial tonic, and as an emmenogogue. It is used for indigestion, general debility and chronic bronchitis.
For external use, the fresh leaves of the plant are crushed and applied as poultices in lung and chest diseases. As a stimulant to the respiratory mucous surfaces it has been serviceable in chronic bronchitis. The dose of the infusion is 1/2 to 1 wineglassful, of the powdered root, 5 to 30 grains, of the powdered seeds, 5 to 30 grains.
In the King's 1890 Dispensory, Angelica is a diuretic, stimulantn, tonic and emetic. It has been applied as a fomentation in tumefactions and swellings, and given internally in enteric fever and other typhoid states, chronic rheumatic complaints, gout, and malarial intermittents.
Angelica root comes in various forms and is an ingredient in many products. Angelica root is used as a tea, strong decoction, extract and essential oil. Purchase Angelica from natural food stores and specialty shops, as Angelica can be easily mistaken for one of its poisonous relatives if gathered in the wild. For best results, read product label directions before use. As always if you have any questions ask your health care provider before use.
Plant Constituents: Psoralens, bergapten, beta-sitosterol, coumarins, limonene, umbelliferone. Parts Used: Dried root. Typical Preparations: As a tea, in capsules and as an herbal extract.
METHODS OF ADMINISTRATION
To aid digestion, pour 1 cup of boiling water over the finely chopped root; steep for 10 minutes, and then strain. Drink the tea warm, 3 times daily, 1/2 hour before meals. For bouts of severe flatulence, make a remedial tea with Anise Seed, Angelica Root, Fennel Seed, Caraway Seed and Coriander Seed - mixed in equal parts. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of the herbal blend, which enhances Angelica's effect.
To ease inflammations of the mouth and throat; gargle or rinse with undiluted Angelica tea several times each day. The tannins in Angelica draw tissues together and will increase their resistance to infection.
To make Angelica tincture, add 3/4 ounce of finely chopped Angelica Root to about 1/2 cup of 100-proof Vodka. Let stand for a minimum of 10 days, up to 6 weeks, shaking the jar every day and storing in a dark place like a cupboard. After 6 weeks, strain and put into an amber-colored dropper bottle. Take 10 to 30 drops with some water as needed.
Add 1-3/4 ounces of Angelica root to 3 cups of white wine. Steep for a minimum of 10 days, and then strain. Drink 1 small glass in the morning and again in the evening.
ANGELICA SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS
Angelica Root should not be given to patients who have diabetes, as it can cause an increase of sugar in the urine. Those with sensitive skin may experience dermatitis when handling Angelica. This herb contains coumarin therefore; those on anticoagulants should not use this herb. These components may make some people's skin more sensitive to light, causing it to develop a rash when exposed to the skin. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight if using angelica oil. Do not take angelica and eat celeriac (celery root) as a vegetable if you tend to sunburn.
Safety in young children or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known. The safety of angelica for pregnant women and nursing mothers has not been established and its use is not recommended. Angelica is also capable of producing a miscarriage and should be avoided by pregnant women unless otherwise directed by a knowledgeable practitioner. Do not take if breast-feeding.
ANGELICA HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS & RELATED PRODUCTS
QUALITY SUPPLIES & PRODUCTS
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ANGELICA HERBAL PRODUCTS
STARWEST BOTANICALS PRODUCTS
Starwest Botanicals: Angelica Root, Cut & Sifted, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
Starwest Botanicals: Angelica Root, Cut & Sifted, Organic, 1 lb.
Starwest Botanicals: Angelica Root Powder, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
HerbsPro: Angelica Dropper, Flower Essence Services, 1 fl. oz. (79491)
HerbsPro: Angelica Extract, Eclectic Institute, 1 fl. oz. (31822)
HerbsPro: Angelica Root Extract, Natures Answer, 1 fl. oz. (17070)
HerbsPro: Angelica Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz. (2294)
HerbsPro: Angelica Extract, Eclectic Institute, 2 fl. oz. (76230)
HerbsPro: Angelica Root Extract, Natures Answer, 2 fl. oz. (17071)
HerbsPro: Angelica Extract, Herb Pharm, 4 fl. oz. (32207)
Kalyx: Angelica Root (Angelica Archangelica), Cut & Sifted, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
Kalyx: Angelica Root (Angelica Archangelica), Certified Organic, Cut & Sifted, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
Kalyx: Angelica Root (Angelica Archangelica), Cut & Sifted, Certified Organic, Frontier Brand, 1 lb: K
Kalyx: Angelica Root Powder (Angelica Archangelica), Certified Organic, Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica Archangelica), Health & Herbs, 2 fl. oz: HH
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 2 fl. oz: GL
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 4 fl. oz: GL
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica), Health & Herbs, 8 fl oz: HH
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Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica), Health & Herbs, 16 fl oz: HH
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 16 fl. oz: GL
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica), Health & Herbs, 32 fl. oz: HH
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 32 fl. oz: GL
Kalyx: Angelica Root Extract (Angelica archangelica) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 1 Gallon: GL
Amazon: Angelica Root Herbal Products
Aromatherapy: Angelica Essential Oil Information Nutrition Basics: Angelica Herbal Information
ANGELICA ESSENTIAL OIL PRODUCTS
Oils available from Amazon.com may or may not be pure essential oils, but may be a blend of oils or pre-diluted with a carrier oil. For more information, contact the manufacturer of these products.
Amazon: Angelica Essential Oil Products
Aromatherapy: Angelica Essential Oil Information Nutrition Basics: Angelica Herbal Information
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Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
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