How to Use Angelica

Angelica is a large Umbellifer, growing up to 8—10 feet (3 metres). The whole plant is aromatic, with a pungent, sweet smell and taste. It is not to be con­fused with A. sinensis, Dong Qui, the Chinese species.

In Christian times angelica became linked with the archangel Michael, as it was seen to flower on his day, 8 May. It was also associated with the spring­time festival of the Annunciation. Some say it was given its name because a wise man or monk declared that St Michael appeared to him, saying the plant could be used to cure the plague, with instructions to hold a piece of root in the mouth to drive away ‘pestilentiall aire’. Angelica was held in such high esteem that it was named ‘root of the Holy Ghost’. It was also taken as an antidote to intoxicating drinks and was said to be the symbol of inspiration.

Angelica is most well-known now for its candied stalks that are used to decorate cakes and puddings. Angelica can be grown from seed in late summer or autumn or propagated by root division. It likes damp soil and light shade. If prevented from flower­ing it will live for several years, but if it does flower it is biennial. Planted in companionship with angelica, nettles apparently increase angelica oil by 80 percent.

Herbal remedy

Angelica has a sweet pungent taste with a warming effect. Culpeper said it is ruled by the sun in Leo. It stimulates the circulation, and is particularly suitable for people who feel the cold and whose conditions are aggravated by cold and damp. It warms and invigorates the stomach, and relieves wind, spasm and indigestion from lack of ‘vital fire’ in the stomach. It can be used for nausea, poor appetite and weak digestion. The stems used to be chewed to relieve flatulence. Its cleansing action in the digestive system helps to detoxify the body and thereby protect against illness and infection. The essential oil in the root has antibacterial and antifun­gal properties: the Lapps preserve fish by wrapping them in the similarly disinfectant leaves.

The whole plant is a warming expectorant and can be used for colds, catarrh, coughs, bronchitis and asthma. In hot infusion it increases perspiration and effectively reduces fevers. The warming effect extends to the reproductive system where angelica can be used to promote uterine circulation, relieve period pain and premenstrual syndrome. It helps to regulate the female cycle, and is considered a superior tonic for women.

Its tonic and stimulating effects extend to the ner­vous system, where it can be used for nervous exhaustion, tension and as an aid for students before exams. It was taken to impart strength to athletes and convalescents alike, and was considered to have rejuvenative powers. It was chewed by the Lapplanders to prolong life. Angelica has also been a treatment for several urinary problems, and for arthritis and rheumatism.

Externally, angelica is a helpful ingredient in lotions for cuts and wounds, arthritis, and skin prob­lems such as boils and ulcers.

Homeopathic remedy: Angelica

Apparently Angelica, if taken regularly either herbally or homeopathically, will cause an aversion to alcohol, and is helpful for alcoholics.

The flower essence

Angelica the flower essence is for those people who tend to feel cut off from their inner selves, and from spiritual protection and guidance. This may occur particularly in difficult or transitional times in life or when approaching death.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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