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Angelica

 

Angelica

Angelica is a genus of about 60 species of tall biennial and perennial herbs in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, reaching as far North as Iceland and Pacific Ocean coast of Russia. They grow to 1-3 m tall, with large bipinnate leaves and large compound umbels of white or greenish-white flowers.

Angelica Herb Uses and Medicinal Properties

Angelica is used extensively in herbal medicine. The main constituents of Angelica are volatile oils, valeric acid, angelic acid, angelicin, safrole, scopoletin, and linoleic acid, making it useful in the treatment of fevers, colds, coughs, flatulent colic and other stomach disorders. A medicinal infusion made from stems, seeds, and root is carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, sedative, stomachic and tonic. Angelica is used for obstructed menses and should not be taken in large quantities by pregnant women.

Angelica is a very good tonic herb for women and children, the elderly or general debility, it is said to strengthen the heart. Powdered root is said to cause disgust for liquor. It has an antibacterial action, preventing the growth of various bacteria.

Angelica root contains vitamin B12, Zinc, Thiamin, Sucrose, Riboflavin, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Fructose, Glucose, and many other trace minerals. Externally it is used as a medicinal gargle for sore throats and mouths and as a medicinal poultice for broken bones, swellings, itching and rheumatism. An infusion of Angelica root, used as a wash for the face, is said to prevent acme. A powder made from the dried root is used for athlete’s foot, as well as an insecticide and pesticide.

Habitat and Description

Angelica is a tall, stout very ornamental and aromatic plant with large white flowers, growing to a height of 4 to 6 feet or more. It is a biennial or short lived perennial herb native to Eastern N. America from Newfoundland to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Delaware, Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee. It is found in rich thickets, bottomlands, moist cool woodlands, stream banks and shady roadsides. It has a smooth, dark purple, hollow stem 1 to 2 inches round. The leaves are dark green, divided into three parts, each of which is again divided into three serrated leaflets, sometimes lobed.

The lower leaves are larger sometimes 2 feet wide. Angelica leaves have flattened, inward curved, stalks with clasping bases or sheathing to form an elongated bowl which holds water. The root is branched, from 3 to 6 inches long, thick and fleshy with several small rootlets. Flowers are small and numerous, yellowish or greenish-white and grouped into large, compound umbels. The flowers bloom in July and are succeeded by pale yellow, oblong fruits, 1/6 to a 1/4 inch in length when ripe produced in somewhat rounds heads, which sometimes are 8 to 10 inches in diameter.

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