Angelica

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Disclaimer: This data is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to prescribe or treat specific problems. As with any herb or medication, please consult your Doctor of Naturopath or your Medical Doctor before trying anything new.

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"Angelica archangelica"

Angelica is usually taken in the form of an Infusion, Decoction, Tincture, Fluid Extract, or Powder (capsules).

The leaf and the root are the part of the herb most commonly used.

Some of the properties of Angelica include Stimulant, Alterative, Diaphoretic, Carminative & Emmenagogue. Use of this herb usually affects the heart, the stomach, intestines and circulation.

Definitions of the properties are:
STIMULANT: These are herbs that act as natural agents to help the working
activity of the body. They should increase energy.
ALTERATIVE: These are herbs which purify the blood.
DIAPHORETIC: These are herbs that increase perspiration.
CARMINATIVE: These are herbs that contain volatile oils which help with the expulstion of gas (flatulence) from the intestinal tract.
EMMENAGOGUE: These are herbs which promote the flow of menstruation.

Angelica has traditionally been used as a remedy for colic & gas, as well as heartburn. Its carminative property helps improve circulation by warming the body. This helps to relieve stomach spasms. As a tonic herb one to three capsules a day can be taken. Tincture and infusions work well too with this herb.

Angelica is also a good herb to use for treating coughs, colds, & fevers. Its diaphoretic properties induces perspiration which might help sweat out the toxins and break the fever.

***WARNING: Since Angelica is a strong Emmenagogue (see above for definition) it should not be taken by women who are pregnant. Diabetics should avoid using angelica because it may cause weakness.

Besides Angelica's traditional use in medicine as a tincture or infusion, this herb is widely used by commercial distilleries to make bitter stomach liqueurs like Benedictine and Chartreuse, which was originally made in French monastaries.

Angelica is a biennial herb. It's common name is Garden Angelica and is related to the parsley family (Umbelliferae). Angelica likes to grow in damp conditions. Angelica usually flowers from June until August. It has a tall hollow stem. The flowers have up to forty small umbrella-shaped flowers that smell like honey. They have long stamens. The fruit, or seed, is usually pale yellow, with two membranous wings on the outside edge.

I believe that candied angelica became common in Europe, and it is still made. The younger green stems are cut into rounds and candied (recipe tomorrow) and are used to eat as a dessert or to decorate cakes.

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CANDIED ANGELICA STALKS

1 Pound of cut up Angelica Stalks
1 Pound of Sugar

In a large saucepan, cover angelica with water. Boil until angelica is tender. Remove angelica from pan and remove the outer skin. Put peeled angelica back into water and cook until the stalks turn green. Remove from water and dry on paper towels.

Add sugar to pan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil 9 minutes. Add angelica and let sit for 1 day. Next day, strain off the sugar syrup and add it to a clean pan. Reboil the syrup again for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour back over the angelica stalks and leave sit another day. The 3rd day, put angelica and syrup into a clean pan and boil 2 minutes. Remove angelica and dry it on screens or racks. Sprinkle with sugar.

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This is just more bits and pieces of what I have on Angelica.

In Frontier's Herb and Spice handbook it says this about Angelica:

Angelica Root (cut & sifted) - Angelica archangelica / Syria / Used extensively in the Middle Ages, angelica was thought to fight pestilence and witchcraft. Known for its celery-like, herbal aroma, angelica is often used in herbal teas and bath sachets. Angelica is also used as a flavoring agent, most notably in chartreuse and French absinthe. The fresh root seeps a resinous gum which can be substituted for gum benzoin. FDA approved as a spcie and for flavoring foods.

In Taylor's guide to herbs it says:

"Angelica: A dramatic sculptural plant, up to 6 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide. Makes a rosette of compound leaves with dark glossy, toothed leaflets the first year, then dies down in the winter. The second year, it sends up stout ribbed stalks bearing large round compound umbels of greenish white flowers.

"How to Grow - Part sun. Prefers rich soil with plenty of moisture; grows well but doesn't get as big in ordinary or dry soil. Usually performs as a biennial. Buy one plant to start with the first spring. Let it self-sow the next year, or gather the seeds and sow them immediately after ripening in late summer. Doesn't like hot summers, wet or dry."

"Herbal Use - Add fresh leaves to salads. The stems can be candied to flavor desserts, and the fragrant seeds are used in perfumery. Preparations of the roots, seeds, and leaves traditionally were used fo rindigestion, menstrual disorders, fevers, colds, and the like."

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From the book "Landscaping with Herbs" by James Adams:

"Angelica frequented the ponds of medieval gardens, grown as a ward against evil." "Angelica, that happy counterbane", "Du Bartas wrote in 1641, was an invaluable antidote to poisons and magic. A medicinal salve called Eau de Arquebusade, developed in the 16th century, included Angelica tops and seed mixed with Mint, Wormwood, and the oils of Rosemary and Juniper. Friar's Balsam and Balsam Traumatic are two medicinal salves made with Angelica for use as wound antiseptics. The bitter, herbaceous fgragrance of Angelica is due i npart to phellandrene and archangelicin (an isomer of courmarin)."

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Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm
10/21/98

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