Other Names: Alexanders, American Dong Qui, Archangel, Purple-stem Angelica, American Angelica, High Angelica, Wild Archangel, Wild Angelica, Masterwort
Angelica archangelica, commonly known as garden angelica, wild celery, and Norwegian angelica, is a biennial plant from the Apiaceae family, a subspecies of which is cultivated for its sweetly scented edible stems and roots. Like several other species in Apiaceae, its appearance is similar to several poisonous species (Conium, Heracleum, and others), and should not be consumed unless it has been identified with absolute certainty.
Precaution and contraindications:
NOTE The fresh root of Angelica is not edible, said to be poisonous. Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding without consulting your doctor.
Documented adverse effects. Emmenagogue effects. Avoid use.
Avoid using angelica root concurrently with warfarin.
Furanocoumarins in the plant may cause photodermatitis
Angelica root contains vitamin B12, Zinc, Thiamine, Sucrose, Riboflavin, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Fructose, Glucose, and many other trace minerals.
The volatile oil contains many monoterpenes; β-phellandrene is the principal component of var. angelica , while sabinene is the most abundant monoterpene of var. sativa . 1 Sesquiterpenes also are numerous in the oil; α-copaene and other tricyclic sesquiterpenes are characteristic constituents. Supercritical fluid extraction has been studied as an alternative method of extracting angelica volatiles. The shelf life of the root is limited because of the loss of the volatile oil while in storage.
The small organic acid, angelic acid, was the first compound purified from the root in 1842. 15-pentadecanolide ( Exaltolide ) is a fatty acid lactone constituent of the root with a musk-like odor, used as a fixative in perfumes.
As with most of the many species of angelica, A. archangelica contains a wide variety of coumarins and their glycosides. The angular furanocoumarins, archangelicin and angelicin, and congeners are present in the roots, and many glycosides and esters of linear furanocoumarins also have been reported.
A trisaccharide, umbelliferose, originally was isolated from angelica roots.
Uses and Pharmacology
Angelica has been used medicinally to stimulate gastric secretion, treat flatulence, and topically treat rheumatic and skin disorders.
Angelic acid was formerly used as a sedative. The angular furanocoumarin angelicin also has been reported to have sedative properties, although recent experimental evidence of this is limited. The carminative action of the volatile oil is because of an unremarkable monoterpene content.
A medicinal infusion made from Angelica stems, seeds, and root is carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, sedative, stomachic and tonic . 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.
Angelica is used extensively in herbal medicine. Angelica is a very good tonic herb for women and children, the elderly or general debility and it is said to strengthen the heart. Powdered Angelica root is said to cause disgust for liquor. It has an antibacterial action, preventing the growth of various bacteria. Angelica is used for obstructed menses and should not be taken in large quantities by pregnant women.
Angelica infusion is used externally medicinal gargle for sore throats and mouths and as a medicinal poultice for broken bones, swellings, itching and rheumatism and when used as a wash for the face, is said to prevent acne. A powder made from the dried root is used for athlete's foot, as well as an insecticide and pesticide
Angelica Herb Recipes
The young shoots are edible in salad or boiled as a pot herb. It has a sweet taste similar to celery. Angelica stems are often preserved with sugar for a sweet edible treat. Candied Angelica Recipe
Harvest Angelica stems when young and tender. Root must be carefully dried and preserved for later herb use.
"Medicinal" herb tea: To 1 tsp. dried Angelica root add 1 cup boiling water steep 15 to 20 min. take throughout the day and at bedtime.