Angelica is part of the parsley family and is related to carrots, celery and fennel. Native to Europe, it is a self-seeding biennial that has serrated leaves and hollow stems. It has white flowers that form the umbrella-shape common to all umbel plants. The flowers mature into double, egg-shaped seeds. The plant grows best in rich, well drained soils and at high altitudes. The A. pinnata variety grows in the Rocky Mountain region of North America. The roots and seeds of Angelica have historically been used the support digestive function. When used for digestive support, it is usually prepared as a tea or tincture, but it could be ground and put into pill or capsule form if preferred. Angelica has a bitter flavor, so a little goes a long way.
History and Folklore:
Angelica has been cultivated since as early as the 10th century as both a vegetable and a medicinal herb. The stems are used as a flavoring in liqueurs and, when crystallized in sugar syrup, as a candy. They are also used as aromatics in the production of gin. Angelica is a bitter herb historically used for digestive issues ranging from stomach upset to diarrhea and dysentery* and can be used as a flavoring in liqueurs and candies. The root has historically been used by midwives to support normal delivery of the placenta post-partum*. The Latin name comes from the belief that the Archangel, Michael told humans of its beneficial uses.
Cultivation and Harvest:
The large roots, collected in the fall of the first or spring of the second year of the biennial cycle, should be split and dried. Then they can be ground or chopped for use in teas and tinctures. The edible stems should be stripped of their leaves. If allowed to go to seed prior to harvest, the seeds should be left on the stems to dry before removal and storage. Alternatively, the seeds can be tinctured fresh, immediately after harvest. Do not harvest during drought.
Ingredients: Angelica Root (Angelica Archangelica)
Don’t take if pregnant or nursing or if you are taking blood thinning agents or drugs to control blood sugar. When harvesting, be certain that you have the right plant. Many Angelica relatives are deadly poisonous. It would be safest to grow your own Angelica from purchased seed.
Traditional Herbal Actions*:
Antispasmodic, Astringent, Bitter*
Wild celery, Garden Angelica, Holy Ghost
Angelica arguta A. genuflexa, A. grayi, A. hendersonii, A. lineariloba, A. pinnata, A. tomentosa
Tincture Ingredients: Angelica Root (Angelica Archangelica)
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.
*This statement has not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.