previous page: Alfalfa
page up: Herbs Reference
next page: Anise



This article is from the Herb Reference series.


Other Names:

Garden Angelica

Latin Name:

Angelica archangelica
Archangelica officinalis

Angelica was supposed by some to bloom on May 8 ( The feast day of St. Michael the Archangel ) hence it's name. Angelica was used to ward off evil spirits and witches. The Indians used Angelica in a poultice for pain and as a tonic.

Originally a native of Syria, but now has been naturalized in Europe and the United States.

It comes from the same family as fennel and parsley, and it exudes a sin-like fragrance when bruised.

Stems: possesses the characteristic hollow, fluted stems of the Umbelliferae.

Flowers: Tiny white or greenish flowers in a globe like compound umbel.

Leaves: Its highly serrated leaves grow in bunches of three.

Fruit: Two yellow, winged seeds.

Height: It grows up to 6 feet in height.

Cultivation: Angelica likes a shady position and moist soil, you should plant it toward the rear of your herb garden. It is a hardy biennial herb (that is, it takes two years to reach maturity) and is extremely easy to grow from seed, root cutting, or seedling. However, if you plant from seed, make absolutely sure the seeds are freshly harvested, as they lose their vitality very quickly.

The herb contains volitile aromatic oils including phellandrene and pinene, sugar, coumarin compounds, valeric acid, angelic acid, and a resin known as angelicin.
Angelica is an aromatic herb of the Umbelliferae family. The roots and fruit are used in perfumery and to flavor liqueurs. The tender shoots are used in preparing sweetmeats, and in the Feroe Islands they are eaten as a vegetable. When fasting, make a powder of the roots and take thirty grains at a time (about 3/8 teaspoon) to guard against infection. The odor is aromatic and the taste sweetish. It is also used for all diseases of the lungs - colds, coughs, breathing problems.

Herbalists use it to aid in the elimination of toxins, the recovery from rheumatism and colds, urinary complaints, and colic.
Root Dosage : infuse 1 ounce dried chopped root in 1 pint boiling water
           for 1/2 hour in a covered container. Drink 2 tablespoons of the
           liquid, flavoured with honey if you wish, 3 or 4 times daily.

Seed Dosage : Infuse 1 teaspoon seed in 1 cup boiling water; cover. Allow to stand until cool; strain and drink 1 to 2 cups cold a day, again flavoured with honey if desired.
Drunk as a Tea it is supposed to bring on menstruation in women and to expel the afterbirth.

Externally, this plant can be used in sweat baths, as a poultice for the eyes and as a compress for gout. [Note: it is possible this might cause an allergic reaction in some folk]


Continue to:

previous page: Alfalfa
page up: Herbs Reference
next page: Anise