Angelica (Angelica archangelica L. )

Angelica (Angelica archangelica L. )

Angelica atropurpurea L. Angelica sylvestris Angelica gigas Angelica officinalis Umbelliferae Umbel family


Angelica can grow 5 to 8 feet tall, needs rich, moist, well-drained soil in partial shade. The seeds require light for germination, do not cover with soil if planning to establish plants. The plant will produce seeds only once, usually in its second or third year. If you cut the flowers back before they seed each summer, thus extending it’s life, the plant will continue to grow for years to come. Angelica is a biennial producing foliage the first year and stems and flowers the second. Flowers time is June to August. It dies back in the winter (no frost protection is necessary). Collect ripe seed in late summer and sow in early autumn. The seeds are fairly large and coated with a straw-like substance. Seeds turn from green to yellow when they are ready to be harvested. Not bothered by weeds, grows well in wild surrounded by other plants. Pruning is not necessary, but remove lower leaves if they wither.

The grooved, hollow stem is occasionally purplish at the top of the plant.

The leaves have enlarged convex sheaths at the base of the leafstalks and have 2 to 3 pinnate parts. They become smaller toward the top of the plant and are less clefted. The upper part of this herb is branchy. At the branch ends grow the inflorescences, 20- 40- radiate double umbels with bristly small leaves. The tiny greenish-white flowers smell of honey. Some angelica plants flower white blossoms or more rarely, pale-purple flowers. Oval fruits are ridged with thin lateral wings.

A. gigas (Korean angelica) is an exquisite ornamental introduced to the United States in the early 1980’s. All parts are a rich purple, including the deep-toned flowers. It’s an excellent contrast for finely textured tall grasses and combines well with colorful perennials.

Because it resembles celery in odor and appearance, angelica sometimes is known as wild celery. Seeds are available through catalogs, but young plants are more successfully cultivated. After the second year, propagate with offshoots and root cuttings. Roots can also be harvested in early fall of the second year. Full sun or partial shade; Zones 4-9.

Other varieties: Du Huo (A. pubescens); Dang gui (A. sinensis); Angelica (A. breweri); Masterwort (A. atropurpurea) also called angelica.

Medicinal Properties

Stimulates appetite, carminative, expectorant, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, diuretic

Angelica is a good herbal tea to take for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, and heartburn. It is useful to add in remedies for afflictions of the respiratory system, as well as liver problems and digestive difficulties. Promotes circulation and energy in the body. It is often used to stimulate the circulation in the pelvic region and to stimulate suppressed menstruation. Angelica should not be used by pregnant women or diabetics.

RELIGIOUS: Grow it in your garden as a protection for garden and home. The root is often used as a protective amulet, and has been used to banish evil by burning the leaves. It is also used to lengthen life, and is used in protection against diseases, as well as to ward off evil spirits.

Adding it to a ritual bath will break spells and hexes. It has often been used to ward off evil spirits in the home.

GROWING: Angelica needs rich, moist garden soil in partial shade. It prefers wet bottomlands and swamps, and prefers the cooler northern regions to grow best. It is a perennial that can reach up to 6 feet tall.

Biochemical Information

Essential oil with phellandrene, angelica acid, coumarin compounds, bitter principle and tannins


An infusion of dried root can be used as a remedy for coughs and colds, to dispel gas and to soothe intestinal cramps. Also used to stimulate kidneys. The wash is used to relieve rheumatism and neuralgia. Used as a blood tonic. Eases stoppage of urination, good for suppressed menstruation, and helps expel the afterbirth. Good for sluggish liver and spleen. A tea made of angelica, dropped into old ulcers (external) will cleanse and heal them. Good for cold, colic, flu, cough, asthma, bronchitis, menstrual cramps, pleurisy, anemia, rheumatism, and fever.

This herb is excellent in diseases of the lungs, gout, stomach troubles, heartburn, colic, lack of appetite, dyspepsia and stomach upsets, gastrointestinal pain, gas, sciatica, and the heart. It is useful for skin lice, relieves itching, swelling, and pain. Regular users of Angelica root develop a distaste for alcoholic beverages. Chewing the root is recommended for people suffering from a hangover after excessive alcohol consumption. An infusion should be made from the leaves and chopped stems. This will also provide an excellent gargle for the treatment of sore tonsils, and throats. Angelica raw stalks are delicious when eaten with a little cream cheese, and the washed roots are also quite tasty. This plant is used to flavor many alcoholic drinks and its candied stem has long been used in confectionery.

The roots and fruits yield angelica oil, which is used in perfume, confectionery, medicine (especially Asian medicine), in salads, as teas, as a flavoring for liqueurs, and as the source of yellow dye. This robust and sweet-tasting plant is best known for decoration of cakes and puddings. Angelica lessens the need for sweetener when making pies or sauces. It can also be cooked and eaten as a fresh herb, used for seasoning fish, or made into syrup for pudding and ice cream toppings. The Norwegians make a bread of the roots. In the Lapland region, the stalks are regarded as a delicacy. A popular tea, tasting much like China tea, is infused from fresh or dried leaves.


Do Not take angelica if you are pregnant or have severe diabetes. Angelica has a tendency to increase the sugar in the urine.

Angelica archangelica has been identified as a suspected carcinogen in recent years. This drug will render you sensitive to light. Use of angelica for a fairly long time, will cause contraindicate ultraviolet or tanning salon treatments as well as strong sunlight for the duration.

Large doses can affect blood pressure, heart action, and respiration. To avoid these problems, do not exceed recommended dose.

Please Note: Angelica belongs to the Apiaceae Umbelliferae, a family with many poisonous members that can be mistaken for this medicinal plant. Wild angelica (Angelica Sylvestris) can be confused with European water hemlock, which is poisonous. Do Not collect angelica yourself under any circumstances! It is recommended that angelica not be harvested unless positively identified by a trained botanist, habitat being the same as for the poisonous varieties.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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