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 Herbal Medicine: Angelica 
Angelica archangelica


Names : European angelica.

Collection : The root is collected in the autumn of its first year. If it is very thick it can be cut longitudinally to speed its drying. The leaves should be collected in June.

Part Used : Roots and leaves are used medicinally, the stems and seeds are used in confectionery.

Constituents :

  • Volatile oils obtained mainly from the root and seeds, have a similar composition consisting of a range of terpenes, mainly[[beta]]-phellandrene, with [[beta]]-bisabolene,
    [[beta]]-caryophyllene, [[alpha]]-phellandrene, [[alpha]]- and [[beta]]-pinene, limonene, linalool, borneol, acetaldehyde, menthadienes and nitromenthadienes.
  • Macrocyclic lactones including tridecanolide, l2-methyl tridecanolide, pentadecanolide.
  • Phthalates such as hexamethylphthalate.
  • Coumarins, especially furocoumarin glycosides such as marmesin and apterin.
  • Angelicin and byakangelicin derivatives, osthol, umbelliferone, psoralen, bergapten, imperatoren, xanthotoxol, xanthotoxin, oxypeucedanin and more.
  • Misc. sugars, plant acids, flavonoids and sterols.
Actions : Astringent, tonic, diuretic, vulnerary, cholagogue, anti-inflammatory.

Indications : This herb is a useful expectorant for coughs, bronchitis and pleurisy, especially when they are accompanied byfever, colds or influenza. The leaf can be used as a compress in inflammations of the chest. It content of carminative essential oil explains its use easing intestinal colic and flatulence. As a digestive agent it stimulates appetite and may be used in anorexianervosa. It has been shown to help ease rheumatic inflammations. Incystitis it acts as a urinary antiseptic. Angelica is used frequently as a flavoring; in liqueurs such as chartreuse and benedictine, in gin and vermouth; the leaves as a garnish or in salads; and the candied stalks in cakes and pudding.

Combinations : For bronchial problems it combines well with Coltsfoot and White Horehound; for indigestion, flatulence and loss of appetite with Chamomile. In Musculo-skeletal problems it may be used with herbs such as Black Cohosh, Willow Bark and Bogbean.

Preparations & Dosage : Decoction: put a teaspoonful of the cut root in a cup of water, bring it to the boil and simmer for two minutes. Take it off the heat and let it stand for l5 minutes. Take one cup three times a day. Tincture: Take 2-5 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Citations from the Medline database for the genus Angelica

Angelica, Dong QuoiFeng Y Lian NJ Jia ZL [Clinical observations on the treatment of sudden deafness with concentrated Angelica injection]

Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1986 Sep;6(9):536-7, 516 ((Published in Chinese))Guo TL Zhou XW [Clinical observations on the treatment of the gestational hypertension syndrome with Angelica and Paeonia powder]

Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1986 Dec;6(12):714-6, 707 ((Published in Chinese))Harada M Suzuki M Ozaki Y Effect of Japanese Angelica root and peony root on uterine contraction inthe rabbit in situ.

J Pharmacobiodyn 1984 May;7(5):304-11He ZP Wang DZ Shi LY Wang ZQ Treating amenorrhea in vital energy-deficient patients with angelica sinensis-astragalus membranaceus menstruation-regulating decoction.

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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
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