Herb: ANGELICA ROOT (Angelica archangelica; umbelliferae)
Other Names: Garden Angelica, Archangelica officinalis. (34)
Masterwort, Archangel (50) European angelica (2)
Garden Angelica. (57) Angel’s wort (2a)
Character/Energetics: spicy, bitter, warm (6); sweet, pungent, warm, generally drying (15)
Meridians/Organs/Body Parts affected: lungs, stomach, intestines (6)
Part used: Seed, herb and root (1); root (6); root, herb and seed (50)
Identification & Harvesting: Plant grows from 2′-8′. Rhizome is short, strong, fleshy and has long fibrous roots. Stem is erect, often as thick as an arm at the base, round, finely grooved, hollow and tinged with reddish below. Leaves are very large, 2′-3′ and tripinnate with a hollow stem. Leaflets are ovate and unevenly serrate. Leaf sheaths are large and swollen. Flowers are greenish-white to yellowish and arranged in 20-40 compact umbels. The elliptic fruit is 7mm long by 4mm wide and winged. The outer fruit membrane separates from the inner one. Plant has a strong tangy odor. The taste is sweetish to burning tangy. Thought to be indigenous to Syria. Found today growing wild on the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas as far north as Lapland. It is cultivated in other regions. (2)
Harvest in summer. (15)
The European root is 2-4 inches long and 1-2 inches thick and very branched below. Numerous oil cells in the bark, and curved yellow porous wedges in the transverse fracture. Tastes bitter and pungent. Characteristic, sweet, aromatic flavor. The American root is from A. atropurpurea. It is less branched, lighter in color, less aromatic, with a different flower. The seeds are whitish, oblong, rounded at the ends, 1/4 inch long by 1/8 inch broad, three longitudinal ridges on the convex surface and two on the flat surface. (57)
Active constituents: Fruit and leaf — volatile oil; furocoumarins. Root — volatile oils, chiefly alpha- and beta-phellandrenes, alpha-pinenes, macrocylic lactones, incl. penta- and heptadecanolide; furocoumarins incl. bergaptene, xanthotoxin, scopoletin, umbelliferone; caffeic acid derivatives incl. chlorogenic acid; flavonoids. (2) Addenda — Fruit — volatile oils incl. hexylmethyl phthalate, alpha-pinene, beta-phellandrene, borneol, camphene, beta-bisabolene, beta-caryophyllene, macrocyclic lactones (odor-determining) such as 15-oxypentadecenlactone; furanocoumarins incl. angelicin, bergaptene, imperatorin, oxypeucedanin, xanthotoxin; fatty oils; phytosterols incl. beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol. Leaf — volatile oils .015-.1%, chiefly myrcene (17-29%), p-cymene, limonene, cis- and trans-ocimene, alpha-phellandrene, beta-phellandrene, alpha-pinene; furanocoumarins incl. angelicin, bergaptene, imperatorin, isoimperatorin, oxypeucedanin, archangelicin. Root — (as above). (2a)
essential oil w/phellandrene, angelica acid, coumarin compounds, bitter principle and tannins (6)
volatile oil, bitter iridoids, resin, coumarins, valerianic acid, tannins, bergapten; vitamins A and B also reported in Chinese species (15)
Actions: Herb and seed — diuretic, diaphoretic. Root — Antispasmodic, cholagogue (1)
Fruit — The furanocoumarins in the fruit are cytostatic and phototoxic. Leaves — the essential oils and furanocourmarins in the leaf have a strong irritant effect on the skin and mucous membranes (angelica dermatitis). Entire plant is antispasmodic, cholagogue. (2a)
carminative, stimulant, emmenagogue, diaphoretic (6)
carminative, antispasmodic, promotes sweating, topical anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diuretic, digestive tonic, anti-rheumatic, uterine stimulant (15)
aromatic, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue (50)
Aromatic, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic. (57)
Conditions and Uses: Loss of appetite, dyspeptic complaints, mild spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, feeling of fullness, flatulence. (2) Addenda — Unproven uses: preparations of angelica seed are used internally for conditions of the kidneys and efferent urinary tract, the intestinal tract and the respiratory tract, as well as for rheumatic and neuralgic complaints. Also used as a diaphoretic and to treat malaria. Externally, an ointment from the seeds is used for body lice. Preparations from the leaves have been used as a diuretic and diaphoretic. In folk medicine, preparations of the root are used as a mild rebefacient, for coughs, bronchitis, menstrual complaints, liver and biliary duct conditions. (2a); colds and influenza, nourishes heart & lungs (1)
(Angelica root is) used in treating colds and flu. It induces sweating, warms the body, promotes menses, and also is used for cold digestion. It is similar to the Chinese dong quai (A. Sinensis) in its blood and chi moving properties, but has less of dong quai’s blood building properties. (6)
Leaves: Mainly used for indigestion and bronchial problems, the leaves are generally considered less heating and more gentle than the root.
Root: Used for digestive and bronchial problems, to stimulate the appetite and liver, to relieve rheumatism and arthritis, and promote sweating in chills and influenza. As a uterine stimulant, the root has been used in prolonged labor or retention of the placenta.
For arthritis & rheumatism: A warming and stimulating herb, good for “cold” types of osteoarthritis and for rheumatism. Soak a pad in diluted tincture or decoction and use as a compress; take a decoction, or add 5 drops oil to hot bath. Add celery seed or a little prickly ash to the decoction. Mix diluted angelica and rosemary oil (10 drops of each in 25 ml carrier oil) as a massage to relieve pain. (15)
(Angelica is) very useful in the relief of general debility, makes the heart merry, drives away melancholy and quickens the spirits. Serviceable in disorders of the urinary organs, also in flatulent colic and heartburn. (Also) for pleurisy , sciatica, stomach disorders, toothache, and ulcers & sores. (50)
Angelica is a stimulant, a carminative, an emmenagogue, a tonic. It warms the blood and promotes circulation, and counteracts rheumatic problems and body stiffness. (Sun) (52)
Combinations: For arthritis & rheumatism: (see full note under Applications…Add celery seed or a little prickly ash to the decoction. Mix diluted angelica and rosemary oil
(10 drops of each in 25 ml carrier oil) as a massage to relieve pain. (15)
Precautions: Photodermatosis is possible following contact with plant juice, or from large intake of the root, esp. in the form of ethanolic extracts, due to the photosensitizing character of furanocoumarin. (2) Addenda — Contraindicated in pregnancy. Avoid sunbathing and intensive UV radiation during treatment. (2a)
Avoid regular or large doses in pregnancy, because it is a uterine stimulant, and in diabetes (because of sugar content).
Angelica is heating, so can be contraindicated in “hot” conditions.
The oil can increase photosensitivity, so avoid excess exposure to sunshine if using angelica externally. (15)
Tincturing Process: Solvent percentage of absolute alcohol–70-75% (10)
Infusion: Take in standard doses for indigestion.
Tincture: Take up to 3 ml 3x daily, for bronchitis or flatulence.
ANGELICA ROOT (Angelica archangelica; umbelliferae)
Cream: Apply to skin irritations.
Root Tincture: Take for bronchial phlegm, chesty coughs, digestive disorders, or as a liver stimulant.
Compress: Soak a pad in the hot diluted tincture or decoction and apply to painful rheumatic or arthritic joints.
Massage Oil: Dilute up to 10 drops angelica oil in 25 ml almond or sunflower oil for arthritic or rheumatic pains.
Various applications for arthritis & rheumatism: A warming and stimulating herb, good for “cold” types of osteoarthritis and for rheumatism. Soak a pad in diluted tincture or decoction and use as a compress; take a decoction, or add 5 drops oil to hot bath. Add celery seed or a little prickly ash to the decoction. Mix diluted angelica and rosemary oil (10 drops of each in 25 ml carrier oil) as a massage to relieve pain. (15)
Powder: for burns & scalds (50)
Divination: q (48)
q r (50)
XIX The Sun
Angelica is a stimulant, a carminative, an emmenagogue, a tonic. It warms the blood and promotes circulation, and counteracts rheumatic problems and body stiffness. (Sun)
Symbolically used for: A cold, withdrawn person. Tendency to stay inside a lot, not exposing oneself to the light of the sun. An antisocial person who is withdrawn and morose.
Divinatory Meanings: Warmth. Openness. Friendship. Happiness. Earthly joy and contentment.
Reverse Meanings: Boisterous, insensitive person. Lack of compassion for others. Conceit. Aggression. Moods ranging from excessive joy to violent anger. (52)
Dosage: 4.5 g. herb, .5-3.0 g. liquid extract, 1.5 g. tincture, 10-20 drops essential oil (2); standard infusion or 3-9 grams; tincture, 10-30 drops (6)
Infusion: 1 oz. herb to 1 pint of boiling water, 1/2 cup doses frequently. 10-30 grains per capsule dose, 1/2-1 drachm for liquid extract. (57)
General Notes: “A water distilled from the root…eases all pains and torments coming of cold and wind…” Nicholas Culpepper, 1653
The liqueur Benedictine derives its distinctive flavor from A. archangelica,
a tall biennial. The candied stalks and roots were traditionally taken as a tonic to combat infection and improve energy levels. Several other species are used in Eastern medicine, including A. sinensis (dang gui/dong quai), one of the most important of the great Chinese tonic herbs, used in many patent remedies as a nourishing blood tonic and to regulate the menstrual cycle. Many over-the-counter preparations based on dang gui are available in the West. (15)
(1) Cayuga Botanicals Product Line and Price List
(2) PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics Co., 1998), pgs. 647-48
(2a) PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd Ed. (Medical Economics Co., 2000), pgs. 32-33
(6) Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., pgs. 148-149
(10) Herbal Preparations and Natural Therapies by Debra Nuzzi St. Claire, M.H., pg.127
(15) The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody, (A.A.) pgs. 36, 130-31
(34) A Modern Herbal (Vol. 1 A-H) by Mrs. M. Grieve, pg. 35
(48) The Rulership Book by Rex E. Bills, pg. 6
(50) The Practical Herbalist and Astrologer by Ira N. Shaw, pgs. 27, 99, 100, 113, 117
(52) The Herbal Tarot Deck (Created by Michael Tierra and Designed by Candis Cantin)