Angelica Archangelica – Health Benefits, Uses, Research, Preparation, Precautions
Angelica is a very useful herb which is easily grown. It is primarily used in the treatment of digestive and respiratory ills. Angelica is also candied for culinary use.
It has been used for centuries to flavor alcoholic beverages. Gin, vermouth, Chartreuse, and Benedictine all contain angelica.
Do not confuse angelica archangelica with Chinese angelica, which is often known as dong quai. The plants are interchangeable for some, but not most, uses. If you gather angelica from the wild, use extreme caution, as other plants which look like angelica are extremely poisonous.
This article on angelica was written for Insights-on-Health.com by Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG. Find out more about her at the end of this article.
Wild angelica, European angelica, garden angelica
Traditional and Modern Health Uses of Angelica
As an astringent, angelica helps to shrink inflamed mucus membranes, making it useful for the treatment of sinus infections, and other respiratory ills. Angelica facilitates expectoration of mucus. This makes the herb a valuable remedy for the treatment of bronchitis, colds, pleurisy, pneumonia and influenza. It fights fungal, bacterial, and viral infections.
Angelica works as a diuretic, relieving bloating and swelling. It enhances the production of urine. The herb is beneficial for the prevention of urinary tract infections as it has antiseptic properties.
Angelica possesses anti-inflammatory qualities which make it beneficial for relieving arthritic pain. One of my favorite ways to use angelica is to combine it with Epsom’s salts, rosemary, and a little bit of ginger. I add the blend to hot baths which soothe sore muscles and open up clogged breathing passages.
Angelica supports digestive health. It stimulates the flow of bile, aiding the digestion of fat. It soothes spasms and relieves colic and gas.
Angelica has been used to stimulate the appetite. It may be used to stimulate appetites among people suffering from anorexia, or lack of appetite among the elderly.
Herbalists consider angelica to be a vulnerary herb. Vulnerary herbs support healing of injured tissues internally and externally.
Angelica is a mild sedative. It is useful for the treatment of tension headaches and “nervous” stomachs.
Angelica can be used to promote and regulate menses; however, it is not as potent as Chinese angelica.
Current Research about the Healing Benefits of Angelica
Most current research is being performed on Chinese angelica, not Angelica archangelica. Mark Blumenthal, of the American Botanical Council, reports that angelica displays antifungal activity against fourteen types of fungi.
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