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Angelica archangelica (L)          Garden Angelica


Angelica : heavenly properties. From angel, 14C. fusion of Old English engel and Old French angele, both from Latin angelus, from Greek, angelos, "messenger, envoy, one that announces," possibly related to angaros "mounted courier," both from an unknown Oriental word.

archangelica: from old English : revealed, by Archangel Gabriel,
to a monk in a dream, as a cure for the plague.

PREVIOUS NAMES : Angelica officinalis (Hoffrn).

OTHER NAMES : root of the Holy Ghost. Angelique, (France). Englewurz,
bruzstwurz, (Germany). Kvan, (Danish). Aggelilci, (Greek). Dudnik, (Russia).

BSBI Picture Link to Angelica archangelica


TYPE: robust annual. HEIGHT : 2OOcm  AROMA : pervading aromatic odour
like musk/juniper.
TASTE: root sweet, warm aromatic bitter, musky.
ROOTS: long, spindle shaped thick, fleshy. Beset with many long descending rootlets.
Some 3lb >. Fresh yellow grey epidermis, honey coloured grey brown, wrinkled.
STEMS : hollow, striate, green. Resinous gum.
compound, large. Rays 35-42, 4-8cm subequal, puberulent
Peduncle >.than rays, glabrous. Hermaphrodite.
LEAVES: large, 2-3 pinnate, primary pinnae shortly stalked Lobes sessile decurrent,
16cm, lobed or deeply toothed, terminal 3-fid margin & apex of both surfaces. Petioles
of lowest leaves long, with. inflated base. Upper leaves with strongly inflated petiole,
lamina small or absent.
BRACTS : absent. Bracteoles mainly linear.
FLOWERS sepals small, styles form a stylopodium. Pollination by flies, beetles. Fl.6-8.
FRUIT: 5.5-6mm, Ovate-oblong, or broadly elliptic dorsally compressed, smooth.
Commisure narrow. Mericarps with prominent, acute dorsal ridges & winged lateral ridges,
corky. Wings narrower than mericarp. Carpophore present. Vittae solitary. Pedicels
10-15mm minutely papillose Style 2 x > than stylopdium. Stigma capitate. 2n=22.

HABITAT : waste places river banks, ditches, often cultivated.
   Cool moist places. Deep moist loam, damp, near water. Shade.

DISTRIBUTION native of Syria. Naturalised in N. E. Europe. Intro, to Britain, 1568.
Grows in several London Parks and Squares on N.W. slopes bordering the
Tower of London. E. to C. Asia. Greenland. Lapland. Iceland.
BSBI Distribution Map for Angelica archangelica


If rubbed in skin in day light, foracoumarin cause photosensetive dermatitis.


ACTIVE INGREDIENTS : 1% volatile oil. Essential oil mainly phellandrine, valeric and
angelic acid, bitter principle, coumarin derivatves, fatty oil, angelicin resin. Aroma :
benzoin Properties extracted from root with alcohol. Essential oil of roots: terebangelene.
& terperies. Seed oil : methyl ethylacetic acid & hydroxymyristicacid.

PARTS : dry root, deteriorates rapidly

EFFECT : diuretic, expectorant, relieves flatulence, lack of appetite, causes redness,
anti-inflammatory, relaxes spasms, increases perspiration, lowers fever, expectorant.

APPLICATION : decoction, 1 tspn of shred, dry rootstock, per cup water, heat to
simmering, leave to stand for 10-15 min times day for flatulence, dyspepsia lack of
appetite, rheumatic pain, ulcers, anorexia, migraine sickness, bronchitis., catarrh,
influenza, chronic, fatigue, menstrual & obstetric problems. Not for pregnant women or
diabetics. Externally for rheumatism, neuralgia, pleurisy.


Middle Ages : Chewed for immunity from the plauge:
“Contagious aire ingendering pestilence, infects not those that  
in their mouth have angelica.”

Phillipe de Comrnines, battle of Morat :
“Leaves cured wound made by an arquebus (a gun)."

Gerard: “Cureth bite of mad dog venemous beast

1641, Bukeley: "Helpful in extreme labour & when women have been left for dead."
Juice for toothache, distilled water for eye & ear complaints.

Carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, stomachic tonic, expectorant. emmenagouge,
bronchitis, colds, pleurisy wind, colic, rheumatism, fever, expectorant. Infusion
of bruised root 1 ounce, 2 tbpn x 4 a day, or dry root 1O-3O grains. Lungs chest disease :
poultice of fresh leaves. Feeble stomach : chew stems. Tonic : infusion of leaves.
Alcoholism : stem/roots. Chronic rheumatism and gout: yellow stem and root juice dry. 
Rheumatic pain and neuralgia : tincture. Cure for contagation, purifying the blood, poisons,
    agues, infectious maladies. Typhus fever:  6oz sliced root in 1/4 oz honey, 1/2 gill of brandy.             


Young leaves in soups, veg, boiled fish dishes, rhubarb substitute, or add to rhubarb
or rhubarb jam; Stems in marmalade, acid fruit  desserts candied as sweetmeat for
decorating & confectionary. Blanched mid ribs of leaf as spinach/celery substitute.
Infusion of dried herb hot/cold has the flavour of China tea. Ingredient in Ettaler
klosterlikor, Charteuse, Gin, Vermouth Muscatel grape flavour of wines from the Rhine
due to its secret use. Lapland : stripped sterns are a delicacy Finland : Young stems baked
in hot ashes Norwegian : Bread made from the roots.

Hop Bitter: 1oz dry Angelica, 1oz Holy Thistle, 1/2oz hops, infuse in 3 pints water. Strain,
drink in wineglass, as good appetiser Liquor 1 oz fresh stem, steep in 2 pints brandy over
5 days. Add 1 oz skimmed almonds, pulped. Strain liquid and add pint of liquid sugar.

Preserving Angelica cut stem into 4 inches Steep 12 hours in salt water, drain. Place
layer of cabbage/cauli leaves in brass, pan, then layer of angelica, repeat. Cover with water
& vinegar boil, till green. Strain. Add 1 lb sugar to 1 lb stems. Put sugar clean pan with
water to cover, boil 10 min. Pour syrup over Angelica, stand 12 hours. Pour off syrup, .
boil it again. Stand 5 min, pour over Angelica again. Stand 12 hours. Boil together.
Remove Angelica, place in clean jars, cover with syrup.

Cultivated in Thuringio & Clermont-Ferrand Plant 100Kg yields
1 Kl oil Root: 100 Kg yields 0.15 ki oil .

Courland, Livonia, in. low lake lands of Pomerania and East Prussia, peasants used to
march into town to, sell flowering stems and chant a ditty in ancient Lettish, a survival
of Pagan rituals. Used as a sacharin substitute old times.

Uses may be synonymous with A. sylvestris


Rich moist soil in sun or part shade. Division, of shoots, seed, autumn.
If cut down before seeding becomes perennial. Self seeding.


Used in snuff mixtures, perfumes. Houses perfumed by burning seeds.
Pieces of stem make good earwig traps.


Revealed by Archangel Gabriel to a monk in a dream as a cure for the plague.
A preservative against evil-spirits, witchcraft, against spells & enchantment

Plant of the Sun & Leo. Birthday flower for 11 July. Signifies ecstasy, inspiration, magic.

Uses may be synonymous with A.sylvestris

EXTERNAL LINKS FOR Angelica archangelica

These links to trusted websites and institutions may provide in depth or additional information regards cultivation, chemistry, edibility, images etc. for the species. Links last updated Aug 2012. (Some cross over info with A. sylvestris).

Wikipedia (EU)    Plants For a Future (UK)
Kew Gardens (UK)    National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA)
International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases (USA)
Farming & Agriculture Org. of United Nations
Icelandic Scientific Paper (UK)    A Modern Herbal. M. Grieve (UK)   
Rowan Remedies (UK)    Cheryl's Herbs (UK)    Dr Chris Herbal Legacy (USA)   
Medicinal Herb Info (USA)    The Magi's Garden (UNK)

'Online Guide To Umbelliferae Of The British Isles' Compiled By J.M.Burton 2002