Herbal Tuesdays Angelica & A Great Contest!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Posted In , , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Photo Credit Tommy Images

Welcome to Herbal Tuesdays!!
This week we are gonna be taking a look at the awesome little herb called


But first I wanna tell you about a great contest over at
The Pagan Soccer Mom

Its the Beyond Magic Give Away.
For those of us who are pagan we have a fondness for candle's.
Not only do they add a great atmosphere when lit but they can be used for specific purposes.
Suck as luck,love,healing,cleansing etc...
Well this give away is for a 10oz candle infused with the energy you choose which gives the candle its purpose..
Check the link here to see the blog post.
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So pop in to the blog link above and enter to win!
Now on to our herb for this week!!

Botanical Classification
Family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Genus and specie
Angelica archangelica (European)
A. atropurpurea (American)
A. polymorpha var. sinensis (Chinese) -
also known as A. sinensis
Other species are also found, but have not been included in our database.
Other names
Wild celery, masterwort and dang gui (China).
Description of the herb angelica
Angelica is a robust, aromatic, short-lived perennial with thick, hollow stems and long-stalked, deeply divided leaves, with tiny green-white flowers appearing, followed by ovate ridged seeds.
Parts used
The leaves, stems, roots, seeds, and oil are used.
Angelica is a bittersweet, aromatic, and anti-inflammatory herb that increases perspiration, lowers fever, and has anti spasmodic and expectorant properties.
The plant is rich in furano-coumarins, including xanthotoxin, imperatorin, angelicin, archangelin as well as coumarins such as umbelliferone, osthol, osthenol.
The osthol is mainly found in the roots and the imperatorin in the fruit.
The roots of the A. sinensis are known as dang gui and the roots of A. dahurica as bai zhi in traditional Chinese medicine, where is it used for a general tonic and is also known as "woman's ginseng".
Internal Uses
Angelica is mostly used for:
stimulating gastric juices
stomach cramps
antispasmodic properties
cholagogue effect
reducing menopausal symptoms
premenstrual syndrome
reducing muscle spasms
Some studies of the Chinese species have found that it helps to relieve menopausal discomforts. It is used as a phytoestrogen and is used to balance estrogen levels in the body by reducing high estrogen levels, as well as increasing low estrogen levels.
Due to the estrogen balancing effect it has on the body it is particularly helpful in fighting menopausal problems, specifically hot flushes.
It also has uterine tonic qualities and is used to relieve uterine cramps.
Asian researchers report that Chinese angelica helps blood to clot (contra indicating the use of the herb for people with heart conditions), and improves liver function in people with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Preliminary research in China has found that the herb may help increase the production of red blood cells, making the herb a possible remedy for anemia.
It helps to dilate coronary vessels and relieve vasospasm, thereby having a blood pressure-lowering effect, which is thought to be due to calcium channel antagonism.
Chinese angelica as well as A. acutiloba (Japanese angelica) have nearly double the analgesic and pain relieving effect than that of aspirin, making it a natural to use for headaches, arthritis, trauma and cramps.
The European species of Angelica is used internally to combat bronchitis, mucus, and influenza, as it soothes the bronchial smooth muscle.
The herb is also used to combat digestive problems, gastric ulcers, anorexia, and migraines.
It is a traditional medicine to be used against allergies and allergic symptoms to a variety of substances; including pollen, dust, animal dander, foods etc. as it has the ability to inhibit the production of allergy-related antibodies.
The coumarins contained in angelica have shown some good immune stimulating action by stimulating the production of white blood cells, to fight off foreign particles, as well as cancerous cells, which in turn fights tumors or tumor forming cells.
It is also used to stimulate the production of interferon in the body.
Angelica leaves and stems are crystallized to be used as sweets and to decorate cakes.
Steamed stems can be eaten with butter, and chopped stems add flavor to roast pork.

External use
The external uses of the European herb include poultices for
rheumatic pain
Aromatherapy and essential oil use
The essential oil made from angelica root is used as an all-over tonic, purifying the blood, "grounding" the person and for digestive problems.
It is a boost for the lymphatic system, and a valuable oil to use after illness, to help clear the body of toxins. It has some excellent anti-fungal properties, yet is lacking in antimicrobial activity.
Not to be taken internally by pregnant women, or people suffering from diabetes or heart problems.
Exposure to sunlight while taking medicinal doses of angelica may cause a rash, due to increased photo sensitivity.
Using the root essential oil may also cause photo toxicity when exposed to sunlight directly after application.
Conflicting reports have been received regarding an ingredient of Angelica called psoralens.
"Science" journal published an article, which advised against the internal use of angelica, as psoralens may promote the growth of tumors, while on the other hand, animal studies have shown that alpha-angelica lactone (found in angelica) has an anticancer effect.
It is therefore advised that people with a history of cancer not take the herb until these questions have been resolved.
Angelica roots are poisonous when fresh, but drying eliminates the poison and dried angelica is therefore safe to use.
If you harvest herbs from the wild, please take extreme care when looking for angelica, as water hemlock looks almost like angelica. Water hemlock is an extremely poisonous plant and if taken by mistake, immediate medical assistance must be obtained.
Angelica is also a useful expectorant for coughs, bronchitis and pleurisy, especially when they are accompanied by fever, 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 anorexia nervosa. It has been shown to help ease rheumatic inflammations. In cystitis 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.
Alrighty well there ya have it my dear's!!
I hope you enjoyed this week's herbal learning!!
Let me know what ya think!!
Until next time Darklings!!!

Photo Credit Tommy Images