Angelica (Angelica Archangelica) is a herbaceous and biennial plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. It grows spontaneously, mainly in Northern Europe and Asia, releasing a marked aromatic fragrance.
It is renowned throughout the world for its therapeutic virtues. In fact, in the herbal field, the roots, seeds and leaves of the plant are used to heal anxiety and digestive disorders.
Furthermore, angelica is recognized as having excellent detoxifying properties for the body, capable of effectively eliminating the excess of toxins present in the body. The extracts can be easily purchased from herbalists and specialized retailers in the form of herbal tea, mother tincture and essential oil.
What is angelica: from the plant to herbal medicine
The botanical name is Angelica Archangelica: a biennial species belonging to the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family.
It is also known by the popular name “Herb of angels’“. The plant is native to Northern Europe and Asia and grows in the wild mainly in the areas of north-eastern Europe. Preferring both wetlands located close to watercourses and uncultivated areas arranged in partial shade.
The fragrance released by the plant is pleasantly aromatic and recalls the smell of licorice, which is why angelica inflorescences are often surrounded by bees. The vegetable parts that make up the angelica have a sweetish taste accompanied by a particular aftertaste with spicy notes. A characteristic trait that makes angelica attractive in the culinary field.
In phytotherapy, angel grass is particularly appreciated for its medicinal virtues. The roots, seeds and leaves contain the active principles of the plant and are used as ingredients for the preparation of herbal products. Mainly used to detoxify the body, to treat digestive disorders, to combat anxiety and to relieve premenstrual symptoms.
It is commercially available in the form of dried root in herbal tea, mother tincture and essential oil.
The essence is made up of the roots of the plant subjected to a peculiar steam current extraction process. It is mainly used for sedative, carminative and expectorant purposes.
Properties of the plant
The main chemical constituents of angelica can be grouped into three macro categories: coumarins, furocoumarins and the essential oil.
The first group includes ostenol and umbelliferone. They are substances to which estrogenic properties are attributed, useful in the treatment of menstrual disorders. Angelicin, particularly present in the composition of angelica, is considered the progenitor of the furanocoumarins.
It has an effective sedative action comparable to benzodiazepines. The essential oil of the plant consists mainly of limonene, pinene and α-phellandrene.
Precious active ingredients that give angelica tonic, expectorant and gastric acid neutralizing properties.
All the benefits of angelica
In phytotherapy, the roots, seeds and leaves of the plant are subjected to a drying process.
Angelica: a natural diuretic
Angelica-based phytopreparations, by increasing the frequency and quantity of urine, facilitate the elimination of water retention and toxins.
Angelica is a valid solution for the treatment of chronic renal insufficiency, kidney stones and hypertension due to an accumulation of harmful substances circulating in the body.
Phytopreparations based on the medicinal plant are able to inhibit the development of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi. In particular, the essential oil is able to effectively eradicate the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, respectively responsible for skin infections and various pathologies of the urinary tract.
Furthermore, the oily solution is used as a food preservative to block the onset of mold on nutrients.
Angelica extracts have a marked antiviral action which is particularly useful in the treatment of herpes simplex and Coxsackie viruses.
Angelica can reduce symptoms associated with anxiety by inducing a pleasant feeling of relaxation. The essential oil can effectively appease the mind, body and nervous system.
Proving particularly effective in the treatment of states of shock, mild depression, anxious states. The sedative action is attributable to the presence of coumarins in the medicinal plant which make the remedy a valid natural anxiolytic.
With the integration of angelica-based remedies it is possible to reduce the urge to urinate during the night.
Based on a study reported in the scientific article “A parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to investigate the effect of SagaPro on nocturia in men” of 2013, following the intake of SagaPro, a product derived from angelica leaves, you can effectively reduce the frequency of urination at night.
Angelica-based extracts promote sweating which in turn effectively eliminates toxins and waste products from the body.
Sweat plays a significant role in disposing of toxic substances. Moreover, it helps to reduce blood pressure, keeps lipids under control and facilitates the elimination of uric acid, acting as an adjuvant remedy in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis.
Furthermore, the synergy between the diaphoretic and diuretic action exerted by the essential oil of angelica makes the remedy an excellent antipyretic able to effectively fight the infections that give rise to fever.
Carminative plant to get rid of intestinal gas
The relaxing action promoted by angelica facilitates the expulsion of intestinal gas. Stretching the intestinal and abdominal muscles facilitates the passage of air downwards and prevents excess air from accumulating and pressing on the chest.
Therefore, angelica extracts give immediate relief to indigestion, cramps and flatulence due to excessive gas in the gastrointestinal tract.
Promotes the elimination of toxins
Angelica essential oil, acting as a diuretic and diaphoretic, facilitates the elimination of toxins from the body by stimulating diuresis and sweating.
It also helps to alleviate the ailments resulting from an excessive accumulation of toxins in the body, reducing both blood pressure and lipid concentration.
Relieves digestive difficulties
Angelica extracts promote digestion by promoting the secretion of acids and bile in the stomach. Furthermore, the medicinal plant stimulates the correct passage of food in the intestine and its absorption by the intestinal villi.
Angelica to regulate the menstrual cycle
It not only helps to unblock the menstrual cycle by regulating it but also manages to relieve the symptoms associated with it. In particular, it acts on migraine, cramps, nausea and fatigue, relieving them.
Thanks to its expectorant function, angelica is able to effectively eliminate the accumulation of phlegm, present in the respiratory tract, responsible for the onset of colds.
Thus relieving colds, coughs, sinusitis and lung congestion.
Natural nerve tonic
Angelica essential oil is particularly effective in the treatment of nervous disorders.
The oily extract acts as both a relaxant and a stimulant. Therefore it succeeds on the one hand, to quell bronchial hyperreactivity, and on the other, makes you active and alert.
Helps keep the stomach healthy
Angelica not only protects the stomach from infections but also preserves the health of the digestive system by ensuring a correct balance between gastric juices and bile.
Furthermore, according to studies, angelica essential oil would facilitate the healing of ulcers and wounds affecting the stomach lining.
How to use angelica and recommended dosage
Decoction of angelica root
Useful for relieving menstrual disorders, migraines and digestive difficulties. Add 20-30 g of dried root cut in herbal tea to a liter of water. Wait 30 minutes and filter.
Consume two or three small glasses of the remedy daily, during the day.
For the treatment of indigestion, flatulence and abdominal tension, take a small glass of decoction on a full stomach.
Infusion of angelica leaves
Remedy to help expel the phlegm present in the bronchi and to relieve colds.
Coarsely chop a spoonful of angelica leaves and transfer them to a teapot. Add a cup of boiling water and wait 10 to 15 minutes for infusion. Then filter and take the hot drink. If desired, sweeten with honey.
Remedy for asthma attacks
Pour 40 g of dried and chopped roots and seeds into a liter of hot water. Leave the solution to rest for half an hour and filter with a fine-mesh strainer.
Drink 2-3 small glasses of the remedy after main meals.
It improves the physiological function of the gastrointestinal system, promotes intestinal well-being, relieves nervous gastritis and fights reflux.
Recommended daily dosage: 40 drops 3 times a day.
How to make angelica mother tincture at home
Macerate, at 70°C, 20 g of dried root in 80-90 grams of alcohol. After about ten days, filter and transfer the preparation into a…