Medicinal angel – Medicinal angel

Angelica archangelica (Angelica archangelica, synonyms: Archangelica officinalis , Archangelica norvegica); Celery family (Ariaceae), or Umbrella family (Umbelliferae); angelica officinalis

 

Externally, the devil is very similar to the wood piper, it is difficult to distinguish them. No wonder these plants belong to the same genus. However, if you look closely, you can still see the differences. Diagel is a taller (up to 2.5 m) and massive plant. In addition, the wood piper is a perennial, and angelica is a biennial plant. The thickness of its rhizome is up to 5 cm. The roots departing from the rhizome are also thick – up to 1 cm in diameter, and the rhizome itself reaches a length of 30 cm. The stem of the plant is hollow, thick, usually reddish on top. The leaves are up to 80 cm long, long-petioled, three-lobed, two- and three-lobed, with large ovate two- and three-lobed serrate leaflets. The flowers are small, green or greenish-yellow, collected in large (10-17 cm) spherical folding umbrellas. Angelica blooms in the second half of summer, lasting up to 25 days. The plant grows scattered or in small groups on floodplain meadows, near water bodies, on the edges of moist deciduous forests, upland swamps in the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus and in Western Siberia. In Ukraine, it grows in wet places in Polissia, in the forest-steppe zone, less often in the steppe zone – near water bodies, in alder forests, in forest meadows.

For the preparation of medicines, rhizomes with roots are collected in autumn, in the first year of the plant’s life. Excavated underground parts are shaken off the ground, washed in cold water and dried under shelter in the air or in dryers at a temperature not higher than 30 °C. Thick rhizomes are cut lengthwise before drying. Store the finished raw materials for two years in a dry place.

The rhizomes contain essential oil, coumarins, tannins and organic acids.

A decoction of rhizomes with roots is used as an anti-inflammatory, diuretic, diaphoretic and sedative agent. When it is used, bile secretion increases, gastric juice is secreted better, and the secretory activity of the pancreas increases. Drinking the decoction helps to calm the process of fermentation in the intestines, promotes expectoration of mucus from the respiratory tract, especially in cases of bronchitis and pneumonia. Folk healers use angelica on a par with wood piper, but angelica products are more effective.

The rhizomes of the plant have a pleasant and strong peculiar aroma, so in autumn they are collected, chopped, added to salads, hot vegetable dishes and soups. Fresh rhizomes are boiled in sugar syrup and thick jam and candies are obtained from them. Dry rhizomes, crushed into powder, are added to flour and baked into an original aromatic bread. Angelica seeds are used to flavor liqueurs and tinctures. Young shoots of the plant are used as herbs, added to salads after removing the skin.

As a honey plant, angelica is much more productive than piper: 100 flowers of the plant are released per day with nectar up to 24 mg of sugar. The bee colony collects up to 8 kg of honey per day from the thickets of the angelica, and the honey productivity of the plant reaches 500 kg from 1 hectare. Honey from the plant is reddish, crystallizes slowly.

Decoction of rhizomes. A tablespoon of crushed rhizomes per 200 ml of boiling water. Heat in a water bath for 15 minutes, filter, bring to the original volume with warm boiled water. The decoction is taken hot for 1/2 cup 2-3 times a day after meals to improve appetite, as an antispasmodic, expectorant and diaphoretic agent.

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