Angelica officinalis

Other names: Common angelica, Dong kuai (Dong quai), Female ginseng, Cowshed, Angelina (Angelica).

Diseases and effects: cough, exhaustion of the nervous system, acute and chronic neuralgia, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, diseases of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, fibrocystic mastopathy, menstrual cramps, menstrual irregularities; functional disorders of the nervous system; atherosclerosis, hypertension, varicose veins, atrial fibrillation; irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence.

Active substances: Essential oil, resin, organic acids (malic, angelic, valeric, acetic), bitter and tannins, phytosterols, sugars, wax, pectin, carotene, felandrene, ambrettolid, protein, calcium, phosphorus, phellandrene, a- pinene, hydroxypentadecanoic and methylbutyric acids, pcimol, alcohols, sesquiterpenes.

Collection time:  April – April, September – October

Family: Celery (Umbelliferae), Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)\r

Pharmacy names: angelica root – Angelicae radix (formerly: Radix Angelicae), angelica oil – Angelicae aetheroleum (formerly: Oleum Angelicae).\r

The generic name of the species comes from the Latin angelus – angel, since according to an old legend, an angel brought angelica root to earth from heaven from the gods to treat the plague. The modern name angelica comes from the Old Slavonic, and it can be interpreted as a plant that gives health and strength.\r

Origin and distribution


Angelica is native to Iceland and Lapland. About 50 species (according to other sources, up to 80) of angelica are found in the Northern Hemisphere and New Zealand. On the territory of Russia – 17 species, mainly in the Far East. It grows mainly along the banks of rivers, streams and in damp places in glades and edges, in tall grass and bushes, in swampy spruce and pine-birch forests in the middle zone of the European part of Russia, Western Siberia, in the Ciscaucasia, in Ukraine. On the territory of Russia in the wild is found almost everywhere. It inhabits the tundra zone and the north of the forest zone of Eastern Europe. In Belgium, the Netherlands, angelica is cultivated as a spicy and medicinal plant. Blooms in June-August.\r

Botanical description


Angelica officinalis (Archangelica officinalis) is a biennial or perennial herbaceous plant up to 2 m high.\r

The rhizome is thick, radish-like, with numerous adventitious roots. The roots have a strong aromatic odor, sweetish, spicy, burning-bitter taste.\r

The stem is straight, rounded, hollow inside, branched in the upper part, glabrous, slightly purple above, reddish below.\r

The leaves are alternate, 80 cm long, vaginal, large, glabrous, double- or triple-pinnate, sharp-toothed along the edge; basal leaves on long petioles, upper – stem, sessile.\r

The inflorescence  is a large (almost spherical) complex umbrella 8-15 cm in diameter, with 20-40 rays, peduncles in the upper part are pubescent.\r

The flowers are small, inconspicuous, greenish-white, with a five-petal corolla.\r

The fruits ripen in July-September – convex-flat, grayish-yellow two-seeded seeds.\r

Weight of 1000 seeds 2.1-2.4 g.\r

Parts used: rhizome with roots, leaves.\r

Collection and preparation


Collection and harvesting are carried out only after carefully identifying the plant, as it can be confused with poisonous umbrella plants. Harvesting must be carried out very carefully, since there is hardly any other medicinal plant that is so badly damaged by insects – even purchased raw materials will need to be checked.\r

Harvest rhizomes with roots from plants of the first year of life in autumn (September-October), and from plants of the second year of life – early in the spring before the start of regrowth (April). They dig them up, shake off the ground, cut off the ground parts with knives, and immediately wash them in cold water. After thorough cleansing, the rhizomes are cut lengthwise and hung out to dry. Dry in the open air or in attics under an iron roof, also in dryers or on ovens at a temperature of 35-40 ° C, laying out a thin layer (5-7 cm) on paper, cloth or grates.\r

The dried rhizome with the largest roots is used. Brownish-gray or reddish, they have a strong aromatic smell and taste. Store prepared raw materials in tightly closed cardboard boxes or bags. The storage period is 2 years.\r

Reproduction and agricultural technology


Propagated by seeds, division of bushes, parts of roots and layering from perennials. With seed propagation, plants bloom in the second year of life.\r

The tillage system depends on the predecessor, the weediness of the site, the area of ​​cultivation. After harvesting the predecessor, deep plowing (25-30 cm) is carried out with simultaneous harrowing and pre-sowing cultivation. Sow in a wide row in early August or before winter with seeds collected that year. The seeding rate is 25–30 kg/ha, the seeding depth is 2–3 cm. The distance between rows is 70 cm, in the rows the plants are thinned out by 30–40 cm. fertilizers.\r

Active ingredients


Angelica roots contain up to 1% essential oil, up to 6% resin, organic acids (malic, angelic, valeric, acetic), bitter and tannins, phytosterols, sugars, wax, pectin, carotene. The essential oil from the roots is a liquid of a spicy-burning taste with a musky smell. The main component of the oil is phelandrene, and the lactone oxypentadecylic acid, ambrettolide, gives it a characteristic smell. In the fruits of angelica there is up to 20% fatty oil, in the aerial part – up to 28% – protein, up to 19% – protein, up to 6% – fat, up to 24% – fiber, 16% – ash, 2.6% – calcium and 1% phosphorus, ascorbic acid. The main component of the essential oil is phellandrene, it also contains apinene, hydroxypentadecanoic and methylbutyric acids, pcimol, alcohols and sesquiterpenes.\r

Healing action and application


Angelica (angelica) is a typical aromatic bitterness, that is, a medicinal plant, the action of which is due to essential oil and bitter substances. Therefore, it should be classified as a means of stimulating appetite, promoting digestion and at the same time having a disinfecting effect, especially in the intestines, which prevents bloating. In addition, it has been found that angelica stimulates the secretion of bile and increases urination. With stomach and intestinal ulcers, angelica should not be used. Sometimes angelica is also used as a cough remedy. It is worth noting its antispasmodic properties.\r

Angelica root and rhizome are used for nervous system exhaustion, acute and chronic neuralgia, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, respiratory mucosal disease, also as a tonic, diuretic and diaphoretic.\r

Angelica normalizes the balance of female sex hormones, applicable in the following situations: fibrocystic mastopathy, menstrual cramps, normalization of the menstrual cycle; functional disorders of the nervous system; atherosclerosis, hypertension, varicose veins, atrial fibrillation; irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, etc.\r

The German National Health Service allows the use of angelica rhizome for complaints such as feeling of fullness, flatulence and mild spasmodic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, gastric disorders caused by insufficient production of gastric juice. Angelica is usually used in the form of tea or tincture made from dry raw materials, less often isolated essential oil is used.\r

Angelica is used to flavor dishes, spices and drinks. So, fresh roots are finely chopped and added to soups and salads. Add to the dish 5-7 minutes before readiness. Candied fruit and jam can be prepared from the roots boiled in sugar syrup. The roots, dried and ground into powder, are added to the dough when baking bakery products and gingerbread. Crushed roots can flavor meat sauces and wines. Finely chopped, they can be used to flavor tea. Seeds flavor vodka, sauces and canned fish. Young leaves and shoots collected before flowering are added to soups and salads.\r

Young plants are eaten by livestock. Suitable for ensiling.\r

Application in traditional medicine


In addition to all of the above, this medicinal plant is recommended for convulsions in young children, for alcohol and nicotine poisoning, as well as for rheumatism and gout (essential oil is traditionally used for rubbing in the form of ointments). Angelica wine, like pepsi wine, aids digestion.\r

The plant is used in folk medicine in many countries. In Tibetan medicine, the root is recommended for gynecological diseases, lymphadenitis, and as a hemostatic agent. In India, fruits and rhizomes with roots are used as a stimulant, expectorant and fixative. In China, angelica is used for hematuria, hemophilia, and hemorrhoids. It is used as an analgesic and antispasmodic for vasospasm, headache and toothache, as a diuretic. In addition, angelica is recommended for colds, rhinitis, chicken pox. It is part of the medicinal mixtures for the treatment of leprosy. In Mongolia, angelica is used for flu, coughs, and as an antipyretic.\r

An infusion of angelica leaves is prepared as follows: crushed leaves are poured with boiling water at the rate of 10 g per 200 ml, boiled for 5 minutes, infused for 2 hours. The infusion is suitable for use for 2-3 days. Take a tablespoon 3-4 times every day.\r

Angelica tea: 2 teaspoons of raw materials (dry rhizomes) with a top, pour 1/4 liter of cold water, heat to a boil, let it brew for about 2 minutes, strain and drink in small sips of hot 2-3 cups every day.\r

Angelica’s advice is similar in action to common calamus, and it should be used more often in diseases of the stomach of a neurogenic nature. It is especially good for a pronounced feeling of fullness and bloating. But since people with neurogenic gastric diseases will need long-term treatment, a collection with an improved taste is recommended so that the patient likes it.\r

Collection with improved taste: \rangelica 20.0\rcalamus 20.0\rmelissa leaves 10.0\rstrawberry leaves 10.0\r

One tablespoon with the top of the mixture is poured into 1/4 liter of boiling water and kept in a warm place covered for 15 minutes. Drink a cup each time after lunch and dinner.\r

Angelica wine: 50 g of finely chopped angelica root is poured into 1 liter of Moselle wine and left to stand for about a week, strained and stored in small, well-closed bottles, drinking a full glass if necessary.\r

Bath with angelica: 100 g of dried root is poured into 1 liter of water, brought to a boil, boiled for 15 minutes and the filtered liquid is added to a bath filled with water.\r

Patients with rheumatism are recommended 2 baths a week, and it will be absolutely necessary to alternate the angelica (angelica) bath with thyme or horsetail. Well, the fact that herbal baths can be effective for a variety of diseases does not need to be proven. Biologically active plant substances when taking baths affect the body through the skin and mucous membranes.\r

Side effects and contraindications


A medicinal plant with a high content of essential oil should not be considered completely harmless. It must be remembered that an overdose is always harmful. Improper use of oil (for example, as an abortion agent) will cause rather than the expected result, but severe poisoning, since it acts paralyzing the central nervous system.\r

We should also mention the photosensitizing properties of angelica furanocoumarins, which, when exposed to light, cause skin irritation. In fair-skinned individuals, long-term use is likely to increase sensitivity to sunlight, bright sunlight should be avoided. Do not use during pregnancy, breastfeeding, heavy menstrual bleeding.\r

The material was prepared by Lisichka Lesnaya , for which another Many Thanks to her

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