Angelica officinalis (Angelica archangelica L.)


Large herbaceous 2-4 year old plant 1.5 – 2 m in height, with a thick rhizome and a straight spiky, finely furrowed, cylindrical, hollow stem inside, slightly purple above, reddish below. The leaves are large (up to 80 cm long), twice or thrice pinnatisected, serrated or serrated along the edges; basal on long petioles, passing into a large sheath, the upper ones are stem, less dissected and sessile, on strongly swollen, braided sheaths along the edge. The flowers are small, greenish-white, collected in hemispherical complex umbrellas at the top of the main stem; umbrellas are characterized by a spherical shape; the rays of the umbrella and pedicels are covered with powdery down. There are no wrappers, wrappers of umbrellas from numerous leaves. Blooms in June – July. Angelica grows along the banks of rivers, streams, on the outskirts of swamps, in damp (alder) forests, in swampy meadows, in the bushes. It does not form thickets, occurs singly or in small quantities.


For medicinal purposes, a rhizome with roots is used, in commodity practice called angelica root – Radix Archangelicae. Angelica roots are harvested in the fall of the first year of plant development or in the spring of the second year. The dug out roots are washed with cold water and dried in the open air or under sheds. The finished raw material consists of short, thick, fleshy, slightly tuberous rhizomes of a reddish-brown or reddish gray color with longish wrinkled roots. The rhizomes are hollow inside, with transverse partitions, the roots are at a break white or yellowish. The smell is very strong, fragrant, the taste is bitter-spicy, slightly burning.

Contains active substances:

Angelica roots contain essential oil (up to 1%), some tannins and bitter substances, resins, organic acids, including angelic. The composition includes phelandrene, pinene, cymene, alcohols and sesquiterpenes. In addition, coumarin derivatives have been isolated from the roots recently: emperorin, bergapten, umbelliferone, etc.

Medicinal use:

In medical practice, angelica roots in the form of a tincture are used as a gastric remedy to improve digestion, to enhance the secretory and motor function of the intestine, and as a diuretic. Angelica roots are part of the diuretic collection. In folk medicine, it is also used as a tonic and tonic for nervous exhaustion, epilepsy, hysteria and insomnia. In folk medicine, a decoction of angelica root is used for gastritis, diarrhea, a decoction of flowering grass is taken for inflammation of the respiratory tract; with general epidemic diseases (typhus, scarlet fever, cholera, measles), with diarrhea, rubbed with rheumatism. 

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