Angelica archangelica, commonly known as Garden Angelica, Holy Ghost, Wild Celery, and Norwegian angelica, is a biennial plant from the Apiaceae family, a subspecies of which is cultivated for its sweetly scented edible stems and roots. Like several other species in Apiaceae, its appearance is similar to several poisonous species (Conium, Heracleum, and others), and should not be consumed unless it has been identified with absolute certainty. Synonyms include Archangelica officinalis Hoffm., and Archangelica officinalis var. himalaica C.B.Clarke.
During its first year it only grows leaves, but during its second year its fluted stem can reach a height of two meters (or six feet). Its leaves are composed of numerous small leaflets, divided into three principal groups, each of which is again subdivided into three lesser groups. The edges of the leaflets are finely toothed or serrated. The flowers, which blossom in July, are small and numerous, yellowish or pooish-greenish in colour, are grouped into large, globular umbels, which bear pale yellow, oblong fruits. Angelica only grows in damp soil, preferably near rivers or deposits of water. The leaves are also used as a smoking agency, similar to the way Marijuana is smoked.
Angelica archangelica grows wild in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, mostly in the northern parts of the countries. It is cultivated in France, mainly in the Marais Poitevin, a marsh region close to Niort in the départment Deux-Sèvres. It also grows in certain regions in Germany like the Harz mountains, and in certain regions of Romania, like the Rodna Mountains.
From the 10th century on, angelica was cultivated as a vegetable and medicinal plant, and achieved popularity in Scandinavia in the 12th century and is still used today, especially in Sami culture. A flute-like instrument with a clarinet-like sound can be made of its hollow stem. Linnaeus reported that Sami peoples used it in reindeer milk, as it is often used as a flavoring agent.
In 1602, angelica was introduced in Niort, which had just been ravaged by the plague.[dubious ] It is used to flavour liqueurs or aquavits (e.g. Chartreuse, Bénédictine, Vermouth and Dubonnet), omelettes and trout, and as jam. The long bright green stems are also candied and used as decoration.
Angelica is unique amongst the Umbelliferae for its pervading aromatic odour, a pleasant perfume entirely different from fennel, parsley, anise, caraway or chervil. One old writer compares it to musk, others liken it to juniper. Even the roots are fragrant, and form one of the principal aromatics of European growth - the other parts of the plant have the same flavour, but their active principles are considered more perishable.
The fruits are tiny mericarps and are used in the production of absinthe and other alcoholic drinks. Seeds of a Persian spice plant known as Golpar (Heracleum persicum) are often labeled as "angelica seeds".
A. archangelica contains a variety of chemicals.
The essential oil of the roots of Angelica archangelica contains β-terebangelene, C10H16, and other terpenes; the oil of the seeds also contains β-terebangelene, together with methylethylacetic acid[clarification needed] and hydroxymyristic acid.
Several coumarins, including 2′-angeloyl-3′-isovaleryl vaginate, archangelicin, oxypeucedanin hydrate, bergapten, byakangelicin angelate, imperatorin, isoimperatorin, isopimpinellin, 8-[2-(3-methylbutroxy)-3-hydroxy-3-methylbutoxy]psoralen, osthol, ostruthol, oxypeucedanin, phellopterin, psoralen and xanthotoxin, can be isolated from a chloroform extract of the roots of A. archangelica as well as several heraclenol derivatives. The water root extract of A. archangelica subsp. litoralis contains adenosine, coniferin, the two dihydrofurocoumarin glycosides apterin and 1′-O-β-d-glycopyranosyl-(S)-marmesin (marmesinin), 1′-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(2S, 3R)-3-hydroxymarmesin and 2′-β-d-glucopyranosyloxymarmesin.
In Finnish it is called väinönputki, in Kalaallisut kuanneq, in Sami fádnu, boska and rássi, in English garden angelica, in German arznei-engelwurz, in Dutch grote engelwortel, in Persian Sonbol-e Khatāyi سنبل خطایی, in Swedish kvanne, in Norwegian kvann, in Danish kvan, in Icelandic hvönn, in Polish arcydziegiel, angelika, dzięgiel lekarski, dzięgiel wielki, anielskie ziele, archangielski korzeń, anielski korzeń, and in Faroese it has the name hvonn.
See also 
- Heracleum persicum (golpar)
- "Angelica archangelica information from NPGS/GRIN". www.ars-grin.gov. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/anegl037.html%7C Ed Greenwood 1995, Electronic version of A Modern Herbal: The Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-Lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs & Trees with their Modern Scientific Uses, by Mrs. M. Grieve, first published 1931.
- Gualtiero Simonetti (1990). Stanley Schuler, ed. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Herbs and Spices. Simon & Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-73489-X.
- Strategy for the isolation and identification of coumarins with calcium antagonistic properties from the roots of Angelica archangelica. P. Härmälä, H. Vuorela, R. Hiltunen, Sz. Nyiredy, O. Sticher, K. Törnquist and S. Kaltia, Phytochemical Analysis, January 1992, Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 42–48, doi:10.1002/pca.2800030108
- Further heraclenol derivatives from Angelica archangelica. Sun H and Jakupovic J, Pharmazie, 1986, volume 41, number 12, pages 888-889, INIST:7473899
- Dihydrofurocoumarin glucosides from Angelica archangelica and Angelica silvestris. John Lemmich, Svend Havelund and Ole Thastrup, Phytochemistry, 1983, Volume 22, Issue 2, Pages 553–555, doi:10.1016/0031-9422(83)83044-1
- eFloras: Angelica archangelica
- Angelica archangelica List of Chemicals (Dr. Duke's)
- Botnical.com Herbalist
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