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Gewone engwortel R0012880 Plant.JPG
Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
Scientific classification


About 50 species; see text

Wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris) from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885

Angelica is a genus of about 60 species of tall biennial and perennial herbs in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, reaching as far north as Iceland and Lapland. They grow to 1–3 m tall, with large bipinnate leaves and large compound umbels of white or greenish-white flowers.

Some species can be found in purple moor and rush pastures.


Angelica species grow to 1–3 m tall, with large bipinnate leaves and large compound umbels of white or greenish-white flowers. Their large, sparkling, starburst flowers[1] are pollinated by a great variety of insects (the generalist pollination syndrome), the floral scents are species-specific, and even specific to particular subspecies.[2] The active ingredients of angelica are found in the roots and rhizomes[3] and contains furocoumarins in its tissues which make the skin sensitive to light.[4]


Cultivation and uses

Some species are grown as flavoring agents or for their medicinal properties. The most notable of these is garden angelica (A. archangelica), which is commonly known simply as angelica. Natives of Lapland use the fleshy roots as food and the stalks as medicine. Crystallized strips of young angelica stems and midribs are green in colour and are sold as decorative and flavoursome cake decoration material, but may also be enjoyed on their own. The roots and seeds are sometimes used to flavor gin. Its presence accounts for the distinct flavor of many liqueurs, such as Chartreuse.

Among the Sami people of Lapland, the plant is used to make a traditional musical instrument the fadno.

Seacoast angelica (A. lucida) has been eaten as a wild version of celery.

In parts of Japan, especially the Izu Islands, the shoots and leaves of ashitaba (A. keiskei) are eaten as tempura, particularly in the spring.

A. sylvestris and some other species are eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including bordered pug, grey pug, lime-speck pug and the V-pug.

A. dawsonii was used by several first nations in North America for ritual purposes.

A. atropurpurea is found in North America from Newfoundland west to Wisconsin and south to Maryland, and was smoked by Missouri tribes for colds and respiratory ailments. This species is very similar in appearance to the poisonous water hemlock.

The boiled roots of angelica were applied internally and externally to wounds by the Aleut people in Alaska to speed healing.

Candied angelica is a popular cake decoration and flavouring.

The herb, also known by the Chinese name, Bai Zhi, and Latin name, Radix Angelicae Dahurica, is used medicinally in Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to a study, Methoxy-8-(2-hydroxy-3-buthoxy-3-methylbutyloxy)-psoralen has been shown to regulate the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-dependent phase of prostaglandin D(2) generation in bone marrow-derived mast cells (IC50, 23.5 mM). In addition, this compound consistently modulated the production of leukotriene C(4), demonstrating the ability to modulate both cyclooxygenase-2 and 5-lipoxygenase activity. Furthermore, this compound also affected the degranulation reaction (IC50, 4.1 mM).[6]

How to Take Care of Angelica Herbs

Angelica herbs should be grown and sheltered in a semi-shaded spot. Tropical countries and areas are in good favor for planting and harvesting these plants. With enough sunlight, the angelica herb should also be kept moist at all times. It's a good advice to spray water onto them to prevent the leaves from drying out. The leaves should stay green to be healthy. When discoloration occurs and they turn yellowish in shade, this signals that they must be more taken care of. Water the soil and the roots every day to make the soil fertile.[7]

Spiritual Purposes

In some Neo-Pagan new age beliefs, such as Wicca, Angelica is used to promote healing & protection against negative energies. It is used in herbal baths to remove curses and in Purification spells. The sprinkling of it all around the outside of the home is meant for protection, and it can be used in Neo-Pagan forms of healing or exorcism incense. Angelica is a common herb found in a "Witch's Garden".


  1. ^ "Angelica grayi (Angelica)". Southern Colorado Wildflowers. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ Tollsten, L.; Knudsen, J. T.; Bergström, L. G. (1994). "Floral Scent in Generalistic Angelica (Apiaceae) — An Adaptive Character?". Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 22 (2): 161–169. doi:10.1016/0305-1978(94)90006-X.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Comprehensive Guide to Angelica Species". Meschino Health. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Angelica - A Plant Of The Family Apiaceae". Scienceray. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  5. ^ Pimenov, M. G.; Leonov, M. V. (2004). "The Asian Umbelliferae Biodiversity Database (ASIUM) with Particular Reference to South-West Asian Taxa" (PDF). Turkish Journal of Botany. 28: 139–145.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Hua, J. M.; Moon, T. C.; Hong, T. G.; Park, K. M.; Son, J. K.; Chang, H. W. (2008). "5-Methoxy-8-(2-hydroxy-3-buthoxy-3-methylbutyloxy)-psoralen Isolated from Angelica dahurica Inhibits Cyclooxygenase-2 and 5-Lipoxygenase in Mouse Bone Marrow-Derived Mast Cells". Archives of Pharmacal Research. 31 (5): 617–621. doi:10.1007/s12272-001-1202-9. PMID 18481018.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "How to Take Care of Ashitaba Plant (Longevity Herb) Angelica". Rochkirstin Santos.

External links