A fairly large herb growing quite tall with a hollow stem, large, broad, pointed leaves and greenish white flowers. It grows near water and can be found near water, streams, and river banks. The roots can grow to be quite large.

This genus of about 50 biennials and perennials is native to temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. Angelica is from the medieval Latin herba angelica, "angelic herb", from a belief that it would protect against evil and cure all ills. Its connection with the Feast of the Annunciation and the Archangel Michael may indicate pagan origins, taken over into Christian customs. Angelica archangelica became popular in Europe during the 15th century and was rated as the most important of all medicinal herbs by Parkinson (Paradisi in Sole, 1629). Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis (commonly referred to as A. sinensis) was first recorded in Chinese medicine in about CE200. Known as dong quai or dang gui, it is probably the most important Chinese tonic after ginseng and is an ingredient of many Chinese patent medicines in Hong Kong. San Francisco, and Singapore, as well as in China. A number of other angelicas are used in similar ways throughout the world, including, A. atropurpurea, American angelica; the European wild angelica, A. sylvestris; the Chinese A. anomala, A. keiskei, and A. pubescens; and the Indian A. glauca. The tonic properties are thought to be highest in A. glauca and A. polymorpha var. sinensis. Known as choraka in Ayurvedic medicine, angelicas of various kinds are often combined with Asparagus racemosus (see shatavari). All angelicas contain furanocoumarins, which increase skin photosensitivity and may cause dermatitis.

Known as the "guardian angel herb", angelica was widely used during the mid-1700s to ward off infection, evil spirits, and witches when the Great Plague swept through Europe. Today it is known to have anti-microbial, antispasmodic, and diuretic properties, making it useful in treating colds, bronchitis, painful menstruaion, headaches, and urinary problems.

A showy, aromatic herb, angelica has both medicinal and culinary uses. Angelica's name honors the archangel Raphael, who is said to have revealed to a monk that the plant could cure the plague.

Angelica archangelica grows to 4 ft. (1.2 m) and has ribbed hollow stems, compound leaves and a flowering stem that can reach 6 ft. (1.8 m), although it often does not appear until the third year. Ornamental angelica (A pachycarpa) grows to about 3.5 ft. (1 m) high and has shiny dark green leaves. It is mostly grown for its ornamental value. Purple-stem angelica (A. atropurpurea) has similar uses to A. archangelica. It grows to about 6 ft. (1.8 m), has stems suffused with purple, and pale green to white flowers. The most strikings species id the beautiful A. gigas, which grows to 6 ft. (1.8 m), with deep garnet buds opening to large wine red to rich purple flowers.

Robust, aromatic biennial or short-lived perennial with thick, hollow stems and long-stalked, deeply-divided leaves, to 60cm (2ft) long. Tiny green-white flowers appear in umbels to 25cm (10in) across in early summer, followed by ovate ridged seeds.

Native to the Middle East, angelica grows one to two feet tall and grows in pots for indoor use. It bears bright-green serrated leaves and greenish-yellow flowers.

Common Name:
Folk Names:
Angel's Wort, Archangel, European Angelica, Garden Angelica, Masterwort, Wild Parsnip
Botanical Name:
Angelica archangelica, A. officinalis
Belgium, England, Germany, Hungary, Siberia, Greenland, Iceland
N and E Europe, C Asia
Associated Deity:
Basic Powers:
Protection, Exorcism
Specific Uses:
Grow in garden as a protection. Carry the root with you as an amulet. Burn the dried leaves in exorcism rituals.
Magickal Uses:
One of the traditional ritual herbs of the Candlemas and Beltane Sabbats, Angelica is both a culinary and medicinal herb. Sprinkle around the house to ward off evil. Added to the bath, it removes curses or spells that may have been cast against you.
Angelica requires a shady position in well-drained but moist and slightly acidic soil that has been enriched with compost. Allow a distance of 3.5 ft. (1 m) between plants.
Rich, moist soil in sun or partial shade. Removing the flower heads before seed develops will prolong the life of short-lived species. The flowers attract many beneficial insects that prey on garden pests.
By seed sown in situ in autumn or spring. Seed is viable for one year only but most plants tend to self-seed freely.
Plant angelica seed soon after collection. Mix the seed with damp, but not wet, vermiculite and place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag. Store in the crisper sections of the refrigerator for six to eight weeks before planting into seed trays. Barely cover the seed, and keep the soil moist. Transplant seedlings when around 4 in. (10 cm) high or when the fifth and sixth leaves emerge.
Plants die once the seed has matured, but you can delay this by removing the emerging flower stem. First-year plants will die back in winter but will grow readily in spring. water regularly.
Pests and Diseases:
This plant is virtually pest- and disease-free. The flowers are attractive to many beneficial insects, including parasitoid wasps and lacewings.
Roots are lifted in autumn, leaves gathered before flowering, and seeds harvested as they ripen; all are dried for decoctions. Stalks of A. archangelica are cut in early summer.
Harves the leaves and flowering stalks in the second year. Dig the roots at the end of the second year, then wash and dry them. Gather the seeds when brown and dry.
1-2.5cm (3-8ft)
1.2m (4ft)
Steam Distillation
Parts Used:
Seeds, stems, Roots, leaves, oil
Evidence of Benefit:
Angelica is a remedy for colic, gas, sour stomach, and heartburn. It improves circulation, warms the body, and relieves spasms of the stomach and bowels. Angelica is a good herb to add to treatments for lung diseases, coughs, colds, and fevers.
Benefits of angelica for specific health conditions include the following:
  • Angina and High Blood Pressure: Angelica contains fifteen compounds that act much like calcium channel blockers, a class drug that is a standard treatment for angina and high blood pressure.
Medicinal Uses:
Internally for digestive problems, including gastric ulcers, anorexia, and migraine sickness (for which it may be combined with Chamaemelum nobile, see chamomile), bronchitis, mucus and influenza (combined with Achillea millefolium, see yarrow, or Tussilago farfara, see coltsfoot), poor circulation (notably Buerger's disease), chronic fatigue, menstrual and obstetric problems. Not given to pregnant women or to patients suffering from diabetes. Externally for rheumatic pain, neuralgia, and pleurisy.

To treat coughs, bronchitis, gastrointestinal cramps, menstrual complaints, poor digestion, liver and biliary duct conditions. Germany's Commission E has approved the use of angelica root to treat dyspeptic complaints such as heartburn and bloating, and loss of appetite.
Angelica is an important digestive tonic in European herbal medicine. It stimulates the production of gastric juices and can relieve symptoms of poor appetite, dyspepsia, and nausea. Angelica can also reduce the discomfort of flatulence, stomach cramps, and bloating. It is a warming herb and suited to individuals who suffer from the effects of cold weather.
Considerations for Use:
Angelica is a strong emmenagogue (a substance that induces menstruation) and should not be taken by pregnant women. People with diabetes should avoid using angelica, due to its ability to cause weakness. It may increase sensitivity to the sun and is potentially toxic.
Typical Dosage:
A typical dose of angelica is approximately 4.5gm of the root, 1.5 to 3.0gm of the liquid extract (1:1), or 10 to 20 drops of the essential oil.
Possible Side Effects:
Angelica's side effects include sensitivity of the skin to sunlight.
Drug Interactions:
Taking angelica with these drugs may increase the risk of bleeding or bruising:
Abciximab, (ReoPro)
Alteplase, (Activase, Cathflo Activase)
Antithrombin III, (Thrombate III)
Argatroban, (Argatroban)
Aspirin, (Bufferin, Ecotrin)
Aspirin and Dipyridamale, (Aggrenox)
Bivalirudin, (Angiomax)
Celecoxib, (Celebrex)
Clopidogrel, (Plavix)
Dalteparin, (Fragmin)
Danaparoid, (Orgaran)
Dipyridamole, (Novo-Dipiradol, Persantine)
Enoxaparin, (Lovenox)
Eptifibatide, (Integrillin)
Fondaparinux, (Arixtra)
Heparin, (Hepalean, Hep-Lock)
Indobufen, (Ibustrin)
Lepirudin, (Refludan)
Meloxicam, (MOBIC, Mobicox)
Nadroparin, (Fraxiparine)
Naproxen, (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Piroxicam, (Feldene, Nu-Pirox)
Retaplase, (Retavase)
Rofecoxib, (Vioxx)
Streptokinase, (Streptase)
Tenecteplase, (TNKase)
Ticlopidine, (Alti-Ticlopidine, Ticlid)
Tinzaparin, (Innohep)
Tirofiban, (Aggrastat)
Urokinase, (Abbokinase)
Warfarin, (Coumadin, Jantoven)
Taking angelica with these drugs may interfere with the action of the drug:
Aluminum Hydroxide, (AlternaGel, Alu-Cap)
Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Carbonate, (Gaviscon Extra Strength, Gaviscon Liquid)
Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Hydroxide, (Maalox, Rulox)
Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Trisilicate, (Gaviscon Tablet)
Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, and Simethicone, (Maalox, Mylanta Liquid)
Calcium Carbonate, (Rolaids Extra Strength, Tums)
Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium Hydroxide, (Mylanta Gelcaps, Rolaids Extra Strength)
Cimetidine, (Nu-Cimet, Tagamet)
Esomeprazole, (Nexium)
Famotidine, (Apo-Famotidine, Pepcid)
Famotidine, Calcium Carbonate, and Magnesium Hydroxide, (Pepcid Complete)
Lansoprazole, (Prevacid)
Magaldrate and Simethicone, (Riopan Plus, Riopan Plus Double Strength)
Magnesium Hydroxide, (Dulcolax Milk of Magnesia, Phillips' Milk of Magnesia)
Magnesium Oxide, (Mag-Ox 400, Uro-Mag)
Magnesium Sulfate, (Epsom Salts)
Nizatidine, (Axid, PMS-Nizatidine)
Omeprazole, (Losec, Prilosec)
Pantoprazole, (Pantoloc, Protonix)
Rabeprazole, (Aciphex, Pariet)
Ranitidine, (Alti-Ranitidine, Zantac)
Sodium Bicarbonate, (Brioschi, Neut)
Taking angelica with these drugs may increase the risk of hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar):
Insulin, (Humulin, Novolin R)
Metformin, (Glucophage, Riomet)
Miglitol, (Glyset)
Pioglitazone, (Actos)
Repaglinide, (Gluconorm, Prandin)
Rosiglitazone, (Avandia)
Taking angelica with these drugs may be harmful:
Lithium, (Eskalith, Carbolith) — May increase effects of lithium, causing lithium toxicity.
Lab Test Alterations:
May increase plasma partial thromboplastin time (PTT), Prothrombin time (PT), and plasma international normalized ratio (INR) in those who are also taking warfarin.
Supplement Interactions:
Increased risk of bleeding or bruising when used with herbs and supplements that might effect platelet aggregation, such as Danshen, Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba, Red Clover, Turmeric, White Willow, and others.
Culinary Uses:
Foliage is eaten like celery in Greenland and Scandinavia. Young stalks are candied for decorating cakes and other desserts, or may be added to stewed rhubarb, jams, and marmalade. Flower buds, which are enclosed by sheaths, are eaten raw in salads or cooked.
Angelica is a popular boiled or steamed vegetable dish in some Scandinavian countries; it has a musky bittersweet taste. The dried seeds and stems are used (in maceration or via the essential oil) in vermouth and liqueurs such as Chartreuse and Benedictine. Crystallized leaves and young stems are a popular decoration for cakes and sweets. Blanch young shoots for use in salads. Use leaves and stalks in marinades and in poaching liquids for seafood. Add leaves to recipes for tart fruits, such as rhubarb. They cut the acidity, and their sweetness allows you to reduce the amount of sugar.
Economic Uses:
Essential oil from roots and seeds is used to flavor ice creams, candy, cordials, vermouth, vodka, and liqueurs. It gives the characteristic flavor to Benedictine.
River Banks, Streams, Near Water sources.
Color and Odor:
Essential oil is pale yellow in color having a sweet, musky, herbaceous odor.
This plant was highly valued in Europe especially during the Renaissance. The stems have long been prepared as candied slices for cake decorating and confectionary. It is used to flavor the liqueurs Chartreuse and Benedictine. The plant was named after the Archangel St. Michael.
Tonic, carminative, stimulant, expectorant, diuretic, antispasmodic, emmenagogic.
The essential oil of the root is photoxic and shouldn't be used shortly before exposure to strong light. The oil obtained from the seeds is not phototoxic.
Skin allergen.
  • Digestive Sytem—Stimulates appetite and is beneficial for treating anorexia nervosa.
  • Urinary Sytem—Promotes kidney function and helps with all types of problems affecting the urinary tract.
  • Circulatory System—Tonic to the heart and promotes circulation. Good for treating anaemia.
  • Respiratory System—Expectorant property is helpful in treating chronic bronchitis and pleurisy.
  • Reproductive Sytem—Promotes menstrual flow and is very useful for treating problem during menstruation.
  • Emotions—Revitalizes a fatiqued mind and loss of interest in life; also relieves impatience and exhaustion. Promotes courage in the emotionally weak. Good for people with attitudes of indifference.
Angelica 6 Angelica 6 Angelica 6
Coriander 5 Celery 4 Rosemary 5
Cardamom 2 Rosemary 3 Melissa 2

Angelica 5 Angelica 5 Angelica 4
Benzoin 4 Rose 4 Mandarin 3
Pine 3 Marjoram 3 Sandalwood 2
Aromatherapy Blends and recipes by Franzesca Watson Copyright © 1995 Thorsons, Harper Parker Publishing Inc. Pp 52-53
Encyclopedia of Herbs by Deni Brown Copyright © 1995, 2001 Dorling Kindersley Limited. pg. 122.
Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham Copyright © 1985 Llewellyn Publications. Pg. 131
The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide by George T. Grossberg, M.D., and Barry Fox, Ph.D. Copyright © 2007 by Barry Fox, Ph.D. pp. 39-41
The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs by Reader's Digest Copyright©2009 Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Pg. 13
Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch,CNC Copyright©2002 Phyllis A. Balch pg 22