Angelica Herb - the Angel of Herbs
Angelica herb is popularly called "the Angel of Herbs". The scientific name is "angelica archangelica" and is also called masterwort and wild celery. This herb was originally found in northern Europe and is now used in most parts of the world as a medicinal herb and for culinary purposes.
The plant should however be avoided by pregnant women as it is said to cause miscarriage. Persons with diabetes, or a history of heart attack should also avoid consuming angelica herb as it is said to have some negative impact in these diseases.
Medicinal uses of Angelica:
Any part of the plant can be used to make a tea, but more than one part must not be combined.
A tea made from the leaves and roots can be used to treat toothache, nervous headaches, insomnia and fever. It is very effective in treating chest ailments, flatulence, bloating, indigestion, stomach cramps and gas.
These days it is also used as a main indredient in herbal treatments for women with harmonal imbalance and it can boost and strengthen the blood.
When using angelica herb you have to be very careful though, as it resembles water hemlock (also know as cicuta) which is very poisonous.
Water Hemlock are usually pointed with a lot of teeth. The veins end at the notches between the larger teeth of the leaf, sometimes they are tinged with red, about 4 inches in length and 1.5 inches in width, whereas the veins on the leaves of angelica run into the points of the teeth but not into the notches between the teeth like the water hemlock.
The groves on the main stem of water hemlock are vertical and hollow, usually streaked with purple or is solid purple and has no hair on stem. The flowers are white, small and are round umbrella like shaped and like Angelica they are usually grown in wet swampy areas like swamps, marshes and can even be grown in water.
The leaves of angelica are divided in three parts, each of which is further divided into three, four or five segments. The flowers are also white or greenish, small and are round umbrella like shaped. The fruit of Angelica is small, oval and flat on one side.
Angelica is a perennial and grows to 6 feet or higher and 2 feet wide.
This herb can be dried as a means of preservation, you might just need some at an unexpected time.
Check out our list of medicinal herbs for more information on other useful herbs.