Often referred to as 'The Root of the Holy Ghost', Angelica has long been considered an herb that brings balance between the spiritual and the material worlds. This pungent, earthy, sweet smelling herb is a cousin to the carrot. While Angelica has quite a few therapeutic properties, its use tends to be concentrated on digestion, uterine health, and restoring the body following a lengthy illness.
Used in cooking or taken as a tea or tincture, Angelica can stimulate the appetite and the secretion of gastric juices. This means your body will be able to properly absorb and process the foods and nutrients you ingest. When you are weak after being sick, you may have little appetite, so recovery may be slow because you're not getting the nutrition you need for your body to regain strength. Angelica's ability to improve your appetite and stimulate proper digestion will allow your body to return to a healthy, pre-illness state more quickly. It can relieve heartburn, dyspepsia, gas, cramping, acid reflux, and indigestion. This goes along with improving appetite, recovering from illness, and maintaining health.
Women who deal with amenorrhea, cramps, and PMS may find relief when they make a tea with Angelica, or spice their food with it. When tissues are bogged down and stuck, Angelica warms them and promotes movement. It can help bring on delayed menses and relieve the symptoms of PMS and cramps by improving circulation
Angelica is also good for cold, boggy lung conditions. Bronchitis, pleurisy, colds, congestion, and cough can all benefit from the addition of Angelica to your diet. With its antibacterial property, it can help clear such conditions. Note the word 'cold' above. Angelica is going to warm and dry cold, damp conditions, or, in the case of fever, induce sweating which may reduce the fever.
It's important to note that the Root must be dried before use because fresh root is toxic.
Angelica is considered safe, though some sources suggest it may cause photosensitivity while being used and is contraindicated in pregnancy. This divergence in opinion stems from a lack of scientific studies that would give confirmation one way or the other. With that being said, phototoxicity with ingestion is considered theoretical based on no known cases according to the Botanical Safety Handbook. The Herbal PDR and other books and websites recommend avoiding exposure to UV rays if you are taking Angelica. (The essential oil is phototoxic.) Perhaps the best explanation comes from Richard Whelan, Medical Herbalist. He states that Angelica is very safe for all ages, that it would require a very high level of ingestion to cause photosensitivity, and that just because it will bring on a late period does not mean it will interfere with pregnancy.
My recommendation would be to check with your health care practitioner before use if you are pregnant, and to limit UV exposure if you are ingesting Angelica. (If you use the essential oil topically, avoid UV exposure for 12 - 18 hours after use.)
The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.