Angelica archangelica


Names : European angelica.

Collection : The root is collected in the autumn of its first year. If it is very thick it can be cut longitudinally to speed its drying. The leaves should be collected in June.

Part Used : Roots and leaves are used medicinally, the stems and seeds are used in confectionery.

Constituents :

  • Volatile oils obtained mainly from the root and seeds, have a similar composition consisting of a range of terpenes, mainly[[beta]]-phellandrene, with [[beta]]-bisabolene,

    [[beta]]-caryophyllene, [[alpha]]-phellandrene, [[alpha]]- and [[beta]]-pinene, limonene, linalool, borneol, acetaldehyde, menthadienes and nitromenthadienes.

  • Macrocyclic lactones including tridecanolide, l2-methyl tridecanolide, pentadecanolide.

  • Phthalates such as hexamethylphthalate.

  • Coumarins, especially furocoumarin glycosides such as marmesin and apterin.

  • Angelicin and byakangelicin derivatives, osthol, umbelliferone, psoralen, bergapten, imperatoren, xanthotoxol, xanthotoxin, oxypeucedanin and more.

  • Misc. sugars, plant acids, flavonoids and sterols.

Actions : Astringent, tonic, diuretic, vulnerary, cholagogue, anti-inflammatory.

Indications : This herb is a useful expectorant for coughs, bronchitis and pleurisy, especially when they are accompanied byfever, colds or influenza. The leaf can be used as a compress in inflammations of the chest. It content of carminative essential oil explains its use easing intestinal colic and flatulence. As a digestive agent it stimulates appetite and may be used in anorexianervosa. It has been shown to help ease rheumatic inflammations. Incystitis it acts as a urinary antiseptic. Angelica is used frequently as a flavoring; in liqueurs such as chartreuse and benedictine, in gin and vermouth; the leaves as a garnish or in salads; and the candied stalks in cakes and pudding.

Combinations : For bronchial problems it combines well with Coltsfoot and White Horehound; for indigestion, flatulence and loss of appetite with Chamomile. In Musculo-skeletal problems it may be used with herbs such as Black Cohosh, Willow Bark and Bogbean.

Preparations & Dosage : Decoction: put a teaspoonful of the cut root in a cup of water, bring it to the boil and simmer for two minutes. Take it off the heat and let it stand for l5 minutes. Take one cup three times a day. Tincture: Take 2-5 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Citations from the Medline database for the genus Angelica

Angelica, Dong QuoiFeng Y Lian NJ Jia ZL [Clinical observations on the treatment of sudden deafness with concentrated Angelica injection]

Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1986 Sep;6(9):536-7, 516 ((Published in Chinese))Guo TL Zhou XW [Clinical observations on the treatment of the gestational hypertension syndrome with Angelica and Paeonia powder]

Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1986 Dec;6(12):714-6, 707 ((Published in Chinese))Harada M Suzuki M Ozaki Y Effect of Japanese Angelica root and peony root on uterine contraction inthe rabbit in situ.

J Pharmacobiodyn 1984 May;7(5):304-11He ZP Wang DZ Shi LY Wang ZQ Treating amenorrhea in vital energy-deficient patients with angelica sinensis-astragalus membranaceus menstruation-regulating decoction.

J Tradit Chin Med 1986 Sep;6(3):187-90

Hikino H:

Recent research on Oriental medicinal plants.

Economic Medical Plant Research 1:53-85, 1985 Kimura Y Ohminami H Arichi H Okuda H Baba K Kozawa M Arichi S Effects of various coumarins from roots of Angelica dahurica on actions of adrenaline, ACTH and insulin in fat cells.

Planta Med 1982 Jul;45(3):183-7Kimura Y Okuda H Effects of active compounds isolated from Angelica shikokiana on lipid metabolism in fat cells.

J Ethnopharmacol 1989 May;25(3):269-80Kimura Y Okuda H Baba K Kozawa M Arichi S Effects of an active substance isolated from the roots of Angelicashkiokiana on leukotriene and monohydroxyeicosatetreaenoic acid biosyntheses in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

Planta Med 1987 Dec;53(6):521-5Ko FN Wu TS Liou MJ Huang TF Teng CM Inhibition of platelet thromboxane formation and phosphoinositidesbreakdown by osthole from Angelica pubescens.

Thromb Haemost 1989 Nov 24;62(3):996-9Kosuge T Yokota M Sugiyama K Yamamoto T Mure T Yamazawa H Studies on bioactive substances in crude drugs used for arthritic diseasesin traditional Chinese medicine. II. Isolation and identification of ananti-inflammatory and analgesic principle fromthe root of Angelica pubescens Maxim.

Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 1985 Dec;33(12):5351-4Kumazawa Y Mizunoe K Otsuka Y Immunostimulating polysaccharide separated from hot water extract of Angelica acutiloba Kitagawa (Yamato tohki).

Immunology 1982 Sep;47(1):75-83Kumazawa Y Nakatsuru Y Fujisawa H Nishimura C Mizunoe K Otsuka Y NomotoK Lymphocyte activation by a polysaccharide fraction separated from hot water extracts of Angelica acutiloba Kitagawa.

J Pharmacobiodyn 1985 Jun;8(6):417-24Mei QB Tao JY Cui B Advances in the pharmacological studies of radix Angelica sinensis (Oliv)Diels (Chinese Danggui).

Chin Med J (Engl) 1991 Sep;104(9):776-81Mei QB Tao JY Zhang HD Duan ZX Chen YZ [Effects of Angelica sinensis polysaccharides on hemopoietic stem cells inirradiated mice]

Chung Kuo Yao Li Hsueh Pao 1988 May;9(3):279-82 ((Published in Chinese))Okuyama T Takata M Takayasu J Hasegawa T Tokuda H Nishino A Nishino HIwashima A Anti-tumor-promotion by principles obtained from Angelica keiskei.

Planta Med 1991 Jun;57(3):242-6Sung CP Baker AP Holden DA Smith WJ Chakrin LW Effect of extracts of Angelica polymorpha on reaginic antibody production.

J Nat Prod 1982 Jul-Aug;45(4):398-406Tanaka S Ikeshiro Y Tabata M Konoshima M Anti-nociceptive substances from the roots of Angelica acutiloba.

Arzneimittelforschung 1977;27(11):2039-45Tao JY Ruan YP Mei QB Liu S Tian QL Chen YZ Zhang HD Duan ZX [Studies on the antiasthmatic action of ligustilide of dang-gui, Angelicasinensis (Oliv.) Diels]

Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao 1984 Aug;19(8):561-5 ((Published in Chinese))Yan TY Hou AC Sun BT [Injection of Angelica sinensis in treating infantile pneumonia and its experimental study in rabbits]

Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1987 Mar;7(3):161-2, 133 ((Published inChinese))

Yoshiro K:

The physiological actions of tang-kuei and cnidium.

Bull Oriental Healing Arts Inst USA 10:269-78, 1985 Zhang YK Wang HY Wang SX [The effect of the Chinese medical herbs Astragalus membranaceus and Angelica sinensis on 3 kinds of experimental nephritis]

Chung Hua Nei Ko Tsa Chih 1986 Apr;25(4):222_5, 254 ((Published in Chinese))Zhou JZ [Various pharmacological actions of Angelica extracts]

Chung Yao Tung Pao 1985 Apr;10(4):39-41 (Published in Chinese)

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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