Angelica was introduced to Scandinavia in around 950 AD, and it has taken a special position in the culture and tradition of the area ever since. It is used as a musical instrument, a drink, a spice and even as an ingredient in that most potent of drinks, Absinthe.
However, it is as a medicinal supplement that Angelica has most captured the imagination. It is another one of those herbs with a variety of uses, and a crucial element in many herbal remedies.
Angelica is a plant, mostly found in Northern Europe but now cultivated in Southern France, which also goes by the names of Holy Ghost, Wild Celery and Wild Parsnip. If you’d like to find it in the wild, look in July as this is when its yellow-green leaves blossom.
Angelica is a herb that featured heavily in medieval medicine, used in the treatment of ailments ranging from insomnia to headaches. Today, it is used primarily in the relief of stomach problems and coughs or sore throats.
Chewing Angelica releases a mild anaesthetic, and it is this soothing action that can help relieve sore throats and calm stomach cramps. It also acts as a mild expectorant that will help clear your throat during a rough cold.
In addition, Angelica has been found to help with bacterial, fungal and even viral infections. Some claim that it can also boost your immune system. With respect to official findings though, the jury is still out and the FDA does not approve Angelica for these uses.
As mentioned above, Angelica’s flute-like stem can be fashioned into a musical instrument, still popular among children in Scandinavia.
Angelica is used as a spice in some Scandinavian food and also as flavouring in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It is sometimes included in the manufacture of absinthe, the lethal alcoholic drink consumed by Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde.
One of Angelica’s reputed affects is to promote menstruation, so pregnant women in particular should be very careful when using it.
Angelica is often brewed into a tea, using the roots, stems and seeds. Alternatively, some retailers sell a liquid Angelica extract that can be taken mixed with water.