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Angelica
shopping: one variety
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per 1/4 Pound
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$2.80 
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per Pound
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$7.00 
Angelica archangelica officinalis

angelica

plant overview
angelic angelica

Angelica was a popular monastery herb during the Anglo-Saxton period in England, where it was thought to possess angelic powers to ward off evil as well as “corrupt air” when taken as tea to calm digestive upsets. Angelica water was kept at the Shrewsbury Abbey infirmary, although its exact purpose remains unclear.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Angelica
01.
Where in the World

habitat and range for angelica

Angelica is a herbaceous, aromatic herb native to Eurasia, it grows wild in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, and commercially cultivated in Belgium, Germany, France, and several other countries.

02.
A Bit of Botany

a bit of botanical information about angelica

description
Considered a biennial or short-lived perennial, Angelica is a member of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae or carrot) family which includes anise, celery, cumin, fennel, dill and other plants characterized by feathery leaves, fluted stems and clusters of flowers that emerge from globular umbels. However, angelica strictly prefers moist environments and only produces leaves in the first year and greenish-white flowers in the second or third. This particular species imparts a more carrot-like flavor rather than the spicier taste associated with anise, fennel or dill.

The roots of Angelica are long and spindle-shaped, thick and fleshy—large specimens weighing sometimes as much as three pounds. The stems are stout fluted, 4 to 6 feet high and hollow. The leaves are on long sturdy, hollow stalks, often 3 feet in length, reddish purple at the base; the blades are a bright green color, and are composed of numerous small leaflets. The edges of the leaflets are finely toothed or serrated. The flowers, small and numerous, yellowish or greenish in color, are grouped into large, globular umbels. They blossom in July and are succeeded by pale yellow, oblong fruits, ⅙ to a ¼ inch in length when ripe, with membranous edges, flattened on one side and convex on the other.

common names
& nomenclature

Archangelica comes from the Greek word "arkhangelos" (arch-angel), due to the myth that it was the archangel Michael who told of its use as medicine.

Also known as:
archangel, european angelica, garden angelica, wild parsnip, holy ghost, wild celery, and norwegian angelica

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing angelica

climate
Angelica thrives in shady, moist open areas, yet it can withstand adverse environment wonderfully well, and even endure severe winter frost without harm.

soil
The hardy plant thrives best on rich, well drained loam soils.

growing
Angelica is best grown by sowing fresh, ripe seed but can also be grown via root division or propagated by offshoots (although propagation methods other than by seed are considered inferior). Since the germinating capacity of the seeds rapidly deteriorates, they should be sown as soon as ripe in August or early September.

harvesting
Roots intended for flavoring agents are often harvested in fall of the first year. Leaves and stalks are generally harvested in the spring of the second year. Seeds are harvested when ripe. Under cultivation, tops are usually pruned to prevent bloom and thus allow root growth to continue.

safety (a note about wild harvesting)
Accurate identification is crucial since angelica closely resembles water hemlock, a highly poisonous plant that thrives in the same habitat.

preserving
Dry leaves and root. Crystallize or "candy" the stems. Store in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of The Story

angelica history, folklore, literature & more

culture and history
Ironically, even though the herb is said to "cause a disgust for spirituous liquors," the tiny green-white flowers of angelica are an ingredient in the alcoholic beverages absinthe, Chartreuse, Bénédictine, gin and vermouth. In northern Europe, the roots are used in bread making, the foliage is fed to reindeer to increase milk production and children use the hollow stems to make a lute-like toy for amusement. The Sámi of Norway, Finland and Russia, also referred to as Laplanders, added the fresh or dried root to snuff. A traditional sweet is made from the candied stems, which were at one time the original green candies that appeared in the earliest fruitcakes.

The young leaves can be added to salads, savory soups, fruit dishes and used to enhance the flavor of stews and braised meats. The dried, ground root imparts and earthier flavor and can be used in baking breads, cakes, muffins and cookies. The dried leaves can be used to brew tea and the stems can be cooked as a vegetable like asparagus or rhubarb.

angelica then and now
Angelica is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years, but isn’t utilized as much as it could be today. It got its name from links to Christianity in Europe. It was once called "the root of the Holy Ghost" and people believed that it could cure almost any ailment. In fact, it was even believed to cure alcoholism by making liquor taste bad after someone ingested angelica powder.

Today we know that it’s not a cure for everything, but there are many uses for the plant. In particular, angelica is thought to be good for the circulation and the heart. It's especially good for people who have circulation problems in the limbs. Angelica can help bring blood to those parts of the body that are far away from the heart, such as the hands and feet. Some recent research has found chemicals in angelica that are similar to chemicals used in modern day pharmaceuticals for treating high blood pressure and other problems related to heart disease. Its ability to strengthen the heart makes angelica a good tonic herb for people of all ages, but especially women and the elderly.

It helps to provide good overall health. However, it does have other properties that make it a useful herb.

Angelica can work to fight bacteria. That makes it an excellent herb for preventing infections and treating mild bacterial infections. An infusion of angelica can be just what you need to fight bronchitis or other respiratory infections. It's also a good treatment for cough when used as syrup.

If you have arthritis, angelica can help to soothe inflamed joints. Try drinking a cup of angelica infused tea twice a day. You can add honey or maple syrup to the tea in order to sweeten it, which will make it a little tastier.

In addition to helping reduce inflammation in your body, angelica tea can also aid your digestion after a big meal. If you’re suffering from heartburn or indigestion, you may want to finish your dinner with a cup of angelica tea. This will help you to rest comfortably and sleep better.

Angelica also can be used for aromatherapy. You can make a bath sachet of angelica by placing it in old nylons or cheesecloth and adding it to your bath. The warm water will infuse the scent into the air and help you to relax.

Angelica is truly a useful herb. It can be used to treat a variety of ailments. One word of caution, angelica can make the skin sensitive to sunlight.

Parts used: From the hip to the head of the roots, leaves, and seeds.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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