Angelica (Angelica archangelica/Angelica Sylvestris)

 

Angelica (Angelica archangelica/Angelica Sylvestris)

Warnings: Angelica should not be used in pregnancy or by those who are diabetic. Angelica can cause photosensitivity in some individuals.

 

Angelica has a long history of medical use, having been used in medieval times to destroy the bubonic plague in Europe.

 

Native to the eastern USA, from Newfoundland to Ontaria then down to Delaware, Illinois and Tennessee, Angelica grows tall and stout and is ornamental enough for garden cultivation. Its native habitat is cool and shady woodland and, along with many woodland plants, the flowers, which appear in July, are small and numerous. These blooms are carried in clusters which can be up to 10 inches in diameter.

 

All parts of the plants can be used medicinally although only the root appears in Swiss, German and Austrian pharmacopoeias.

 

To prepare angelica root for vaporizing:

  • dig it up in the autumn of its first year (less likely to be wormy)

  • slice it lengthways

  • dry it quickly

  • store in an airtight container, where it will retain its medicinal properties for many years.

Fresh root can be bruised, when it will produce a sticky, very fragrant gum which is best prepared by mixing with alcohol. However, all parts of the plant may be used in the vaporizer.

 

When vaporized, Angelica is good for:

  • respiratory ailments

  • flatulence

  • indigestion

  • nausea

  • bronchitis

  • pleurisy

  • shortness of breath

  • asthma

Angelica releases its essential oils at lower temperatures, so set your vaporizer to around 125°C to 150°C (257°F to 302°F).