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June 2013 - Herbs for Healing Newsletter:

Angelica and its medicinal benefits

Angelica archangelica - Herb of June

It is said to get its name from the archangel Michael who told of its use as medicinerful effective natural antibiotic

A striking plant that is not easily overlooked. It can grow to an enormous height, up to 2.5 metres. The main stem is straight and hollow.

Wikipedia says it’s ‘A flute-like instrument with a clarinet-like sound can be made of its hollow stem.’

Angelica has a long and varied history of use as a medicinal herb. In the middle ages Angelica was the remedy for purifying the blood and for curing every malady or infection.

Practically all parts of the plant can be used, the root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds. It is said that the plant originates from Scandinavia where the raw stem is still eaten as a traditional food.

The leaf stalks are often candied to turn them into a green confectionary to decorate cakes and trifles.

Angelica is a traditional and very versatile remedy for chest problems like coughs, pleurisy and other respiratory congestion, especially when they appear with fever and influenza-type symptoms.

Due to its high content of calming or carminative essential oils it also calms the digestive tract and helps with wind, indigestion and weak digestion.

It will ease wind as soon as you chew parts of the stem. The bitter constituents of the plant stimulate the secretion of gastric juices which will improve the digestive processes significantly. The gallbladder will also be addressed to release important digestive enzymes.

For people suffering from anorexia nervosa Angelica stimulates the appetite.

Angelica should not be taken by people with blood sugar problems because it seems to increase the sugar level in the urine.

Some authorities warn that taking high doses of Angelica tincture or fluid extract may interfere with anticoagulant medicine because of the plant’s content of coumarin.

Another caution: The furocoumarins in Angelica can increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis.

When taken as a medicine it stimulates the peripheral circulation and warms hands and feet which might be one reason why the herb can be helpful to ease symptoms of gout.

Angelica Ointment

To make Angelica ointment infuse 100g of grated Angelica root in 500ml of vegetable oil.

Let this stand in the sun for about four weeks, then filter the oil and solidify it with beeswax.

This ointment can help with blocked sinuses and congestion in the upper airways.

Without the beeswax one can use the Angelica oil to massage aching joints and might find relief.

Angelica root for internal use

To take Angelica root internally put ½ tsp of the dried root into a mug of cold water, bring to boil and let infuse for 5 to 10 minutes.

Drink one or two mugs daily. If you prefer Angelica tincture take 20 drops two or three times daily.

Instead of the root one can use the seed or leaves of the plant which have a more gentle but still a good effect.

This is a regular newsletter written by Luzia Barclay and published in association with the Sturminster Newton Transition Town Group.

Click to download the newsletter in PDF format. If you would like a printed version in the post, or to distribute all or part of the newsletter please contact me on 01722 330663.

I run a number of worshops in the local area, book online here
Email mail@luzia.co.uk.

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