The Spoonfed Truth - Angelica

   

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Angelica oil is widely used as a flavoring agent in the food & beverage industry due to its sweet, spicy aroma. Angelica, botanically known as Angelica Archangelica or Angelica Officinalis, is believed to basically be an African herb that made its way into Europe in the 16th Century and gained tremendous popularity as a treatment for the Plague, which was a frequent and dreaded visitor to Europe in those days. It thrived well in Europe and as the years passed, its other medicinal properties were discovered. 

Angelica oil (Angelica archangelica) has soothing qualities that help relax nerves and muscles. In Germany, angelica was historically referred to as the “oil of angels,” in part because of its ability to calm anxiety, restore happy memories, and bring peaceful sleep. Traditional medicine practitioners used angelica as a stimulant, digestive tonic, and expectorant.

 

The health benefits of Angelica Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties
as an anti-spasmodic, carminative, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic,
hepatic, emenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine,
stimulant, stomachic, and tonic substance.

The medicinal properties of Angelica come mainly from its essential oil which is composed of constituents like alpha pinene, camphene, beta pinene, sabinene, alpha phellandrene, bornyl acetate, beta phellandrene, beta bisabolene, copaene, cryptone, cis ocimene, humulene oxide, limonene, myrcene, pentadecanolide, para cymene, rho cymenol, trans ocimene, terpinolene, terpinenol, and tridecanolide. The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of its rhizome (root nodules), seeds, and the whole herb.

Description: There are two angelica essential oils, one distilled from the seeds, one from the roots. Sometimes they are combined. As an essence, angelica has been distilled only recently in Europe. At first it is colourless, but with age it turns yellow and then dark brown. It must not be used when dark brown. It is quite thick, but still fluid. The seeds contain more essential oil than the roots, but the root oil is much stronger and more concentrated.
The principal constituents: Seeds – these are dependent on the variety but include angelic acid, sugar, valeric acid, volatile oil, bitter principle and a resin called angelicin. The angelica oil is extracted from the roots when the plant is approximately one year old and it contains angelicin, bergaptene, two furocouma¬rines, phellandrenic compounds and terebangelene and other terpenes (limonene). Danger: Exposure to sunlight or ultra- violet light after use may cause dermatitis.

Uses:

In general, angelica can be used for rheumatic conditions, virus infections, a smoker’s cough, for indigestion, flatulence, colic and urinary infections or complaints. It is also an emmenagogue, a blood cleanser, and can help the symptoms of PMT and the menopause.

Expectorant: Being an expectorant, the Essential Oil of Angelica clears out the accumulation of phlegm in the respiratory tracts and also fights the infections that cause colds, thereby giving relief from cough, cold, sinusitis, and congestion in the lungs. Inhale angelica oil in vapor therapy to help support lung health.

It is a remarkable healer for scars, wounds and bruises. Mix about 5 drops of angelica oil with 10 ml (2 tsp) of a vegetable oil like almond, and apply three times a day at first, then once every day until cured. Patience is necessary. Caution: Don’t expose yourself to the sun or ultra-violet light straight after use.

Two drops of angelica seed oil added to 20 ml (4 tsp) base oil together with a few drops of eucalyptus, niaouli or cajuput oil is good for coughs and colds, either warmed and rubbed on the torso every morning, or added sparingly to the bath. (See Caution above.) Slices of dried roots chewed twice a day for six months builds up a resistance to viruses. Stems chewed after meals prevent flatulence and indigestion – or you could steep some stems for a fortnight in some brandy, and drink a little before or after meals.

Many writers, ancient and modern, recommend angelica eye and face washes. Use a mild decoction of the seeds. Angelica was also a major constituent of one of the earliest perfumes, Carmelite water, first distilled in the middle Ages.

Relaxant: This oil has a relaxing effect on the body, the mind, and the nervous system. This becomes particularly beneficial in situations of shock, depression, anxiety, anger, and hypertension.

In Cooking: The best known culinary use of angelica is as the green candied stem used in confectionery and cakes. Chunks of the sugar-preserved and dried stems can also add flavour to preserves, jams and marmalades. To make your own is very simple, and it will have a better flavour and more health-giving benefit than shop-bought. The Elizabethans used angelica leaves on their salads, and both leaves and roots can be used for flavouring fish and soft cheese dishes, and for sweetening stewed fruit. During times of famine, the dried roots – which can weigh up to 1.4 kg (3 lb) – were once ground and used as bread flour.

Digestive: Angelica Essential Oil also promotes digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices like acid and bile into the stomach. It also promotes the proper movement of food through the intestines and absorption of the digested food by intestinal villi.


Stimulant: In contrary to its behaviour as a relaxant, it is a stimulant for the systems functioning inside the body. It stimulates blood circulation, the secretion of hormones, enzymes, and other juices, and also stimulates metabolic processes, including digestion, absorption, and excretion. This attribute, in total, stimulates healthy growth.

Stomachic: The simplest sentence that can best describe its stomachic property is that it is good for the stomach. It maintains the stomach in a good shape by maintaining the proper balance of acids and bile and by protecting it from infections. It also helps heal any sorts of wounds or ulcers that are present in the stomach.

Tonic: This oil promotes the all round development of health, boosts growth, and strengthens the immune system of the body.

Other Uses.
The roots and seeds can be burned on the fire for a wonderful and purifying fragrance, and both leaves and roots can be part of a pot-pourri.


Blending: The Essential Oil of Angelica blends well with basil, chamomile, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, mandarin, and patchouli essential oils.

 

Angelica oil is photo-toxic. Exposure to UV rays should be avoided for 24 hours after topical application. It is non-toxic and non-irritant, however, at low dosages. Avoid use during pregnancy and if diabetic. Do not take angelica essential oil internally. 


Benefits of Angelica Essential Oil

 

 

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