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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

Angelica Angelica, American Angelica, Eur. Angelica, Other

aka Angel root, Angèlique (French), Engelwurzel (German), Garden Angelica,
Holy Ghost Plant, Holy Plant, Lingwort, Longwort, Root of the Holy Ghost, Wild Celery

(A. archangelica syn A. officinalis)
image image image
Also see: Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) and American Angelica (A. atropurpurea).
[Action of A. archangelica thought to be harsher than that of Dong Quai]

1. Can be easily confused with WATER HEMLOCK (Cicuta maculata) of which one mouthful can kill.
2. Should NOT be used by DIABETICS (increases blood sugar) or during PREGNANCY (abortifacient).
4. Once used for medicinal and culinary purposes. ITS SAFETY IS CURRENTLY BEING DEBATED. Still considered safe by USDA in small amounts, but for CULINARY PURPOSES ONLY - not recommended for medicinal use and NOT to exceed recommended dosage if someone is foolish enough to take the risk.
5. The oil can increase PHOTOSENSIVITY, so avoid excess exposure to the sunshine if using the oil externally for any reason.
6. Large amounts act too strongly on the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.
7. The fresh plant can cause CONTACT DERMATITIS in sensitive individuals.
8. **Severe POISONING has resulted from large doses of root taken for the purpose of abortion.**

CONTRAINDICATED: In Chinese medicine it is contra-indicated for "hot" conditions. Not to be used during pregnancy. Root not used when peptic ulcer is present. Not used when acid reflux condition is present. Neither the plant nor the root used when undergoing ultraviolet or solarium therapy.

CONTAINS: Essential oils (including phellandrene and pinene and 0.3-1% terebangelene and other terpenes), limonene, carophyllene, linalool, angelica acid, malic acid, coumarin compounds, bitter principle, tannin, resin (6%). Contains about 5% copper salts, carotene, some plant steroids (supports immune system), valerianic acid (nervine), pectin (digestion), sugar. Furocoumarins, ie. angelicin (stimulating to lungs and skin), bergapten, imperatorin, umbelliferone, xanthotoxin (can induce photosensitivity dermatitis to sun when applied to skin); these are also cancer causing and are toxic and mutagenic even in the absence of light. Angelicol, osthole, osthenol, archangelicin, archangin, sitosterol, various acids (aconitic, quinic, chlorogenic, caffeic, fumeric, citric, oxatic).
Fruit contains 1% volatile oil, bitter property, coumarins and resin.
The seeds contain volatile oil, methyl-ethylacetic acid, hydroxymyristic acid.

A genus of about 60 species of the Umbelliferae family. Native from Greenland to cental Russia and naturalized over most of Europe including Lapland and Iceland. Grows along rivers, moist meadows and light forests. Odor said to resemble a strong musky juniper type scent. It is said to attact fruit flies and blackflies.

PROPAGATION: By fresh seed (will self-sow) and by offsets. Biennial or longer if flowers are kept cut. Reaches 6 to 8 feet. When seed is ripe and falling from plant in late summer, sprinkle a handful over the soil where you wish them to grow next year. Lightly press them into the soil with your shoe for spring plants (this also works great with morning glories).
NEEDS: Part shade and lightly moist, rich ,well drained location and slightly acid soil. Near a pond is good. During a wet summer, crown rot can develop. Is liked by spider mites, leaf miners, earwigs and aphids.
HARVEST: Roots in fall of 1st or 2nd year. Root stock is red-brown, hard and fibrous and contains a thick yellowish juice with an agreeable odor and sweet to the taste at first, but becomes bitter and acrid. Roots should be dried immediately and stored in air tight containers. Leaves are taken in spring and early summer of 2nd year. The oval fruit is composed of two winged seeds. Seeds are harvested as available. Stems. Roots and leaves are dried for later use, although fresh root has been used in the treatment of bronchitis (1 to 2 Tbsp in 1 pint water taken 3 times daily with another at bedtime if needed). Long term storage of root attracts more insects than other commonly known herbs. Store in air tight glass jars. Leaves taken in summer are believed to be gentler than the root in healing action. Essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the seeds. It requires 100 kilograms of seed to produce 1 kiloliter of oil. The fresh leaves yield less and the roots yield .015 to 0.3 kg from the same weight.

EXTRACTION: By alcohol.
SOLVENT: Boiling water.


Roots used medicinally and were distilled. Also used in capsule form, as tea, in the bath and in a wine infusion.
Affects circulation, heart, lungs, skin, stomach and intestines. Said to strengthen the stomach and disinfect the intestines.
Has been used as warming digestive tonic (carminative), bronchial aid, emmenogogue, to stimulate appetite, (appetite is stimulated by increasing production and secretion of gastric juices, pancreatic juices and bile), anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, as relaxing expectorant for inflamed conditions of bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, colds and flu, feverish conditions and for menstrual cramping; astringent, tonic, diuretic, vulnerary, cholagogue, anti-inflammatory, broad general tonic, alterative.
Has been used to relieve buildup of phlegm due to bronchitis and asthma. Root tea has also been used for emphysema and to reduce muscle spasms of asthma and bronchitis.
A syrup of the stems has been used for coughs.
For bronchial problems, has often combined with coltsfoot and white horehound. Also for bronchial problems and deep-seated catarrh (a few drops in water with honey once an hour).
Has been used for lung problems like coughs and shortness of breath (1 oz. powdered root in 1 pint of boiling water).
A tea of the roots and a poultice of the roots to the chest has been used in cases of whooping cough.
Leaf has been used as compress in inflammations of the chest. Fresh leaf is macerated and applied as poultice for chest congestion. Poultice of the mashed root is applied to chest also. Useful in conditions of bronchial inflammation and pneumonia.
Was used to purify blood in cases of blood infection; also for cancer, arthritis and skin eruptions.
For indigestion, has often been combined with chamomile.
Has been used for colic, intestinal colic, flatulence, anorexia, rheumatism, cystitis (acts as urinary antiseptic).
Has been used in treatment of anemia (one 00 capsule taken 3 times per day with each meal).
Tea has been taken as tonic and sometimes used as treatment for alcoholics; regular use is said to create a distaste for alcoholic drinks (1/4 to 1 tsp dried root taken as tea to stop cravings).
Has been used as a cool infusion for tired eyes.
Has been used for people who get cold easily; has warming effect on the body, promotes circulation to the extremities; traditionally given to those suffering from cold hands and feet caused by anemia.
Has been used externally for swellings associated with rheumatism.
The powdered seeds have been used for skin lice.
Has ben used as a tonic when convalesing from a debilitating illness; useful for chronic conditions.
Has been used to improve hepatic conditions. Said to improve function of liver and spleen.
Has been used in fever management when fever is of long term.
Oxytocic - used to stimulate uterine contractions to assist and induce labor.
Has been used to regulate menses, especially after use of birth control pills or I.U.D. devices.
Has been used to relieve spasms of stomach and intestines; dispels gas.
Fresh plant extract has been used for digestion, loss of appetite, irritation of the stomach lining, stomach cramps (10 drops in a little water 3 times daily taken 1/2 hour before meals.) For digestive upsets or flatulence, "Vespètro" has been used. (See 'Recipes' below)
Has been used to stimulate appetite (1 C. mildly warm tea with meal).
Has been used for bladder infections (contains antiseptic agents and is mildly diuretic).
Tea has been used for delayed menses and stomach gas, mild muscle spasms, to stimulate kidney action, for ulcers, vomiting with stomach cramps, intermittent fever, nervous headaches, colic, general weakness (tea = 1 oz. clean root simmered in 1 pint water).
In fever management a body sheet is soaked in the tea, then wrapped around the body and the whole is covered with heavy blankets to promote sweating; tea is also taken internally.
Angelica salve has been used as a skin lotion and to relieve rheumatic pains. Angelica has also been used in linaments.
Has been added to the bath water to soothe nervous conditions. Also, a tea of the root or the leaves has been used for nervous disorders as a mild tranquilizer. Tea is said to reduce tension and calm nerves when taken before bedtime.
Decoction has been used for scabies, itching, skin rashes and wounds; for wounds a strong decoction of the fresh root (preferable) combined with 1/2 part juniper berries has been used as an antiseptic wash.
A compress has been used for gout; also the extract applied externally.
Tea of the roots has been used for arthritis, rheumatism and gout. Also, 10 drops of the oil combined in 25 ml of sweet almond oil is applied as a massage to relieve pain in cases of arthritis and rheumatism.
The dried juice of the stem and root have been used for chronic rheumatism and gout.
For stiffness and joint pain, creaking sounds in joints. For swollen and deformed joints a pad is soaked in a dilute tincture and used as a compress. OR - 5 drops of oil is added to a hot bath. OR - the decoction is used as a compress or in the bath.
Has been used for headaches caused by poor vascular circulation. HEADACHE FORUMLA = Equal parts willow bark, rosemary, white poplar bark, feverfew, angelica root.
Said to relieve toothache.
The powdered root, the tea or the extract has also been used to treat ulcererous wounds and sores.
A tea of the roots has been used as a mouthwash for bad breath. An infusion of the root has been combined with peppermint and lemon balm to be used as a gargle for inflammation of the throat and mouth.
The roots and seeds said to reduce the size of cancerous tumors.
Has been used for cramps by applying warm packs soaked in the tea.
Has been used in cases of electric shock; a warm tea taken internally and the body rubbed with the same taken up in a sponge; then a light vigorous massage given all over with upward motions toward the heart.
Has been used for epilepsy. Warm packs are soaked in the tea and applied to neck, throat, forehead and chest; then cool packs soaked in strong peppermint tea are placed on the same areas; to be done alternately till the patient revives and the seizure ends.
For fungal infections of the lungs, hands and feet, four 00 capsules have been taken per day (lungs) and the hands and feet soaked in a strong decoction of the root.
For gastroenteritis the warm tea has been taken flavored with a small amount of licorice or cinnamon.
For heartburn a tea of the roots has been taken.
For hemorrhage a tea of the roots or the fresh herb has been applied externally.
For hives or shingles the tea has been used as a lotion or salve.
For hypoglycemia the tea of the roots or the fresh herb has been employed.
As an intestinal purifier a very occasional use of the root tea has been used as an enema.
To improve memory, equal parts of the root with peppermint has been used.
Tea of the leaves and stalks has been used for scurvy prevention.
For sinusitis the scrapings of the dried root were burned and the vapors inhaled.
A tea of the roots has been used for tuberculosis and typhoid.
For venereal diseases a tea of the roots was used as an external wash.
The fresh roots steeped in water and 1 to 2 tsps consumed in 1 pint of water has been used as an emetic.
For sunburn, a cloth has been dipped in the infusion and applied as a compress.
Native Americans used it to discharge mucous from the respiratory tract, to induce vomiting and to cure TB and consumption. They mixed poultices of Angelica and the leaves of Artemesia canadensis and placed them on the side of the body opposite the pain to relieve the pain and also applied poultices to swellings.
Native Americans of the Rocky mountains made decoctions and infusions from the root and drank as a tonic to build up the body after an illness.
Used by Russians since ancient times for treatment of nervous exhaustion, epilepsy, hysteria, sedative, poor digestion, to increase the appetite, for stomach problems, for gas and bloating, for indigestion, heartburn and atony of the intestines.
Chinese use the root for lung, stomach and intestinal problems.
NOTE: During the Middle Ages the liquid extract was used as eye and ear drops before going into battle; it was believed to improve the sight and hearing. Eyedrops are still sometimes used. Due to its ability to clear tiny passages in the body, it is used to relieve dimness of vision by placing drops in the eyes and also used to improve diminished hearing by placing drops in the ears. An infusion of the root has also been used as eyedrops, often combined with eyebright.

All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
USE ANGELICA SPARINGLY; not recommended for continuous use or for a long period of time - no more than 4 weeks of 1 C. tea taken 3 times daily or 20 drops of the tincture taken 3 times daily.

DECOCTION = 1 tsp dried herb in 1 C. water drunk 3 times daily (1 tsp cut dried root in 1 C. water; bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes; remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes)
BATH DECOCTION = made with 7 oz. of root.
INFUSION = 1 oz. bruised root to 1 pint water, steeped 5 to 10 minutes and taken at the rate of 2 to 3 Tbsp three times daily.
COLD INFUSION = Roots are said to do best as a cold infusion: 1 C. cold water over 1 tsp of root; let stand in a saucepan for several hours, then boil for 2 minutes. Steep 2 minutes more then strain and serve.
TINCTURE = 1 to 2 milliliters (1 tsp approx) taken 3 times daily (made by steeping 4 oz. of root in 1 pint alcohol for 2 weeks)
COLD EXTRACT= 1 tsp dried root with 3/4 C. water; let stand for 8 to 10 hours, then strain; take 1 to 1-1/2 C. daily.
CAPSULES = powdered root in size 00 capsules, 2 capsules at a time OR 25 grains of the powdered root. OR - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp taken 3 times daily.
POWDER = 30 to 60 grains
EXTERNALLY = 10 to 30 drops of the extract in water OR extract may be rubbed directly on affected areas.

Used as a general tonic and fertility aid and for removal of internal obstructions by naturopathic vets.
Stems used as fertility aid.
Seeds used as digestive tonic.
Roots (given raw as shavings) to remove stones and hard matter of the bladder and bowels.

DOSE (animals) = A handful of stems, seeds and root shavings given daily in the early morning.

Candied stems and leaves. Candied stalks used in cakes and puddings. Stems to be candied should be collected in mid-summer (July-August in New England)
Roots are preserved.
Leaves dried and brewed for tea.
Stems steamed and eaten like asparagus.
Blanched stalks eaten like celery or cooked with rhubarb, gooseberries or plums to reduce acidity and to reduce sugar needed.
Leaf midribs eaten like celery.
Dried leaves used in brewing of hops bitters.
Seeds used for flavoring and making liquers. Used as a flavoring in liqueurs like Chartreuse and Benedictine, gin and vermouth.
Flavor goes well with baked apples and rhubarb in ratio of 5-25% peeled stems added before baking.
Tea can be mixed with other sweet tasting beverages.
Seed extracts and essential oils from root and stem used as flavoring. Used to flavor toothpaste also.
Leaves used as garnish or in salads, soups and meat stews.
Dried and ground leaves used in desserts, custards and pastries.
Dried ground roots used in yeast breads, quick breads, cakes, mufins and cookies.
Chopped stems good with pork.
When simmering pumpkin, squash or sweet potatoes, add a bouquet garni of dried angelica leaf and bay leaf.
A syrup made from the stems and leaves or a decoction of the root can be stored in the refrigerator then diluted to make a beverage drink or else poured over fruit salads.
Stems used for jelly.
Considered a vegetable in Iceland, Siberia and Lapland where the raw stems are eaten with butter.
Laplanders wrap their fish in the leaves to preserve them on long journeys due to the leaves' antimicrobial properties.
In Norway the powdered roots are used to flavor bread.
Various members of the species have been used by the Chinook Indians. The roots were boiled for food.
In Finland the young stems were baked in hot ashes and an infusion of the dry herb was drunk hot or cold. Also - the fresh herb was added to fish stew.

Tea used for tired eyes and to cleanse skin.
Fragrant herbal bath. Decoction of root in bath is calming. Leaves and seeds in bath infusion aromatic. A muslin bag full of leaves added to bath water to relax.
DECOCTION of ROOT = 1½ Tbsp root in 2 C. cold water; bring to boil; steep 5 min; add to bath. Also: the essential oil of the root added to bath water for relaxation.
Angelica salve used as a skin lotion.

Burn seed or pieces of dried root over low flame.

Leaves used in potpourri as fixitive.

Dark green with iron mordant.

Root oil used in insect control as an attractant.
The fragrance of the root attracts deer and fish and was used by early Americans and European hunters.
Essential oil is used commecially in perfumes, creams, soaps, ointments, shampoos and oils.
An incision in the bark of the stems and the crown of the root in early spring will allow a resinous gum to exude and can be substituted for musk benzoin.
Angelica Balsam is obtained by extracting the roots with alcohol and evaporating and extracting the residue with ether. The resulting product is a dark brown color and contains angelica oil, angelica wax and angelicin.
Angelica is one of the ingredients in Compound Spirit of Aniseed.
The hollow stems can be cut in half lengthwise and used as traps for earwigs.

Stinging nettle (said to increase seed oil content upto 80%).


Laplanders made incisions in stems and crown of roots in beginning of spring and collected the resinous gum which exuded. Was used for its supposed powers against witches.
During early summer in the lake region of Latvia, peasants would march into town carrying armsful of angelica to sell. As they went, they sang chants in a language so ancient that the meaning of the words had been lost. Peasants would also make necklaces of the leaves for their children to be worn about the neck to ward off evil spirits and witches.
Angelica was used as a plague herb in the Middle Ages (see comment and other categories.)
Various remedies using Angelica were taken for rabies, colics, to induce urine, for pleurisy, coughs and other lung complaints. A syrup was used for indigestion.
Was added to the British Pharmacoepia in 1934. Root is official ONLY in Swiss, German and Austrian pharmacoepeias.
Seeds were once thought to contain anti-malarial properties.

A primary plague herb in Europe during the Middle Ages. According to one legend, it was named after the Archangel Raphael who revealed this herb and its secrets to a monk during a plague epidemic (10th century French legend). Said to bloom in Europe on the Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel (May 8, Old World calendar) and is believed to ward off witchcraft and evil spirits.
The roots were added to wines and elixirs by the Benedictine monks. An elixir of the root was used for digestive and lung complaints as well as the plague.
The juice of the roots was used to make Carmelite Water which was used as a cure-all, to ensure long life and to protect against witchcraft. It was believed to have been a preventative against diseases as well as a cure.
Astrologically - said to be ruled by the Sun.
Thought to be an aphrodisiac by some.
Is an important ingredient of Swedish Bitters.
Largely used as a flavoring for confections and liqueurs and in perfumery and medicinals. This is the original green candies in fruit cakes.
The Muscatel grape-like flavor of some wines produced near the Rhine owe their special taste to angelica.
Believed to have been brought to North America by European settlers.

Also see: Cooking with Herbs and Wild Foods

Candied Stems #1

In early summer cut young tender stems and thick leaf ribs; slice into 2" lengths and put into pan with water and cover; simmer till tender; lift out and peel off outer bitter skin; return to pan and simmer a few more minutes till bright green in color; lift out and drain; weigh.
Lay in single layer in shallow pan or tray; for each pound of angelica use 2 C. sugar and 2/3 C. water; place sugar and water in pan and stir till sugar dissolved; boil to a thick syrup; pour over stems and leave overnight.
Pour syrup back into pan; boil again till thick and pour back over stems; repeat 4 times over 4 days till all liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle stems with more sugar till thoroughly coated; put in airy place on racks to dry; must be thoroughly dry; store in airtight container between layers of wax paper.

Candied Stems #2

Cut stems 4" long; boil till tender; remove, peel, and boil again til stems are green. Dry and weigh. Measure equal amount of sugar (or honey) and place stems in a shallow glass or earthenware bowl; sprinkle evenly with sugar. Allow to remain 24 hours. Place in enamel pot or stainless steel pot and boil for 10 minutes. Strain off juice and add a little extra sugar to it (1/2 cup); boil juice; allow to cool slightly and place stems in thickened liquid for several minutes; remove stems and put on plate to dry in warm place.

Candied Stems #3

Cut mature stalks 3 to 4 inches long; soak for 12 hours in cold water that has 1 Tbsp each of salt and vinegar in it; drain and cover with fresh water; boil till the stalks are transparent.
Make a syrup of 2 C. sugar and 1 C. water (a few drops of food coloring can be used if desired); place stems in the syrup and simmer till transparent and glazed; place stems on tray till dry; store in airtight container in cool place.

Candied Stems #4

2 C. roots and young stems
1/2 C. salt
2 C. boiling water
2 C. sugar
2 C. water
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Place angelica in a bowl and cover with salt and boiling water; allow to sit for 24 hours; drain, peel and wash in cold water. Cook sugar in water to 238º F; add angelica and lemon juice; cook for 20 minutes; drain angelica and put syrup aside.
Place angelica on a rack in a cool dark place for 4 days and refrigerate the syrup.
Combine the syrup and stems and cook again to 238º F for 20 minutes or until candied; drain on a rack and allow to dry thoroughly; store in air tight container.

Candied Stems #5

4 C. stalks cut 2 inches long
4 C. water
1 Tbsp salt
2 C. sugar.

Soak stalks in water and salt overnight; drain off water and add stalks to a thick syrup made with 2 C. sugar and 2 C. water. Let stand overnight. Drain off syrup and boil it to a thick consistency; add the stalks to the syrup and allow to stand overnight. Drain the candied stalks and serve. The syrup can be used for cool drinks or rhubarb can be cooked in it.

Angelica Jam

Tender stems cut in fairly long strips and blanched in boiling water until soft; then soaked in cold water for 12 hours. For each 2 lbs. of Angelica you will need 1½ lbs sugar. Make sugar into a syrup and place angelica in syrup until done. Place in jars and process in usual manner.

Angelica Liqueur

Angelica stems
1 oz. bitter almonds (skinned and pulped)
2 pints brandy.

Chop freshly gathered stems and steep in 2 pints of brandy for 5 days with the bitter almond. Strain and add 1 pint of liquid sugar.

(Angelica liqueur)

2 oz. Angelica seeds (chopped root can be substituted)
1/4 oz. fennel seeds
1/4 oz. anise seeds
1/5 oz. coriander seeds.

Grind seeds together; place in bottle and add 8 oz. of pure alcohol. After 8 days, strain through muslin and mix with 2½ pints water to which 1 lb. of sugar (grape sugar preferred if available) has been added. (Used for digestive upsets or flatulence.)

Plague Recipe

Nutmeg, treacle and angelica water beaten together and heated over a fire. Those with the plague were to drink this twice daily.

Old European Recipe for Typhus

1 quart of boiling water poured over 6 oz. Angelica root which is cut in thin slices, 4 oz. honey, juice of 2 lemons and 1/2 gill of brandy; the whole is infused for 1/2 hour.

Hops Bitters #1

1 oz. dry angelica
1 oz. holy thistle
1/2 oz. hops

Infuse these with 3 pints of boiling water; strain when cold. Taken before meals in wineglassful as appetizer.

Hops Bitters #2

Weigh one handful of hops and add equal weight of angelica leaves; add 1 pint of boiling water and 1 tsp of honey; when cool, strain and drink.

Carmelite Water

2 lbs of balm leaves
4 oz. lemon peel
2 oz. each of nutmeg, cloves, coriander seed
some cinnamon bark and dried angelica root

To these ingredients add 1/2 gallon of orange flower water and 1 gallon of alcohol. Let stand 4 to 6 weeks then place in a still and slowly distill.

Digestive Liqueur

1 oz. fresh chopped stem plus 1 oz. of skinned bitter almonds steeped in 2 pints brandy for 5 days; strain and add 1 pint of liquid sugar.

aka Masterwort (NOT to be confused with Cow Parsnip)
Angelica, Archangel, Bellyache Root, High Angelica, Purple Angelica, Wild archangel, Alexanders, Hunting Root
(Angelica atropurpurea)
Also see: Angelica (A. archangelica)

CAUTION: Can easily be confused with WATER HEMLOCK (Cicuta maculata) of which a single mouthful can kill.

A tall biennial (4 to 6 feet) native to North America from Canada to Illinois found along streambanks and in swamps and damp places. Dark purple hollow stems and compound leaves. An aromatic plant whose flavor is somewhat bitter and strongly pungent. Was popular in early American gardens.

PROPAGATION: By fresh seed (see Angelica) in partial shade.
NEEDS: Moist, semi-shady, slightly acid position.
HARVEST: Rootstalk and roots in fall and seeds as available.
SOLVENT: Boiling water.


Used similar to A. archangelica, but believed to be less effective.
Diuretic, emmenagogue, stimulant, tonic, diaphoretic, and emetic (in large doses).
Has been used mainly for heartburn and flatulence.
Has been used by the Creeks for stomach problems, dry bellyache, colic, hysterics, worms, and back pain.
Has been used by the Menominee to reduce swellings and for pain. They also took the cooked roots and pounded them to a pulp and combined this with the leaves of Artemisia canadensis to make a poultice or hot plaster which was applied to any pain in the chest or body. The poultice was applied to the opposite side of the body from the pain.
Tea of the roots was used for tuberculosis and typhus.
For venomous bites of snakes, spiders and insects, a tea of the roots was used to neutralize the poisons.
For use as an emetic the root was steeped in water and 1 to 2 tsps of this liquid consumed in 1 pint of water.
Tea of the roots and a poultice of the roots to the chest was used to treat whooping cough.
For wounds a stong decoction of the fresh root (preferable) combined with 1/2 part of Juniper berries was used as an antiseptic wash.
A tea of the roots or the dry powdered roots was used to cleanse and heal old wounds and ulcerous wounds.
Was official in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1820-1863. The root was official in the USP from 1863-73 and in the NF from 1916-36. The fruit was official in the USP from 1831-42 and NF from 1916-36.
According to one report the fresh roots were considered poisonous and were used for suicidal purposes by some Canadian Indians, but were safe when dried (Millspaugh 1892).
The juice of the roots was once mixed with saliva as a remedy for sore eyes.
The root was chewed and swallowed for cold, colic and fever. It was also crushed and smoked like tobacco for colds and congestion.
Native Americans boiled and strained the root and used it in diseases of children.

All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
1 tsp of the seeds in 1 C. water; boiled 5 minutes; taken 3 times daily.

Used as a diuretic and diaphoretic.

Young stems and leafstalks were peeled and eaten raw in salads, but are milder if cooked in two changes of water.
Leaves added to cooking fish, soups and stews.
Tender roots and shoots were candied.

Native Americans used a combination of puccoon (blood root), wild angelica and bear's grease for their skin; it was said to have repelled lice, fleas and other vermin.
Rubbing the root on the legs was thought to deter rattlesnake bites.
Native Americans in Arkansas carried it in their medicine bags and mixed it with tobacco for smoking.
The fresh root was rubbed onto the hands and clothing to attract deer. Also, a small amount was applied to fish bait to attract fish.
The root was fed to hogs to improve the flavor of the meat.

aka Wild Angelica, Goutweed
(Angelica sylvestris)

CAUTION: Easily confused with poisonous EUROPEAN WATER HEMLOCK (Cicuta maculata) of which a single mouthful can kill.

Distinguished by its rootstock which is thick and gray on the outside and by its more sharply toothed leaves and its flowers which are smaller and and purer white than A. archangelica.

HARVEST: Roots and rootstock in spring.


Primarily used as appetizer, bitter, carminative, diaphoretic, and stimulant
Used for colic, cramps, and mild stomach upsets.

All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
Decoction = 2 tsp of dried root with 1 C. water; boil 5 to 10 minutes. One cup taken daily.
Powder = 1/4 to 1/2 tsp taken 3 times daily.

Produces a yellow dye.


Angelica anomala
image Image

The root was used as a pain killer. Also used for the common cold, headache, fever and to treat boils and abcesses, itching, diptheria, blood in the urine, snake bites, and vaginal discharge.

Angelica dahurica
Same uses as A. anomala (see above).

Angelica lucida

The powdered seeds were used to kill lice. The root was used against yellow fever and chewed when visiting the sick.
The Missouri tribes mixed it with tobacco to smoke and is also said to have been eaten by them, but that it produced indigestion.
Said to be useful against tumors.

Angelica pubescens

Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic. The root was used to treat nose bleed, blood in the urine, rheumatoid arthritis, lumbago, common cold, headache, to increase menstrual flow.

Angelica venosa

Once widely distributed and believed to be the plant which was so highly prized by Native Americans.

©2000 by Ernestina Parziale, CH