Angelica is the shortened name for the herb called archangelica.  It is a herb in the family Apiaceae, meaning part of the parsley family, and is native to temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, reaching as far north as Iceland and Greenland.  There are about 60 distinct species of Angelica of which some are biennial and others are perennial. They grow to 1–3 m (3 ft 3 in–9 ft 10 in) tall, with large bipinnate leaves and large compound umbels of white or greenish-white flowers.  Certain species can be found in purple moor and rush pastures.  
The roots are thick, cylindrical and long and in some cases can weigh about 2-3 pounds. The stem of the plant normally grows up to six feet in height and are hollow from inside, like a flute. The leaves of the plant are somewhat serrated. There are numerous small flowers growing in bunches or a large group, and can be of green or yellow in color. It is best cultivated in the places where there is continuous running water and the soil is damp and moist. However, the plant can also be grown without much difficulty in adverse conditions.

Most common ways Angelica is used in culinary dishes:

Angelica being known as the sweet ‘herb of the angels’  is used to flavor gin and sweet wines. Candied angelica is used to decorate many cakes and desserts.  Sometimes the stems are cooked with rhubarb or other tart fruits to reduce acidity.  The seeds are frequently added to cookies and the roots are commonly used to flavor Benedictine and Chartreuse. The seeds and the stems of the plant are used in flavoring and in liqueur preparation. This is an aromatic plant with bitter sweet smelling flowers.

Health Benefits of Angelica

In ancient times, the root of the plant was brought to earth by a monk for the treatment of plague. And the day was declared as a religious holiday known as Michael, the Archangel Day. That is how the herb derived its name-Archangelica.

In Mandarin, the plant is called Dang Gui and has its own legend. It holds a place of honor in Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine. It is mostly used as a tonic for women.  Almost every part of the plant can be used as a medicine. 

Angelica is recommended by many modern as well as ancient writers for use in skin care. Angelica contains nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, valeric acid, volatile oils and many others, which are helpful for the natural treatment of various skin conditions.

Other common uses for Angelica as a dietary supplement or treatment.

Angelica is used as a face wash. Angelica, the plant or herb can be used as a face wash to treat various skin conditions and make the skin look softer, clearer and healthier.  The use of it makes the skin heal faster by making the skin absorb the useful nutrients easily. The results will be amazing if the facial cleanser is used twice a day, morning and night. It not only removes acne, but also prevents them from coming back.

Angelica is commonly used in baths.  Angelica can be used in bathing and it really helps in soothing the skin naturally. Adding Angelica to the bath relieves inflammation, softens the skin and helps to treat eczema.

Angelica has been known to help with hair health in general as well as encouraging growth.  Angelica root has been used for hair loss treatment for centuries by the Chinese. Enriched with Vitamin E, it helps in stimulating the circulation of oxygen in the body and the scalp. It helps to promote the metabolism and replenishes the nutrient supply in the body, which are essential for the growth of hair. It helps to oxidize blood, which eventually helps in the oxidation of hair cells. It also promotes the regeneration of damaged hair cells.

One of the frequently known health benefits of Angelica is in easing PMS pain.  Using angelica can prove to be a blessing for women suffering from menstrual cramps. It helps to balance the level of hormones, which in turn provides relief from severe pains.

Another common use for health benefits of Angelica is in use for better overall digestion in the body.   Angelica secretes digestive juices, which are useful in promoting digestion and help in food absorption. It gives relief from flatulence as it effectively expels gas from the body.

Other common believed benefits of Angelica include the belief that it
detoxifies the body and helps in keeping diseases like fever, cold, lung infection and arthritis away.  Angelica is one of those treasures of nature that can offer your body the nutrients it needs in general to stay healthy.

Substitutions for Angelica in Receipes

Substitute equal amounts of lovage or tarragon.  As an equivalent use 1 cup of leaves = 16 grams.

Storage Hints for Angelica 

Angelica is commonly grown and cut fresh.   However to preserve Angelica cut the stems to a length that will fit in a jar for storage.  Then simply follow normal canning or jarring processes.  Others may prefer to boil stems and then lay on a rack to dry for later use from dry storage.  

and was once thought to be a remedy against witchcraft, poison and plague. Its pale green, celery-like stalks stimulate production of digestive juices, improves the flow of bile into the digestive tract, and combats digestive spasms.

Our standard word of caution….

As with anything.  Every person and body is different.  Interactions are not likely but depending on diet, other suppliments or medicines taken one shouldnt blindly ingest Angelica.  Though reactions or concerns are highly unlikely it is recommended and just plain good advice to consult with your doctor prior to using, trying or adding to your routine.  A little moderation is usually best and overdoing anything isnt good for you.