ANGELICA : “An Angel of an Herb”

Anemia, Arthritis, Digestion, Respiratory Ailments

Also Known As: Dang-gui, Dang-qui, Master-wort (China) and Wild Celery


For more than a thousand years, angelica has been viewed as a wondrous herb. Leaf necklaces were made by European peasants to protect their children from illnesses. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the juice from the crushed roots combined with herbs created a drink called Carmelite water which was a drink said to cure headaches, promote long life, relaxation and protect against poisons.

In the year of 1665, the bubonic plague, a bacterial disease spread in Europe. It is said that a monastic man dreamed he met an angel who showed him this particular herb, which was angelica. This herb would be able to rid this bacterial spreading disease. The monastic man so named this herb angelica in honor of the angel in his dream. The name stuck and angelica water came to be uses as a plague remedy.

Chinese and Ayuredic physicians prescribe this herb for abdominal pain, arthritis, colds, flu, and menstrual complications.


There are many ways to prepare angelica:

  • Decoction:

Use 1 teaspoon of powdered roots per cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 2 minutes before drinking. Drink up to 2 cups per day. Taste will be bitter.

  • Infusion:

Use 1 teaspoon of powdered leaves or seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes.

  • Tincture:

Use one half to one teaspoon of powdered roots. If using commercial extracts, follow the package directions for steeping times and total preparation. A tincture can have a shelf life of up to 5 years if prepared with alcohol.

USE: (Grow Your Own)

Angelica usually blooms around May 8th which is the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel. Angelica can grow up to 8 feet in length and has a resemblance of celery stalks. Sow angelica in the spring or fall. Plant one half inches deep, 2 feet apart in all directions. Use rich, moist well-drained soil that is slightly acidic. Partial shade is preferred. Germination may take up to a month. Harvest leaves in the fall for the first year. During the second year, harvesting can be done in spring or fall.


Fresh angelica roots are poisonous. Drying the roots will eliminate the hazard. Herbal gardeners should make sure to thoroughly dry roots before using them. Do not collect angelica in the wild. The Food and Drug Administration includes angelica in it’s list of herbs that are regarded as generally safe.