Herbs > Angelica Herb

Information on, uses of and how to grow angelica:

Name
Angelica archangelica.

Family
Umbelliferae.

History
In past times the seeds and roots of Angelica used to be burned as a sort of incense to perfume the house. Traditionally the herb takes its name from the story that an angel came to earth when plague was rampant and told people to hold a piece of Angelica root in their mouths to ward off the pestilence.

Growing pattern
Biennial.

Seeds
Buy Herb Seeds (Organic and Non-Organic) from The Green Chronicle (Pay in $US, £, Euro).
Herbs, Seasonings, Seeds and Spices - Buy Angelica root from Mountain Rose Herbs ($US).

How to grow
Sow the seeds in August in the place where you want the Angelica to flower. Thin the seedlings to 15cm apart. If you do not allow the flower heads to form Angelica will grow for a number of years. If you allow the seed head to develop and drop the plant will self seed quite easily.

Soil condition/position
Angelica likes rich, light soil in partial shade.

Appearance
This highly aromatic plant grows up to 2 meters high. It has creamy white flowers massed into one almost round umbel. Its many leaflets are arranged in groups of three and its stems are hollow.

Uses
The root of Angelica can be used for making tea and the stems are the parts which are candied for cake decoration. The leaves can be added to cooking rhubarb, gooseberries, redcurrants and plums to help sweeten these often sour fruits. A syrup made from the stems and leaves can be stored and diluted to use as a drink and tea made from the dried leaves is said to be good for soothing the nerves, tension, colds coughs and rheumatism. It should not be taken by those suffering from diabetes. Angelica also has a cosmetic use. Fill a muslin bag with Angelica leaves and dangle it in your bath. It is most relaxing.