Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
Bolt-textured, 5 foot tall biennial plants with broad leaflets may not bloom until its third year. Cutting off flower heads prolongs its life, but plants often self-seed. Angelica thrives in moist, rich, non-acidic soil, in sun or shade.
Traditional Healing Uses: To ease indigestion, flatulence, and gastritis, to stimulate appetite, and to alleviate coughs and fevers in bronchitis, colds, flu, pleurisy, and asthma. It has also been given as a treatment for urinary cystitis, rheumatism, and menstrual problems. Leaf compresses and poultices have been used to treat lung disease.
Other Uses: Angelica’s licorice-scented young stems can be candied or used as a flavoring for stewed fruit. Fresh leaves may garnish salads, fruit soups, or meat stews. Angelica baths are soothing and dried leaves are used in potpourri.
Harvest: Both leaves and roots have been used in the above remedies. Collect and dry leaves in June. Harvest tap root in fall the first year of growth. Slice thick roots to hasten drying.
Preparation: For root tea, put 1 teaspoon of cut root in a cup of water, bring to boil, simmer for 2 minutes, and let stand 15 minutes. For leaf tea, pour boiling water on 1 teaspoon of dried leaf and let steep 10-15 minutes. Take 3 times a day.
Caution: Do not use during pregnancy or in large doses. Angelica can affect blood pressure, heart action, and breathing.