Angelica atropurpurea, better known as American angelica or simply angelica, is a perennial herb indigenous to North America. The flowering plant grows to around 6 feet tall and thrives in the swampy woodlands of eastern North America. The plant bears white to greenish flowers that have umbrella-like heads. The leaves are around 2 feet wide, and the branching stem is purple, hollow, and strong. The roots, seeds, stalk, and the leaves of angelica plant are highly prized for their medicinal value and have been used in the treatment of some common ailments. Following are its purported health benefits:
Caution!Avoid consuming the fresh roots of angelica as it can be toxic to the health. However, this toxic nature vanishes in the dried form. So make sure that the roots are dried thoroughly before using it for medical purposes.
Relieves Sore Throat
Angelica herb is said to have antibacterial properties, which may help to treat sore throat―a condition caused due to streptococcus bacteria. Simply chew the stem of Angelica (which are often naturally sweet) to relieve sore throat. In case you find that the stem is bitter, go for candied stems of angelica. Other option is to gargle with an infusion made from the dried roots of angelica, which may also work to alleviate pain associated with sore throat.
Displays Antifungal Properties
The root of this herb is said to be potent against various types of fungi including Candida albicans. Simply chewing (do not swallow) a few pieces of dried root may help to reap its antifungal properties. Topical application of angelica root powder can help treat athlete's foot―a fungal infection that affects the skin in between the toes.
High in Nutrition
Regularly consumption of tea made from the root of angelica can also be good for health as the root contains essential nutrients like vitamin B12, thiamin, zinc, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, potassium, and other trace minerals.
Indigestion that typically manifests in the form of heartburn, excessive gas, and stomach bloating can be treated with angelica herb. This herb is believed to possess carminative properties, which helps relieve gas and bloating. The root extracts can be used as a digestive tonic, so taking it as directed can be helpful to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
Alleviates Pain and Swelling
Poultice made from the leaves of angelica is known to provide relief from traumatic injuries. Applying the poultice may help relieve sprains, fractures, and even arthritis-related pain and inflammation.
Angelica herb is said to have diaphoretic properties, meaning it encourages sweating that can help eliminate waste through the skin. Its diaphoretic action may aid in sweating out the infection, thereby contributing to reduce fever.
Tea made from the dried leaves and roots may help improve appetite. So, when you desist from eating food due to a lack of appetite, try having angelica tea daily. It can certainly help restore your lost appetite by improving digestion.
Extracts of angelica herb reportedly show significant diuretic activity, which may increase urine output. This actually stimulates the body's natural detoxification process, thereby eliminating toxins and other impurities from the blood.
The seeds of the angelica herb are high in imperatorin―a type of coumarin compound that has shown potent antiviral activity. So taking herbal extracts may assist to treat and prevent viral infections such as common cold and seasonal flu.
The herb may assist in relieving chest congestion, due to its purported expectorant properties. It can help to clear the mucus that is causing congestion in the air passages. Its ability to thin mucus may also aid in treating lung and bronchial diseases that cause chest congestion.
When facing difficulty getting that pleasant relaxing sleep, taking a cup of angelica tea before bedtime may work for better sleep at night. Some have found that lighting incense with angelica herb is helpful to induce sleep.
The herb has also been used to treat headaches, skin problems, menstrual disorders, premature ejaculation, and improve sex drive.
Angelica has been found to display blood-thinning properties. So taking the herb in excess, in the form of tea, tincture or supplements, must be avoided as overdose can cause internal bleeding. Also, it should not be taken when put on prescription anticoagulants such as warfarin. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also advised to stay away from this herb.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.