ANGELICA (Angelica archangelica L)

Biennial, robust herbaceous plant, 1-2 m high. Leaves are big, alternate, wide, lanceolate, petioled, triangular shaped, opposite, bi- or tri-pinnatisect, toothed (saw edges), glaucus inside and a petiole widen at the base, where they form a membranous sheath. During the first year a ground-level rosette springs and by the second one a big grooved stem in which upper end flower composed umbels are present. The petiole is up to 50 or 60 cm in length during the second year and gets covered by a red-violaceous skin. Flowers are small, white or slightly green, with long peduncle grouped into umbels at the top of the stem. Fruits in diachenium, of 5 to 6 mm, oblong, formed by to mericarps in the back with two fine ribs called wings and three dorsal striae. The smell is very characteristic. This plant belongs to the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family.

It blossoms between April and June, according to the geographical zone.

It grows in northern Europe and Asia, but is more abundant in the Scandinavian region, Greenland and Iceland. It grows in damp places and near running water. It might be cultivated in mountainous regions of Spain. Harvesting: the root must be cut before inflorescence, between October and December, of plants older than two years. Fruits are harvested ripe (umbels are completely cut off) during the summer of the second year. The root and fruits cannot be obtained from the same plant.

Part used
The root of the plant is the main part used, although sometimes fruits are also employed. Angelica has a characteristic aromatic smell that makes it very vulnerable to the attack of insects. For this reason, this medicinal plant has to be stored very carefully, away from insects.

Internal use
> Digestive disorders: dyspepsia, satiety sensation, eructation, epigastric distension, flatulence and meteorism, digestive atony (exam. Gastric ptosis), nervous originated digestive spasms, lack of appetite, biliary dyskinesia, gastroenteritis, enterocolitis, irritable bowel, etc.
> Nervous and digestive originated headaches.
> Nervous disorders: stress, anxiety, insomnia, depressions, neurosis and nervous weakness.
> It is also recommended for students during their exams; people recovering from weakening diseases, and in general any person in a stressful situation.
> Cardiocirculatory disorders: arterial hypertension, coronary diseases, etc.
> Respiratory disorders: bronchitis, asthma, colds, flu.
> Dysmenorrhea.

External use
> Sprains and bumps, neuralgias, rheumatism, wounds, skin ulcers.
> Skin disorders: vitiligo, psoriasis and leukodermia.

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