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Angelica is a genus of about 50 species of tall biennial and perennial herbs in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, reaching as far North as Iceland and Lapland. They grow to 1-2 m tall, with large bipinnate leaves and large compound umbels of white or greenish-white flowers.

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      24.04.2008 15:18
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      Angelica is Amazing!

      "Standing tall in summery lace
      I smile upon you with seraphic grace.
      As scented gift or candied treat
      I'll show you how to be divinely sweet.
      Angels attend my gentle call.
      I'll strengthen your heart,
      chase away ghosts,
      and help mend your bones after a fall."
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      "It's so clear that you have to cherish everyone. I think that's what I get from these older black women, that every soul is to be cherished, that every flower is to bloom." ~ Alice Walker

      "Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle.
      Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of heavenly host. By the divine power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."~ Prayer to Archangel Michael, the Protector

      "Angels transcend every religion, every philosophy, every creed. In fact angels have no religion as we know it... their existence precedes every religious system that has ever existed on earth." ~ St. Thomas Aquinas

      There are about 50 species of plants known as Angelica. Some are perennial and others are biennial herbs in the family Apiacea. Giant Angelica, Garden Angelica, Hairy Angelica, Wooly Angelica, Wild Angelica, King's Angelica, Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis), and Poison Angelica are just a few species of this marvelous plant.

      Typically, they are native to temperate and subarctic areas in the Northern Hemisphere and can be found as far north as Iceland. Approximately 1-2 meters tall with bi-pinnate leaves and sizable compound umbels of greenish-white or white flowers. Garden Angelica (Angelica Archangelica) is the one typically thought of when speaking of the herb Angelica, and it is used both medicinally and in cooking.

      Angelica has a Licorice-like flavor which I find interesting just because they are by no means closely related, perhaps it is their closer relation to anise that brings this flavor. Angelica stems can be candied much like Licorice that is still favored as a candy today. Crystallized Angelica makes a wonderful addition to sweets and cakes of all sorts.

      Young shoots and stalks of Angelica are best harvested in spring and can be eaten raw or cooked, although they should be peeled first. These are excellent as a flavoring to offset tart fruits when baking or making jam. Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and make an interesting addition to salads or soups. The essential oil used as a flavoring is rendered from the roots and seeds, and teas can also be brewed from the leaves, seeds, or roots.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

      "Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." ~Janis Joplin

      "The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known." ~J.R.R. Tolkien

      Medicinally, Angelica has been traditionally used for its antispasmodic, caminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, tonic or most especially its stomachic qualities. The root contains potassium, magnesium, iron, fructose, glucose, sucrose, riboflavin, thiamin, zinc, vitamin B12, and other trace minerals. Digestive issues and blood circulation problems have often been combated by this heavenly herb.

      The root, which is typically the best part of this plant for medicinal purposes, should be harvested in the autumn of its first year. After harvesting and cleaning, it should be sliced lengthwise and dried quickly. If well prepared and stored, this helpful root will retain its medicinal usefulness for several years! Leaves can also be harvested for medicinal purposes and this should be done in spring before the plant begins to flower.

      Angelica eases flatulence, indigestion, chronic bronchitis, typhus, and stimulates blood flow to the peripheral parts of the body which has made it very useful to those suffering from conditions like Buerger's disease, which narrows the arteries in hands and feet. Because of this stimulant quality, it is also believed to strengthen the heart.

      It makes an excellent gargle for sore throats, and a wonderful poultice for itching skin, swellings, rheumatism or even broken bones. A close relative of carrot, parsley, celery, fennel, and dill, an infusion of this root is said to make an excellent facial wash that helps to prevent acne. It has an antibacterial quality which prevents the growth of various bacteria. This makes powdered Angelica root a successful treatment for athlete's foot as well as a natural pesticide or insecticide.

      "Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." ~ Louisa May Alcott

      "Bless the LORD, all my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities. Who heals all your diseases." Psalms 103:2-4

      It has also been used to treat or ease: colic, skin rashes, fever, toothaches, nervousness, anorexia nervosa, anemia, liver stagnation from too many toxins, cirrhosis, constipation, flu, broken bones, lethargy and weakness after an illness, and cystitis. One should definitely avoid getting Angelica juices in the eyes though.

      Also, this herb has been used to correct obstructed menses, therefore it should not be used if by anyone who is pregnant. Because of it raises sugar levels, it is not advisable for those suffering from diabetes, although it is otherwise gentle enough for the very young or the elderly. The oil has a musk-like scent and has also been used in baths and perfumery. Little wonder that this marvelous plant has also been called Masterwort!

      The name Archangelica, first appeared in the Middle Ages during the height of the black plague. Legend says that Angelica's many curative properties were revealed in a dream by the Archangel Michael. It has also been called "the root of the holy ghost", and another legend says that it derives its name from its bloom time which occurs around May 8th, the day of Archangel Michael. It has been commonly believed for generations, in many cultures, that Angelica is a counter-bane, a cure for all ills medical or magical, a protection from all evil creatures or ill intent, a banish-er of ghosts, demons and nightmares, and an attractive to all higher spiritual beings, especially angels and specifically Archangel Michael. In the Americas, Native Americans used Angelica purpoutrea for all the same purposes already listed as well as a wash to remove ghosts from a dwelling.

      "When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." ~Helen Keller

      When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.
      -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      In China, dong quai is the feminine counterpart to ginseng and considered a must for all women. I can say that I certainly got better results with dong quai as a mood regulator/lightener than I had did with St. John's Wort, the typical favorite, and this is the herb of choice in Chinese medicine for an overwrought nervous system. When Tolkien's characters from Middle Earth speak of Kingsfoil, I always think of Angelica.

      Like the mythic Kingsfoil, it makes a wonderfully refreshing aroma that clears the air of a sickroom immediately. It was also used during the black plague as a preventative. Those attending who knew of the Masterwort would keep a piece in their mouth or chew it throughout the day to keep the plague at bay, and as it is an antibacterial, I'm sure it actually did help!

      Magically, Angelica is used for exorcism, protection, to connect one to personal higher calling, to connect to Angelic energy, healing, visions, purification. It has been associated with the Sun, the element of Fire, the sun sign of Leo, the goddess Sophia, fertility, the season of Spring, Mary mother of Jesus, Brighid and therefore St. Brigid, Heimdall guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, St. John, Venus, Frey, Hecate, Hestia/Vestia, and Kwan Yin.

      Curiously enough, for all its connections to the feminine it is typically considered to be masculine. I assume it is the connection to the Sun which brings this association, although I have to say that I personally view it is as strongly connected to all things feminine and receptive. Brigid, Hestia and Kwan Yin are three of my favorite deities too and perhaps this is why I view heavenly angelica as so strongly feminine.

      This is one of my favorite herbs and I use it often. My preferred incense to make is simply angelica root and dragon's blood resin. It is the perfect combination of the heavenly sweet intoxication of angelica and the earthy magnetism of dragon's blood that makes me feel instantly serene, infinitely safe, and perfectly centered. One sliver of this scent makes me sigh deeply and say, "It's alright now... I'm home." In the language of flowers, Angelica represents Inspiration, and I can certainly see how this airy refresher achieved this association. How does Angelica appear in your life?

      "Imagination is the highest kite one can fly." ~ Lauren Bacall

      "Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward." ~ Henry Ford

      "We must become the change we want to see." ~Gandhi


      "Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss." ~ Black Elk

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      This poem and the discussion of Angelica which follows are part of a larger work, loosely entitled "Who Sings Now?". Each poem is inspired by a Nature Teacher... a plant, stone, animal, etc found in Nature which carries totemic lessons and sacred wisdom for us.

      On other sites, we've made a game of it. I would post the poem and everyone would have fun guessing who was singing/inspired the poem. Then I'd post the article on the Wisdom of that Teacher. I have learned a great deal from playing this game with people from all over the world.

      The concepts that we are all One, have a purpose in the eyes of our Creator, and are all deserving of respect are very old ones. Now, more than ever, we as a People need to reconnect to the World around us, and, in my opinion, begin to be more concerned with our Responsibilities than our Rights. Mitake Oyasin means All Our Relations in Lakota, and is used to close prayers and ceremonies as a reminder that we are all One and have a place on the Wheel of Life.

      Wishing You Laughter

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      • More +
        06.03.2007 01:41
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        A nice looking plant that can do some serious damage to your health

        This review is about the herb Angelica, It's an important flavouring in liqueurs such as Benedictine, and is gown commercially for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.

        Wild angelica can be confused with water hemlock, which is poisonous so beware. There are also serious side effects which I have made a note of at the bottom.

        Angelica - Angelica archangelica

        ***The Plant***

        Angelica is also known as Garden angelica and the Root of the Holy Ghost.

        Angelica is a native to Europe, Asia and North America, but is cultivated worldwide as a garden plant. The wild angelica can be found growing in moist fields and hedgerows all over Europe, the American species of angelica is found in the same conditions in Canada and in Northern and Central states in America.

        Angelica comes from the Greek word "angelos" which is meant to mean "messenger".

        Legend has it that an angel revealed to a monk in a dream that the herb was a cure for the plague, and angelica was considered a safeguard against evil, witchcraft in particular.

        ***Species***

        Biennial and short lived perennial (lives 4 years). Angelica can grow between 3 and 8 foot and can spread 3 foot. In the second year the dramatic flower heads appear in the summer to the autumn with a sweet smelling scent. The leaves are a bright green and the root can range from a yellow to a reddish brown.

        The wild Angelica can grow can grow between 4 and 58 foot and can spread 2 foot, which produce a white flower tinged with a little pink.

        The American Angelica grows the same as the wild species, but produces a white to greenish white flower.

        The Chinese Angelica is also known as Woman Ginseng.

        ***Cultivation***

        Angelica can really only be grown from seed, as the seed loses its viability in around 3 months, the seeds need to be sown fresh in the autumn. If you can sow in the autumn, you can place the seeds in the fridge and sow in the spring. The seedling doesn't do very well being replanted so it best to sow direct in the soil, and thin out once germination has happened.

        I suppose you can sow in biodegradable pots and over winter them, and then plant outside, this would give the minimum amount of root disturbance. I will try and give it ago this year and see what happens, and ill keep you informed.

        If you want to only grow for one season, once the plant has flowered and seeded, cut back and dig up the root. If you want more angelica next season let the plant die back after flowering and seeding, and cut back and leave, but be warned it could seed thousands of little angelica.

        Angelica prefers to grow somewhere sheltered, and need a good watering from time to time. Harvest the leaves and use whilst fresh; pick the flowers in early summer to use in dried flower arrangements. The root should be harvested medicinally in the second year after flowering and leave to dry.

        Can be grown in containers but may need to be staked when the flowers appear and water well.

        ***Pests***
        Angelica can suffer from blackfly, which can be removed using a liquid horticultural soap.

        ***Medicinal***

        Angelica stimulates the circulation, and has also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The young leaves can be made into an herbal tea, taken at night its good for reducing tension. The herbal tea is also good for headaches, indigestion, anaemia and coughs and colds.

        Externally used in a bath preparation it is good for exhaustion and rheumatic pain. Crushed leaves that are placed in the car are supposed to help with travel sickness, and the American angelica is used to help cure heartburn and flatulence. Also the Chinese angelica is a blood tonic in Chinese herbal prescriptions.

        Please read the warning section!

        ***Other Use***

        Angelica looks very nice in dried flower arrangements.

        ***Culinary***

        Young leaves can be used in salads, and the seeds are used by confectioners in pastries.

        If you are cooking rhubarb and gooseberries add young angelica leaves, you will not need to add as much sugar. Its not that the angelica actually sweetens the fruit but the flavour of the angelica takes away the acidity of the rhubarb.

        ***WARNING***

        Large doses first stimulate and then paralyse the central nervous system, the tea is not recommended to those who suffer from diabetes. The wild angelica taken in large doses also has a depressing effect on the nervous system.

        Thanks for reading my reviews, and thankyou for rating them.

        Tashi Delek (May everything be well)

        enlightened_one © 2007

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