Herbal Tips: Introduction To The Angelica Herb

Angelica is known as the Guardian Angel herb. It has many medicinal properties. In tea form, it is used to fight colds and flu.

Angelica (Guardian Angel) is better known in Northern Europe, Iceland, and Russia. This biennial herb can grow anywhere from five to eight feet in height. It requires a shady and sheltered location that has rich soil in order to thrive. Angelica has round whitish-green flower heads that bloom in late spring that closely resemble Queen's Anne Lace. The stalks of this herb are similar to that of celery and these stems produce serrated, bright green leaves.

The history of this plant goes back to ancient times when it was used in pagan rituals and later on in time was used in Christian festivals.

Make sure that when you plant Angelica that you only use fresh seeds which can be started in pots or window boxes and later transplanted into the ground when seedlings are approximately three to four inches high. Once the plant is mature, it is ready to be harvested in the fall. Snip off the entire flower head and allow it to dry. Store in airtight containers until they are ready to be used. Use the same drying process with the stems.

You can use the leaves of this herb in fresh salads. The dried stems and stalks can be crystallized and used for decorating cakes and candy. You can also eat the candied stems directly. You can also add the candied stems to stewed fruits, jams, preserves, and jellies. You can also cook the fresh or dried stalk and eat it like you would any other vegetable.

Angelica is used to fight off all kinds of infections and is used to help with digestion. You can also chew slowly on the stalk to relieve flatulence. During the cold winter months, Angelica has been known to warm a person's body when eaten or used in a herbal tea. The tea can be made from any part of the plant - but only use on part in each tea preparation whether it is the seeds, stems, leaves or dried root. The tea is also used to fight the flu and colds. It can also be used long term to prevent wintertime illness. If you have diabetes, it is not recommended that you use this plant as it may increase your blood sugar counts.

The seeds of this wonder herb have been used in making perfume. The dried leaves can be used in a potpourri mixture and herb pillows. The fresh or dried herbs can be used in a herb bag to be used in a hot bath.

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