What is Angelica?
Angelica from your herb garden is a medicinal herb and a culinary herb. The Angelica herb gained its name as one of the medicinal herbs as it’s qualities were supposedly revealed to a monk by an angel, who said it would cure the plague. Angelica is said to bloom every May 8, the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel, which led to its perception as having magical healing powers.
Angelica was believed to ward off witches and evil spirits, the juice of the angelica root supposedly able to ensure long life and protection against poisons.
Fresh Angelica seeds should be planted as quickly as possible as their germination rate drops rather fast. Germination is slow, as much as 4 to 8 weeks; Angelica seeds should be planted preferably in the cool range; around 40 degrees F. seems to be the correct temperature.
Plant the Angelica seeds uncovered or up to 1/2 inch deep in your herb garden in late summer or fall depending on the climate. Thin the seedlings to as much as 18 inches (40-50cm) apart.
The Angelica herb typically will not produce seed until the second growing season.
If the Angelica flowers are allowed to form Angelica herb seeds, the Angelica will grow for a number of years. If the seed head is allowed to develop and drop seeds, Angelica will self seed your garden quite easily. If allowed to go to seed in your herb garden the Angelica plants will die. Your herb garden could become over run with Angelica plants the following year.
If the Angelica seed heads are trimmed, or deadheaded, the Angelica plant will live multiple seasons.
As a culinary herb, angelica looks and smells like celery.
Angelica leaves can be added to salads, stews or as garnish. Angelica stem, when used as a culinary herb, can be steamed and eaten like asparagus.
Licorice lovers will enjoy angelica in any form.
And dried angelica root can be used in yeast breads, cookies, muffins and cakes. Some enjoy candied angelica stem to decorate puddings or cakes.
The herb is used to make angelica wine and the Angelica root is even used as a flavoring in vermouth and gin.
Amazing Angelica was thought by the American Indians to have many medicinal herb uses: to induce vomiting, clear mucus from the respiratory tract and to cure consumption. Angelica also was used in poultices applied to swellings, and its root was used in teas.
Today, Angelica leaves are brewed as tea and the Angelica root oil is used in bathwater for relaxation. Uses of Angelica as an herbal remedy involve treatment of digestive problems and bronchial colds. Angelica has been credited with anti-inflammatory properties and used to lower fevers.
Parts of Angelica, especially the Angelica roots, contain a chemical that can sensitize the skin to light. Subsequent exposure to sunlight can lead to sunburn of the exposed skin.