Angelica archangelica


Sturm, J. (1796). Deutschland Flora in Abildungen. Retrieved from:

Botanical name: Angelica archangelica
Common name: Angelica (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527), Holy Ghost, Wild Celery (Bhat, Kuma, & Shah, 2011)
Family: Apiaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)
Part used: Root and Leaf are used medicinally (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)

Active constituents

  • Volatile oils
  • alpha- and beta-phellandrene
  • a-pinene,
  • a-thujene,
  • limonene,
  • b-caryophyllene,
  • linalool,
  • borneol,
  • acetaldehyde
  • Macrocyclic lactones
  • Phthalates
  • Furanocoumarin glycosides
  • Angelicin
  • Umbelliferone
  • Psoralen
  • Bergapten
  • Imperatoren

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)



In Ayuvedic medicine, the herb is described as “katu” which is a pungent taste, and describes a constitution of air and fire (Bhat, et al., 2011).



  • Astringent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)
  • Tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)
  • Vulnerary (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)
  • Cholagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)
  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 1983, p. 175)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 1983, p. 175)
  • Expectorant (Hoffmann, 1983, p. 175)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 1983, p. 175)


Traditionally used as an antiseptic, expectorant, diuretic and anti-emetic (Wedge, Klun, Tabanca, Demirci, Ozek, Baser, Liu, Zhang, Cantrell & Zhang 2009).


Indications (traditional)

Angelica archangelica was traditionally used in folklore medicine (Bhat et al., 2011). As reflected in its name, it was known to posses “angelic” qualities, and was a medicinal and spiritual symbol of protection against illness, evil spirits and witchcraft (Bhat et al., 2011). The stems and seeds of the plant are commonly used as and ingredient in confectionary and in the preparation and flavouring of alcohols such as gin and vermouth (Hoffman, 2003, p. 527; Bhat et al., 2011).


Indications (contemporary)

Useful in treating coughs as a result of fever, influenza or colds notably in illnesses as bronchitis and pleurisy, acting as an expectorant in such events (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527). Externally, angelica leaf may be applied as a compress of the chest, acting on any chest inflammation, which may result from coughs (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527). It has also shown useful in the easing of rheumatic inflammation (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527).


The essential oil constituent of Angelica has shown useful in such digestive complaints such as colic, flatulence, and anorexia nervosa (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527).


Also in the event of cystitis, Angelica has proven useful as a urinary antiseptic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527).



Typically prepared as either a tincture or decoction.



Tincture: The standard dose of a 1:5 tincture is 2-5mL tds.

Decoction: Decoction is prepared with the root of the plant. 1tsp of root/cup tds.

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 528)



According to Hoffmann (2003, p. 527), the furanocoumarin constituent of Angelica could potentially provoke photosensitivity and therefore suggests that high doses of UV exposed are to be avoided during treatment. Hoffmann also suggests that the coumatrine constituent may interefere with anti-coagulative treatments (2003, p.527).



  • In the case of bronchial disease, Hoffmann suggests combining with coltsfoot and white horehound (1983, p. 175)
  • In the case of digestive complains, Hoffmann suggests combining with chamomile (1983, p. 175).



Bhat, Z., Kumar, D. and Shah, M. (2011). Angelica archangelica Linn. is an angel on earth for the treatment of diseases. International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Disease. 1: 36-50. Retrieved from:;year%3D2011;volume%3D1;issue%3D1;spage%3D36;epage%3D50;aulast%3DBhat

Hoffmann, D. (1983). The Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Wedge, D., Klun, J., Tabanca, N., Demirci, B., Ozek, T., Baser, K., Liu, Z., Zhang, S., Cantrell, C. and Zhang, J. (2009). Bioactivity-Guided Fractionation and GC/MS Fingerprinting of Angelica sinensis and Angelica archangelica Root Components for Antifungal and Mosquito Deterrent Activity. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistries. 57, 464-470.

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