JANUARYS HERB - ANGELICA
This months herb is Angelica. Angelica archangelica is an aromatic herb, used for medicine and as a flavoring in confectionery, bitters and liqueurs. All parts of the plant contain the aromatic properties, but it is primarily the root that is used for medicinal purposes. There are dozens of other Angelica species, most of which are said not to share in the medicinal properties of Angelica archangelica, though Native Americans used Angelica atropurpurea medicinally. It is a protective herb used magickally for house cleanings and exorcism.
Do not gather Angelica from the wild unless you are very sure of your ability to properly identify this plant. It closely resembles the highly poisonus Water Hemlock plant.
AKA: Garden Angelica. Archangelica officinalis.
Parts Used: root, leaves, seeds.
Angelica roots should be dried rapidly and placed in air-tight receptacles. They will then retain their medicinal virtues for many years.
The root should be dug up in the autumn of the first year, as it is then least liable to become moldy and worm-eaten. Where very thick, the roots should be sliced to quicken the drying process. If the plants are well grown, the leaves may be cut for use the summer after transplanting. The whole herb, if for medicinal use, should be collected in June and cut shortly above the root. If the stems are already too thick, the leaves may be stripped off separately and dried on wire or netting trays. The stem, which is in great demand when trimmed and candied, should be cut about June or early July.
If the seeds are required, they should be gathered when ripe and dried. The seedheads should be harvested on a fine day, after the sun has dried off the dew. In a few days the tops will have become dry enough to be beaten out with a light flail or rod, care being taken not to injure the seed. After threshing, the seeds should be sieved to remove portions of the stalks and allowed to remain for several days longer spread out in a very thin layer in the sun, or in a warm and sunny room, being turned every day to remove the last vestige of moisture. It is imperative that the seeds be dry before being put into storage packages or tins.
Description---The roots of the Common Angelica are long and spindle-shaped, thick and fleshy . The stems are stout fluted, 4 to 6 feet high and hollow. The foliage is bold and pleasing, the leaves are on long stout, hollow footstalks, often 3 feet in length, reddish purple at the bases; the blades, of a bright green color, are much cut into, being composed of numerous small leaflets, divided into three principal groups, each of which is again subdivided into three lesser groups. The edges of the leaflets are finely toothed or serrated. The flowers, small and numerous, yellowish or greenish in color, are grouped into large, globular umbels. They blossom in July and are succeeded by pale yellow, oblong fruits, 1/6 to a 1/4 inch in length when ripe, with membranous edges, flattened on one side and convex on the other, which bears three prominent ribs. Both the odor and taste of the fruits are pleasantly aromatic.
Start from seeds directly sown or begin seeds indoors. Seeds should be sown as soon as possible after removing them from the plant. If they must be stored, seal them in a plastic container, and store the container in the refrigerator.
Plant angelica in the coolest part of the garden. The soil should be deep, rich, moist and slightly acid. Soggy soil will cause the plants to die back. Transplant seedlings when they have four to six leaves. They have long taproots, so don't delay transplanting too long.
Once the plant flowers, it will not come back the next year. You can cut the flowering stem the first two or three years, but the fourth year will probably be it's last, so let it flower.
Angelica is used in the preparation of Vermouth and Chartreuse.
Chopped leaves may be added to fruit salads, fish dishes and cottage cheese in small amounts.
Add leaves to sour fruit such as rhubarb to neutralize acidity.
Boil the stems with jams to improve the flavor. Remove the stems before canning or freezing.
Young stems can be used as a substitute for celery.
Angelica is a good herbal tea to take for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, and heartburn. It is useful to add in remedies for afflictions of the respiratory system, as well as liver problems and digestive difficulties. Promotes circulation and energy in the body. It is often used to stimulate the circulation in the pelvic region and to stimulate suppressed menstruation.
Angelica tea is a stimulating tonic. Use it when an illness has left you feeling weak.
Use Angelica tea to ease the digestive tract. It eases colic, flatulence, and spasms
It is useful in treating anorexia nervosa, cystitis and bronchitis
Angelica tea helps to regulate menstruation while easing menstrual pain.
The decoction of the dried root is said to remove the tast for alchohol. Simmer two teaspoons of the root in two cups of water for twenty minutes; take one cup twice a day.
Use the root in salves for skin problems and rheumatic pains. The tincture can be used in doses of ten to thirty drops, four times a day.
The following is extracted from an old book of herbal remedies:
'Boil down gently for three hours a handful of Angelica root in a quart of water; then strain it off and add liquid Narbonne honey or best virgin honey sufficient to make it into a balsam or syrup and take two tablespoonsful every night and morning, as well as several times in the day. If there be hoarseness or sore throat, add a few nitre drops.'
Do not exceed the indicated amounts, or the heart, blood pressure, and respiration can be affected.
Angelica should not be used by diabetics.
Angelica should not be used medicinally during pregnancy.
Avoid excessive sun after using angelica oil.
Coughs, Colds, Fevers, Flatulence, Indigestion, Skin Care, Circulation. Do not use during pregnancy or if diabetic.
Grow it in your garden as a protection for garden and home. Not only does it grant protection from negative energies but its use also brings good or positive energy into ones life. The use of Angelica in bathing brings a most healthy aura and a radiance of joyful positive energy to the psychic self. Adding it to a ritual bath will break spells and hexes. The root is often used as a protective amulet, and has been used to banish evil by burning the leaves. It is also used to lengthen life, and is used in protection against diseases, as well as to ward off evil spirits. It has often been used to ward off evil spirits in the home. Sprinkle crushed leaves around the 4 corners of a house to ward negativity and purify the home, burn for meditation, protection, divination, exorcism, healing/health and visions. The leaves can be smoked in herbal "tobacco" formulas. (Oil) Use for anointing. It is said to bring a deeper understanding of inner light, insight and inspiration in the purpose that the self may hold for bettering the world and the wisdom of being in touch with that part of the inner self which is truly immortal. Angelica has also been used as a Visionary herb to increase one's ability to see into other realities and times.
Use Angelica in baths and to make potpourri.
mix well ground portions
burn on charcoal
4 parts Frankincense
3 parts Myrrh
2 Parts juniper berries
1 Part Rosemary
1/2 part Avens
1/2 part Mugwort
1/2 part yarrow
1/2 part St. John's Wort
1/2 part Angelica
1/2 Part Basil
MEDICINE WHEEL INCENSE
mix well ground portions
burn on charcoal
2 Parts Sage
1 Part Sweetgrass
1 part Pine resin or needles
1 part Osha root (or Angelica)
scant pinch Tobacco
Burn during rites revering American Indian deities & spirits, & to attune with the energies of this land.
To rid your home of unhappy energy
It's best to do this spell on the first day of a waning moon.
You will need:
* 1 old brick
* angelica shavings
* a chalice of cold water
Place the brick in a hot oven for a few minutes until warmed through and hot to the touch. Take the brick out, using oven gloves or similar, and place the shredded angelica on top with the salt. Using the chalice, sprinkle the cold water over the top of the brick until steam rises and chant 7 times,
'I call on the Eye of Horus to protect this home, invasion of evil be gone to none'.
When the brick has cooled, place it in front of your house and leave it there as a warning to any other unhappy or negative energy that thinks about coming in.
is a remedy for colds, coughs, pleurisy, flatulence, rheumatism, fever, nervousness, poor skin, appetite loss, gas, indigestion and can also be used as a blood tonic. Fresh Angelica root stimulates production of digestive juices and improves the flow of bile. This tea resembles china tea with a celery taste.
To 1 teaspoonful of dried or 3 teaspoons of fresh add 1 cup of boiling water. Steep to taste.
Young stems and stalks of angelica (or you can use Borage)
1 pint of boiling water
4 oz. salt
1 1/2 lbs. sugar
1 1/2 pints water
Make a solution from the salt and 1 pint of boiling water. Place the stems in a basin and pour the solution over them. Cover with a cloth and leave for 24 hours. Drain
and peel the Angelica stems and wash them in cold water. Make a syrup from the sugar and the 1.5 pints of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Place the Angelica in the syrup and boil for 20 minutes. Lift out and drain for 4 days on a wire rack. Reserve the sugar syrup. After the 4 days re-boil the Angelica in the same sugar solution and allow to drain for a further 4 days. Sprinkle with caster sugar and store in airtight containers. Use to decorate cakes and trifles or to make your own cassata ice cream which traditionally contains Angelica.
ANGELICA LIQUEUR RECIPE
1 tsp. dried marjoram
2 green cardamoms
7 1/16 tsp. ground allspice
1/16 tsp. ground star anise
1/16 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/16 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 apricot kernel
2 fl oz (0.6 dl) vodka
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) sugar syrup
1 cup (2.4 dl) vodka
2 Tbsp. fresh or dried angelica root
2 fl oz (0.6 dl) vodka
In a mortar grind the cardamom seeds and half an apricot seed. Mix with other spices (except angelica root) and place in a tight glass jar or bottle and add 2 fl oz (0.6 dl) vodka. After one week filter through a coffee filter. Combine with sugar syrup and 1 cup (2.4 dl) vodka.
In a separate small glass jar combine the angelica rood with 2 fl oz (0.6 dl) vodka. After two weeks filter through a coffee filter. Add small portions of the angelica root extract to the liqueur until you get a suitable flavor. Check the flavor after 2 months. If necessary add some more sugar syrup, vodka, or angelica extract.
Other herbal liqueurs can be made by exchanging angelica root with another herb.
For herbal liqueurs it is best to use a sugar syrup which is made as follows: In a saucepan combine 1 lb. (450 g) sugar, 1 cup (2.4 dl) water and 1/4 tsp. citric acid. Heat the mixture and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to simmer on reduced heat for 15 minutes.
ANGELICA CURRY RICE
Therapeutic benefits: Promotes blood circulation; improves complexion; enhances metabolism; tonifies yin energy.
310 grams (10 oz) lean beef, or deboned chicken
3 onions, sliced into crescents
1 large carrot, cut into 1cm ( inch) pieces
1 large potato, cut into 1 cm ( inch) pieces
240 grams (1 cup or 8 oz) fresh green peas
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter or ghee
To taste salt and pepper
15 grams (1/2 oz) Dang Gui (Angelica sinesis) thinly sliced
1 liter (5 cups water)
Method: Boil Dang Gui in 2 cups water until fluid is reduced by about half; set aside, do not discard pulp.
In a separate wok or pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter or ghee, then stir-fry beef or chicken until just done. Remove to a plate. Add another spoon of butter and stir-fry onions until soft, remove and set aside.
When carrots and potatoes are done, add cooked meat and onions to the stew-pot, and return to boil. Then add the Dang Gui broth with pulp and the peas, return to boil and stir for one to two minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over rice or noodles.
250 g (1/2 lb) young angelica stalks
3 medium-sized angelica flower clusters
3 dl (1 1/3 c) good vinegar
2 dl (1 c) water
150 g (2/3 c) sugar
2 tsp mustard seeds
6 black peppercorns
a small piece of ginger, fresh or dried
Simmer the stalks in salted water for about 15 minutes, then drain them, let
them cook and peel them. Simmer the flowers in the same water for 5 minutes,
then drain. Mix vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, ginger
and cloves in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
Arrange stalks and flowers in a hot, sterilized jar, pour the boiling
vinegar in the jar to cover. Close and seal.
Rhubarb and angelica jam
1 kilo (2 lbs) rhubarb stalks
500 g (1 lb) angelica stalks
1 kilo (2 lbs) sugar
2 1/2 dl (scant 1 cup) water
Peel and chop rhubarb and angelica stalks and soak them in cold water. Put
sugar and water in a nonreactive pan, bring slowly to the boil and stir
until the sugar has dissolved. Let boil for one minute, then add the drained
rhubarb and angelica. Simmer for an hour or more, or until the jam is fairly
thick. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal.
1 kilo (2 lbs) angelica leaves
3 litres (3 quarts) good meat or vegetable stock
60 g (1/4 c) butter
75 g (1/2 c) flour
1/2 - 1 tsp sugar
1 medium rutabaga (swede), or turnip
Wash the leaves and blanch them in lightly salted water for 2 minutes or so,
then drain and chop them. Peel the vegetables, chop them roughly and parboil
in lightly salted water until almost tender. Heat the stock to boiling point
and . Melt the butter in a large pan, stir in flour and cook for a minute or
two, then gradually whisk in the hot stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for
5 minutes. Add angelica leaves and vegetables and simmer for 5-10 minutes
more. Season to taste with sugar and salt and serve with quartered
hard-boiled eggs or dumplings.
2 oz Home-candied angelica
1 Shortcrust pastry *
1 1/2 oz Butter
1 1/2 tb Honey
1/2 c Curd cheese
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 ts. milk
1 egg white
*Note: Shortcrust pastry made with 7-8 oz flour will be about right for this
These tarts are irresistible when made with home-candied angelica, as dull as ditchwater when store-bought is used. Chop the angelica into small pieces, cover with warm water to rinse off some of the sugar and set aside for a few minutes. While the angelica soaks, line 18 x 2 1/2 inch tartlet tins with the shortcrust pastry and start preparing the filling. Dice and barely melt the butter in a small saucepan. Away from the heat, beat in the honey, then the curd cheese, then the egg yolk mixed with the milk. Stir in the well drained angelica. Whisk the egg white to snowy peaks and fold it in. Spoon the mixture into the pastry-lined tartlet tins and bake at 400 F (200 C) gas mark 6 for 30 minutes until puffed up
and golden. Serve as soon as cooled from cooking.
Source: Philippa Davenport in "Country Living" (British), May 1987
yield 16 "coins"
A light and simple recipe that brings out the best in fresh fish.
1 cube of butter
1 Tbls. of fresh Angelica leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
Soften the butter in a small mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients, making sure to avoid any pith in the lemon rind. Place the mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator until stiff enough to form a log. Shape the butter about 1 1/2" thick and cover with the plastic. Freeze the log until you are ready to use it. Slice into coin size pieces so they will melt easily. Place directly out of the freezer onto hot grilled, sauteed, or poach fish.
Stress Essential Oil Blend
This Essential Oil blend can help relax the mind and body .
1 oz Lavender Harvest
.02 Roman Chamomile
5 drops Myrrh
5 drops Frankincense
2 drops Angelica
Blend the above and add to one ounce carrier oil. Apply at the nape of the neck and temples as needed. This blend can also be added to an Aromatherapy pot for those who do not wish to apply the oils topically.
A rinse to freshen the mouth and sweeten the breath. Use morning and evening and afier meals for maximum effect. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 3 tablespoons of angelica seeds and leave to infuse and cool. Strain into a screw-top jar. You could also add caraway seeds, lemon verbena, peppermint or rosemary to the infusion for extra strength; a little dried orris root will perfume the breath with the scent of violets.
The delicate fragrance of Angelica leaves adds a soothing freshness to the skin when added to the bath water.
To make a herbal bath sachet, fill a square piece of muslin or cheesecloth with fresh or dried Angelica leaves and tie the corners together with a long piece of string. Hang this bag from the tap (faucet) so that all the benefits of the Angelica
will be washed into the bath water. When in the bath, the little bag can be used to scrub the skin.
Angelica roots cleaned and grated can be used in the same way, but it produces a brown liquid that does not look attractive.
Angelica oil can be used as a soother of skin nerves, or as a perfume. To soothe the skin a cold compress can be made from fresh Angelica leaves, or use Angelica ointment made from fresh or dried roots. To make an Angelica ointment, slowly melt a small jar of white petroleum jelly in the top of a double boiler. Add a handful of crushed fresh Angelica leaves and stir well together using a wooden spoon. Leave to infuse over a very low heat for about 1 hour. Strain into small pot and leave to cool.
SORE THROAT TREATMENT
For sore throats Angelica syrup is both soothing and effective, and this can be made from the dried roots. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 handfuls of dried grated Angelica root and add 1/2 cup of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Allow to stand, and covered until it is cold. Strain and bottle. Take 1 to 3 teaspoons for a sore throat or troublesome cough. Store the syrup in the refrigerator or a cold place and use within 3 days.
ANGELICA COUGH SYRUP
For cough's Angelica syrup is both soothing and effective, and this can be made from 2 cups of Angelica infusion.
Heat 2 cups of infusion in a saucepan. Add 2 cups of honey or unrefined sugar and stir constantly until dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool and pour into a dark glass bottle. Seal with cork or stopper. Take 1 to 3 teaspoons for a sore throat or troublesome cough. Store the syrup in the refrigerator or a cold place and use within 3 days.