Angelica root essential oil has a long history of use both therapeutically and as a ward against evil. Its warming and stimulating properties has been used for centuries to treat digestive ills, detoxification, and boggy congested lung conditions. It is the brazen friend who encourages, supports, and empowers you to overcome your troubles and is an amazing ally for strengthening a person’s resolve.
Known in the Middle Ages as the Angel’s Herb, angelica’s unique healing qualities have stood the test of time (it was even used during the plague!) making it a welcome addition to your essential oil repertoire. If you have tried other oils for anxiety without success, try Angelica root!
The Benefits and Therapeutic Properties of Angelica Root Essential Oil
Angelica archangelica and Angelica officinalis
Angelica is a biennial or perennial herb which can grow up to 2 meters in height with a large rhizome. The root is cultivated in Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, and northern India.
Angelica root essential oil is steam distilled from the dried roots, preferably from roots that are no older than 2 years old. Though not inferior, the oil extracted from older roots has little to no peppery top note.
Essential Oil Characteristics
Angelica root essential oil is pale yellow to orange brown in color. If distilled from younger roots, its viscosity is thinner than that distilled from roots older than 2 years old. This also depends on the age of the essential oil itself, the older your old, the darker and thicker it will be.
The younger distillates of angelica will have a peppery top note that has a sharp woodsy earthy herbaceous base note that has strong diffusive properties. The tenacity of its fragrance profile makes it a popular addition to skincare products and recipes.
Historical and Traditional Use
Angelica is a virtuous herb indeed! For centuries it was believed to protect against contagion by purifying the blood and curing every possible malady, especially poisonings and infections.
Culpeper describes angelica as:
The stalks and roots are candied and eaten fasting are good preservatives in time of infection, and will warm and comfort a cold stomach… A water distilled from the root, as steeped in wine and distilled, and drank two or three spoonfuls at a time easeth all painsand torments coming of cold and wind, and taken with some of the root in powder, helpeth the pleurisy, as also all other diseases of the lungs, and breast, as coughs, phthisic and shortness of breath.
At that time, angelica was closely linked with Christianity and was said to have been revealed in a dream by Archangel Raphael to a monk as a cure for the plague. Its name is believed to have come from its blooming on the day of Michael the Archangel and was therefore used as a protectant against witchcraft and evil spirits.
Old herbal documents refer to angelica as being an effective purifying agent that could help relieve gout, rheumatism, and for drying out the body and expelling toxins by increasing sweat.
Today, the powdered root is used extensively in treating bronchitis and other diseases of the lungs as well as for menstrual regulation.
The chemical makeup of angelica root essential oil is very complex as it contains up to 70% monoterpene hydrocarbons and small quantities of alcohols, coumarins, esters, and lactones.
Angelica also contain furocoumins which are responsible for its phototoxicity. Its coumarins are what gives it a strong affinity for stress relief and calming the nervous system.
Angelica root essential oil is known to be an excellent antibacterial and antifungal but also expresses the following therapeutic properties:
• Antiseptic – kills germs and bacteria
• Antispasmodic – helps relieve cramps associated with cramps, coughs, digestive distress, and nervousness
• Carminative – relieves gas
• Cholagogue – helps the gallbladder release bile
• Depurative – helps purify the blood by removing excess uric acid
• Diaphoretic – increases sweating which aides in detox
• Digestive – stimulates digestion and the release of stagnation
• Diuretic – relieves water retention by increasing the quantity and frequency of urination
• Emmenagogue – regulates menstruation and relieves its symptoms
• Expectorant – breaks up mucus and congestion
• Febrifuge – Helps reduce fever (in this case by increasing sweat)
• Hepatic – stimulates and protects the liver
• Nervine – eases nervous afflictions
• Relaxant – relaxes the mind and body especially during times of shock, depression, anxiety, and anger
• Stimulant – Stimulates blood circulation, hormone secretions, and the release of enzymes
• Stomachic – aides the stomach by balancing bile and acid, soothes coldness
• Tonic – it promotes health and strengthens the immune system
Blends Well With
Angelica Root Essential Oil Uses and Indications
Angelica root essential oil is well indicated for the digestive system, particularly for flatulence and indigestion. Mixing 2-3 drops in 1 tsp of carrier oil and rubbing it over the abdomen.
The Lymphatic System
Angelica root essential oil has amazing diuretic and detoxifying properties that helps drain stagnant lymphatic fluids thereby relieving fluid retention, cellulite, arthritic pains, and rheumatism. Make a 0.8% dilution if you will be in the sun within 24 hours of application.
Angelica is well known for its tonic effect on the nervous system especially for those with nervous fatigue and stress.
Angelica aids people with an upset nervous system who urgently need to rebuild body and soul. The oil helps sooth all kinds of weakness. It’s like super-growth fertilizer you might feed a sickly plant. The essential oil of angelica root will help you rediscover your own inner strength and stamina.
It may also sooth nerve maladies such as sciatica when used topically.
Angelica root essential oil is a strong expectorant that may be used for chronic bronchial asthma, coughs, and sinus infections. Use it in salt inhalers or diffused for best results.
Though not commonly used in skin care, angelica makes its appearance in skincare products for its fragrance. It is however, an effective remedy for scaring due to its cellular renewal properties.
Energetics of Angelica Root
Angelica is a drying, warming, and restoring herb that drains yin and invigorates the stomach, spleen, and intestines. It awakens the appetite and dispels distension and dampness in the body.
It is indicated for those with excess yin conditions such as damp phlegmy congestion in the lungs, intestines, and uterus.
Angelica root essential oil is indicated for those who feel weak, afraid, or who have a tough time making decisions or lack perseverance. It helps those who feel blocked or cut off from their higher-self feel grounded and full of love for the self and the divine. It is therefore a great oil to use in spirituality and self growth.
Diffusing angelica root essential oil is said to help the user strengthen the mind and spirit and instill a sense of calm when used to heal and release traumatic emotions. It is also a wonderful sleep aid when diffused before bed.
How to Use Angelica Root Essential Oil
Angelica root essential oil is best used in massage, diffused, or by direct inhalation via an oil vaporizer, salt inhaler, or even straight from the bottle using 3-4 deep breaths.
Angelica root essential oil can be used topically as a compress, diluted in body oil and other body care recipes, and in the bath to help drain the lymph and tone tissues. It makes for an excellent cellulite remedy for this reason!
Applying it diluted on the abdomen can soothe digestive upset and help move stagnation which may be particularly helpful for those with heavy and painful periods.
Though not often used in skincare, adding 2 drops of angelica root essential oil to your serum recipes can help increase cell renewal.
Diffusing angelica is a great way to break up mucus and congestion in the sinus and lungs.
Angelica root essential oil is non-toxic and non-irritant. However, the furocoumins present in the oil cause it to react with UV rays which can cause sunburn. It is therefore considered phototoxic and exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided for 24 hours after application.
If you do use angelica root essential oil in your lotions, you can use a maximum of 0.8% dilution to avoid phototoxicity.
Angelica is also contraindicated for pregnant mothers as it stimulates the uterus as well as diabetics.
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You can watch a presentation on angelica below:
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