Angelica Essential Oil- Benefits, Uses, and Origin
Angelica (Angelica archangelica) of the Apiaceae family is an herb native to the subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is now widely cultivated in Germany, Holland, China, and different temperate regions. The plant can grow up to 2 meters and develop a large cluster of flowers T the end of its purple stems by the time it reaches its second year. The different parts of the plant are highly aromatic but it is the roots of the angelica, which resembles a pale carrot, that is the source of the plant’s essential oil.
The herb is used in making liqueurs, different dishes, and teas. The root of this plant is carefully harvested, washed, and dried before undergoing steam distillation. It produces a pale to golden colored oil that has a complex scent. Its fragrance is described to be herbaceous with notes of sweet, floral, and spicy scent. It’s principal components include α-pinene, δ-3-carene, and a mixture of β- phellandrene and limonene. Other important compounds were sabinene, α-phellandrene, myrcene, p-cymene and trans-β- ocimene.
Traditional Uses of Angelica Essential Oil
The first recorded use of this herb was around a thousand years ago. The herb was discovered by Viking settlers in Iceland and has since been an important plant in Scandinavia for its medicinal value. Because it is of much importance in treating illness, Vikings planted the herb wherever they settled. They used it in their trade across Europe, where it gradually became a famous herb. Soon after that, Angelica root became one of the most important commodities exported from Scandinavia.
During the Middle Ages, angelica became a popular medicine for multitudes of diseases, including infectious ones. It was also used to treat common ailments such as respiratory problems, arthritis, indigestion, and poisoning, to name a few. It was sought after even by the most influential doctors in Europe.
Chinese used this herb to treat various conditions, including respiratory and circulatory problems. It was known as the ‘empress of herb. ‘ It was widely consumed next to ginseng.
Benefits of Using Angelica Essential Oil
For healthy digestion
Angelica Essential Oil can stimulate the secretion of digestive juices such as acid and bile on the stomach and balances it. This helps promote good digestion and nutrient absorption.
Treat respiratory conditions
Angelica Essential Oil is a natural expectorant which helps clear the respiratory tract of excess mucus and phlegm which can harbour infectious bacteria. It can also have a positive effect on symptoms of infection such as colds, flu, cough, and congestion. It is also a treatment for asthma and bronchitis. Adding Eucalyptus oil to angelica oil and using it through steam inhalation can help treat nasal congestion and whooping cough.
Calm the mind and body
Angelica oil has a relaxing effect not just on the mind and body but on the nervous system as well. It can help ease anger and tension. Blending Angelica oil with chamomile, rose oil, rosewood, and petit grain with jojoba oil and using it for massage can alleviate nervous tension and negative feelings.
It is a stimulant
Although it is a known relaxant, angelica essential oil can also stimulate different body systems, such as the circulatory and digestive system. It stimulates the liver to secrete bile, helps heal any wounds present, and keeps it from getting infected. A blend of vetiver oil with angelica oil and massaging it on the stomach can help stimulate bile secretion.
The oil helps reduce fever by working against infections that cause it. Its diaphoretic and diuretic properties which works to reduce and eliminate toxins and waste in the body results to a speedy recovery.
Pain relief during menstruation
Pain during menstruation is often because of irregularity. The oil’s ability to make menstrual periods regular relieves the body of pains such as headache and cramps and nausea, and fatigue.
Helps the body detoxify
Angelica essential oil helps promote sweating, which Isa way of removing wastes and toxins from the body. These include fats, uric acid, saline, bile, and other elements that can be toxic in excessive amounts. Through this, blood pressure is also lowered as well as fat content. This also results in pain relief from arthritis and rheumatism.
Being a diuretic, the oil increases the frequency of urination, which is also another form of toxin removal in the body. Through frequent urination, excess salt, water, uric acid, and fats are expelled from the body.
Safety Tips and Precautions
Using angelica essential oil is safe when diluted in carrier oil but can cause skin irritation when used in very high concentrations. Allergy symptoms include blistering, hives, and skin darkening. It is also phototoxic and may cause sensitivity to light.
High doses of this oil can also cause hyperactivity of the nervous system.
It is not recommended for pregnant women and people who have diabetes. It is important to seek the advice of a professional before using it in aromatherapy.