What is Angelica Essential Oil?
Angelica essential oil is a medium viscosity substance with a sweet-herbal and spicy undertone aroma, which is extracted from Angelica archangelica plant (Angelica officinalis), belonging to Umbelliferae family. It is also known as Garden Angelica, Root of the Holy Ghost, and European Angelica.
It is a large water-loving herb with broadly pointed leaves dividing into smaller leaflets, its flowers are small and white-greenish in color. The plant has perfumed-edible stems and roots, which can grow up to eight feet in length.
The Angelica officinalis has a strong aromatic scent and a large rhizome. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the rhizome, roots, seeds and the herb itself and usually, blends well with essential oils of: basil, chamomile, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, mandarin, neroli, vetiver and patchouli.
Origin of Angelica Essential Oil
It is said that the plant has its origins in Africa and was introduced in Europe in the sixteenth century. Likewise, it is considered a native plant of northern and eastern Europe, as well as parts of Asia and the Soviet Union, and is found in Scotland, Holland, Lapland and Germany.
Historical facts of Angelica Essential Oil
Throughout history, angelica has been considered one of the most powerful protective medicinal herbs that exists.
Due to the above, its essential oil is considered “the oil of the angels”, because it is used in the most serious and difficult cases.
Besides, it is called Angelica, since it normally flowers on the 8th May, which is St Michael the Archangel’s Day, and for this reason it is often planted in monasteries and is referred to as “Angel Grass”.
On the other hand, in popular tradition it is said that the Archangel Michael appeared to a monk to indicate this plant as a remedy against the plague.
When the Black Plague hit Europe, the herb was considered an antidote for it, and “Angelica Water” was taken up in a Royal Prescription and published by the College of Physicians when the plague swept London in 1665.
Chemical composition of Angelica Essential Oil
Angelica oil is composed of various chemical constituents, among them stands out: a-pinene, camphene, b-pinene, sabinene, a-phellandrene, myrcene, limonene, b-phellandrene, cis-ocimene, trans-ocimene, p-cymene, terpinolene, copaene, bornyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, cryptone, b-bisabolene, rho-cymen-8-ol, humulene oxide, tridecanolide and pentadecanolide.
Properties of Angelica Essential Oil
Angelica oil has numerous qualities for our health, for this reason it is considered as one of the oils that we must incorporate in our essential kit. The most known therapeutic properties of angelica oil are:
- Calcium channel blocker
- Hepatoprotective (related to its antioxidant activity)
- Antitumor and cytotoxic
Uses of Angelica Essential Oil
There are many countries that use the fruits and root extracts of angelica in their traditional medicine. Its main use is as an antispasmodic, and for the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments. Also in cases of anxiety, insomnia and menstrual disorders.
Angelica essential oil can be used to treat irritated, congested or opaque skin, psoriasis, accumulation of toxins, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, neuralgia, water retention, bronchitis, coughs, anemia, anorexia, flatulence, indigestion, fatigue, migraine , nervous tension and stress related conditions.
On the other hand, Ayurvedic medicine uses angelica roots and its oil in the treatment of several CNS disorders, especially in epilepsy.
Angelica is known for its use to flavor gin, perfumes, and traditionally candied for cake decoration and confectionery. This herb is included in the famous Chartreuse and Benedictine liqueur.
At present, it is widely used in the food, cosmetology and perfume manufacturing industries.
Besides, angelica essential oil is very popular in herbal medicine all over the world, and every day it gains more followers thanks to its incredible properties.
Benefits of Angelica Essential Oil
Angelica oil is indicated in the treatment of dyspeptic disorders (mild gastrointestinal spasms, slow digestion, flatulence, fullness), inappetence, anorexia and bronchitis; based on the experience of its long time used by man.
The German Commission E recognizes the antispasmodic, cholagogue and stimulating activities of gastric secretions.
Its antibacterial and antifungal activity, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic, antispasmodic, calcium channel blocker, hepatoprotective (related to its antioxidant activity), antiproliferative, antitumor and cytotoxic activity has been experimentally proven.
Next we will review the most common benefits associated with the properties of Angelica essential oil.
A spasm is an involuntary and unpredictable contraction of the respiratory tract, muscles, nerves, blood vessels or internal organs, which can cause severe coughing, cramps, convulsions, stomach pain and obstruct blood circulation, among other symptoms.
The solution is to induce relaxation in those affected parts, and this we can achieve with the use of angelica essential oil.
Promotes healthy digestion
Angelica essential oil is effective in the treatment of gastritis, ulcers and other gastrointestinal conditions.
It is great helping in stomach related problems; including flatulence, dyspepsia, nausea, discomfort and indigestion. In addition, it helps digestion by stimulating the secretion of gastric juices such as acid and bile in the stomach.
It also helps the proper movement of food through the intestines and the absorption of digested nutrients.
On the other hand, it stimulates the appetite, decreasing problems of anorexia nervosa.
Detoxifies the body
A depurative, it is an agent that purifies the blood, angelic essential oil does exactly this with great efficiency.
It is considered a diuretic because besides promoting urination stimulates sweating, which helps eliminate toxins such as uric acid and excess salt, water, fat and bile from the body.
Angelica essential oil helps those suffering from chronic kidney failure, kidney stones, obesity, hypertension and diseases associated with the accumulation of toxins in the body, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatic and sciatic conditions.
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Angelica essential oil protects and tones our internal organs, especially the liver and spleen, stimulating a better functioning of both. It also protects them from infections and helps in the healing of wounds.
In addition, it strengthens the functioning of all the systems and organs of the body, expelling harmful fluids and eliminating toxins after a long illness.
Angelica essential oil is effective in the treatment of conditions and nervous disorders. Because it is a natural relaxing and stimulating, helps to level our nervous system and calm us in moments of shock and hyper reactivity, at the same time that stimulates us to stay more active and alert.
Its relaxing properties help us to combat depression, insomnia, anxiety, anger and hypertension, among others.
Angelica essential oil is also useful to reduce fever by combating the infections that cause it.
Its diuretic and diaphoretic properties also contribute to this effect, since the elimination of toxins and waste from the body, accelerates the recovery time of infections.
Additionally, perspiration also helps decrease body temperature caused by fever.
Angelica essential oil regulates the menstrual period. In addition, it relieves headaches, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and fatigue typical of premenstrual syndrome.
The essential oil of angelica is an expectorant that eliminates the accumulation of phlegm in the respiratory tract. Also, fights the typical infections of colds, sinusitis and nasal congestion. In addition, it helps restore the sense of smell and relieves bronchial asthma.
On the other hand, it tones the lungs fighting colds, flu, bronchitis, pleurisy, smoking cough, fever, etc.
A research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2011, called “Bioactivity-guided fractionation for the butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of furanocoumarins from Angelica archangelica L. roots and fruits”, shows the study of some extracts of angelica and isolated coumarins, demonstrating their ability to inhibit the activity of furanocoumarins, which may be another interesting contribution of natural compounds and plant extracts with activity on butyrylcholinesterase, in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Improves the general functioning of our body
Angelica oil stimulates blood circulation and is great for giving your constitution a boost by invigorating the lymphatic system.
Promotes the self-cleaning of the organism through its sudorific and diuretic effect. Stimulates the secretion of hormones, enzymes and also stimulates metabolic processes, such as digestion, absorption and excretion.
All of the above promotes and helps maintain the optimal functioning of our internal organs and systems.
Natural treatment for Epilepsy
The essential oil obtained by distillation of the roots, has shown in tests, anticonvulsant activity in experimental models. This effect seems to be due to the monoterpenes of the essential oil, through the modulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission (activation of GABA receptors).
Excellent ally for skin health
It fights skin inflammation and is very effective in the treatment of various acute and chronic dermal conditions of any etiology.
Natural antidote for some types of poison
Neutralize the consequences of bites from snakes and other creatures.
Great analgesic for headaches
Angelica essential oil reduces the painful sensations of headaches and migraines quickly and effectively.
Helps with cardiovascular and hypertension problems
Its pharmacological effects on different aspects related to the cardiovascular system have been verified. Thus, for example, its vasodilatory effects have been proven to be related to a blockade of voltage and receptor dependent Ca2 + channels, and its efficacy in decreasing the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells induced by TNF in cerebral vessels.
Likewise, in spontaneously hypertensive rats and in vitro tests, it has been proven that this furanocoumarin is able to prevent cardiac hypertrophy, probably through the nitric oxide pathway.
In addition, some scientific papers have been published in which its anticoagulant, antiplatelet and antihypertensive activity has been demonstrated.
It has also been confirmed its anti-inflammatory activity, having been observed in recently published works, that angelica oil is able to decrease the production of cytokines in macrophages.
In tests on mice, this compound prevents induced lung damage, and seems to be also effective in case of high levels of anxiety and memory disturbances.
On the other hand, its ability to favor bone formation and its antitumor, antiproliferative, hepatoprotective, insecticidal, antiviral and antimicrobial efficacy has been proven.
For example, it has been proven that it is capable of decreasing the replication of HIV-1. The antitumor effect seems to be related to the induction of apoptosis through different mechanisms.
How to apply Angelica Essential Oil?
Here is how you can start using angelica essential oil in your home today:
Burners and vaporizers
In vapor therapy, angelica oil can be used to help clear lungs, for bronchitis, pleurisy and to ease shortness of breath as well as asthma.
You can also inhale directly from the bottle or rub a couple of drops on the palms of your hands, and then, place your hands on your face like a cup, to inhale.
Blended massage oil and in the bath
Angelica oil can be used in blended massage oil, or in the bath, to assist in aiding the lymphatic system, detoxification, digestive problems, to help with colds and flu, as well as to fight fungal growths.
Before applying it to the skin, it must be diluted with a carrier oil in equal parts.
It should not be used on the skin that will be exposed to sunlight within 12 hours after.
Blended in a cream or lotion
As a constituent of a cream or lotion, angelica oil can be used to assist with circulation, arthritis, gout, sciatica, migraines, colds and flu, as well as helping to encourage the natural production of estrogen; this aids in regulating and easing painful monthly periods.
Warnings and cautions when using Angelica Essential Oil
Angelica oil does not seem to present contraindications to therapeutic doses, significant adverse effects, or toxicity. However, it is necessary to take into account the phototoxicity of some furanocoumarins.
The fresh plant is photosensitizing due to the presence of these compounds, therefore, sun exposure should be avoided after topical application. The common reactions due to photoxicity are pruritus, pigmentation and erythema.
It should also be considered that:
- Angelica oil may overstimulate the central nervous system and cause insomnia.
- Its use is not recommended for people who are under treatment with anticoagulants.
- It contains coumarin, a compound that can interfere with other medications.
- This oil should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding and children under 6 years old.
- It is contraindicated for people with diabetes.
- Angelica oil gives off a characteristic aroma, which tends to attract insects, so you have to be very careful when storing.
Where to buy Angelica Essential Oil?
Usually, good quality oils, that is, 100% pure and not mixed with other substances, can be found in specialized natural herb stores.
Tips for a better performance and duration of your oils:
- Store them in a dark glass bottle, never plastic, not even when blended with a carrier oil.
- Keep them in cool, dark places, away from sources of heat and light.
- Maintain the container that holds it tightly closed, since they are very volatile and also, their properties would be lost or modified.