During the fall ,most of us are busy harvesting the last of our summer herbs. But we also should be planting fall herbs.
One of the best fall herbs is Angelica, which grows wild all over Europe. Angelica has many medicinal and culinary uses. The Angelica used for herbal medicines is Angelica archangelica.
Growing & Harvesting
Angelica can be grown from zones 4-9. This herb is a biennial plant that can last for several years if the flowering stems are not allowed to grow. In many locations, Angelica will naturally take 3-4 years to flower.
The best time to plant Angelica is during the fall. In northern areas, you can start planting as early as the end of August. If you live in the South or other areas that are not prone to fall freezes, it can be planted into October.
It is recommended to start these seeds indoors. The seeds can take weeks to germinate, so do not be alarmed if you don’t see any seedlings quickly sprouting. Also, do not plant them too deeply. They need light to germinate and should not be planted more than one-fourth an inch deep. The seedlings can be transplanted when they reach 3-4 inches tall. These seeds can be grown indoors through winter and transplanted during the spring. It is best to take them out during the day except in cases of freezing weather.
Some say Angelica can be grown indoors and in containers as long as the container is large enough. The soil in your container will need to be well fertilized and get a reasonable amount of light. It does best in containers that are moved outdoors during times of nice weather.
Angelica’s natural habitat is along small streams and in shady woodlands. This lovely herb needs rich soil, shade and regular water. It also requires good drainage and does not like to have soggy roots. Over-watering this plant can easily promote the growth of fungus.
There are many ways to harvest Angelica. If you are harvesting the Angelica root, it should be done in the fall during the first year. Then, you dry the roots. They can be stored for quite a while. When the plant gets large, the leaves and stalks can be harvested during the summer. These can be used in some medicinal and culinary applications. The leaves can be dried and saved for later, as well. The stems are usually candied. Seeds can be gathered when they have dried on the plant. After harvesting the seed heads, they will need to be dried another few days in the sun. Later, they can be shaken from the seed heads and stored in an airtight container.
Angelica is a great multi-purpose herb. Note that Angelica is not safe for use during pregnancy. It also should not be used in diabetics. This herb can cause increases in sugar in urine. When using Angelica root, it must be dried. The fresh root is said to be poisonous.
Angelica can be used to decrease symptoms of gas and bloating, coughs and colds, arthritis and nerve pain, menstrual cramps, respiratory illness, stomach aches and motion sickness.
The main ways to use Angelica are through dried Angelica root and Angelica seeds. Most of the medicinal uses for Angelica are infusions. They are made by pouring boiling water over the roots or seeds. You leave these infusions to sit for several hours. Once these infusions are made, you can take the infusion in doses of approximately 2 tablespoons 3-4 times each day.
Syrups can be made with honey and the infusion of the Angelica. These syrups are often found with brandy or lemon in them and used for coughs and sore throats. Angelica also can be used externally in poultices. The leaves can be bruised and applied to the chest in cases of respiratory illnesses.
Have you ever planted Angelica? What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:
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