Why am I writing about Angelica today? Maybe because it is a wet, cold, dark November day and Angelica embodies everything that is bright and clear and Spring-like. Maybe I need a dose of ‘Angelica energy’ right now. Maybe you do too?
Either way, Angelica has a significance for me. The aroma immediately transports me to childhood: a lane near home always overgrown with nettles, buttercups and meadowsweet. In the verge a marshy ditch feeds into the slow-moving muddy river where it deposits its fertile organic gatherings. The theme is of earthiness and vitality, growth and renewal. Angelica always means springtime to me; it is clear, direct, joyful and carefree, far removed from the frustrations of adulthood. It is never serious or sombre or over-analytical.
Angelica Root Essential Oil
Botanical name: Angelica archangelica
Part used: Roots, but also stem, leaves, seeds
Production: Steam distillation
Blending: Many, especially citrus, pine
Compounds: alpha-Pinene, delta-3-Carene, alpha- & beta Phellandrene, Limonene, Sabinene
Uses: Supports digestion, muscle and joints; respiratory; softens destructive thoughts
Key Features of Angelica (from Dr Malte Hozzel’s blog on Angelica)
• One of the few medicinal plants where essential oils are found in the seeds, stem, leaves, and root.
• Helps combat fear, and acts as a strong nerve tonic and energizer.
• Mainly composed of monoterpenes (normally found in citrus and conifers), but as a root oil it also possesses an earthy quality.
• Soothes nervous tension and anxiety and can be particularly useful for ‘nervous stomach’; supports digestion.
• Precipitates release of cortisol from the adrenal glands helping to alleviate pain and inflammatory reactions. Strengthens the kidneys.
• Its warming nature helps in cases of arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
• Regulates the secretion of mucus, making it a good ally against bronchial problems, sinusitis and coughs.
• Skin protecting properties, especially if congested or irritated.
• Inhalation is helpful for nausea, weakness, and anxiety when traveling.
• Releases neurotransmitters that make us feel awake, with a zest for life and existence.
Could we ever say an essential oil is ‘spiritual’?
People often say that Angelica is a ‘spiritual’ oil, but what does that really mean? There is so much guff written about this! You may very well be thinking: ‘Yes, and here comes a bit more …’ Well, that may be, but here’s my take on why we actually can apply that term to an essential oil, and especially to Angelica.
What does ‘spiritual’ mean? Spiritual is about your Being, your state of consciousness, your contact with the Universal within yourself. It is not about your thinking, not how you look or dress, whether you smoke or drink, or what you do. It also has nothing to do with talking endlessly about chakras and energy fields. (There is quite a funny video about ‘competitive spirituality’ which you may enjoy.)
What brings spiritual growth? There are many different ways to develop greater awareness: Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, etc. But there is no question that regular exposure to certain plants, certain aromas, certain essential oils (and I include Angelica here) can enhance stillness, and in this way liberate the mind from the small sharp boundaries of everyday life. In this way, these plants may be seen as helping ‘spiritual growth’.
What is the effect of spiritual growth? When a person begins to experience more expanded awareness, a new perspective dawns: we begin to identify with the greater good and see the bigger picture. This can lead to a softening of attitude.
What hampers spiritual growth? Stress and tiredness mostly, and anything that shrinks our awareness or makes us feel ill.
Angelica Helps Us …
• To embrace the rose, choosing not to dwell on the thorns, whether they are real or purely imaginary.
• To give others the benefit of the doubt.
• To have the flexibility to change direction
• To become more Self-referral.
• To find peace.
The message Angelica brings is always of hope and renewal. The door to greater understanding never closes. Whatever has happened in the past, life continues with learning and rebirth.
Angelica shows us that we will never achieve perfection on one level, but that the perfection exists in our understanding and evaluation.
Above all Angelica rids us of stuck patterns of behaviour, how ever many times we’ve made the same mistake. It encourages us to see the bigger picture, to choose freedom and allow the shackles of the past to fall away. It allows us to uncover new paradigms of life. We simply have to be prepared to take the risk and go through the door, so we can see beyond our own expectations and prejudices.
– Jonathan Hinde