Angelica Archangelica - Usage/history

Usage/history

From the 10th century on, angelica was cultivated as a vegetable and medicinal plant, and achieved popularity in Scandinavia in the 12th century and is still used today, especially in Sami culture. A flute-like instrument with a clarinet-like sound can be made of its hollow stem. Linnaeus reported that Sami peoples used it in reindeer milk, as it is often used as a flavoring agent.

In 1602, angelica was introduced in Niort, which had just been ravaged by the plague. It is used to flavour liqueurs or aquavits (e.g. Chartreuse, Bénédictine, Vermouth and Dubonnet), omelettes and trout, and as jam. The long bright green stems are also candied and used as decoration.

Angelica is unique amongst the Umbelliferae for its pervading aromatic odour, a pleasant perfume entirely different from fennel, parsley, anise, caraway or chervil. One old writer compares it to musk, others liken it to juniper. Even the roots are fragrant, and form one of the principal aromatics of European growth - the other parts of the plant have the same flavour, but their active principles are considered more perishable.

The plant is used as a digestive aid.

Angelica contains a variety of chemicals. The essential oil of the roots of Angelica archangelica contains β-terebangelene, C10H16, and other terpenes; the oil of the seeds also contains β-terebangelene, together with methylethylacetic acid and hydroxymyristic acid. The fruits are tiny mericarps and are used in the production of absinthe and other alcoholic drinks.

Seeds of a Persian spice plant known as Golpar (Heracleum persicum) are often labeled as "angelica seeds".

Read more about this topic:  Angelica Archangelica

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