You are on page 1of 2

Archangelica Atropurpurea.Purple Angelica.

Angelica archangelicaAngelica atropurpureaAngelica hirsutaRelated entry:

Archangelica Officinalis.Garden Angelica

The root, herb, and seed of the Archangelica atropurpurea, Hoffman (Angelica
atropurpurea, Linn, Angelica triquinata, Michaux).
Nat. Ord.Umbelliferae.
COMMON NAMES: Purple angelica, Masterwort, High angelica, Great angelica.

Botanical Source.The Angelica atropurpurea has a root of a purple color, and a

smooth, dark-purple, furrowed, hollow, glaucous stem, 5 or 6 feet high, and 1 or 2
inches in diameter. The leaves are ternately divided and the large petioles much
inflated, channeled on the upper side; the leaflets are pinnate, 5 to 7 in number,
sharply cut-serrate, acute, pale beneath, the terminal one sometimes 3-lobed, the
lateral one of the upper division decurrent. The pale, greenish-white flowers are
borne in three large, terminal, many-rayed, spreading, spherical umbels, 6 to 8
inches in diameter, without the involucre. The umbellets are dense, subhemispheric, on angular stalks, and with involucels of subulate bracts longer than
the rays. The calyx 5-toothed; the petals equal, entire, with the point inflected. The
involucels are short, about 8-leaved. The fruit is smooth, compressed, elliptic,
somewhat solid and corticate.

Description.The root is about 3/4 inches in diameter, and 3 to 6 inches in length. It

is branched, of a pale, brownish-gray color on the external surface, which is deeply
furrowed. Internally it is nearly white. It breaks with a short fracture, showing a thick
bark finely dotted with resinous deposits, enclosing a soft wood. It has a fragrant
odor, and is spicy and sweet to the taste, afterward bitter. It is extremely liable to
the attack of insects.

History and Chemical Composition.This perennial plant grows in fields and damp
places, developing greenish-white flowers from May to August. The plant has a
powerful, peculiar and not disagreeable odor, and a sweet taste,, succeeded by
considerable pungency and spiciness; much of these properties is lost by
dessication. They are due to a volatile oil, acrid soft resin, and a volatile acid. Starch
also abounds in the root. The fresh root is reputed to act as a poison.

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.Aromatic, stimulant, carminative diaphoretic,

expectorant, diuretic, and emmenagogue. Used in flatulent colic and heart-burn,
and nervous headache. The root has been candied and eaten. It is said to promote
the menstrual discharge. In diseases of the urinary organs, calculi and passive
dropsy, it is used as a diuretic, in decoction with uva ursi and Eupatorium
purpureum. Dose of the powder, 30 to 60 grains; of the decoction, 2 to 4 ounces, 3
or 4 times a day. The Archangelica officinalis, Hoffmann (Angelica Archangelica,
Linn), may be substituted for the above.

Related Species.Archangelica hirsuta, Torrey and Gra.(Angelica hirsuta, Michaux).

U. S. (Southern States). Often collected with purple angelica, the root of which it
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and
John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.