Syn: Archangelica Officinalis.
Description: Natural Order, Umbelliferae. This plant is many times cultivated in the garden, and reaches the height of from three to five feet. It has a smooth and slightly polished green stem; and large branched roots. Leaves bi-pinnatisect, on large petioles with loose sheaths; segments sub-cordate, lobed, serrate; smooth and bright green. Involucels many-leaved. Calyx five-toothed, short; petals entire, elliptical-lanceolate, acuminate, point reflexed; fruit compressed dorsally, with three thick carinate ribs on each carpel; seed loose in the ripe carpel. Flowers green, from June to September.
The Angelica Atropurpurea, commonly called Masterwort, grows wild in wet fields and by the side of ditches throughout the United States. It is larger than the former species, with a dark purple stem, and three-parted leaves. It is a more rank plant, though its properties are similar to the other–except that the juice of the green roots is said to be injurious.
Properties and Uses: The roots are grayish-brown outwardly, and nearly white within. They have a peculiar aromatic and pungent odor, and a pungent taste. Their properties seem to depend in part upon an oleo-resinous material. They may be chewed, or used in warm infusion; and prove diffusively stimulating and relaxing to the stomach and skin, with a slight influence upon the kidneys. They promptly relieve flatulence and wind colic. Are not proper in inflamed conditions. The seeds possess the same properties, but are rather more diaphoretic. A warm decoction of them, used freely during an evening, is a popular family remedy for retained placenta, and suppression of the menses suddenly following cold; and is deserving of use, if employed early. A strong decoction has been asserted to cure chills, if suitable cathartics have first been used; and the tincture for spasmodic coughs. They can be used profitably as an adjunct to antispasmodic nervines.
Pharmaceutical Preparations: I. Infusion. Angelica roots, one ounce; hot water, one pint. Infuse in a covered vessel. Dose, one to two fluid ounces as needed.
II. Compound Tincture of Angelica, Carminative Drops. Angelica root, four ounces; dioscorea root, two ounces; leonurus, coriander seeds, anise seeds, and dill seeds, each one ounce. Crush the whole, and macerate in forty ounces of thirty percent alcohol for ten days. Apply strong pressure, and add half a pound of white sugar to the clear liquid. This is an agreeable and a most reliable carminative preparation for all forms of flatulence, colic, and abdominal pains not connected with inflammation. Dose for an adult, half to a whole teaspoonful, in water, every hour or oftener. Equal parts of these drops and the Neutralizing Cordial, make an admirable mixture in tormina with sour stomach and a tendency to diarrhea, but not in dysentery.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com