The angelica flower, which is a genus consisting of about 60 species, is a member of the apiaceae family. Natively grown in both subarctic and more temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, angelica can shoot up to a tall 4 to 6 feet in height. Their stems are thick, fluted and hollow, and may be either green or purplish in appearance. Their foliage is bipinnate, bright green, and serrated. The flowers themselves are made up of large inflorescences that may be either light yellow, white and green or white and purple in hue. They tend to grow in abundance in well-shaded areas with moist, loamy soil.
The angelica flower is best known for its uses as a holistic medicine. These plants are known to be very effective in aiding the female reproductive system. One of the most frequently used types is angelica sinensis, which is commonly used to urge along delayed menstruation, ease cramps, and – in small quantities – help speed up labor. However, this species of angelica is considered very potent, and women are urged to avoid it during pregnancy. As well as easing female conditions, the angelica flower has long been used as a stimulant for weakness, to ease digestive troubles, and treat bronchitis and cystitis. Taken externally in the form of medicinal mouth rinses and poultices, these blossoms are also used to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers, broken bones and arthritis. The scent of angelica flowers has occasionally been likened to both juniper and musk, and is occasionally extracted and used for aromatherapy – which is said to bring about a feeling and calm, protection, and is thought to bring a sense of equilibrium to the spirit. As well as being very useful in medicine, the angelica flower is also said to be a great addition to many dishes. The seeds and stems of this plant are sometimes used to flavor liqueurs and gin; they are frequently candied and placed atop cakes and pastries, while fresh leaves are sometimes used in salads, spread with butter, or used as a unique side dish that is commonly eaten alongside fish. Herbals teas may also be made with these flowers – either for medicinal purposes, or simply for their strong, licorice-like taste.
The angelica flower is often said to represent inspiration and encouragement, and is often given as a gift to represent just those feelings. They may be given as a sort of muse to a person who is in a slump, or they may be presented to encourage that same person to get out of their slump. These blossoms are also said to be great stress relievers, so in place of the traditional bouquet or fresh cut flowers, you may prefer to present dried angelica in the form of a “dream pillow,” so as to encourage the recipient to be more restful.