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Angelica.

Angelica.—Two species of this genus are used in medicine, the Angelica Archangelica L. (Garden Angelica), a native of Europe, and the A. atropurpurea (Masterwort), which grows throughout the eastern United States. Garden angelica has a long, thick, fleshy, biennial root, furnished with many rootlets, and sending up annually a, hollow, jointed, round, channelled, smooth purplish stem, which rises five feet or more in height, and divides into numerous branches. The plant is a native of the north of Europe, and is found in the high mountainous regions in the southern section of that continent, as in Switzerland and among the Pyrenees. It is often cultivated. The whole plant is aromatic, but the root only is official in the Swiss, Austrian, and German Pharmacopoeias, while the fruit is official in the N. F. IV. The root should be dug up in the autumn of the first year, as it is then least liable to become mouldy and worm eaten. It is spindle-shaped, 4 to 6 cm. thick at the crown, and beset with long descending rootlets. The fresh root has a yellowish-gray epidermis, a fleshy yellow parenchyma, and when wounded yields a honey-colored juice, having all the aromatic properties of the plant. The dried root is grayish-brown and much wrinkled externally, whitish and spongy within, and breaks with a starchy fracture, exhibiting shining resinous masses. It la very apt to be attacked by insects. The drug and the powder should be conserved by the addition of a few drops of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride. The odor is strong and fragrant, and the taste at first sweetish, afterwards warm, aromatic, bitterish, and somewhat musky. These properties are extracted by alcohol, and less perfectly by water. The constituents of the root are angelic acid, C5H8O2, a monatomic acid of the acrylic series, valeric acid, C5H10O2, resin, bitter principle, tannin, pectin, malic acid, sugar starch and a volatile oil consisting largely of phellandrene. For further information concerning the constituents of this drug, see U. S. D., 19th ed., p. 1386. Schim. Rep., 1902, 15; 1911, 21; 1913, 26.

Angelicae Fructus, N. F. IV, Angelica Seed, is described by the N. F. as "the ripe fruit of Angelica Archangelica Linne (Fam. Umbelliferae) and of other species of Angelica, without the presence of more than 3 per cent. of foreign matter. Cremocarps oval, externally of a pale yellowish-brown color, from 4 to 8 mm. in length, 3 to 6 mm. in breadth and from 1 to 2 mm. in thickness, the base faintly notched, the summit bearing five minute calyx-teeth and the remains of the style; the two mericarps joined by their broad faces, or separate; each mericarp nearly flat upon one surface, which bears a central longitudinal groove and has sharp, slightly upturned margins, convex upon the other surface which is traversed longitudinally upon the back by three strong ribs, separated from one another by narrow grooves and from the margin by much broader grooves; pericarp soft, rather tough and corky, and enclosing a single seed, showing on cross section six large oil-tubes. Odor characteristic and agreeable; taste aromatic, pungent, and sweetish. Angelica Fruit yields not more than 8 per cent. of ash."

Garden angelica is an aromatic tonic. The Laplanders, in whose country it nourishes, esteem it highly as a condiment and medicine. In Europe the stems are frequently made into a preserve. The dose of the root or seeds is from thirty grains to a drachm (2-3.9 Gm.).

The N. F. IV recognizes under the name of Angelica Radix (Angelica Root) "the rhizome and roots of Angelica atropurpurea Linne (Fam. Umbelliferae) and of other species of Angelica, without the presence of more than 5 per cent. of stem bases and leaves or other foreign matter. Preserve Angelica Root in air-tight containers, adding a few drops of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride, from time to time, to prevent attack by insects. Rhizomes short and thick, from 5 to 10 cm. in length, sometimes split, frequently crowned with the bases of stem and leaves; the roots are numerous, from 10 to 20 cm. in length and from 5 to 7 mm. in thickness at the base and gradually tapering to about 1 mm.; frequently twisted or braided together, externally dark gray-brown to reddish- or purplish-brown and with conspicuous, rather deep furrows; when dry breaking with a smooth fracture. On cross section, the rhizome shows a distinct pith, which is absent in the root, and both exhibit a spongy bark nearly or quite as wide as the woody zone; in the bark are radial rows of brownish canals containing oleoresin. The wood rays are finely porous and narrower than the medullary rays. The bark is rich in starch. Odor strongly aromatic; taste sweetish, pungent, aromatic, and then bitter. The powdered drug is yellowish-brown and, when examined under the microscope, exhibits numerous, mostly simple, irregularly spherical starch grains, up to 0.008 mm. in diameter, sometimes with the cleft at the center and occasionally two- or more compound; tracheae or fragments of tracheae, with reticulate markings or large simple pores up to 0.075 mm. in width; brownish oil canals or fragments thereof, up to 0.23 mm. in diameter, sometimes with adjoining epithelial cells; fragments of parenchyma tissue with some of the cells filled with starch; fragments of large brownish cork cells; sclerenchymatous fibers with thin walls and often with oblique markings; yellowish oil globules. Angelica Root yields not more than 8 per cent. of ash." It has a strong odor and a warm aromatic taste. The juice of the recent root is acrid, and is said to be poisonous; but the acridity is dissipated by drying. The medicinal virtues of the plant are similar to those of the garden angelica of Europe, for which it has been proposed as a substitute. It is, however, inferior to the European angelica. Its uses are similar to those of the root.


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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