Angelica atropurpurea. Purple Angelica.
Nat. Ord.— Umbelliferae or Apiaceae. Sex. Syst.— Pentandria Digynia.
Root, Herb and Seed.
Description. — Angelica Atropurpurea, sometimes called Masterwort, High Angelica, etc., has a perennial, purplish root, and a smooth, herbaceous stem, hollow, glaucous, from one to two inches in diameter, and rising from three to six feet high; its dark purple color has given rise to its specific name. The leaves are ternate, and supported by very large inflated petioles. The leaflets are pinnate, five to seven, sharply cut-serrate, acute, pale beneath, the terminal one sometimes three-lobed, the lateral ones of the upper division decurrent. Umbels three, large, terminal, many-rayed, spreading, spherical, six to eight inches in diameter, without the involucre. Umbellets dense, subhemispheric, on angular stalks, and with involucels of subulate bracts longer than the rays. Calyx five-toothed ; petals equal, entire, with the point inflected. Involucels short, about eight-leaved. Fruit smooth, compressed, somewhat solid and corticate, elliptic.
History. — This plant grows from five to eight feet high, throughout the United States, in meadows and marshy woods, and flowers in June and July; the flowers are greenish-white. The whole plant has a strong odor, and a warm aromatic taste. The juice of the recent root is acrid, and is said to be poisonous ; drying dissipates much of this acrimony.
Properties and Uses. — Aromatic, stimulant, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, and emmenagogue. Used in flatulent colic and cardialgia. 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 eupatoreum purpureum. Dose of the powder, thirty to sixty grains ; of the decoction, two to four ounces, three or four times a day. The Angelica Archangelica, A. Triquinati and A. Lucida, may be substituted for the above.