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Pagès chose to use Angelica in this infusion, that you will find in pharmacies. Angelica is one of the plants whose use is regulated, it is important to consult your pharmacist or doctor before consuming it.
Angelica is a medicinal plant whose taste and bitterness can be troublesome.
ORIGINS OF ANGELIC
It is said that the word "Angelica" means "plant of the angels". According to a legend, the Archangel Raphael would have revealed its miraculous powers, in particular against the epidemic of plague which decimated the populations in the Middle -Age. During the Renaissance, doctors called it the “root of the Holy Spirit”. Introduced to Scandinavian countries in the 12th century, Angelica was cultivated as a panacea in all the monasteries of Europe.
Angelica has been cultivated in France since the Middle Ages. In the past, it was hung around children's necks to protect them from bad luck. In his "Theater of Agriculture and Field Mesnage" published in 1600, the agronomist Olivier de Serres noted in his colorful language: "Angelica, such a name was given to this plant because of this virtue it has against venoms ”. In the 13th century, the Sisters of the Visitation of Sainte-Marie, in Niort, had the idea of confiding Angelica and therefore giving this medicinal plant the reputation of a delicacy.
They also made a liqueur out of it. Soon, Angelica's sweets and spirits, which were the subject of a flourishing trade, gave the region a major boom. In the following century was born the fashion to artistically mold the candied stems into subjects of all kinds inspired by the fauna and flora of the Poitevin marsh.
Today, Angelica has made the gastronomic fame and the fortune of Niort city. The artisanal preparation of candied stems is complex. The young, very tender stems are sorted and then scalded before being covered with an increasingly concentrated syrup, where they soak for several weeks.
The fruits are used to prepare pleasantly scented liqueurs. They are part of the composition of "vespétro", a traditional digestive drink in the south of France, once considered almost miraculous.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ANGELIC
Name: Angelica archangelica
Species: biennial plant
This large biennial plant, over 1 m tall, occurs in the wild in northern Europe. Angelica is part of the same family as Carrot and Parsley. Some people find that its taste is similar with the Celery's. It is grown in gardens and commercially in the Niort region. Its large single thick, cylindrical stem is hollow and filled with furrows. The huge leaves, very cut, are inserted on the stem by a large sheath. The small, yellowish-white flowers are arranged in umbels at the top of the stem and appear in July-August. The fruit is adiakene, formed of two winged parts, flattened on one side, curved on the other. The large wrinkled root has an aromatic odor like the whole plant.
Angelica contains mainly in the root and fruit, an aromatic essence rich in carbides including phellandrenes. It also contains coumarins, in particular furanocoumarins, such as bergaptene.
USES OF ANGELIC
Angelica can be used in different ways and for different needs. To consume it as an infusion, and benefit from its special taste and benefits, it is possible to choose its roots, young stems or seeds. It is said to help digestion, if taken after a meal. Conversely, if taken before a meal, it can be used as a pleasant welcome drink.
We also make Angelica wine with this plant. It is ough to let macerate white wine with the plant for a while to obtain this delicious drink. Angelica can also be used in the production of tonic liqueur with brandy.
Be careful, however, not to consume Angelica in any way during pregnancy. Its furanocoumarins are photosensitizing and it is recommended to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during a treatment based on the root or the fruit so as not to risk a possible rash.
Like many other plants, there is also Angelica in the kitchen. Its characteristic flavor is pleasantly scented. The advantage with this plant is that all of its parts are edible: roots, leaves, stems. The fresh stems of Angelica can be cooked like those of Celery. You can make jellies, jams or fruit paste. Angelica is a plant that is ideally eaten with sweet dishes. Its aroma goes quite well with spicy meals. We also consume it very well as an welcome drink, in the form of Angelica wine.
BENEFITS OF ANGELIC
Angelica is one of the plants that goes into the composition of "lemon balm water". It is said to be invigorating and cordial. It stimulates the digestive tract, increases appetite and facilitates digestion.
It is known to be a very good antispasmodic.