Is there anything more glorious than seeing Angelica archangelica in full bloom? Globes within globes, standing tall and proud against a blue summer sky.

It takes my breath away every time.

It also takes her two years to get to this point, only flowering in her second year of life and it’s a worthy show for two years of effort!

If you’re a child of the 70s like me, you will probably remember your mum making fairy cakes with a glace cherry on top and two angelicas ‘leaves’ on either side. If so – you have already met this beauty before! Those angelica leaves were made from the candied stems of this plant.

In fact, we can use just about every part of her – the roots and seeds are most prized medicinally. They are helpful to aid recovery from illness – the perfect medicine for recuperation as they stimulate the appetite which has often been lost and encourage deep breaths, warming the lungs and helping evacuate any vestige of illness.

The seeds, being aerial parts, have the most affinity to the air and so I like to use them if my patient has any lung issues or has had a chest infection for example. The roots are more nourishing and grounding so I like to use them if the situation calls for more nourishment – in someone frail and elderly for example.

There is also a tradition of using Angelica archangelica when someone is nearing the end of life to help them transition easily between earth and heaven. This comes from the fact that the plant is so tall (usually over 6 feet high) and has hollow stems – so it was thought to connect what is above, with what is below. I imagine this may have something to do with that very special name it has been gifted also…