Plant Folklore: Angelica

Plant Folklore: Angelica

Ann Meyer

Regarded as “the guardian of the soul” or "root of the Holy Ghost”, Angelica received its name from a dream in the night.

When nature intertwines with spirituality, we find ourselves in the realm of plant folklore. Angelica archangelica is not only rich in medicinal value but also lavish in stories. Commonly known as angelica, it is sometimes referred to as wild celery, garden, or Norwegian angelica. Known for its support to our stomach and digestive system, angelica can be consumed in multiple forms including the leaves, stem, and roots. More often than not, angelica is ingested in its root form and is taken alone or added to other herbal remedies, such as tincture, teas, and bitters. 

Angelica received its name from a dream in the night. During medieval times, an archangel visited a monk while they slept, telling tales about a root with healing properties, one that aided in ailments connected to the stomach. Taking this knowledge to heart, the monk spread the word throughout the community. With associations to celestial realms and connection to the divine, it was believed that this plant possessed an angelic power that protected against evil spirits and warded off ill intent. Thus, creating the name we commonly use, angelica.

In some cultures, angelica is regarded as “the guardian of the soul” while others refer to it as the “root of the Holy Ghost”. At one point, it was known as the most powerful herb, believing the fragrant aroma produced by this plant created a protective boundary for those in need. Folklore suggests that carrying angelica in a locket or placing it by the doors and windows of your house can create a border where negative energy cannot pass.  

Often mentioned in tales containing angels and dreams, it is thought that angelica can act as a bridge between spiritual and physical realms. In ancient times, carried over to modern traditions, it is believed that angelica can help us communicate with angels, ancestors, and other spirits. Whether consumed in a tea, formulated within a remedy, enclosed in a locket, or burned as an incense, profound spiritual experiences are attached to this plant. Outside of medicinal properties, angelica is used to enhance the connection between the ethereal and earthy regions. 

As angelica transcends the boundaries between the seen and unseen, let it take us on a magical journey supported by stories. Opening our hearts to spiritual exploration and guided within healing realms, this plant whispers tales of connection to the divine and protection of ethereal doing.

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