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Scientific Name(s): Angelica archangelica L., Archangelica officinalis Hoffm.
Common Name(s): Chorak, Echt engelwurz, European angelica, Garden Angelica, Holy Ghost, Norwegian angelica, Wild Celery

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 21, 2023.

Clinical Overview


Animal studies suggest anticonvulsant, antidepressant/antianxiety, and antioxidant effects of angelica or its constituents; however, clinical trials are lacking to support therapeutic applications or recommend use for any indication. The possibility of increased formation of amyloid-beta peptides exists with use of angelica.


Clinical trials are lacking regarding dosage recommendations. Traditional doses of angelica dried root and rhizome range from 3 to 6 g/day (in divided doses).


Contraindications have not been identified.


Avoid use. Adverse effects and emmenagogue effects have been documented.


The related Angelica sinensis exhibits antiplatelet aggregating activity.

Adverse Reactions

Limited clinical trials provide information regarding adverse effects. A small clinical trial found no increase in blood pressure or heart rate during 8 weeks of leaf extract use. Allergic dermatitis has been reported, and photosensitization is possible.


Poisoning has been reported with high doses of angelica oils.

Scientific Family


Angelica is a widely cultivated, aromatic biennial herb grown in northern Europe. It has fleshy, spindle-shaped roots, an erect stalk, and greenish-yellow flowers arranged in an umbel. The seeds are oblong and off-white; angelica seed (ie, the fruit) is similar to, and sometimes confused with, water hemlock (Cicuta maculata), which is extremely toxic. There are several recognized varieties of A. archangelica, both wild and cultivated. In the United States, Angelica atropurpurea L. is often cultivated in place of the European species. A. archangelica should not be confused with the related "Chinese angelica" or dong quai (A. sinensis).Khan 2010, USDA 2020


Angelica has been cultivated for medicinal use as well as for flavoring in Scandinavian countries since the 12th century and in England since the 16th century. The roots and seeds are used to distill approximately 1% of a volatile oil used in perfumery and for licorice flavor in liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages. The candied leaves and stems have been used to decorate cakes. Angelica root tea has been used to stimulate gastric secretion and treat flatulence; the oil has been used topically to treat rheumatic and skin disorders. The Ayurvedic medical system suggests angelica use for CNS effects. Angelica root, root powder, essential oil, and tinctures have been prepared and used traditionally.Blumenthal 2000, Duke 2002, Khan 2010, Knapp 2009, Pathak 2010


Dried rhizome and roots, which should not contain more than 5% stem or leaf content, are used. Requirements for the volatile oil composition have been published, and leaf extracts and essential seed/fruit oil have also been examined for their pharmacologic effects. The dried root comprises 80% to 90% monoterpene hydrocarbons (including phellandrene, caryophyllene, pinene, and limonene), with 6% resin and 0.3% angelic acid. The remaining composition includes sterols, phenolic acids (including chlorogenic and caffeic), fatty acids, coumarins and furanocoumarins, and tannins.

Pharmacologically active compounds include furanocoumarins, umbelliferone, bergapten, colubiandin, and others. The constituent imperatorin has been investigated primarily from the related species Angelica dahurica. The shelf life of the root is limited because of the loss of the volatile oil while in storage, and geographical variation has been noted. Methods of extraction and analytical procedures have been described.Cao 2017, Duke 2002, Fraternale 2014, Khan 2010, Sarker 2004, Sigurdsson 2012, Waksmundzka-Hajnos 2004, Wszelaki 2011

Uses and Pharmacology

Although the constituents imperatorin and xanthotoxin have been shown to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, thereby increasing neuronal levels of acetylcholine and improving cognitive function, accelerated formation of amyloid-beta peptides has also been demonstrated.Budzynska 2012, Granica 2013, Sigurdsson 2007

Antibacterial activity

In vitro data

Inhibitory action against Helicobacter pylori by A. archangelica leaf extract has been demonstrated.Biglar 2014

Anti-inflammatory effects

In vitro data

In vitro anti-inflammatory effects, including decreased proinflammatory cytokines, have been reported.Fraternale 2018

Antioxidant activity

Animal data

In mice with ethanol-induced hepatotoxicity, treatment with A. archangelica produced a hepatoprotective effect, possibly due to antioxidant activity.Yeh 2003

Calcium-blocking activity

In vitro data

The calcium-blocking activity of angelica root has been examined relative to the solvent used in extraction, and furanocoumarins were identified as the likely active compound.Härmälä 1992


Animal and in vitro data

Volatile oil extract of angelica fruit was cytotoxic against mouse mammary cancer cells,Sigurdsson 2005 and the chemical constituent angelicin (found in the roots and leaves of A. archangelica) was cytotoxic to breast cancer cell lines in vitro and reduced tumor growth in vivo in mice.Oliveira 2019 In vitro induction of apoptosis and necrosis has been described.Fraternale 2018

Radioprotection has been demonstrated in rodent studies, possibly due to antioxidant activity of the extract.Khedr 2018, Raafat 2013

CNS effects

Animal and in vitro data

Inhibition of gamma-aminobutyric acid degradation has been demonstrated in vitro,Budzynska 2012 as well as activity on voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels, resulting in dampened excitatory activity.Wang 2015, Wu 2013 Experiments in mice show increased seizure threshold and suppressant effects on tonic-clonic seizures by imperatorin and the essential root oil.Luszczki 2007, Luszczki 2009, Pathak 2010, Wang 2015

Competitive antagonism of 5-hydroxytryptophan receptors has been demonstrated in vitro.Budzynska 2012, Cao 2017 Limited studies in rodents show imperatorin derived from fruit extracts to be effective in reducing laboratory-induced anxiety and depression.Budzynska 2012, Cao 2017, Kumar 2013, Kumar 2012

Clinical data

Angelica in combination with ferulic acid (Feruguard) has been evaluated in limited, small studies of patients with dementia. Further clinical trials using angelica as a single agent are required before recommendations can be made.Kanaya 2010, Kimura 2011

Dermatologic effects

In vitro data

Applications of A. archangelica in the prevention of skin photoaging has been investigated, with attenuation of ultraviolet B-triggered interleukin-6 activity described.Sun 2016


Clinical data

An industry-sponsored randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating effects of an extract made from A. archangelica on nocturnal enuresis (N=69) reported no significant difference between groups for actual number of nocturnal voids, Nocturnal Polyurea Index, or Nocturnal Bladder Capacity Index; subgroup analysis suggested a beneficial effect in those with decreased nocturnal bladder capacity, warranting further studySigurdsson 2013; however, an analysis of the contents of the product used in the double-blind study (SagaPro) found the quantities of isoquercitrin and furanocoumarins to be pharmacologically unimportant (ie, unlikely to have an effect on nocturia).Kowal 2017


Clinical trials are lacking regarding dosage recommendations. Traditional doses of angelica dried root and rhizome range from 3 to 6 g/day (in divided doses).Blumenthal 2000

Crude fruit extract is not recommended; safety and efficacy have not been established.Blumenthal 2000

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use. Adverse effects and emmenagogue effects have been documented.Ernst 2002


Angelica contains furanocoumarins, which, although often thought of as coumarin-like, are more accurately attributable to dicoumarol.Pengelly 2004, Sigurdsson 2007, Sigurdsson 2013 Case reports of interactions with warfarin or other anticoagulant medicines are lackingUlbricht 2008; however, the related A. sinensis exhibits antiplatelet aggregating activity.Mason 2010 See Dong Quai monograph for more information.

Adverse Reactions

Limited clinical trials provide information regarding adverse effects. A small clinical trial found no increase in blood pressure or heart rate during 8 weeks of leaf extract use.Sigurdsson 2013 Allergic dermatitis has been reported.Knapp 2009

The presence of photosensitizing linear furanocoumarins in the root indicates that the plant parts should be used with caution during exposure to sunlight. Coumarins, found in low concentrations in the oil, are partially removed during some extraction processes.Khan 2010, Raquet 2014


A median lethal dose of 2,000 mg/kg of the essential oil in mice has been reported,Pathak 2010 while an oral dose of 5 to 10 mg/kg in rats has been suggested to be a safe and effective dose of imperatorin.Kumar 2013 The constituent imperatorin accelerates the formation of amyloid-beta peptide in vitro, the implications of which are undetermined.Budzynska 2012 Poisoning has been recorded with high doses of angelica oils. Phototoxic and genotoxic effects on human cells have been demonstrated when furocoumarins are combined with ultraviolet irradiation.Raquet 2014

Index Terms



This information relates to an herbal, vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. This product has not been reviewed by the FDA to determine whether it is safe or effective and is not subject to the quality standards and safety information collection standards that are applicable to most prescription drugs. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this product. This information does not endorse this product as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this product. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this product. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You should talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this product.

This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

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