While reading through the American Botanical Commission’s description of Angelica archangelica, the land it thrives in caught my attention. Our text indicates Angelica prefers a cooler growing climate (4), but ABC’s information states its natural habitat is Iceland, Lapland, Scotland, and Holland. (5) That intrigued me because I have a theory that wherever the native healing herbs are prolific, there is a general weakness in the human body in the same geographic region; not only are the herbs created by Design to withstand the climate of the area, but they are created to be needed by those in proximity. “Relationship” is the word that comes to mind. I looked up the primary diseases of Iceland, Lapland, Scotland and Holland. The top major risk-of-disease factors are dietary (digestive) and smoking. According to HealthData.org
Overall, the three risk factors that account for the most disease burden in the Netherlands are tobacco smoking, dietary risks, and high blood pressure. The leading risk factor for both children under 5 and adults aged 15-49 years was tobacco use in 2010. Tobacco smoking as a risk factor for children is due to second-hand smoke exposure. (1)
In Iceland, dietary risk factors are the leading cause of death, with tobacco smoke related diseases coming in a close second (2), while Colic and other digestive disorders have reached record levels in children residing in Scotland (3). So, let’s take a look at Angelica archangelica’s primary uses. Traditionally, it is used for respiratory inflammation, peptic discomforts, flatulence and mild spasms of the GI tract, stomach cramps, bloating and feelings of fullness (4).
The ABC states it has been used for centuries as an expectorant for bronchial symptoms, as well as a digestive aid for stomach disorders and eventually became the most important medicine of the fifteenth century. In Germany, Angelica archangelica was used as an aromatic bitter, which stimulated the appetite, and as a treatment for dyspepsia, gastrointestinal illnesses, cholegogue, and biliary remedies. (5) While we look at the lovely and profound ways an herb is useful to humankind, (and animals), based on its purposes and primary uses, the habitat it thrives in and originates from tells us something about the people these herbs were created to serve.
- Murray, C. (2010) GBD Profile: Netherlands:Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. Retrieved May 20, 2017, http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/country_profiles/GBD/ihme_gbd_country_report_netherlands.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
- Murray, C. (2010) GBD Profile: Iceland: Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. Retrieved May 20, 2017 @ http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/country_profiles/GBD/ihme_gbd_country_report_iceland.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
- of Edinburgh (2013, September 17). Digestive Disorder Reaches Record Levels In Scottish Children. Retrieved May 20, 2017, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releas…
- Petersen, D. (2016). HERB 304 Herbal Materia Medica III. 1st ed. Portland: American College of Healthcare Sciences.
- (2013). American Botanical Council: Herbal Medicine. Retrieved May 20, 2017, from http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbstream/achs/HerbalMedicine/index.html#param.wapp?sw_page=@@@@@@expEView%3Fufgp%3DAngelicaroot.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.