Know Your Nutrients – Icelandic Angelica

Good Health Lifestyles Herbal Helpers

Knowing about the many types of nutrients could easily be a full-time job unto itself. But if you don’t have the time and simply want to know what makes a vitamin, mineral, botanical, or other nutrient valuable to your health, you’ve come to the right place.

Icelandic Angelica for a Better Bladder

Icelandic angelica, officially known as Angelica archangelica, might not sound familiar, but if you deal with urinary urgency, interrupted sleep due to trips to the bathroom, or bladder issues of any kind, it is time to discover this herb for yourself.

Also known as the “Angel’s Herb,” this traditional Icelandic botanical has been used as a remedy for over 1,100 years. At one time, it was even bartered as a form of currency by the island’s Viking forebears.

The herb is still highly regarded, and to this day, angelica leaves are sustainably harvested and carefully gathered by hand to preserve their nutrient value and to guarantee their continued growth for generations to come.

The environment of these plants may be key to their actions. Researchers believe that the Icelandic summer, with 24 hours of daylight, spurs the growth of angelica and concentrates compounds that are responsible for its beneficial effects. And those effects are impressive.

Preliminary clinical data and anecdotal reports show that a specialized leaf extract from Icelandic angelica can strengthen bladder muscles and help those who struggle with an overactive bladder, urinary urgency, frequent nighttime awakenings, the feeling of incomplete emptying, and incontinence. And because the herb doesn’t have hormonal effects and isn’t limited to being a prostate-focused nutrient, it can be used by men and women.

In an eight-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, men with nocturia received an angelica leaf extract or a placebo. The participants in this study were age 45 and older, which is often when men begin noticing urinary frequency. Here are a few of the takeaways from that study that really stand out:

  • Men with reduced bladder capacity of less than 260 ml (the average is between 400 and 600 ml), saw an increase of 44.3 ml versus 16.3 ml in the placebo group – a difference of over 170 percent.
  • Men normally making more than three bathroom trips per night saw that number reduced by half.
  • For men age 70 or older, angelica increased the first uninterrupted sleep period by 180 percent versus the placebo group.

Angelica gets these results by doing a few different things all at once. First, it reduces inflammatory leukotrienes that would otherwise affect the bladder. Then, it calms nerves that transmit bladder signals so they don’t create unnecessary feelings of urgency, or hold off on those signals until it’s too late. And, angelica improves bladder capacity, muscle strength, and the ability to fully empty, eliminating that “there’s still some left” feeling.

Angelica archangelica is a natural option that, unlike anticholinergic prescription drugs, doesn’t create a risk for dementia. For anyone dealing with an overactive bladder, interrupted sleep, urgency, or incontinence, supplementing with the angels’ herb could be a great place to start.

Download this article as a PDF