Although this herb is not too popular in America, the Lovage plant is widely used in Europe and Southeast Asia. Despite its unpopularity, the benefits of this plant are hard to go unnoticed when it comes to improving your overall wellbeing.
The health advantages that come with consuming this plant is nothing short of exceptional. From reducing inflammation to relieving kidney stones, the benefits of this plant prove there is more to love about this Lovage herb.
Botanical Name and Family of Lovage
The scientific name of lovage is Levisticum officinale. It belongs to the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family and is closely related to carrots, parsley, fennel and celery. Lovage has been referred to as Ache des Montagnes, Love Parsley and Sea Parsley.
What Is Lovage?
Lovage is a perennial herb native to Southwest Asia and Europe, with a flavor resembling that of celery. It has been used as a vegetable, herb and spice in South European cuisine. Due to its strong perfume, it is also used as a fragrance in manufacturing cosmetics and soaps.
The lovage root is thick, fleshy, grayish brown and carrot-like. In the summer, the lovage plant yields pale yellow flowers, followed by small, yellow-brownish fruits. Out of the various parts of the lovage plant, its seeds, leaves and root are most often used in traditional systems of medicine.
This herb was especially popular among the ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, this herb was mentioned in books written by Galen, Pliny, Dioscorides and Apicius for treating boils, inflammation, malaria, migraine headaches and throat aches.
Active Ingredients Found in Lovage
Lovage contains unsaturated fatty acids and volatile oil made up of the following:
- Terpinyl acetate
- Beta phellandrene
Research also suggests that this herb has the following properties:
Health Benefits of Lovage
Traditionally, Lovage has been used to reduce inflammation and pain of the lower urinary tract. It helps to increase urine output and is used in treating urinary tract infections, edema and kidney stone prevention.
Some people have also used Lovage to treat the following ailments:
- Sore throat
- Menstrual pain
How to Use Lovage
While it isn’t very common in American kitchens, it’s a more popular choice in Southern and Central European cuisines. The roots, rhizomes and seeds are used for cooking and making tinctures and teas. One should speak to their herbal practitioner to get appropriate dosing before consuming the tinctures to prevent them from experiencing any side effects.
Side Effects of Lovage
Lovage is generally safe for use but must be avoided by those with high blood pressure and pregnant women. Use of Lovage can also increase skin sensitivity to sunlight.
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Shafaghat A. Chemical constituents, antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of the hexane extract from root and seed of Levisticum persicum Freyn and Bornm. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research: Sept 2011: 5(20); 5127-5131