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Lovage as an Herb

Lovage as an Herb

Levisticum officinale

The Garden Lovage is one of the old English herbs, and is still occasionally cultivated as a sweet herb, as well as for its use in herbal medicine of the root, and to a less degree, the leaves and seeds.

Lovage Root was much used as a drug plant in the fourteenth century, with its medicinal reputation most likely founded due to its pleasing aromatic odor. It was never an official remedy for its efficacy in numberless complaints.

Lovage as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

The medicinal parts are the dried rhizome and roots, the cut, dried herb and the dried fruit. The rubbed leaves give off an aromatic scent. The fruit is very fragrant.

An infusion of the root was recommended by old writers for gravel, jaundice and urinary troubles.

Lovage Root Tea eases bloating and flatulence, and eases digestion. It is also used in combination with other herbs to counteract colds and flu.

Lovage has also been used as an anti-depressant. Taken as tea use 1 teaspoon of fresh or dry root steeped in 1 cup water for 10 minutes.

Approved by Commission E for:

  • Infections of the urinary tract.
  • Kidney and bladder stones.

Lovage is used for flushing-out therapy for inflammation of the lower urinary tract and flushing-out therapy for prevention of kidney stones.

The folk medicine uses include dyspeptic complaints, such as indigestion, heartburn, feelings of fullness, flatulence, menstrual complaints. Lovage is also used as a secretolytic for respiratory catarrh.

Culinary Uses of Lovage

Leaves, seeds and stems used where the taste of celery is desired. The leafstalks and stem bases were formerly blanched like celery, but as a vegetable it has fallen into disuse.

A herbal tea is made of the leaves, when previously dried, the decoction having a very pleasant odor.

Lovage is good in potato salad, with tomatoes, and with chicken and rice dishes.

Use stems as straws for Bloody Mary's.

A good salt substitute.

The oil is an ingredient in artificial maple essence and also in extracts of coffee, vanilla, malt and licorice.

Lovage Umbrella: Cut a section of stalk a few inches taller than glass you wish to use. Cut thin slits 1-1/4 inch long all around the top; dip in ice water. Top will curl to form an "umbrella". Makes a lovely garnish.

Lovage for culinary use

Caution

Lovage should not be used during pregnancy or if you have kidney diseases.

Because of the irritating effect of the volatile oil, the herb should not be administered in the presence of inflammation of the kidneys or of the urinary drainage passages, nor with reduced kidney function.

Folklore

Take a lovage bath before you go out to make yourself more attractive.

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