Lovage comes from the roots and seeds of lovage varieties called Levisticum officinale and L. radix. Found in southern Europe, these plants have been naturalized to the United States. Lovage oil is used as a fragrance in some cosmetics, lotions, and soaps.
This stout, umbelliferous plant has been thought to resemble to some degree our Garden Angelica, and it does very closely resemble the Spanish Angelica heterocarpa in foliage and perennial habit of growth. It has a thick and fleshy root, 5 or 6 inches long, shaped like a carrot, of a greyish-brown colour on the outside and whitish within. It has a strong aromatic smell and taste. The thick, erect hollow and channelled stems grow 3 or 4 feet or even more in height. The large, dark green radical leaves, on erect stalks, are divided into narrow wedge-like segments, and are not unlike those of a coarse-growing celery; their surface is shining, and when bruised they give out an aromatic odour, somewhat reminiscent both of Angelica and Celery. The stems divide towards the top to form opposite whorled branches, which in June and July bear umbels of yellow flowers, similar to those of Fennel or Parsnip, followed by small, extremely aromatic fruits, yellowish-brown in colour, elliptical in shape and curved, with three prominent winged ribs. The odour of the whole plant is very strong. Its taste is warm and aromatic, and it abounds with a yellowish, gummy, resinous juice.
Common doses of lovage
Lovage comes as an herbal tea and an essential oil. Some experts recommend the following dose:
- As a tea, pour 1 cup (150 milliliters) of boiling water into 1.5 to 3 grams of finely cut lovage root. Drain after 15 minutes. Drink 4 to 8 grams daily.
Uses of lovage herb
Lovage root tea eases bloating and flatulence, and eases digestion. It is also used in combination with other herbs to counteract colds and flu. Specifically, lovage may help to :-
- As a sedative
- Fluid retention
- Intestinal gas
- Menstrual irregularity
- Muscle spasms
- Stomach pain
- To dissolve phlegm
- To prevent kidney stones
- Urinary tract inflammation
Side effects of lovage
Call your health care practitioner if you experience skin changes ftom light exposure when using lovage.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don’t use lovage while taking blood thinners such as Coumadin.
Important points to remember
- Don’t use lovage if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Know that lovage may aggravate plant allergies.
- If you’re using lovage as a diuretic, remember that swollen ankles and legs may indicate heart failure or another potentially dangerous condition that calls for a complete medical examination.
- Remember that proven diuretics are available to use instead of lovage.
What the research shows
Although some evidence suggests lovage can ease muscle spasms and cause sedation in animals, scientists haven’t done enough studies on people. Therefore, medical experts don’t recommend this herb.
Other names for lovage : –
Other names for lovage include Aetheroleum levistici, Angelica levisticum, Hipposelinum levisticum, maggi plant, sea parsley, and smellage.