COMMON NAME: Lovage
LATIN NAME: Levisticum Officinale
ORIGIN: Homeland of Lovage is Southern Europe, the natural habitat of it is Iran and Afghanistan.
HABITAT: Distributed in the Mediterranean countries of Europe. Acclimatized, widely cultivated around the world.
BOTANICAL INFORMATION: Lovage (lat. Levisticum officinále) is the only species of the monotypic genus Levisticum of the Umbelliferae or Apiaceae family.
Lovage is a large perennial herbaceous plant, sometimes reaching 2-2.5 m in height. It has a fairly large, thick, branched, brown root with a pungent spicy smell. The stem is straight, furrowed, naked, hollow. The leaves are alternate, dark green and shiny; the lower ones are long-grained (up to 70 cm long), the middle ones are short-grained. The flowers are small, yellowish-green or whitish-yellow in complex umbrella-shaped inflorescences with numerous leaflets of wrappers. The plant has 5 stamens. The fruit is an ovule, breaking up when ripe into 2 dry 1-seed mericarp on carpophores, oval-elliptical in shape and flattened along the back with thickish winged ribs. It blooms in June - August. The fruits ripen in September. The plant propagates by seeds and bushes. Frost-resistant plant. The whole plant has a strong smell, very similar to the aroma of celery.
All parts of Lovage contain essential oil (0.1-2.7%), which contains up to 98 components, including D-α-terpineol, cineole, acetic, isovalerianic and benzoic acids, butylphthalide, ligustilide, which is the main carrier of a characteristic smell. The roots contain lecithin (0.9%), falkarindiol (0.06%), resins, gum, organic acids (angelic and malic), starch, sugars, terpenes - α-terpineol, carvacrol, sesquiterpenes, isovaleric acid, furocoumarins (psoralen and bergapten), tannins and minerals. Leaves have a large amount of ascorbic acid. The grass of Lovage contains up to 119 mg of ascorbic acid and 5 mg of carotene, bitterness, rutin, which has P-vitamin activity. The leaves also have a number of trace elements.
ACTIONS: Levisticum Officinale possesses analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, detoxicant, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and other actions on the body. The roots have antibacterial activity, stimulate appetite, relieve intestinal colic, have a carminative and diuretic effect.
- Lovage has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, heals scratches and cuts when used externally. This plant is not only able to cleanse the skin, but also heal even purulent wounds.
- The beneficial properties of Levisticum Officinale have a good effect on intestinal motility, so it is often used for constipation and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Lovage decoction can treat inflammations of the upper respiratory tract such as hoarseness, bronchitis and catarrh, as well as dropsy.
- Even with various heart diseases and neuralgia, it is recommended to take decoctions from this plant, since it has excellent soothing properties.
- This herb is a very good prevention of eye diseases. The carotene content in the leaves of the plant restores visual functions, well removes unnecessary eyestrain.
- Lovage has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, helps with neurosis, insomnia.
- Lovage officinalis is used for damage to the testicles as a result of infectious diseases such as mumps, toxoplasmosis, brucellosis, tularemia.
- Lovage can also be used externally in case of rheumatism and gout.
- This herb is used for therapeutic and prophylactic baths with pruritic dermatoses as a strengthening, disinfecting and anti-inflammatory agent.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: Is not recommended to use Levisticum Officinale in the following cases:
Lovage should not be consumed during pregnancy and breast-feeding period;
Should be taken with caution in case of individual intolerance to essential oil, which is found in all parts of the plant;
Put an end to consumption of this herb in case of internal bleeding;
The development of ulcerative processes of the stomach and intestines is another reason not to take this plant;
To protect yourself from potential risks do not use it when having kidney diseases such as glomerulonephritis and pyelonephritis.
- The herb has many popular names, most of which are associated with the word "love": dawning garden, pipe maker, love, love potion, love grass, etc. Often it is called perennial celery.
- In many countries, Lovage is used as a side dish, for this purpose the stems and leaves of the plant are deep-fried.
- Lovage is used as a flavoring agent for confectionery and in the process of manufacturing alcoholic beverages as well.
- As a medicinal plant Levisticum Officinale has been known since ancient times, it was used by ancient doctors as a means of promoting the separation of urine and bile.
- Greeks and Romans used chopped seeds or their decoction to improve digestion.
- In Europe, Lovage has been mentioned in herbalists since the 9th century, it was used for almost all diseases - from heart diseases to impotence.
- According to the legend, in Western Europe this plant was considered a love potion, and was known as a strong aphrodisiac. It was believed that if you put Lovage leaf in food of a man, he is yours forever. There is a certain reason for this. Scientific pharmacologists have proved that its leaves contain a substance similar to the male hormone (testosterone) with the corresponding action.
*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.